New Zealand Motoretta TT 2015

Thornton sent me this vid of the 2015 Mottoretta Tourist Trophy – aka the Motitty. As regular readers will remember it’s a 4 day, 1,000 mile event on New Zealand’s North Island… and you can only enter on traditional, geared scooters. Full details can be found on the website here.

Sorry, it’s not a viable on mobile devices, or in Germany, due to copyright issues.

Sticky’s Latest Adventure – Twin Town Courier

Twin Town Courier Logo

Ok, so I promised you a post on the Rimini Lambretta Centre’s 25th Anniversary Open Day… and it’s coming. But there’s a scooter adventure that’s going on as I type that you should probably know about… Sticky’s on another of his “European Tours”. On a 1968 Lambretta. Partly because he loves Lambrettas, but also because doing this on a motorcycle would be too easy.  As  he says “The discomfort and unreliability of a vintage scooter adds an element of uncertainty and adventure to the trip. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.”

StickyLeavesNuneatonHeading out from his home town of Nuneaton on the 1st of the month… after being seen off by the Mayor… he’s heading round Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland, The Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands… phew, I’m exhausted typing that lot, never mind riding it!)

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And there’s a big idea behind the trip – Twinning – and to quote the man himself “The idea is to explore the concept of town twinning, and to link the towns involved by acting as a courier delivering photographs from local newspapers and councils to their twins and sisters in other countries.” His long term goal is to write another book about his experiences (If you haven’t read Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle you’ve missed a treat).

Andorra-2As I type, he’s in the Pyrenees, heading towards Roanne in France, before heading off to Italy. He’s spending at least one day and one night in each town he visits.  Check out his route below, and if you can give him any support  in your country (I know I have readers in all of them!), please do! You might even end up featuring in his next book! Check out the full story on his website StickyFeatures.co.uk and follow him on Twitter @StickyFeatures or on his blog for the latest news.4789452_orig

I’ll keep you informed of anything I hear of his adventures, and show you his route back when he completes the first part of his journey.

Good luck fella… ride safe, and I hope your trip doesn’t have too much discomfort and unreliability!

Classy classic combo

Gulf Racing themed Lambretta Sidecar COmbinationThe Gulf Racing colours of pale blue and bright orange are a classic and recognisable combination that work so well together.  I’ve seen them on many vehicles, from Porches to Beetles, Mini’s, bikes and a fair few scoots over the years. But I think this is the first time I’ve seen them on a Lambretta sidecar combination.  In my ever so humble opinion, it works. And it’s for sale on eBay. The scooter (a GP 150) has been upgraded to with a GT 186 kit, so should pull that Watsonian along nicely. It’s on eBay here. But be quick, the auction ends today.Gulf-Bambini-2-6-9-2014Gulf Bambini GP Gulf-Bambini-3-6-9-2014 Gulf-Bambini-4-6-9-2014 Gulf-Bambini-5-6-9-2014
Here’s that link again

225 ‘S’ Type in Bonhams auction

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.10.11Derek, from Bonhams in San Francisco, kindly sent me a heads up of this lovely TV225 up for auction in their forthcoming Quail Lodge Auction.Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.11.21The original, matching numbers scoot has been restored, by P-Town Scooters of Portland, Oregon, to full Arthur Francis 225cc ‘S’ Type specs. The finished article features all the goodies one might expect, including an Ancillotti megaphone exhaust, tuned 225cc motor, Nannucci race seat, Lucas lamps and Cuppini rack.Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.10.21 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.12.10 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.11.54 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.13.22 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.10.33 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.10.48 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.11.05The Bonhams Quail Lodge 2014 Auction will be held August 14th and August 15th on the grounds of the Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, California. Held in connection with the Quail Motorsport Gathering, the 17th annual Bonhams sale held during Monterey Classic Car Week will feature nearly 120 vehicles. The S Type is lot 197. More details here.

