Pocket Rockets and Motochimps…

pocket_rocket_1I spotted* a couple of cool new electric bikes – and thought they were more than worthy of an airing on the blog. Though each is a quirky, original design in it’s own right, I’m old enough to know the adage “There’s nothing new under the Sun” has an element of truth to it – and both these bikes reminded me of older designs.

Pocket Rocket

The first is the “Pocket Rocket” it’s unusual form earning it a German Design Award. Designed by Manuel Messmer and engineered by SOL Motors, the Pocket Rocket is clean and compact. The thick tubular column on the top becomes a perfect surface to sit on, once you’ve got a saddle in place, and right at both ends, you’ve got the headlight and taillight. The product is currently in its conceptual stages and the specifications haven’t been made public yet. If and when they do, I’ll let you know.

pocket_rocket_3pocket_rocket_4

While a beautifully simple and original concept, it reminded me of a little known Lambretta from years ago – The Rosella, pictured below, and featured on the blog here.

Find out more about it on the SOL Motors website.

1dce6dd6db8b0ac857e29efe54127812

 

Motochimp

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 17.50.12The second featured bike is equally – if not more so – quirky. It’s called the Motochimp – a cheeky name, for a really cheeky looking bike. This bike has so much personality, it looks like it’s a character from a Pixar film.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 17.50.01This quote from their website (motochimp.com) gives you an idea of the ethos of Motochimp…

“Motochimp celebrates the indie spirit of spontaneous urban mobility. Freeing urban transport from boredom, replacing it with spontaneity and personality. Join us and we’ll defy boredom and faceless urban transport. Let’s embark on joy rides that catch a twinkle or two… Let’s Ride on the Lighter Side of Life”.

The video on FullyCharged sums up the bike features nicely. Favourite feature? Well, I’m torn between the way the battery just slides out – and those funky, minimalist bar-end indicators.

As Johnny Smith notes in the video, the Motochimp is very reminiscent of Honda’s Motocompo portable minibike from the ’80s – now a very collectable little bike in its own right – and one probably deserving of a Lambrettista blog post.

HondaCity_Motocompo

Which gives me the excuse to share this Madness Honda City/Motocompo ad…

 

*Well, my mate Luke spotted them to be fair. And sent me the links. Credit where it’s due!

Advertisements

The Nobe Electric Trike

nobe_100_3I’ve made no secret of the fact that despite my love for the 2stroke engine, I think EV is the way forward. And I like a threewheeler – especially the microcars from the fifties that were basically three wheeled scooters – or “Cabin Scooters” as the Germans put it! The Nobe 100 electric trike has that ’50  retro microcar vibe, but also feels futuristic. With an aesthetic that’s definitely classic and an outlook that’s modern, eco-friendly, and downright clever, the Nobe 100 is made from 100% reusable or recyclable parts, produces no air pollution, houses upgradable technology to enhance vehicle longevity, and accommodates three people while taking up less road space than a regular car.

nobe_100_1The mind behind the Nobe 100 is Roman Muljar. Roman looked toward the talent within his country of Estonia to create a three-wheeled car with all the makings of a classic 4-wheeler, but the visual quirks and benefits of a trike.

nobe_100_2With a top speed of 68 mph and a range of 137 miles on a full charge, the Nobe 100 charges completely within two hours and even comes with an additional battery.

nobe_100_4nobe_100_5

nobe_100_6

I find the design of the Nobe remarkably assured and elegant – and kind of Italian looking – it puts me in mind of 1960’s Lancias – or maybe the Volvo P1800 – and love that ‘boat’ tail!

I hope this comes to fruitition – I was disapointed that the Messerchmitt inspired Smite never made it into production. Fingers crossed!

Originally found via Yanko Design. On the Cowdfunding site fundedbyme.

Find out more on the Nobe website; mynobe.com.

World first – Video evidence of an Electric Lambretta under development!

