Stolen Lambretta Found!


I’ve not written for a while, and I’ve got posts queued up to go… but it’s nice to share some good news. A reader has got in touch to say he’s found a Lambretta, Reg No. KSC 161D, in the Edinburgh area. He’s reported it’s location to the police. (or should that be polis). So get in touch and get your scoot back. When you do, get in touch and I’ll give you the email of the good samaritan, so you can say thanks!


 

Dirty Diana…

dirtydiana1

Spotted this less than pristine Dürkopp Diana on eBay. It’s missing it’s seats and sidepanels, the engine is seized, and there’s no documents. But it IS cheap, (classified ad price of £795) and as soon as I saw it I though of a headline for a post, so I had to stick it up! The same fella is selling a Swallow Gadabout, NSU Prima, a Zundapp Bella and a Heinkel A0, all in a similar ‘restorable’ condition, so if Dürkopp is not your brand of choice, there are some others for you!

I was going to write a brief history of the Durkopp Diana scooters, but I couldn’t be more thorough than my online pal Tideous Ted, over on the Retrorambling blog. So, if you’re interested, just read this.

Here’s a glimpse at what it could look like after a little tlc. Conveniently shot at almost exactly the same angle!
117381_dur3If you fancy a bit of a rest job on a German scooter with Italian(ish) styling,

Get your bid on on eBay here

Happy New Year

vespalambrettaraceHappy New Year everybody! 2017 is a BIG year for Lambrettisti, with, amongst many other things, the 70th Anniversary celebrations taking place. More about that later, in a dedicated post. In the meantime, before I kick off with new posts, I just wanted to wish all my contributors, commenters, supporters and readers a slightly belated happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

What do you get if you cross a Lambretta with a Vespa?

iso_milano_ebay_heroWell, it wouldn’t look a million miles from an Iso Milano would it? The front half looks very Vespa, while from the headset back it’s got distinctly Lambretta styling. Dating from 1957/58, it’s a remarkable ‘modern’ looking scooter for the day… Lambretta’s still had the headlight on the horncasing then. So, best of both worlds, or a bit of chimera? I suppose that’s a matter of taste.

If it’s to your taste, you can get hold of this one on eBay, here for not too much dosh; £1,250.00 ‘buy it now’ or make them an offer. Leave the Iso badges off, and you’ll have a few people scratching their heads… The bloke from the front saw you on a red Vespa, the bloke from the side swears blind you were riding a Lammie!
Here it is on eBay (Link updated as the scooter has been resisted).

Puch Cheetah

puchds_60_cheetah_ebayNow for something completely different… a Puch DS 60 Cheetah from, amazingly in my opinion, 1960. Why amazingly? Well, to my untrained eye, it looks so much later, presaging Japanese mopeds like the Honda Cub and monkey bikes from the 70s. There’s also a hint of the Rumi Formicino in the styling. Not as curvy and sinuous as a Lambretta or a Vespa, but a very pleasing design – tidy, solid and compact. It was described, back in the day, as a ‘scooterette’ – or ‘baby scooter’. The 59cc Cheetah was the ‘deluxe’ version, with a more stripped down 50cc bike called the Nomad as it’s entry level stablemate.

The Austrian company Puch are perhaps more remembered these days for their mopeds (such as the Puch Maxi), and small motorcycles, and maybe even push bikes (especially BMX’s), but they made very highly regarded scooters in the 1950’s. The Puch RL from 1953 had more traditional scooter styling, and had a good reputation amongst it’s owners,  the less than sparkling performance being offset by a reputation for exceptional reliability.

The 59cc 4 speed sports engine on this Cheetah produces 4.5 hp. It’s been restored to ‘as new’ condition with a professional respray (love the silver and bright orange combo!), the engine rebuild by leading vintage Puch specialists in Austria. The aluminium casing, brake drums and shock absorbers are polished to mirror finish. It has a refurbed original seat, new brake linings, wiring, exhaust system, rubbers and tyres. Rebuilt by a restorer rather than a rider, the bike has covered only 3 miles since. The V5 is present and it has 12 months MOT.

RIP Prince Buster

This is a Lambretta blog, not a music one. But I’m going to take a moment to acknowledge the sad passing of musical legend Prince Buster.

princebustercolourwash

37 years ago (!), almost to the day, my life changed. That’s the day Madness performed their first single “The Prince” on Top of The Pops. The song (as was the band’s name) was tribute to someone I’d never heard of… Prince Buster. I knew that this was the group I’s been waiting for. Only a couple of years older than me, but with such a cool, fun, nutty vibe about them… the clothes! The music! Down to Woolies the next day, clutching my 75p, The Prince became my fourth record in my collection. (The others were The Sex Pistols “Silly Thing”, Allies Tartan Army by Andy Cameron, and The Birdy Song  – a gift form my Granny – honestly). The B Side of The Prince was just as good – if not better – a song called Madness – a Prince Buster cover. With The Specials in the charts with a cover of Al Capone, (retitled Gangsters of course) and Madness to soon release One Step Beyond, the influence ‘The Prince’ is undeniable. I was lucky enough to see Prince Buster live on several occasions… including with Madness at Finsbury Park.

I, like a lot of my generation, began to seek out the originals. Prince Buster was a revelation. Songs like One Step Beyond, Al Capone, Rough Rider, Wreck a Pum Pum and Big 5 are classics. The whole ska / mod / skinhead scene was inexorably linked to the world of scooters… so maybe, without Prince Buster – no Madness – no love of scooters – no Lambrettista Blog…

RIP ‘The Prince’ A true innovator, original rude boy and musical legend.