Vintage Scooter Pics from LIFE

I don’t know exactly what’s doing on here… but there are some clues. Firstly the location is  clearly San Fransisco… and specifically the Golden Gate Bridge. I wonder if any of my US readers remember the Berkley Scooter Shop? On the front of one the TV’s there’s a badge for “Al (Second name unreadable)* San Francisco” is also the pic of Warren Carver… who, his badge is “Road Captain” of the Pioneer Scooter Club, SF. Though I reckon he really wanted to be in the California Highway Patrol… Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (4) 8efb9f3faeba3a50_largeMotor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (2) 87d5af60a7c00277_large 299d58ebc547b539_large 111333d3f3c6f90c_large f84f5c6407c9b509_large Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (1)  Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (3)  Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (5) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (6) 3aea680563a33803_largeMotor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (8) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (9) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (12) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (13) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (20) The event looks like some sort of protest… I’m guessing from the pic of the dude on the Vespa, and the signage, it’s something to do with banning motorcycles from certain roads. There’s a couple of pics of people looking at maps trying to figure out alternative routes.

7ba10bfeb2928fc3_largeAnyway, the pics are great, and found over at the LIFE archive, they are by N. R. Farbman and I found them via the Vintage Everyday blog.

*It’s Al Fergoda, thanks for the info, regular contributor Corey, from Scooter Fix! on his Facebook page there is an impressive collection of dealer decal imagery that has a great pic of the Al Fergoda sticker. And from a little bit of internet research it seems Al Fergoda was a big name in North California, back in the day, as well as being a Lambretta dealer, also specialising in BSA, Norton and eventually Yamaha marques.

Orignal paint framebreather on eBay

Series 1 Framebreather

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S1FB_57-2Love the original factory paint with period stickers on this ’59 Framebreather.
It comes with a TS1 225 engine, and some minor jobs to get it finished, but to my eye it’s a cracking looking scoot.
The original engine comes as part of the deal, so if you want to take it back to standard, you can.
On eBay here

Lambrettista. You’ve read the blog, now you can buy the t-shirt.

So, now the sun is finally suing, it’s time to sort through your wardrobe for something suitable to wear to the shops. Or the beach. Or work, if you work somewhere a bit casual. Why wear some generic t-shirt from a high street shop, when you could be sporting a fine garment showing your love of the world’s finest motor scooter> All shirts designed in-house by the Lambrettista Blog Design Team. That’ll be me then. Oh, if you’re a Vespa fan, it’s all meant in good fun. Honest.

More designs are going to be added as and when I get round to it. Check out the full online shop
The Lambrettista Blog Shop

Some designs will disappear if I get bored of them, and new ones will pop up, as and when. If you’ve got an idea for something Lambretta related you’ve like to see on a tee… drop me a line, I’m always open for a bit of inspiration. Nothing too rude, this is a family bog 🙂

SPECIAL SUMMER OFFER! 20% OFF!
There’s 20% off all the T-shirts if you enter the voucher code voucher code SUMMERSPIRIT is applied at checkout. Be quick, offer is only valid until 30 June, 2014 at 11:59PM.

The Real McKoi

mcKoi-$_57-2

$_57This scooter for sale on eBay is the absolute business. Usually, I can take or leave custom paint… but this is gorgeous… and I just ‘get” the whole concept of this scooter. The Real McCoy means “the genuine article” and this scooter is certainly that. No expense has been spared in the build, with owner going “straight to the top’ and getting all the work being done by some of the best in the business… The paint is by Ty Layer ( Pageant Paiintwork ), Engraving by Adi Clark, Seat by Corky, 250cc Twin Targa Engine build by Stuart from the 100 MPH Lambretta Club, Hydraulic Clutch by Chris Sadd.McK$_57-3

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It all adds up to one stunning scooter. And it could be yours. Check it out on eBay here

Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle – The Review

39375c67f1f0b9b391c7039ea18620cf1f540ff9On the strength of my post about the video publicising his book, Martin “Sticky” Round sent me a copy to review. Which was nice. This is a first for me, as it’s the first “freebie” I’ve got through the blog. To be fair to my loyal readers though, I’m determined to give this a fair review, and be as honest and forthright as I can… and not just do a “puff piece”.

This was a tricky review to write. I could sum the whole post up in four words… but that wouldn’t do justice to the book. And I could ramble on for ages pouring more and more praise onto it, because this is simply a great book, but I suspect that my review would come across as a little dull if I did.

