New Lambretta – World Exclusive Pic!

mms_20170513_102550Got it! So proud to have the first ever pic of the New Lambretta – The Vendetta V200 Special – on the internet. This appears to be a clandestine “shot by the cleaner” type photo – in a photo studio set up. I just received this from a friend – and after making discrete enquiries – it is the genuine article. After assuring myself this IS the New Lambretta we’ve been waiting for so long, I couldn’t wait publish.

A reliable (but secret) source informs me that Lambretta is introducing the new model “V-Special” in a steel semi-monocoque structure – Just like the old days! A proper Lambretta then – as shared in this previous post. Strong, iconic Lambretta design heritage, with lots of aluminium on it.

I’m told the Vendetta is to go into full production in October, for the global market. I’ve also heard that Lambretta are going to take a robust position against copiers of the classic Lambretta. Rumours indicate that the official Lambrettas will not be sold via distributors who sell these other marques.

Via other channels, I’ve heard that Scootering Magazine have been given global scoop for the introduction… unfortunately for them we beat them with the first pic! Remember where you saw it first! My Scootering magazine (the June edition) will hit my mail box around 20th May… I can’t wait to see more. I’m sorry to say I’m not going make it to Adria, but all going, have a great time.

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.

Run… 90’s Scooter run documentary

A cut above the usual documentary about scooters… avoiding most of the clichés, and featuring Scootering magazine’s Sticky (whatever happened to him?), I don’t know how I missed this Channel 4 documentary ‘back in the day’ but I’ve got absolutely no recollection of seeing this before. Just watch it, it’s brilliant.

Lambrettista. Now on WordPress.

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With the sad demise of Posterous, the ‘platform’ which got me started on blogging in the first place, I had to look round for alternatives. WordPress seems the way to go… so here I am. All the old content from the Posterous site should import later… and things might look a little different around here… but rest assured it will still be dedicated to “the world’s finest motor scooter” The Lambretta.

In the meantime, until the end of the month, you can still check out the old Lambrettista here: http://lambrettista.posterous.com/

Got a scooter? There’s an App for that.

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If you’ve got a scooter, and you’ve got an iPhone, you might want to download the Scootlife App by Anthone Campbell. It allows you to track trips, locate where you parked your scooter, setup service notifications as well as manage your maintenance logs. More info on the iTunes App Store, or Anthone’s website. I haven’t tested it, so I’m not vouching for it… but at $0.99c you haven’t got a great deal to loose!

Via Johnny Scoots.

What’s in the mags…

Whatsinthemags

A new feature this, maybe a regular if there is any interest. A bit of a rundown on what’s in the scooter mags on the shelfs, and in the bi-monthly LCGB mag Jet Set.

Scootering

I’m not pushing Scootering, but it’s a must buy for me, alway got a fresh bit of info. This month’s is the second or third after a bit of a facelift, and the mag looks all the better for it. The content is pretty much the same though, just presented in a bit more of a contemporary way.

So in addition to all the regular features, there is a nice article on a British ‘oddball’ the Pheonix, with some beautiful shots of frankly, quite an ugly scooter. As usual there are a couple of nice featured Lambretta’s, taking Disney’s Cars movie, Pirates of the Carribean and Baileys cream as their inspiration respectively. There’s also a cracking 1958 Douglas Vespa.

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On the techy side there’s an in depth article telling you everything you ever needed to know about the humble nuts and bolts that hold your machine together. There’s a nice feature on the Troglodytes SC from down in Cornwall. 

Events wise, there’s rally coverage of Woolacombe BSRA Rally, The Ribble Valley Mod and Soul Weekender, Jersey’s “Strickly Scooters” Rally, The “Ride for your Rights” protest, and a Rally in Belgium to Liege Chateau. 

For the more cometitive souls, they also cover scooter racing at Cadwell Park and sprinting at Elvington. 

There’s also a nice double page spread on the “A-Z of the Lambretta”. 

Phew. 164 pages this month… a lot of ads… including a couple of really dodgy ones from “Bradford Exchange”, but also a lot of good content.

JetSet

JetSet, the club mag of the LCGB, which you can only get by signing up… has also had a bit of a revamp lately, and is an extremley well produced, well presented publication these days. Clearly it’s going to be more focused on the Lambretta rather than scooters in general, and it does that from a quite authorative, knowlegabel position. A lot of the features cover the same ground as Scootering… the mechanical section is known as Oily Rag, features ten tools as you can trust in your workshop, there’s a featured scooter club, (Redcar Frontline), and Rally reports… Isle of Wight, York Inset, all with more of a Lambretta owners slant.

One nice feature is a tribute to the late Dave “Iron Arse” Jackson, a reprint of his account of a year on the road in his bid to become LCGB’s best supporting member. He’s not the only one recounting tales of epic journeys on a Lammie, there’s Eden who recounts a tale of the 2011 Coast to Coast ride, lets just say… it wasn’t all plain sailing… or should that be riding. Putting a few more miles on the oddometer was Pete Orchard… who rode his Series One back from Istanbul!

I’ve only just scratched the surface of JetSet’s content… it’s 48 pages packed with Lambretta relevant content. Worth the £21 a year it cost to join the LCGB alone, without all the other benefits you get for joining… (discounted insurance, parts discouts, expert advice, access to the forums etc, etc.)

I haven’t done the other mag, Classic Scooterist Scene yet… as it’s bi-monthly and been out a while, I’ll review it when the next edition comes out.