In another first for the Lambrettista Blog – here’s the first – leaked* videos of the New ELECTRIC Lambretta Vendetta!

It seems that Lambretta have teamed up with electric scooter pioneers (and Red Dot Design Award winners) NIU – There’s not a lot of data to share at the moment – although it’s rumoured that Token Hu – Vice president of NIU (and formerly of Frog Design and Microsoft) is heading up the project personally. I expect that as much as an electric powertrain they will be bringing their innovative Smart technology to the project.

I’ve posted a few times about electric vehicles (EV) on the blog before – and firmly believe they are the future of transportation – on two wheels or more. So, what you see here is truly the next generation of Lambretta – a brand that is going to be as relevant and innovative in the 21st century as the 20th. Exciting times!

This is the next step in  the evolution of the Lambretta. Remember where you saw it first! Stay tuned, and I’ll share more information when I can.

*Feel free to share – but please don’t ask where I got these videos – I have to protect my sources!

What’s the Buzz?

IMG_9050What’s the Buzz? The Buzz is the future. It’s electric. And it’s Vespa shaped. Aiming to do for the scooter market what Tesla have done for cars, Buzz is recreating yesterdays scooter style with tomorrows technology.

Based in Vietnam, where there’s a lot of love for vintage scoots, Buzz are ‘British Engineered’. My guess is it’s the guys at the Saigon Scooter Centre who are behind this initiative, but I may be wrong!

IMG_9056The images shown are prototypes – the final design promising to morph into a ‘more modern take on this classic shop’ – well, I for one hope they don’t change too much. You know what side of the fence I sit on in the Vespa vs. Lambretta debate… but Vespas are the second most beautiful scooters ever made – so this retro styling looks pretty good!

Of course, it comes down to more that just good looks. These vehicles have got to perform. But with claimed top speeds of 120 kph and a 0-100 kph of under 4 seconds (for the 5000W Buzz1 model) it’s not something to worry about. Even the more modest 2000W models top end of 80kph is fine for commuting and city riding.

IMG_9065The two big ‘pain points’ with electric vehicles are range and charging. The Buzz scooters have a range of 240km – nearly 150 miles in old money. Pretty impressive. And improvements in battery tech could boost that to 400km. If your riding any more than that between charges, your doing some serious level scootering.IMG_3909

Charging should be just as pain free. Plug in overnight for a slow charge (6 hours), or, if you’re in a rush, fast charge to 80% capacity in just 12 minutes.

IMG_9084There’s even an option with a removable roof system – featuring built in solar panels – the goal being you ‘ride for free’ and never have to plug your scoot into the grid. To be honest, I’d rather plug my scooter in once a day than ride around with a roof, but I think this would work well for delivery vehicles. Delivery vehicles in sunny places!

Being 2017, all Buzz bikes will have connectivity to your phone. A RFID system means that you’ll never worry about losing your keys again. You’ll also be able to locate your bike, and check your battery status on your phone.

So, sounds pretty good right? If only it was Lambretta shaped! Well… rumours reach Lambrettista towers that (as well as some other exciting news) an electric Lambretta Vendetta is in the pipeline. Watch this space.

IMG_9059

Find out more on the Buzz website.

Via OffTheClothBoff and Modculture.

Vespa electtrica

e-vespaI don’t often cover ‘The Wasp’ on here, but there is big news today out of Milan. At EICAMA (the Milan Motorcycle Show) today The Piaggio Group announced what the future may look like for Vespa… and it looks pretty much like the Vespas of the last 70 years (which is a good thing!). But it’s electric. Which, I also think is a good thing.

I know, I know, we all love our smelly old 2-strokes. But that ship sailed a long time ago, and electric is the future. And if you can balance style, performance, range and price you’re on to a winning formula. The Vespa Electtrica is has got the styling nailed –it’s  based on the successful current Primavera model.

To quote from the official Vespa site “Introducing the Vespa Elettrica project, the new mobility solution according to the most elegant and beloved two-wheeled brand in the world that takes a step into the future in complete consistency with the values that have accompanied its history.

