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…

Advertisements

FIDO Update…

DSC_5285editIt was so long ago I originally wrote about the FIDO that it was on a previous blog… (and this blog’s been running since 2013). The ME electric scooter I posted earlier today reminded me of it so much I thought I’s check up on it… Well, it’s looking more like an early Lambretta than ever… which is a good thing! Full post coming soon, but for the moment, I’ll tempt you with some pics and a link to their website:  here.

Battery_Poster_MU3DSC_5280editBattery_Poster_MU2DSC_5269edit

No apologies for all this electric stuff. It’s the future! But, don’t worry, normal, 2 stroke service will be resumed ASAP!

 

ME Electric Scooter

ME - profilo dxAfter yesterday’s electric Mogan three-wheeler, and with continuing dire warnings of an impending 2Stroke ban, I thought I’d continue the theme with this funky little electric scooter.

scooterelettrico1Electric scooters are now pretty commonplace, but most are blandly generic, cheap and Chinese. It’s innovation that sets the ME electric scooter apart. Designed by a group of Italian engineers – it’s back to basic aesthetics are reminiscent of the early open-frame Lambrettas. Rather like the FIDO I featured a on my previous blog, and the Dutch Q scooter that was at EICMA in 2013. Constructed out of Sheet Moulding Compound, a sturdy composite material that offers structural support, the ME is a cost-effective, lightweight alternative to its metal counterparts.

the-me-italian-electric-scooter-gessato-9The ME is fitted with a lithium-ion battery, with a range of 80 km, fine for a daily commute (especially if you can plug it in when you get to work!) Its electric motor takes the scooter from zero to 45 km/h in six seconds.

Support the project by visiting the ME electric scooter’s crowdfunding page.

With the promise of ” A New Lambretta” in May… and all we know is the model name “L70” could we expect an electric Lambretta? To be honest, I doubt it. I think we’ll get a reworking of the LN, with a four-stroke engine in 125, 150 and maybe 200cc’s. But I’m only guessing, I haven’t heard anything!

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

lohner_125_h

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?

IMG_162417654

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.

Cool electric concept from ’68

It seems that electric vehicles are finally becoming a reality… with even companies like BMW getting in on the act. There is, of course the eBretta (1st tenuous Lambretta link), the electric reincarnation of the Lambretta, being developed in Vietnam.tumblr_myglnt81RB1r8dlh9o1_1280

But this is not a new thing… Back in 1968 the US car firm, AMC, now long defunct produced this concept. With a top speed of 50mph, and a claimed range of 150 miles (remember, this was the 60’s) this looking like a viable city commuter vehicle. Perhaps if petrol (or gas, as our American cousin’s insist on calling it) had got more expensive stateside, and they’d managed to make the Nickel Cadmium and Lithium Nickel Fluoride batteries more affordable, we might have seen these go into production.amcelc02I love the whole retro futuristic vibe of these, and design wise, they remind me of the Bond Bug, with a bit of Bertone thrown in (2nd tenuous Lambretta link). They were actually designed by Dick Teague, who’s finest moment, in my book was the ‘hot wheels’ looking AMX-GT. How this never made it into full production is a mystery to me. I’d always assumed it had… maybe it’s the Hot Wheels effect made me think that!

800px-1968_AMC_AMX-GT_ShowCar_Type2QCars that did make it into production are the Pacer, you know the one with the huge, bulbous rear window… and a superfunky “compact” called the Gremlin, both clearly sharing some AMX-GT DNA.amc-gremlin-01

And, although as well as being a stunning piece of design, the Gremlin was purportedly a good, reliable, and inexpensive motor… but I can’t help thinking the marketing department could have come up with a name that didn’t suggest that it was full of faults. Anyway, it’s a shame the AMC brand, which seemed so innovative and forward looking didn’t achieve more sustained commercial success… but it was fighting a losing battle against the US “Big 3” of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, as well as European and Japanese imports.

Find out more about AMC on the excellent and entertaining Musclehead blog, here.

This is one of my irregular “not a Lambretta” posts… normal service will be resumed soon 🙂

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.

01_SMM9888 11_SMM0019 smm9931edit-scaled1000 smm0006edit-scaled500 smm0014edit-scaled1000

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

iPhone dock Scooter Speedo

Electric Scooter iPod dockFirstly, this was my idea… right. Someone has gone into my brain, probably while I was asleep… and nicked it. But mine was built into a Lambretta dashboard, either like the one you get on a Rallymaster to hold the clock and rev counter, or into the top of a legshield toolbox.

This blatant ripoff of my idea (if there are any lawyers reading, this is a pathetic attempt at humour!) is attached to a Japanese electric scooter, which doesn’t come from one of the big four (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki), but a company called Terra Motors. They’ve got a bit of a track record with electric vehicles, launching an electric TukTuk back in March.

Back to the iPod dock… doesn’t do too much really either shows you your speed, or how much charge there is left in the battery. I would be kind of cool to be able to switch to a sat nav mode, or blast some tunes out through some integrated speakers. Rigged up to a traditionally powered scoot you could show stuff like engine temperature, and revs too… all fairly easy to achieve I imagine. In fact, I bet someone’s already done this on a Lammie. If you know of it, let me know, I’d love to do a post on it.

So electric scooters. Cheap to run, less to go wrong, and once they’ve got the performance and range issues sorted out, I think a bit of a no brainer. They’re the future. Although I still prefer mine Lambretta shaped.

via C|Net