Pocket Rockets and Motochimps…

pocket_rocket_1I spotted* a couple of cool new electric bikes – and thought they were more than worthy of an airing on the blog. Though each is a quirky, original design in it’s own right, I’m old enough to know the adage “There’s nothing new under the Sun” has an element of truth to it – and both these bikes reminded me of older designs.

Pocket Rocket

The first is the “Pocket Rocket” it’s unusual form earning it a German Design Award. Designed by Manuel Messmer and engineered by SOL Motors, the Pocket Rocket is clean and compact. The thick tubular column on the top becomes a perfect surface to sit on, once you’ve got a saddle in place, and right at both ends, you’ve got the headlight and taillight. The product is currently in its conceptual stages and the specifications haven’t been made public yet. If and when they do, I’ll let you know.

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While a beautifully simple and original concept, it reminded me of a little known Lambretta from years ago – The Rosella, pictured below, and featured on the blog here.

Find out more about it on the SOL Motors website.

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Motochimp

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 17.50.12The second featured bike is equally – if not more so – quirky. It’s called the Motochimp – a cheeky name, for a really cheeky looking bike. This bike has so much personality, it looks like it’s a character from a Pixar film.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 17.50.01This quote from their website (motochimp.com) gives you an idea of the ethos of Motochimp…

“Motochimp celebrates the indie spirit of spontaneous urban mobility. Freeing urban transport from boredom, replacing it with spontaneity and personality. Join us and we’ll defy boredom and faceless urban transport. Let’s embark on joy rides that catch a twinkle or two… Let’s Ride on the Lighter Side of Life”.

The video on FullyCharged sums up the bike features nicely. Favourite feature? Well, I’m torn between the way the battery just slides out – and those funky, minimalist bar-end indicators.

As Johnny Smith notes in the video, the Motochimp is very reminiscent of Honda’s Motocompo portable minibike from the ’80s – now a very collectable little bike in its own right – and one probably deserving of a Lambrettista blog post.

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Which gives me the excuse to share this Madness Honda City/Motocompo ad…

 

*Well, my mate Luke spotted them to be fair. And sent me the links. Credit where it’s due!

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The Nobe Electric Trike

nobe_100_3I’ve made no secret of the fact that despite my love for the 2stroke engine, I think EV is the way forward. And I like a threewheeler – especially the microcars from the fifties that were basically three wheeled scooters – or “Cabin Scooters” as the Germans put it! The Nobe 100 electric trike has that ’50  retro microcar vibe, but also feels futuristic. With an aesthetic that’s definitely classic and an outlook that’s modern, eco-friendly, and downright clever, the Nobe 100 is made from 100% reusable or recyclable parts, produces no air pollution, houses upgradable technology to enhance vehicle longevity, and accommodates three people while taking up less road space than a regular car.

nobe_100_1The mind behind the Nobe 100 is Roman Muljar. Roman looked toward the talent within his country of Estonia to create a three-wheeled car with all the makings of a classic 4-wheeler, but the visual quirks and benefits of a trike.

nobe_100_2With a top speed of 68 mph and a range of 137 miles on a full charge, the Nobe 100 charges completely within two hours and even comes with an additional battery.

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I find the design of the Nobe remarkably assured and elegant – and kind of Italian looking – it puts me in mind of 1960’s Lancias – or maybe the Volvo P1800 – and love that ‘boat’ tail!

I hope this comes to fruitition – I was disapointed that the Messerchmitt inspired Smite never made it into production. Fingers crossed!

Originally found via Yanko Design. On the Cowdfunding site fundedbyme.

Find out more on the Nobe website; mynobe.com.

What’s the Buzz?

IMG_9050What’s the Buzz? The Buzz is the future. It’s electric. And it’s Vespa shaped. Aiming to do for the scooter market what Tesla have done for cars, Buzz is recreating yesterdays scooter style with tomorrows technology.

Based in Vietnam, where there’s a lot of love for vintage scoots, Buzz are ‘British Engineered’. My guess is it’s the guys at the Saigon Scooter Centre who are behind this initiative, but I may be wrong!

IMG_9056The images shown are prototypes – the final design promising to morph into a ‘more modern take on this classic shop’ – well, I for one hope they don’t change too much. You know what side of the fence I sit on in the Vespa vs. Lambretta debate… but Vespas are the second most beautiful scooters ever made – so this retro styling looks pretty good!

Of course, it comes down to more that just good looks. These vehicles have got to perform. But with claimed top speeds of 120 kph and a 0-100 kph of under 4 seconds (for the 5000W Buzz1 model) it’s not something to worry about. Even the more modest 2000W models top end of 80kph is fine for commuting and city riding.