And this book is anything but dull. As readers of his work in Scootering will know, Sticky has a fine command of the English language… and he’s had the opportunity to give it full flight in this book. I read a lot. I’ve often got two or three books on the go at once, and I devour everything from biographies to science fiction, and pretty much everything in between. Once in a while, I enjoy a book so much that I rave on about it to friends and family and pass it on, saying “you must read this!” (The last book I did that with was CJ Sansom’s Dominion, btw. Highly recommended). Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle is up there. Right up there. I honestly haven’t enjoyed reading a book more this year.

Sticky tells his road trip tale in a highly entertaining fashion. The “scootery bits” aren’t so technical that a non-scooterist would be turned off, and just give an overview of what it’s like to own, ride and be part of the classic scooter scene without assuming any prior knowledge. A opening couple of chapters about building the scooters to take them on the journey could be as dull as ditchwater – but handled with Sticky’s light humorous tone (and the liberal use of the word “bollocks”) it’s like a very entertaining bloke down the pub sharing a great story with you.

In fact, the whole book is like that. Only they interesting bloke down the pub usually gets a bit boring after a couple of pints. Sticky’s book never wanes. While sharing his adventure of crossing Europe, from the Adriatic Coast to Turkey (and back), the entertainment factor never lets up. Sticky didn’t do the trip alone, he took his 11 year old son, Sam, and wife along. His wife, Tracy was riding perhaps the most Frankenstein of the Frankesnstein scooters, a Maicoletta with a 400cc Suzuki engine shoehorned into the old scooter bodywork. They met up with another name well known to the Lambretta scene, Dean Orton from the Rimini Lambretta Centre. Dean was riding the least modded bike… (and ultimately the most reliable of the scooters) a moderately upgraded Indian GP. And he brought his daughter, Kimberly along for the ride too.

Undertaking a challenging journey on highly modified vintage scooters is not a thing to do lightly. Let alone when you’ve got the wife and kids along. Sticky’s attitude is prepare well, and hope for the best. Things will generally work out and when they don’t, well, that’s character building. Seems to have worked for him. Still, with the author of the Lambretta repair and maintenance bible The Complete Spanner’s Manual: Lambretta Scooters and the owner of the RLC, an accomplished Lambretta mechanic in his own right, both veterans of many rallies and road trips… they were going to be alright if anything did go wrong with the scoots.

To get back to that bloke down the pub, that you initailly find the life and soul, and who you then discover is just someone who likes the sound of their own voice and has found a whole new audience in you… Well, you often find their worldview is a little blinkered too. They say travel broadens the mind, and to an extent I think that’s true, but I think you’ve got to be pretty broadminded to begin with. I found myself nodding along and agreeing with most of what Sticky said in the book… and, being Sticky he always has an interesting way of saying it. His “Dickhead Theory” I found particularly insigtful.

The trip, through Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey (and back via Greece and Albania) give Sticky ample opportunity to expound on everything from his theories on parenting to his attitudes to other cultures… with a handful of remincenses about previous scootering adventures, and a soupcon of local history along the way. His summing up of the Gallipoli campaign made interesting reading in light of all the recent celebrations surrounding the 70th anniverary of D-Day.

The book ends with Sticky being a bit down as the trip reaches it’s conclusion… and that’s how I felt as I reached the end of the book. I was enjoying reading it so much I just wanted more… Finally, there is some advice on how to plan your own adventure… and if you don’t feel inspired to at least start planning something, even if it never gets past the plannng stage, I suspect there’s something wrong with you.

Anyway… I’m not going to witter on and spoil the book for you. Suffice it to say it’s a damn good read. One that, in my humble opinion, deserves to break out from the scootering world into a general readership… You don’t have to be a scooter fan to enjoy a book this good. After all “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” (basically a roadtrip book with a bunch of noodly half baked philosphising thrown in) became a classic… and it’s a far less entertaining read.

If I had summed the whole review up in four words they would have been “Excellent read. Buy it”. Actually buy two, give one to a friend. It’s that good.

It’s out on Kindle now, at a unfeasibly reasonable £2.95, a price that almost makes it worthwhile buying a Kindle. The paperback is also available from Scooterproducts, Amazon, and eBay. The perfect last minute gift for Fathers Day!

Bonus points if you can find the other video featuring (a very young) Sticky on this site. If you do post your answer in the comments.