The Vespa Elettrica will, first and foremost, be a true Vespa, bringing the very latest in electric technology to a vehicle that will retain all the features that have been vital to its success. The style, agility, ease of use and riding pleasure will be the same as the Vespa we have always known, with the addition of technological and innovative connectivity solutions. A perfect mix of excitement, technology and environmental friendliness that only Vespa can create. Like it has always done in its first seventy years of history.”

So not a lot of hard facts about performance, or range then. Or price – though, if on launch the government ‘plug-in’ grant offering a £1,500 rebate on the cost of electric scooters / bikes is still in effect, that will help, big time. They have got the styling sorted. If you like Vespas, of course : ).

It’s not the first time that Vespa has explored the world of electric vehicles, as The ScooterNova blog  points out. They are also where I first read about the Electric Vespa, so stay tuned to them for further updates. I’m sure ScooterLab and Scootering will be all over it too.

The official Vespa site is here.

 

Electric Swallow, update

Schwalbe_Pose.jpgHere’s the latest on the electric Schwalbe scooter that I posted about a few days ago. This time the information is straight from the horse mouth, so it’ll be a little more accurate!

Schwalbe makes an electrifying return GOVECS presents the classic scooter in a contemporary design and with electric drivetrain

The Munich-based company GOVECS has given the Schwalbe a new lease of life and in doing so is inspiring the entire industry. Together with technology partner Bosch, GOVECS has installed the world’s most advanced drivetrain in the Schwalbe, ensuring streets that are both clean and quiet.

The first version of the Schwalbe will sprint through the streets at up to 45kmh. Fully charged, it provides an impressive range of more than 100 km, and can already be reserved online.

It still has the typical features of a Schwalbe: the large tires, the ribbed tail section, the round headlights and the indicator lights on the handlebars, but has become even more striking. The Schwalbe has just treated itself to a modern outfit. The pioneering electric drivetrain, developed together with technology partner Bosch, is extremely dynamic and convinces with impressive acceleration.

The five-metre-long integrated cable with a plug that packs away neatly under the seat, means it is ready to be charged at any time. It can be charged via any normal household outlet. And you don’t have to wait long before you can whizz off again: after just one to two hours the battery is 80% charged again, and after four to five hours it’s fully charged.

Riders can also look forward to the accompanying service, because it promises to be as modern and innovative as the product itself. There will be a comprehensive on-site service. This means the service comes to the customer and not vice versa. Initially, the Schwalbe can be bought through the official online store. Reservations for the first deliveries in summer 2017 can now be made online at www.myschwalbe.com. In early 2017 the first Schwalbe Store in Berlin will open, followed by others in various European cities.

There’s colour reminds me of something… oh yeah, here we go 🙂minion_guitar

For those eagerly waiting for news of the forthcoming New Lambretta, the Lambretta Vendetta, word reaches me that it will NOT be launched at EICMA in November, but prepare for something pretty special at next years Lambretta 70th Anniversary Celebrations / Lambretta Jamboree in Italy.

Electric Swallow

The Simson Schwalbe (German for Swallow – the bird you smutty minded lot) was, for those that don’t know, a classic East German  scooter/moped. It followed the ‘enclosed motorcycle’ model with larger 16″ wheels than classic Italian scooter. Extremely popular in the DDR back in the day, it’s now the latest classic scooter to be re-invented as an electric ‘e-scooter’ – joining the likes of Cezeta and Lohner12895280-wyglada-jak-klasyczny-simson-schulbe-jednak-zamiast-silnika-spalinowego-napedza-go-prad-96s-1200

It’s been hard to come across hard and fast info about the new electric version of the Simson Schwalbe… but here’s what I’ve gleaned from various sources. Any errors are mine, due to my inability to read any language other than english, and the limitations of Google Translate. So, here’s what I know.

