LamSport 125 – “New Lambretta” with NO Lambretta DNA.

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The “New Lambretta” saga rumbles on. Most readers of this site, I suspect, will not be particularly interested, having not taken the 2011 Lambretta LN to their hearts. Which is a shame, because, IMHO, although clearly not a classic Lambretta, it paid homage to the lines and spirit of the marque, and had a little Lambretta DNA in it’s blood. Now we have a “New Lambretta” The LamSport.

The new machine, despite being designed by the same Alessandro Tartarini behind the LN design, and who’s radical designs for the range of Caterham Motorcycles I was a big fan of, disappoints me on every level. It’s just an ok looking modern sports style scooter.  With a Lambretta badge on it.
The LN was a decent stab at reinventing a classic machine for the twenty-first century. This is badge engineering at it’s worst. The old Lambretta Motorcycles website from Motom is now down, and I suspect that that is the end of Lambretta LN, which will become an interesting side note to Lambretta history. UPDATE: Further research has found that the LN is still linked to on the Vinh Phat Group website here – so it appears to be in production alongside the the LamSport. And in twenty or thirty years time, when the LamSport is all but forgotten about there will be one or two LN’s left, commanding big prices amongst the  Lambretta collectors and completists. A real shame.6_esterno
The LamSport is being assembled and distributed by the Vinh Phat Group in Vietnam, who launched the new model in Hanoi last week. I’m sure it will do very well in the home market, at least. As far as I’m concerned, if you want a ‘modern Lambretta’ and you are in Hanoi, you would be better off with an Ebretta.EbrettaI’m sorry, I’m not going to write about this any more. This upsets me. If you want to find out more, The excellent ScooterNova blog is a good source. But don’t expect to find any more posts on the LamSport on this blog.

UPDATE: My sources tell me that it may not quite be the end of the road for the Lambretta LN, which is good news. I find myself, as a rider of an Innocenti 1960 LI150 Series 2, in the unlikely position of flag waver for the LN, but it is, from all accounts, a good, reliable and stylish modern scooter, and it definitely has my old S2 in it’s family tree. Stay tuned, for more Lambretta LN info, and nothing more about the LamSport!

Ebretta Mk2

EbrettaI first wrote about the Ebretta back in May 2012… a classic Lambretta with an electric power train. Well, now Siagon Scooter Centre, the guys behind the Ebretta and the Vespa Styled version the Vtronic have released  a Mk2 version. On the surface, not a lot has changed, and that’s a good thing. It still looks like a classic lammy. But under the skin, there are numerous improvements. The battery system now includes an integrated PMC, and the cells are smaller and more powerful. There’s a new SevCon digital display unit, and a DC converter so that standard lighting can be used… although LED lighting comes as part of the package.

It’s nice to see a project as visionary as this is still being pursued and developed. And that a company realises there is a market for classic scooter looks with state of the art internals. Of course, if an electric scoot doesn’t float your boat, you could have a look at the Scomadi.

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As before, for more information, contact the Siagon Scooter Centre.

EBretta – An update

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Right, I’ve found out a little bit more about the EBretta, the Electric powered Lambretta straight out of Ho Chi Minh City (See my previous post) . It is a fully operational prototype that has been developed and tested, so it IS real world, real technology, and it actually works. Even more exciting than that, a Mk 2 production version is currently under development.

The power is supplied by a brushless 13″ motor which generates 3kW. This will generate a torque of 180 Nm, which translates to a top speed of over 60 kmph (roughly 40 mph). While this might, at first seem less than impressive it would be fine for around town and commuting, with the engine having enough torque to accelerate uphill and carry a ‘larger person’ – I think I might qualify for that last category!

The Mk1 Version has a total of 16 , Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells.  Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells are lighter and hold more charge than traditional lead acid or silicone batteries, and are safer than lithium ion batteries. The batteries are protected by a top of the range controller unit and a Battery Management System that monitors battery levels and prevents over charging. The charge time is approx. 3 hours, and the run time, which will vary due to driving conditions, “easily exceeds” 40 km.