IMG_9065The two big ‘pain points’ with electric vehicles are range and charging. The Buzz scooters have a range of 240km – nearly 150 miles in old money. Pretty impressive. And improvements in battery tech could boost that to 400km. If your riding any more than that between charges, your doing some serious level scootering.IMG_3909

Charging should be just as pain free. Plug in overnight for a slow charge (6 hours), or, if you’re in a rush, fast charge to 80% capacity in just 12 minutes.

IMG_9084There’s even an option with a removable roof system – featuring built in solar panels – the goal being you ‘ride for free’ and never have to plug your scoot into the grid. To be honest, I’d rather plug my scooter in once a day than ride around with a roof, but I think this would work well for delivery vehicles. Delivery vehicles in sunny places!

Being 2017, all Buzz bikes will have connectivity to your phone. A RFID system means that you’ll never worry about losing your keys again. You’ll also be able to locate your bike, and check your battery status on your phone.

So, sounds pretty good right? If only it was Lambretta shaped! Well… rumours reach Lambrettista towers that (as well as some other exciting news) an electric Lambretta Vendetta is in the pipeline. Watch this space.

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Find out more on the Buzz website.

Via OffTheClothBoff and Modculture.

The Triumph T10 – The prettiest British Scooter?

s-l1600-1Spotted this pretty little Triumph on eBay. Lovely clean lines for a scooter that doesn’t originate in Italy! Dare I say, it’s prettier than a J? Dare I? Nah, not on here. But’s it’s close. It apparently “drives very nice” and “everything works as it should” (Buyers words, so do your own checks). It’s listed at a pretty reasonable £1,950, but he’s open to offers, as he’s not sure how much it’s worth. I’d say he’s pitched it about right?

It comes with a load of paperwork. Which is always nice! Here’s the eBay link

The Triumph T10 – also known as the Triumph Tina – was the lightweight sister scooter to the better known Triumph Tigress. Made between 1962 and 1970 it was marketed at women, in a campaign fronted by Peter Pan of Pop Cliff Richard (I’d love to see some original publicity material if anybody’s got any – I’ve tried finding some online to no avail!). Technically the Tina was quite advanced – an early ‘auto’ using a continuously variable transmission system with a centrifugal clutch. There were even plans, and actual prototypes for a three-wheeler version – predating Piaggio’s MP3 by decades!

Lots more info about the Tina / T10 and her big sis the Tigress on the TriumphScooters website.

Cockerel found in barn…

Moto_Guzzi_Galletto_0The Moto Guzzi Galletto (or ‘cockerel’) was their attempt to muscle in on the burgeoning scooter market of the 1950’s, with a ‘large wheel scooter’. This one was imported in the 70s by its last owner and dry stored ever since. Thought to be a 1952, although there’s no paperwork with the bike so sold as a true ‘barn find’. The Moto Guzzi owners club might be able to help with that side of things. Very original, cloth wiring all in good shape, plenty of compression. Its been oiled and kept mechanically ‘free’ since its been stored, although I’ve not fired it up. A great project for someone who loves Italian classics!

In an interesting side note, the boys at Guzzi also came up with a prototype for a small wheel scooter. This was seen by Lambretta as one competitor too many. A marque as iconic as Moto Guzzi was a serious threat. In retaliation, Lambretta produced a prototype 250cc V-twin motorcycle (which I featured back in January 2016) – which threatened to compete directly with Moto Guzzi on their turf. A compromise was swiftly reached, and neither prototype (Guzzi’s scooter, or Lambretta’s motorcycle) was put into production. Funnily enough, although Moto Guzzi’s are still in production, the company is now owned by Piaggio, who, of course, also own the Vespa brand.

Anyway. back to this “Cockerel” It’s on sale, on eBay here
There’s a “buy it now’ price of £3,250.

This post was updated 13/7/17 to link to the Lambretta 250cc Racing Motorcycle prototype, which I’d forgotten I’d blogged about previously 🙂 Link.

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Cute Classics

Found some of the cutest classics money can buy on a well known auction site starting with e. And they’re not going for silly money. More than I can afford, but not silly money.