  1. It’s been in development since 2011.
  2. The guys behind it are Govecs – a German electric powered scooter manufacturer.
  3. There will be two models, roughly corresponding in power to 50 and 125cc 2-stroke engines.
  4. The expected cost is in the €4,000 range.

We should know more when the promised production model is revealed at the end of the month.

As yet, there’s no further information on a electric Lambretta, the electric Scomadi that was showcased at EICMA a few years ago, or an electric version of the forthcoming Lambretta Vendetta. But who knows what the future will bring.

If you’re interested in electric scooters, check out these posts on the Fido and the DonGo Bare Bones too.

UPDATE: Reader Fabian has done some reading for me, and there’s a little more history of the e-Schwalbe in the comments… Worth a read! (It’s the last yellow tag at the bottom of the post with “replies” in it if you can’t find the comments).

 

 

Fido Electric Scooter – Now On Sale

DSC_5269editReaders with good memories may recall the Fido Electric Scooter concept that reminded me of the original ‘Model A’ Lambrettas*. Well, it’s not a concept anymore, and you can buy one of a limited edition of 25, hand assembled “Model 1’s” for a downpayment of $5,250. That’s 50% of the full purchase price, which makes them a not inconsiderable $10,500.

It’s not cheap, it will only do 45mph and has a 35mph range, and (at the moment) it’s only available in the USA. But I like the aesthetic, and think it’s a glimpse of the future. Once a main production run is up, (and that is scheduled for 2017) prices should start to come down. I know it’s going to be of limited appeal to readers only interested in old, noisy 2-stroke – you can buy a pretty decent Lammie for $10.5k – but I wish the guys at Fido well. It’s been a long road for them, I hope their hard work starts paying off.

The Fido is also a world away from some of the frankly amazing stuff coming out of Italy at the moment, such as the Casa Performance 350cc twin casing, but the guys over at Scooterlab have got that pretty much covered.

Find out more about Fido here.

*All early open frame Lammies actually, scroll down to see Marco’s D for example (or

Czech this out!

Cezeta1The Cezeta is back – and it hasn’t changed a bit (apart from being electric!). The distinctive Czech scooter has returned in a design virtually unchanged from the original models produced in the ’50s and ’60s. And it’s all the better for it. You’d be hard pushed to spot any difference between these new models and the originals – in fact, you’d be on a hiding to nothing as the prototypes shown are originals, modified to fit the new power unit.

cezeta-home-02-1200That’s the one BIG change. As mentioned… she’s electric! Some will mourn the passing of the original 175cc 2-stroke engine, but this is the 20-teens and an electric power unit is the way forward. She’s got a top end of 50mph and a range of 60 miles (extendable to 120m). That’s plenty to commute in style.

Regarding the styling… it’s certainly unique. I’ve been less than kind to the Cezeta in the past, but I’m warming to the Cezeta’s idiosyncratic looks. Perhaps is years of conditioning so my brain thinks a Lambretta is the way a scooter should look.  There’s something quite hipster (in a good way) about them, and they’re far more attractive (and authentic) than the majority of modern attempts to create a retro scoot.

Although by nature I’m a bit of a traditionalist, I’m also firmly in the EV (Electric Vehicle) camp. I think this scoot marries the best of both. Retro styling, with a modern, clean power unit. There was talk of an Electric Scomadi a while back, (last I heard it they are still “working on it”)  and, although unlikely, maybe – just maybe we’ll see an electric version of the “new Lambretta” the L70 on launch (more of that later!).

There’s a ton of more information, including a road test and an interview with one of the guys behind the revitalised Cezeta brand (brit Neil Smith) over on the ScooterLab site.

It’s great to see these ‘lesser known’ (in the UK anyway) scooter marques making a comeback, with Cezeta joining the likes of Lohner and Cushman. Find out more at the Cezeta website, where you can reserve yours today, or pop over to Prague and visit their shop.

The video’s worth a watch too…