Lohner Legal…

750750p1697EDNmainLohner Einladung Lea_Web_Seite_2Anybody remember that post I did about the Lohner Lea, a while back? At the time it was just at a ‘concept’ stage… albeit an advanced one. Now they are apparently ready to start manufacturing. “The Lea is elegant and calm of its distinctive design, the driving behavior, safely and silently. …for the urban man who wants to enjoy cruising in city traffic properly.”

It’s an ‘interesting’ looking scooter, although design wise it does rather remind me of a ball of Edam. But I am rather cheese obsessed, so that might be just me.

If you want to see one for yourself, there is a “pop-up store” (does anybody else hate the term “pop-up as much as me? Pop-up should refer to books. Not shops. Or restaurants. Or whatever.) In Vienna, on Thursday 8th October, between 5pm and 8pm.

The address is Lohner Pop up Store, 1010 Wien, Neuer Markt 8.

Updated with the Lohner Website details here or go to the Facebook page here.

The future (and the past) of classic scootering?

Enjoy riding your noisy, dirty, smelly 2stroke while you can ladies and gentlemen. It’s just a matter of time before classic scooters are consigned to “collections” and legislated out of existence… and we’ll all be sitting in our robot driven hydrogen fuel-celled Google cars… maybe. Or maybe the future is electric vehicles… we’ve already seen an Electric Lambretta… and a production scooter from a company with a heritage in classic scoots and electric vehicles is on the way. Albeit a heritage I had absolutely no idea about until yesterday.

First, a bit of history

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Lohner was an Austrian company. G’day! No. Read it again. Austrian. Around 1900 they were producing electric cars… designed by a certain Ferdinand Porsche. Ahead of the curve there! After a rocky history, and  diversifying into many other vehicles such as trams and aircraft… like many companies in the early fifties tried to get in on the booming scooter market. The most well known of these scooters was the Lohner 125 (pictured above). I say it was well known… but it’s a scooter that’s new to me. To my eyes… despite following the germanic “roller” style of having the large enclosed front end incorporating the legshields and mudguard… I’ve seen uglier scooters. After merging with Rotax, who made the engines, they left scooter production behind and became involved in the production of agricultural, military and commercial vehicles. Eventually they were bought by Bombardier.

Now, the future?

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Well, the Lohner name, and scooter is back. From what I can gather from the website, members of the original Lohner family are still very much involved. And in looking to the future they looked to their company heritage for inspiration.  What they have come up with is a “new class vehicle”… the Lohner Stroler… a radical looking  e-biike  – and probably of more interest to readers of this blog, the Lohner LEA. The Roller LEA is a twenty-first century reincarnation of the 1950’s original L125-Roller. IMG_158960635 IMG_159260635 IMG_160317654 IMG_168117654 IMG_168717654

Pretty cool, huh? It’s got that retro thing going with a hint modern hot-rod aesthetic… while giving a big nod to their heritage. A tough trick to pull off, looking funky, modern and old school all at once.

The LEA will go into production in the spring, and is a available for pre-order right now.

Find out more, including full specifications on the website.

DonGo Bare Bones Scoot

dongo_01I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’m not really a “modern scooter” person. But, and again, I’ve mentioned this before, there are some exceptions. The most notable is probably the Honda Ruckus, or Zoomer as it is known in he UK. In the same vein, The DonGo is a back to basics, stripped down scoot that is easy to build, customise, maintain and repair.dongo_06 dongo_05 dongo_02 dongo_04 dongo_03 The idea is that you buy it “flat pack” like Ikea furniture, and put it together yourself. You can spec either a petrol or electric engine. At the moment, I it’s just a concept, at prototype stage… in need of investment to turn into a scoot you can actually buy. If I was a “Dragon” I’d be saying “I’m in” to designer Otto Polefko. I’d love to see this on sale.dongo_10 via YankoDesign. More on the Otto’s Behance page, here.

Minky business… The Lambretta Bubblecar(s)

1012826_673766576009250_100253005_n 1607062_673789286006979_1068466953_n 1525577_696661540364494_261322690_nRight. I like Lambrettas. I like bubble cars. What could be better than a Lambretta Bubble Car? Well, there was one (or more than one)… or there nearly was one; The Lambretta Mink. Above are pics of a one-off prototype, developed in the 60’s. Details are lost in the murk of history, but we do know it’s powered by a SX200 engine, and is capable of 60mph. The current owner is now looking to sell, so if you’ve got £20k knocking around, contact Ian Frankland (of Taffspeed fame) and he’ll forward you the details (Like those warnings on the +1 channels and iPlayer …if your reading this “in the future” this post was written in January 2014 – don’t pester Mr Frankland).Lawil_s4_berlina_250ccAlthough a complete ‘one off’ the Mink is not totally alone in the Lambretta microcar stakes. There is the previously featured Lambretta Willam… (above) a boxy little car, but with a certain childlike charm about it… it looks like it was designed by a seven year old, in a good way. There’s even a video if you follow the link.

Avolette-1 Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum / RM AuctionsAlso from France, and slightly smoother Lambretta like curves, more along the lines of the Mink is the Avolette. A proper “bubble car” almost of bumper car proportions and appearance. There were several incarnations of this little beauty, with power units from Sachs and Maico. One of the key features of this little gem was the single “cyclops” headlight. The “New Avolette” was a Lambretta engined variant shown at the Cycle-Salon in 1957, but never making it as far as production. The pics come from the Glumso Smart Drivers blog, which has much more info here.

There are of course, the successful Lambro range of commercial vehicles from Lambretta, but these fall into a slightly different category of “micro-commercial” in my book.

