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.

eTropolis Reload, Q electric scooter and other oddities from EICMA

Spoiler alert. There’s NO Lambrettas in this post. Even the “new Lambrettas” are conspicuous by their absence from this years EICMA Motorcycle Showcase. And I don’t like modern scooters. With some very few exceptions. Sounding like a grumpy old man watching Top of the Pops (that ages me), where “It all sounds the same” They all pretty much look the same to me. All angles and plastic. Nah. I’ll stick to something classic and geared. But every now and then something comes along and makes me look twice. Last time it happened it was the Vespa 946. A stunner. Before that it was the back to basics charm of the Honda Zoomer, or Ruckus as the colonials would have it. And this years EICMA has thrown up a couple of interesting little oddities.

First is the all electric etropolis Reload… now metropolis (and the lower case “e” is deliberate btw), are a German company that make some distinctly average looking electric scooters. Which is probably not a bad thing for etropolis, or people that like modern scooters. Just for old farts like me that like proper scooters.ETROPOLIS-RELOAD-Laterale

But their new Reload takes the biscuit… and dunks it. It looks like someone has taken a modern scooter and hacksawed the arse off it… and then sawn any other extraneous bits of plastic off too. And as a result it looks, we’ll… rather good actually. In an awkward, ugly kind of way.

It’s electric, so the performance and range are going to be pretty appalling, but at least it looks, well, different. I like it. Until of course Etropolis go and load it up with more carriers and shopping baskets than a Tescos carpark. Oh well.RELOAD-BAULETTO-PORTA-MERCI-Laterale

Worse, for me than a generic modern scooter is a modern scooter trying to pass itself off as a retro classic. Vespa have managed to pull it off, just about (he says through gritted teeth), and are even improving. The new 946 and Primavera are very pretty scooters. The recent reinvented “Lambretta” LN, LJ and LT made a decent enough fist of it, capturing some of the spirit of the original Lambrettas… but unfortunately, despite good reviews, it appears they haven’t been able to challenge the likes of Piaggio. Peugeot Django peugeot-django-2014-20-8764-1383648863

Likely to be more successful, unfortunately, are these ‘neo-retro’ monstrosities  from Peugeot… just horrible, bloated and obese looking machines. In my opinion of course. Which is a shame, because they made some decent looking scooters back in the day… well the arse end looks ok, don’t think much of that fugly fender…Peugeot S57

Jumping back to electric scooters, and another honourable mention goes to another back to basics design the “Q” , a dutch design that is all about the frame. It kind of reminds me of the FIDO concept, I posted on my original “CrocodileJock” blog, way back.  Q Electric scooter

But what really caught my eye at EICMA this year wasn’t a scooter at all. It was a brace of bikes from someone who traditionally doesn’t even make bikes. British Car firm (and there’s not too many of those about) Caterham, (yes THAT Caterham) have launched their first ever motorcycles. And they are stunning. Really eye-catching radical designs… with three very different models, the beefy Brutus 750, (which can operate as a street bike, off road machine or even a SNOWMOBILE!!!) the “Classic E bike” an electric bike that harks back to the earliest days of motorcycling for it’s design inspiration, and the “Carbon E bike” another e-bike, but rather than looking like it’s come from some reimagined steampunk past, this one is straight from a science fiction future. Find out more, here. And there is a Lambretta link, of sorts… the designer behind the brute that is the Brutus is Alessandro Tatarini. If that name rings a bell, it may be because you recognise it from the Lambretta LN launch… yes, he was the designer behind that, too.  caterham-brutus-750caterham-classic-e-bike-03caterham-carbon-e-bike-01

I think they are absolutley stunning designs…  and while there not going to be everybody’s cup of Tetley, that’s kind of the point of them. An alternative two wheeler for people who “Think Different” and the stars of the show for me. That and the Scomadi’s of course.

Lambretta LN ‘Pure Smithy’ Dealer Special

I haven’t posted anything about the LN or it’s sibling modern Lambrettas* recently, as they’re not really my bag… and there hasn’t been anything new to report. I don’t know how they are selling, and I certainly haven’t seen one on the road, but I wish them well. If the marketing department at Motom* had any imagination, they’d sign up a Lambretta blogger, and let him (or her) have one for an extended test drive. Say six months. By the way… on the last count The Lambrettista blog is read in more than 70 countries. Just saying.

Lambretta LN Pure Smithy media-2 media-3 media media-4Anyway… at  but I thought this was quite interesting. Had to look twice at this LN on eBay. I thought it was an official Paul Smith licensed product, but it’s clearly a fairly clever knock off. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Mr Smith had been involved, as he was allegedly a mod as a young man, and his work retains a certain ‘mod aesthetic’… but if he had it would have been all over the papers. Another marketing opportunity missed? There I go, off on a tangent again. Back to the original point of this post, which was, that the LN is now starting to appear in different incarnations, customised, much as dealers would customise ‘proper’ Lambrettas back in the day… I’ve no particular opinion on whether this is a good, or bad thing… it’s just interesting. Mildly. Well, I thought so. If it floats your boat, and you’ve got a spare £3k knocking around, you can get one here. And they’ll give you a fiver change. It’s being sold by the Pure Group, in Harrogate if you don’t do eBay.

