Officially Licensed Lambretta Scale Models

Spotted these on Amazon… a range of decent looking Lambretta models, four in total…… that would grace any Lambretta lovers’ china cabinet (if people have such thing these days). Theres a Model A, An LI Series 1, a Series 2 Rallymaster and a GP200.

The attention to detail looks pretty good, although I’ve only seen the photographs, not the models in the flesh. Here’s the blurb: Officially Licensed Lambretta scootesr that have been faithfully recreated with handsculpted and handpainted additions for outstanding detail” The scooters are approximately, 8cm in height, 10cm in length.

They’re made by the Bradford Exchange. Pics and links below… there appears to be fairly limited stock, so get your orders in quick if you want one!

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Model A on Amazon


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LI 150 Series 1 on Amazon


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Series 2 Rallymaster on Amazon


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GP on Amazon


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Classic Bomber

One item of scooterists wear it’s hard to avoid is the classic MA1 flight jacket. This took over from the ubiquitous fishtail parka – sometime in the early eighties I suppose. It’s easy to see why, it’s inexpensive, warm, casual and with enough pockets to easily stash the stuff you need to get access to. It’s also a great platform for stitching all your SC regalia and Paddy Smith run patches onto. Not a lot of crash protection, and not terribly waterproof, so a lot of riders will pack waterproofs, or upgrade to a ‘proper’ motorcycle jacket, or a classic waxed jacket for hardcore riding. For everyday riding, though slinging on a MA1 is quick and easy. Here’s a few I’ve found, with my thoughts.

Entry Level

As with everything in life, you usually want to avoid the cheapest. Quality usually suffers! There are bargains to be had online however… and this jacket has all the features you look for in an MA1 with a bargain basement price. Available in the classic scooterist ‘sage’, ‘petrol’ (my colour of choice) ‘burgundy’, and black. There is also a white one, which I’m sure is a fine fashion colour (if you want to look like an astronaut or a member of East 17) but less than practical for scooter riding.

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Available on Amazon Here

The Real McCoy

A step up in price is the genuine article, the classic MA1 from the original manufacturers, Alpha Industries. 95% of people won’t notice the subtle differences between this jacket and the ‘entry level’ one posted before, but it’s the 5% that will that matters, right? At the time of writing you can pick one up on Amazon for under (just under!) a £100, so they are not that unaffordable.
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AlphaIndMA1-Detail1

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Alpha Industries Olive/Sage MA1 Flight Pilot Bomber Jacket Sizes XS – XXL

A Variation on the theme

As well as the classic MA1, here’s a variant of the jacket that I have owned, and I think I actually prefer. The CWU 45 has spacious patch pockets and a proper collar instead of the knitted one of the MA1. And I think you can get away with one in black without looking like you’re a neo-nazi.
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CWU45

Alpha Industries CWU 45 Flight Jacket – Colour Black

They look good in Gunmetal too…
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Alpha Industries Alpha CWU 45 Flight Jacket – Gunmetal Size 2XL (46-48)

Have you got a favourite riding jacket? Let me know.

Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle – The Review

39375c67f1f0b9b391c7039ea18620cf1f540ff9On the strength of my post about the video publicising his book, Martin “Sticky” Round sent me a copy to review. Which was nice. This is a first for me, as it’s the first “freebie” I’ve got through the blog. To be fair to my loyal readers though, I’m determined to give this a fair review, and be as honest and forthright as I can… and not just do a “puff piece”.

This was a tricky review to write. I could sum the whole post up in four words… but that wouldn’t do justice to the book. And I could ramble on for ages pouring more and more praise onto it, because this is simply a great book, but I suspect that my review would come across as a little dull if I did.

And this book is anything but dull. As readers of his work in Scootering will know, Sticky has a fine command of the English language… and he’s had the opportunity to give it full flight in this book. I read a lot. I’ve often got two or three books on the go at once, and I devour everything from biographies to science fiction, and pretty much everything in between. Once in a while, I enjoy a book so much that I rave on about it to friends and family and pass it on, saying “you must read this!” (The last book I did that with was CJ Sansom’s Dominion, btw. Highly recommended). Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle is up there. Right up there. I honestly haven’t enjoyed reading a book more this year.