The figures above are all for the Mk1 EBretta, and, as I said,  there is a Mk2 under development. The technology is moving fast in the world of electric vehicles, and the Mk 2 will use tech that wasn’t even around 12 months ago, including Sevcon digital displays and battery management systems that are built in to the batteries rather than separate units. Smaller, higher performance battery units are in the pipeline, although at the moment the cost of these is prohibitive, as the technologies mature this should come down.

They’re even looking at adding accessories that will charge your laptop, tablet or phone as you drive. I wonder what’s next… an iPad integrated into your toolbox door?

So, what’s the verdict?

I think the guys at Saigon Scooter Centre have given us a glimpse of the future. I expect building a modern, electric engine into a classic scooter frame has presented them with more than few issues, but the finished result looks amazing. Performance wise, this is never going to be a machine for speed merchants, or one to take on a long distance rally… But that’s not what it’s been built for. For a daily commuter, or a round town runabout this would be ideal. And with most of the running problems of a ‘traditional’ Lambretta coming down to fuel or electrics, it takes one of those items out of the equation. And I’ve got this far without even mentioning the fuel saving benefits… imagine getting home from work and just plugging your Lambretta* in for three hours. Never buy another litre of petrol or 2stroke oil again!

Would I have one? Hell yeah. Although I would probably have to fit an MP3 player and speakers to blast out the traditional Lambretta exhaust note, and carry a small aerosol of “eau de 2stroke” to spray into the air occasionally. I’d love to know what YOU think though… let me know in the comments (I’m afraid you have to register for a Posterous account, but hey, that’s FREE, and they don’t bother you with loads of emails… and you might even want to start your own blog!)

Look out for reviews and reports in the scooter press soon. If you’ve got any questions let me know and I’ll try and find out, or you can contact the Siagon Scooter Centre directly.

Find out more at the Saigon Scooter Centre website or Facebook page.

They’re taking orders now!

*SSC is marketing the EBretta as a “Lambretta replica” no doubt so there are no licensing issues with the owners of the Lambretta trademark.

EBretta – An update

Right, I’ve found out a little bit more about the EBretta. It is a fully operational prototype that has been developed and tested, so it IS real world, real technology, and it actually works. Even more exciting than that, a Mk 2 production version is currently under development.

The power is supplied by a brushless 13″ motor which generates 3kW. This will generate a torque of 180 Nm, which translates to a top speed of over 60 kmph (roughly 40 mph). While this might, at first seem less than impressive it would be fine for around town and commuting, with the engine having enough torque to accelerate uphill and carry a ‘larger person’ – I think I might qualify for that last category!

The Mk1 Version has a total of 16 , Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells.  Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells are lighter and hold more charge than traditional lead acid or silicone batteries, and are safer than lithium ion batteries. The batteries are protected by a top of the range controller unit and a Battery Management System that monitors battery levels and prevents over charging. The charge time is approx. 3 hours, and the run time, which will vary due to driving conditions, “easily exceeds” 40 km.

The figures above are all for the Mk1 EBretta, and, as I said,  there is a Mk2 under development. The technology is moving fast in the world of electric vehicles, and the Mk 2 will use tech that wasn’t even around 12 months ago, including Sevcon digital displays and battery management systems that are built in to the batteries rather than separate units. Smaller, higher performance battery units are in the pipeline, although at the moment the cost of these is prohibitive, as the technologies mature this should come down.

So, what’s the verdict?

I think the guys at Saigon Scooter Centre have given us a glimpse of the future. I expect building a modern, electric engine into a classic scooter frame has presented them with more than few issues, but the finished result looks amazing. Performance wise, this is never going to be a machine for speed merchants, or one to take on a long distance rally… But that’s not what it’s been built for. For a daily commuter, or a round town runabout this would be ideal. And with most of the running problems of a ‘traditional’ Lambretta coming down to fuel or electrics, it takes one of those items out of the equation.Would I have one? Hell yeah. Although I would probably have to fit an MP3 player and speakers to blast out the traditional Lambretta exhaust note, and carry a small aerosol of “eau de 2stroke” to spray into the air occasionally.

Find out more at the Saigon Scooter Centre website or Facebook page