Lambretta LN Union Flag $T2eC16F,!yME9s5qE+8bBRwI(Z6J+g~~_12 $(KGrHqNHJFYFG99q-4lfBRwI(,VRi!~~_12And if the Paul Smith look isn’t up your strasse… there’s a distressed union jack version. A bit ‘comedy mod’ for me, that one, I’m afraid.

*Motom Electronics Group are one of the claimants of the Lambretta name. There’s a trademark/license document here that explains it all in legalese. My thoughts can be found on this site if you stick Lambretta LN into the “handy searchbar” (that’s one for the “stuffyoushouldknow” podcast listeners).

LN vs LX

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Belgian website vroom.be pits the new Lambretta LN against the Vespa LX… The Lammie (is it right to call it a Lammie yet? Has it earned it’s spurs?) wins point for Style, Image and Handling, loses them for practicality and finish…

eBay Watch, an LD Special

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For many riders, we are approaching the end of the scootering season. Owners who have decided that they’ve done their last rally, are working on a new project or realised that they are never going to get their project finished are selling their scoots… so it may be a good time to buy… I always keep an eye on eBay, (not that I can afford another scoot, but there’s always my “fantasy garage”!) and there seems to be a glut of good Lambretta’s on there. My taste these days seems to be going further back down the Lambretta lineage, it seems the older I get, the older the scoots I like. I’ve got a particular hankering for Series 1’s, and LD’s at the moment. Here are a couple I’ve found on the bay. As with anything that I post up here, I’m not recommending, just highlighting… go and take a look and make your own mind up before you part with your readies.

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This one isn’t your everyday LD, and that’s refelected in the price. Although it looks pretty authentic, and the two tone turquoise and cream paintjob screams 1950’s, it’s an Auto conversion by renowned builder Dave Briggs – those of you who’ve been paying attention may remember I mentioned him in a previos post on auto conversions – and it’s fitted with a modern Typhoon engine with a 172 conversion kit, upgraded clutch, gearbox, exhaust and brakes. Apparently it will “beat anything off the lights, sits at 70-75mph all day and still has more”. So if you want classic style, with auto performance and reliability, check it out on eBay here. I must admit, if I had the cash I’s be sorely tempted by this one.

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But maybe originality is more important to you. Well, this little beauty certainly looks the part, and has an MOT on her until March next year, and has been lovingly restored from a ‘basket case’ with all Italian parts. Lovely. Here’s the eBay link.

They’re not the only LD’s out there, theres everything from fully restored £4k (Plus!) scoots to bare frames… and spares seem easily sourcable. So if you want a Lammy, and you want to look proper old school… maybe an LD’s worth a look.

The Telegraph reviews the new Lambretta LN125

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And gives it a pretty good review. There’s a bit of a pattern emerging from the reviews… if your’e a classic scooterist, you probably hate the ‘new Lambretta’.

If you’re not, you might well like it. I think there’s parallels with owners of original VW Beetles, and BMC Mini’s, a niche, dedicated and passionate few… compared to the mass market who like the idea of a classic vehicle, with the convenience of a modern one. 

Fattspeed autos

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I posted about Lambretta Evolution’s Scomadi auto conversion a while ago, fantastic scooters… but not the only game in town. When you start talking about auto Lambretta a couple of other names keep coming up… one is Dave Briggs (maybe feature his work later), and another is that of Sean Walker, of Fattspeed fame. More of a creator of one off masterpieces than a range of next generation Lambretta’s Shauns work is simply stunning… some of the nicest Lambretta’s I’ve ever seen, bar none. 

There’s a Fattspeed blog here, although it hasn’t been updated for a while.

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Scomadi’s at the IOW

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I wrote about the Scomadi before – the (or one) true evolution of the Lambretta here. In case you missed them at the Isle of Wight, here’s a look at a line up. I think the white one looks rather tasty myself.

 

Ahh… sweet… The Suzuki Choinori

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I’ll hold my hands up, I’m not a huge fan of modern scooters, I’m much more of a vintage kinda guy. There are, however some exceptions. I really like the Honda Zoomer/Ruckus and also the Yamaha C3, which style aesthetic to the standard, twist and go scoot. I’ll post a bit about each of these when I’ve found out a bit more. Taking a similar approach, and pushing minimalism to the next level, is this cute little scoot from Suzuki. Built from 2003 to 2007, the Choinori was only available in Japan… where they built ten million of the little 49cc scoots. One of the reason they were so popular, was they were extremely inexpensive – something they achieved by innovations like a linerless bore engine, and even the lack of any rear suspension. Although these ‘features’ (or lack of them) are celebrated as a landmark of Japanese automotive history… anyone that knows their Lambretta history will immediately think of the model A – especially the version without the plastic (sorry, resin) legshields (last pic).

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The Choinori (which means “short hop” or “little journey” in Japanese) was discontinued in 2007, when the engine couldn’t meet new emission standards. To me, this looks like an incredible opportunity for Suzuki to steal a march on the rest of the scooter industry, and use the Choinori as a platform for an electric scoot… it’s light weight and simplicity of construction are all plusses here. You wouldn’t want to do too many miles on it anyway… the bum-numbing lack of rear suspension would limit it to the role of a city bike/micro commuter, for all except the most committed enthusiasts/mascochists.

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