Snuggy Buggy

SnuggyMicro-2The world of the William Microcar is a peculiar one… I’ve written about these rare little microcars before, but never come across this variant – ‘The Snuggy’ before. Here, here, here and here. It looks like it takes some inspiration from that 70’s classic The Bond Bug, one of the most iconic little cars ever, and something I’ve also blogged about.

I wouldn’t say the Snuggy is a design classic, but it’s got a certain charm, with a ‘lo-fi’ homemade, bargain parts bucket aesthetic about it. If it’s your cup of darjeeling, check it out on eBay here.

 

Jolly nice J

s-l1600-1This is probably one of the nicest J50’s out there*… A J 50 with a Casa 80 c upgrade. Restored to a high standard by Medway scooters with £7000 spent on her, including sourcing rare original accessories and having them restored to as new condition.

The list of rare accessories include Ulma twin legsheild trims , front fork covers, rear carrier seat passenger grab rail, megaphone exhaust , spare wheel legsheild carrier, horncast the list goes on… Everything has been rechromed by London chroming. She features a rare mph speedo upgrade (J50’s didn’t come with a speedo) 12-volt electrics and lighting upgrade.

I’m not normally the J range’s greatest fan, normally, but this one looks jolly nice. A small frame Lambretta you can be proud to be seen on. I got a bit of a jolt when I saw the price though… £5.5k used to be (and in my head still is) SX territory… but things move on!

If you are tempted, you might want to read this article in Scootering… a buyer’s guide to Lambretta J-Range Scooters.

The J50 featured in this post is for sale on eBay here.

*Unless you know of a better one, of course. If you do, let me know and I’ll future it on the blog.

Be Safe. Be Seen.

MME-RLC-TV200GT-3Bryan Mac Murray got in touch with the blog and asked if he could submit an article on scooter visibility in traffic. Looking good on your scooter is fine, but safety should always come first. A lot of this will be obvious to the more experienced riders out there, and more useful to younger, learner riders. Anyway, it’s all good, so here’s his article…

Be More Visible on Your Scooter

Scooters have become a very popular form of transportation. However, scooters are much more likely to be in an accident because motorists fail notice them on the roadway. Motorcycles or scooters fall into the small category of things that aren’t always noticed or perceived even when they are right in the field of vision. To make it plain, a scooter approaching a vehicle from head-on at a distance will occupy a very small portion of a driver’s vision.

If your scooter is moving at a pretty good pace, there is a chance that the eye of the other motorists won’t look at it long enough to make the image imbed in the brain before it arrives in the immediate vicinity. You have to understand that the brain only sees things that it can actually understand, so without this visual connection to the brain for the oncoming scooter to register, the driver will unknowingly not notice the scooter and could cause an accident.

Memory and Visibility Play a Significant Role in Accidents

A study involving road safety indicated that 57% of accidents were caused by human error. It is a contributing cause in 90% of all accidents. They are the result of processing abilities that are limited, so they have to rely on three fallible mental functions – memory, perception, and attention. Between that and the occasional negligence of drivers, it’s probably best to make it clear to other drivers that you are there.

Make Your Scooter More Visible

As we have mentioned earlier, the processing abilities of the driver have an impact on their ability to recognize scooters or motorcycles and avoid collisions. The goal to making sure your scooter is going to be noticed and reduce the risk of an accident involves making your scooter more visible to drivers. There are many ways you can improve visibility to other drivers and vehicles and decrease your chances of being in an accident.

  • Be careful when choosing lane position. Select the lane in which you would be most visible, then ride in the best position in that lane. Remember, this can vary depending upon your particular riding conditions and the given location.
  • Deck yourself out in bright colors. Wear a helmet that is brightly colored or a jacket that makes you stand out. White, red, bright green, and yellow are much more noticeable than darker colors. At night, add reflective tape or piping to your helmet and jacket to be much more visible. All-weather reflective tape is a great touch.
  • Make sure your headlights, turn signals (if fitted), tail lights, and brake lights are working properly. You should actually check them before you go riding each time. If you have lights that aren’t very bright, you could switch them out with LED or halogen equivalents. The better the illumination, the more likely you will be seen out on the road.

Other Scooter Safety Tips

When you are riding your scooter, you want to be safe. So here are some other safety tips to help you avoid being in an accident.

  • Maintain control of your scooter.
  • In rain and at night, use extra caution.
  • Maintain safe speed.
  • Wear a helmet, even if you’re not required to do so.
  • Don’t ride under the influence.

You can always learn more safety techniques, and you can never be too safe when you are riding your scooter. You can never be too cautious when operating a scooter, and remember, it is your responsibility to make yourself more visible. You definitely want to err on the side of caution.

Thanks Bryan. I must say, it’s advice I follow myself, my everyday riding jacket (when the weather is cooler) is a Hi-Viz job from Australian Bikers Gear. Pretty tough, waterproof jacket with armour should the worst happen. You can grab one on Amazon for a reasonable £59 (at time of writing) here: Bikers Gear Motorcycle Avalanche Hi Viz Waterproof Jacket ArmoUr & Vented Size M (38″)

If you have an article that you think is a good fit with the Lambrettista blog, drop me a line, and I’ll check it out. This article was written by Personal Injury Help, they provide information about personal injury cases and safety hazards. To learn more, you can go to their website, or contact them at help@personal-injury-law.org. They are based in the USA.