First up is this glorious little Glas GoggomobilGlasGoggomobilTS250

A German car with a definite Italian look about it, this rare TS250 Coupe is being sold as a non-running project. The good news is the car is pretty much complete and original. Having spent most of it’s 59 years in South Africa it’s almost rust-free too. A cracking little motor for £8.5k.
Here’s the eBay link


Next, and just a pretty is another tiny classic, this Autobianchi Berlina

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Dating from 1966, it’s got Italian good look in a small package – a stylish alternative to the more commonly seen Fiat 500, with which it shares many mechanicals.
Here’s the eBay link


Talking of 500’s – there’s always a few on eBay… but this Giardiniera offers a little more space than the standard saloon.
Here’s the eBay link for the Fiat

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Finally, for now, is this 1962 BMW Isetta… the classic ‘bubble car’. It’s not cheap, at a shade under £14k, but I’ve seen them a lot more expensive than this…  it purports to be in excellent nick, dry stored for a number of years. Before then, it had a full engine rebuild.
Here’s the eBay link for the Isetta
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SoopaDoopa Scootacar

scootacar_heroLong time readers will have my spotted my penchant for a microcar… and this British designed & built Scootacar is a cracker. Made by The Hunslet Engine Company from Leeds, it was allegedly designed for one of the directors who wanted something easier to park than her Jag!

This is a Mk.1 from 1961, in “outstanding & running” condition – it comes with an extensive history file, original sales literature, current V5c with original number plate, and even a (very collectable) SAMs die cast model. All the spares left-over from the restoration are included, along with original rear LEP lights.

It’s on eBay for a shade under £25k.

Here’s the link

Classic Italian Collection (and more) up for auction…

Got the heads up on the next Brightwells Classic and Vintage Auction at Leominster on the 8th March. As well as a clutch of other interesting cars and bikes there is a collection of Italian Classics from Andy Heyward… see the video above for an overview. The vehicles I’ve included below are a just a couple that caught my eye, get the full details on the Brightwells site… here’s a link to the online catalogue.

There’s a Lambretta J125 that’ll need a little love and attention… (there’s a couple of other “J’s” too)tn_lambretta_j125

A rare Mercury Hermes scooter, built in the Black Country…img_0756

A Lambro…tn_lambro_3

One I haven’t seen before, a Gitan Joligri from around 1970tn_p1050216_1tn_p1050217_1

A ‘Vespa-ish’ Gilera G50 from 1967

Another Rarity… the rather ‘awkward looking’ Ducati’s Brio. How could a company that makes such beautiful motorcycles produce something so fugly?tn_p1060510_1tn_p1060517_1tn_p1060519_1

The equally awkward Casalini Sulky microcar… (Read the catalogue write-up for this one, it’s hilarious!).
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The rather prettier little 50cc BM Pokerino… never mind a scooter I’d never even heard of – an Italian marque (Bonvicin Marini) I’d never even heard of! It appears to be sans side panels, which is a shame as I don’t think they’d be the easiest thing to source – but a nice, sporty looking little scoot. That ‘straight flush’ legshield badge is a cracker.tn_p1050080tn_p1050084_1tn_p1050093

Next up an Italian marque you will have heard of… Benelli… one of a brace of Benelli’s in the auction… and the only motorcycle I’m featuring here (although there are plenty in the auction). A popular bike in Italy (and amongst Italian Motorcycle Fans). This Benelli Leoncino (Leoncino translates to Lion Cub in Italian) correctly  features the cast ali Lion mascot on the front mudguard…

There’s a bunch of classic four-wheelers too… including a bunch of Italian classics, some lovely FIAT’s, Lancia’s and Ferraris, my favourite is this cracking little chocolate-brown Autobianchi Bianchina Speciale. It’s got an estimate of £2,500 – £3,000, which seems an absolute bargain to me!

And finally for now, we’ll end on another scooter… the rather elegant looking Aer Macchi Brezza – the clean, aerodynamic lines demonstrating the aircraft manufacturing roots behind this company. With only 2,000 Brezza’s made, it’s a pretty rare scoot.

That’s it for now. See the Brightwells site for full details and how to get involved in the auction.

 

Iso love this…

luigis_isoLuigi from Italy sent me a picture of his scooter, this beautiful Iso – known officially in it’s native Italy  simply as the “F” – although maybe better known to British readers as the Iso Milano, (it’s South American name) or the Diva, as it was marketed under in Spain. Iso developed the F after an initial collaboration with, of all people Maserati… I wrote about the only known surviving scooter from this collaboration here. The lines of the F are classically italian, the scooter bears more than a passing resemblance to a Lambretta Series 1/2 and the Vespa VNB, depending on which angle you’re looking at it from 🙂im000636

Luigi knows a thing or two about classic scooters, having written the Iso pages on the (excellent) Scooter d’Epoca site.