Forget electricity. This eco scooter runs on AIR!

ecomoto_01 ecomoto_03 ecomoto_02 ecomoto_05 ecomoto_04Compressed air that is. Designed around a compressed air rotary engine, the EcoMoto is “perfect for zipping around town”. Assembled from steam pressed bamboo… this has got to be the ultimate in sustainable transport. If you like your scooters made from wood, that is. I suppose it’s better than plastic. Personally, I prefer this one… even though it’s a V•spa!

Via: Yanko Design

Coming soon… an electric Lambretta!

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Right, I don’t know much about this, just found these great pics over at Basque Radical Mods blog. Eminating from the Saigon Scooter Centre, there appears to be an electric Lambretta in the offing.

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Now I’ve blogged about electric Lambretta’s before… here’s one in development over at Soundspeed Scooters… but there doesn’t seem to have been much movement on that lately. Then there was the EcoLa, and despite sounding like a food poisoning bug, this was a bit more promising, a Model D rigged to run on batteries. 

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The Ebretta from Saigon Scooter Centre seems a different kettle of fish… a prodcut that you can actually buy. Contrary to some horror stories coming out of Vietnam, the Siagon Scooter Centre seems to have buit a good reputation for the quality of their scoots, their retsorations and their innovative products… so I’d expect the Ebretta would be quality machine. It certainly looks the part in the pictures. f you are one of those sad, misguiged people who would rather put their leg over a Vespa, it looks like they cater for you guys too; Based on a PX, they are calling it a V-tronic. But then again, if Vespa’s are your thing I doubt you’d be reading this blog. 

There is always going to be a majority of classic Lambretta riders who will perfer a geared, two-stroke powered scooter. But, if you’re an eco warrio Lambretta fan who’s in the market for a new scooter, and aren’t convinced by the syling of the LN, LS and LJ models, this might be ticking your boxes. 

Watch this space, and I’ll keep you posted when I find out any more information. Rumour has it, Scootering magazine will be running a feature with full specs etc, but if I hear anything before they go to press, I’ll let you know.

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Saigon Scooter Centre’s Facebook page

BMW eSetta concept

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I know, I know, it’s been a while. And back I come, not with a Lambretta post at all, but another microcar. What can I say, I love ’em. Messerschmitt’s and Isetta’s particualrly. And like the Smite that I have written about previously, the concept I’m posting about today has obvious DNA of one of those originals, but this time the Isetta.

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It’s the work of Tony Weichselbraun, a recent graduate of the University of Applied Arts in Viennna, the eSetta was part of his Diploma, I can’t put it any better than the man himself, so here’s what he says about it on his coroflot page:

“The eSetta is an urban electric vehicle indended as a car sharing platform. It is inductively charged at sharing hubs, thereby eliminating the unfound fear of limited range through empty batteries. Its design is inspired by the legendary BMW Isetta. The front door slides and rotates, allowing passengers to enter and exit the vehicle via sidewalk. By giving the car a highly recognizable and friendly appearance, I intended to reinforce the positive aspects of car sharing.”

Well, I certainly think he’s pulled off freindly… it’s got more than a hint of puppy dog about it… I’d almost expect a wagging tail!, and while I always prefered the 3 wheeled variant of the original Isetta, four works pretty good here, I can see that it uses the available cabin space better. Tiny wheels though! So, would I choose this (in the unlikely event of it ever going into production), or my pevious favoutrite, the Smite? A bit of an accademic question, as neither look like they’ll be on sale any time soon. But if they both were, lets just say it would be a close run thing.

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Tenuos Lambretta link? (apart from the “etta” suffix), this kind reminds me of the way the Fido electric scooter concept kinda looked like a model D, as I poster way back. 

EcoLa – the electric Lambretta

Right at the genesis of this blog, in fact before this blog was even born, I posted an electric scooter concept, called the Fido. I remarked at the time it was very reminiscent of an early open framed Lambretta, such as the Models A-F.
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Well, I wasn’t the only one that thought the Model D would make the ideal platform for a modern scooter. And Richurci, in Italy (I’m sorry, I don’t know a lot about the fella) has built one. The EcoLa ( Eco Lambretta gettit?) It’s got a 1kW motor which only gives it about a 20km range, and a top speed of 50km/h, but bearing in mind it’s pretty much homemade, including the instruments, it’s a good ‘proof on concept’. And by swapping out the lead acid batteries for some lighter and more efficient, but more expensive Lithium ones further improvements in performance and range should easily be possible. It would seen a combination of lack of funding and trouble getting the vehicle licensed (Italian/EU bureaucracy!) have meant the project has come to a bit of a halt recently.

 

So, are there any eco-aware millionaires out there, wanting to fund the development of this vehicle? You could put a few quid into the development of the Smite while your at it, and help to change the world!

 

I’d have one. Sitting next to my Smite.
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The Smite – a modern reincarnation of the classic Messerschmitt bubble car

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I posted about this little beauty on my other blog, here, ages ago. Then it all went a bit quiet. … nothing. No updates on the website, nada. Until I spotted a link to this video on Facebook. I seriously want one of these… it would ‘go’ so well with my Series 2…The colour even matches (in the video). I’ll keep you updated if I hear more!

The official Smite website (hasn’t been updated for a while)
And Smite on Facebook  (a better bet for more up-to-date stuff)

Bear with me… I’m struggling to embedd the video into this post. Until I do here’s a link to it: SMITE Video

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Jet Scooter

Not to be confused with a Jet 200 Lambretta… This is a gas turbine scooter with a homemde afterburner. Personally, I’m not sure afterburners SHOULD be homemage… and as this seems to generate more noise, flame and smoke than forward motion, at the moment I’ll stick to Petroil…