Lambretta’s monkey bike – The Rosella

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Information on this little oddity is scarce, but I’ve pulled together what I can. My main source is the french site moto-collection.org As is usually the case, I’m working from a position of profound ignorance, and you, my readers often know much more than me… so I’m quite happy to be be put right – just leave a comment and I’ll update the post when I can. All pics harvested from an intensive search of the web. If they are yours, and copyright, my apologies. Hopefully it’s ok to collate them all for the sake of posterity!

201112817034_squashedscooterThere seems to be differing accounts of it’s genesis… whether it is an ‘official’ machine out of the Innocenti factory (perhaps a prototype, or side project), OR something ‘knocked up’ by a neighbouring factory in Milan. It appears to have been marketed by a manufacturer of marine equipment, based – like Innocenti – in Milan… Nautica Pennati.  who are still in business. (I’ve contacted them, to ask if they have any information, but it was a while ago, so don’t hold your breath!).This would suggest the Rosella was designed as an accessory for a yacht… as once the handlebars are removed and the front wheel is turned over it is only 90cm long.

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Innovative design – perhaps the cutest Lambretta of them all?

The Rosella is a tidy little design – I love the way it integrates the fuel tank into the frame… and the front and rear lights into the fuel tank. The main frame is very neat, basically two tapering tubes, welded together. To my mind, this supports the theory that it was a factory prototype – this is a sofisticated piece of design work, made by somebody with some knowledge of how to put a two wheeler together neatly. The main, obviously Innocenti element to the design is the J50 engine / crankcase. This helps date the Rosella, as the J range was introduced in 1964. Despite it’s tiny size, the Rosella has a complete suspension system: a short telescopic fork at the front and by a hinged, damped element by the power unit at the rear. I’m not sure how effective this would be, but the Rosella was obviously only designed to cover short distances! Another nod to the Lambretta is the “D” type toolbox in the first pic, though mounted ‘side-ways’ to the frame, rather than under the seat.

Rarity and value

Information is scarce – but rumour has it there are only three (yep, you read that right, three) Rosella’s in existence. One (pictured above) sold on German eBay a few years ago, for around €2.5k – if rarity = value, somebody got a bargain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Second of the three is (or was) in the US, and appeared at the LCUSA Lambretta Jamboree in 2006 – and the pics show it competing in the gymkana. Aparently, at some point there was quiet a nasty accident in which the rider broke his collar bone, but the bike survived.

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As for the third Rosella, I’ve been unable to track it down, so it may, or may not exist! It may be (must be!) the one pictured in the GP turquoise. If you own it, one of the other two, or have another sitting in a shed (or on a yacht) somewhere, I’d love to know more. Send info and pics please! And, if you don’t actually own one, but know more about it than I clearly do, please let me know in the comments below!

 

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Bousouzoku fashion

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Bit of culture (or should that be couture) ladies and gentlemen… inspired by a Japanese teenage biker gang called the Bousouzuku, who funked up their traditional school uniforms, this collection from Anjie JiMin An dates from 2013.

designer – Anjie JiMin An
photographer – Dasha Love
model Assa Ariyoshi – @D1 model agency
make up artist – Charlotte Dickens
hair artist – Hongjong Jeff Kang
stylist – Miguel Santos

contact – freshwalnut@gmail.com
facebook – http://www.facebook.com/anjiean
http://anjiean.blogspot.co.uk/

via showtime

80’s Style… AF Rayspeed Super S-Type

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This isn’t an 80’s scoot. It was imported from India in 2008. But, for me, it’s got that 80’s feel about it. It’s the type of scoot I’d have wanted more than any other in the ’80s. An Arthur Francis Super S-Type. Built, and signed by Ray and Ben Kemp. In orange (ok, “Red candy over marigold”).


If you promised yourself one like this in the eighties, and you can afford one now, wtf is stopping you? Here’s the eBay link.
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’70s Style Racer…

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I featured a ’50s style racer a couple of days ago, moving on a couple of decades gets us to this ’70s style, full faired metalflake racer. This one is on eBay, sitting at a mere £2,000 at the moment. The downside, is you’ll have to drop your own engine in, as it doesn’t come with one. But that might be an upside for you 🙂
Here’s the link

Semaphore indicator accessory…

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Not seen these before (although there seem to be a few listed on the Italian eBay site) Pop-up or ‘semaphore’ indicators for a Lambretta (or a classic scooter anyway). They remind me of the ones I used to have on my old split-screen Moggy Minor. I think they’d look good on a restored older open frame model (A-F), or an LC or LD.

You’d need deep pocket though – they’re priced at €2,000!

 On the Italian eBay site, here.

One-off Lambretta ’50s Style Racer

1965_Racer-2This is an interesting one, a Lambretta Racer, built in the ’90s, on a frame from the ’60s, modelled on the racers from the ’50s. Kinda reminds of this one, I posted about a few months back back in June 2013.  Although the title of the post contains the words “one-off”, the builder made at least two (one is featured on the Rimini Lambretta Centre site in their gallery).

The scooter is an LI 125, with a Casa 185 kit. There are a lot of one off parts made by a man with some real skill. For a similar price to a standard machine, you can something pretty eye-catching, a real conversation starter.

It has a classified ad price of £3,500.00 on eBay, here.

Lambretta Vendetta Design Drawings by Kiska

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Love these design concept renderings for the new Lambretta Vendetta by Kiska, Europe’s largest independent design agency, who had the task of creating a modern version of the world’s finest motor scooter. They had a tough brief… they were told:

  • NOT to ‘go retro’… but instead find out the core Lambretta DNA and develop that.
  • Appeal to new generation of Lambrettisti
  • Less is more – but use simplicity in design to extend functionality
  • Use premium materials – more metal, less plastic*

Well, I think they’ve nailed that brief. Initial feedback from the launch of the Vendetta has been generally excellent. There have been grumblings from some of the ‘old school’, but even they have admitted ‘it wasn’t designed for them’.

There will always be a place for the classic Lambretta, and there are innovations today than ever to keep our magnificent machines on the road. But the Vendetta is a Lambretta for the 21st century, to take on the likes of the Vespa 946. I think it meets that niche admirably!

Now… back to the pics 🙂

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Dynamic duo…

SX200_1_1You wait ages for a SX200, and then two come along at once. If you’ve had a hankering after one of the most beautiful models of Lambretta ever made, pop over to eBay (links below), as there’s a brace of near identical scoots on there at the moment. Both for sale at around about the £11k mark (One is asking £500 too much, or too little, depending on your viewpoint).

Here’s the link to the first one


And here’s it’s (near) twin…

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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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