Sticky tells his road trip tale in a highly entertaining fashion. The “scootery bits” aren’t so technical that a non-scooterist would be turned off, and just give an overview of what it’s like to own, ride and be part of the classic scooter scene without assuming any prior knowledge. A opening couple of chapters about building the scooters to take them on the journey could be as dull as ditchwater – but handled with Sticky’s light humorous tone (and the liberal use of the word “bollocks”) it’s like a very entertaining bloke down the pub sharing a great story with you.

In fact, the whole book is like that. Only they interesting bloke down the pub usually gets a bit boring after a couple of pints. Sticky’s book never wanes. While sharing his adventure of crossing Europe, from the Adriatic Coast to Turkey (and back), the entertainment factor never lets up. Sticky didn’t do the trip alone, he took his 11 year old son, Sam, and wife along. His wife, Tracy was riding perhaps the most Frankenstein of the Frankesnstein scooters, a Maicoletta with a 400cc Suzuki engine shoehorned into the old scooter bodywork. They met up with another name well known to the Lambretta scene, Dean Orton from the Rimini Lambretta Centre. Dean was riding the least modded bike… (and ultimately the most reliable of the scooters) a moderately upgraded Indian GP. And he brought his daughter, Kimberly along for the ride too.

Undertaking a challenging journey on highly modified vintage scooters is not a thing to do lightly. Let alone when you’ve got the wife and kids along. Sticky’s attitude is prepare well, and hope for the best. Things will generally work out and when they don’t, well, that’s character building. Seems to have worked for him. Still, with the author of the Lambretta repair and maintenance bible The Complete Spanner’s Manual: Lambretta Scooters and the owner of the RLC, an accomplished Lambretta mechanic in his own right, both veterans of many rallies and road trips… they were going to be alright if anything did go wrong with the scoots.

To get back to that bloke down the pub, that you initailly find the life and soul, and who you then discover is just someone who likes the sound of their own voice and has found a whole new audience in you… Well, you often find their worldview is a little blinkered too. They say travel broadens the mind, and to an extent I think that’s true, but I think you’ve got to be pretty broadminded to begin with. I found myself nodding along and agreeing with most of what Sticky said in the book… and, being Sticky he always has an interesting way of saying it. His “Dickhead Theory” I found particularly insigtful.

The trip, through Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey (and back via Greece and Albania) give Sticky ample opportunity to expound on everything from his theories on parenting to his attitudes to other cultures… with a handful of remincenses about previous scootering adventures, and a soupcon of local history along the way. His summing up of the Gallipoli campaign made interesting reading in light of all the recent celebrations surrounding the 70th anniverary of D-Day.

The book ends with Sticky being a bit down as the trip reaches it’s conclusion… and that’s how I felt as I reached the end of the book. I was enjoying reading it so much I just wanted more… Finally, there is some advice on how to plan your own adventure… and if you don’t feel inspired to at least start planning something, even if it never gets past the plannng stage, I suspect there’s something wrong with you.

Anyway… I’m not going to witter on and spoil the book for you. Suffice it to say it’s a damn good read. One that, in my humble opinion, deserves to break out from the scootering world into a general readership… You don’t have to be a scooter fan to enjoy a book this good. After all “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” (basically a roadtrip book with a bunch of noodly half baked philosphising thrown in) became a classic… and it’s a far less entertaining read.

If I had summed the whole review up in four words they would have been “Excellent read. Buy it”. Actually buy two, give one to a friend. It’s that good.

It’s out on Kindle now, at a unfeasibly reasonable £2.95, a price that almost makes it worthwhile buying a Kindle. The paperback is also available from Scooterproducts, Amazon, and eBay. The perfect last minute gift for Fathers Day!

Bonus points if you can find the other video featuring (a very young) Sticky on this site. If you do post your answer in the comments.

Model Lambrettas

A bit late for Christmas, but here are a couple of Lambretta models I found on Amazon. I was in two minds about posting links to Amazon as I had bit  had a bit of a run-in with them before the festivities, regarding Vittoria Tessera’s Lambretta book… but I’ll post about that another time. And on balance, I thought you, my fellow Lambrettisti, would be interested.

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Although you can find plenty of model Vespa’s out there, model Lambrettas have always been harder to find, and especially the more popular models… you would have thought there would be a good market for TV175’s, SX’s and GP’s; I’d certainly buy them!

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Links: LD & sidecar, LD & Girl,  Model D, Lancia Lambretta Service Van.