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.

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Find out more on the Buzz website.

Via OffTheClothBoff and Modculture.

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An Aberdonian abroad

The LCAGary sent me some pics of himself and a bunch of mates from Aberdeen… a loose affiliation of lambretta lovers from the Granite City who call themselves the LCA whenever they meet up. This is just a few of the bunch, but there’s some seriously nice scoots there!

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Gary’s currently resident in Vietnam, and scooted up to the Da Nang Rally last month, an excellent run… and looks like there’s a wee bit more sunshine than in Aberdeen, eh Gary?

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.

Miss Saigon

Malaguti SaigonYasin, the guy who correctly identified the mystery scooter as a KTM Ponny, has got an interesting scooter himself… well, actually he’s got a few – a Lambretta J50,  Vespa 50 N, and a “Malaguti Saigon”. And it was the Saigon that piqued my interest. Another 50cc scooter… at a quick glance it could be mistaken for a Lambretta… nice clean lines, more elegant maybe than a J-Range Lammie.

SONY DSCMalaguti Saigon (green) DSC03447 SONY DSC Malaguti is another marque with a proud Italian heritage. Founded in 1930 in San Lazzaro di Savena,in the province of Bologna. Starting out making bike frames, Malaguti soon diversified into mopeds and the small, lightweight, single cylinder motorcycles the Italians were so good at. So when the scooter boom started in the 50’s, the company were well placed to take advantage of this. Rather than purely focus on the domestic market, Malaguti exported the majority of it’s scooters… with over 70% of the factories production going to Vietnam… including the scooter shown… which soon gained the nickname “Saigon” …although this was never an official company name.

So, that’s the brief history of these little lightweight scoots… one of many Italian marques that diversified into scooters, but in my opinion one of the prettiest, and one that deserves a little more recognition.

Yasin kindly sent me some pics of his Saigon (below) , and I admit, I’m a little jealous of his elegant little scoot. It looks in excellent original condition… original paint and even a dealer sticker on the front mudguard. Lovely. It’s clearly not complete… but not too far off… missing the sidepanels and rear light, a front fork cover, and some horncasing trim by the look of it… so if you’ve got access to a cache of Malaguti parts, let me know and I’ll pass the details on to Yasin. It looks pretty good without the panels imho… although you’d be hard pushed to get much more than a couple of litres in that tiny fuel tank… which would limit your range a little!

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Malaguti are still in business today, and still a family owned company, and, although they ceased vehicle production in 2011, they still deal with spare parts, accessories and after sales service. Unfortunately for Yasin, I think his “Siagon” may be a little too long out of production for any spare parts to still be knocking round the factory!

One final thought, I know I’ve got readers in Vietnam, and Lambrettas and Vespas are immensely popular out there… but is anyone riding a Siagon in Vietnam? Even perhaps in Siagon? And if your are, have you got any spare panels for Yasin?Malaguti logo

Malaguti Website

Thanks to Riccardo at Malaguti for the updated information.

Coming soon… an electric Lambretta!

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Right, I don’t know much about this, just found these great pics over at Basque Radical Mods blog. Eminating from the Saigon Scooter Centre, there appears to be an electric Lambretta in the offing.

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Now I’ve blogged about electric Lambretta’s before… here’s one in development over at Soundspeed Scooters… but there doesn’t seem to have been much movement on that lately. Then there was the EcoLa, and despite sounding like a food poisoning bug, this was a bit more promising, a Model D rigged to run on batteries. 

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The Ebretta from Saigon Scooter Centre seems a different kettle of fish… a prodcut that you can actually buy. Contrary to some horror stories coming out of Vietnam, the Siagon Scooter Centre seems to have buit a good reputation for the quality of their scoots, their retsorations and their innovative products… so I’d expect the Ebretta would be quality machine. It certainly looks the part in the pictures. f you are one of those sad, misguiged people who would rather put their leg over a Vespa, it looks like they cater for you guys too; Based on a PX, they are calling it a V-tronic. But then again, if Vespa’s are your thing I doubt you’d be reading this blog. 

There is always going to be a majority of classic Lambretta riders who will perfer a geared, two-stroke powered scooter. But, if you’re an eco warrio Lambretta fan who’s in the market for a new scooter, and aren’t convinced by the syling of the LN, LS and LJ models, this might be ticking your boxes. 

Watch this space, and I’ll keep you posted when I find out any more information. Rumour has it, Scootering magazine will be running a feature with full specs etc, but if I hear anything before they go to press, I’ll let you know.

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Saigon Scooter Centre’s Facebook page

Lambretta’s and Vespa’s in Vietnam

It’s been a while since I posted, ant to be honest, a couple of weeks since I’ve ridden my scoot. Spanners out at the weekend, fitting a new kickstart assembly. Wish me luck.

Here’s a nice little feature from a Vietnamese TV show on the scootering/restoration scene. Unless you can speak Vietnamese, forget the commentary, and just enjoy the movie. It kicks off with some film of Saigon back in the day, a very cosmopolitan and sophisticated place by the look of it. It then goes on to feature the work of the Saigon Scooter Centre, and some very nice Lammies. A very nice S2 at 7:18!

After about 8 mins there’s some nice footage of VW bug and bus restos, stick with it if your a fan of the Vespa Ape, as the program finishes on that. Nice.

Via The Scooterist blog.

Lambretta LN on a shopping trip in Vietnam…

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Glamourous Vietnamese Lambretta girl Mai Chi on a shopping trip with the new Lambretta LN. In our eurocentric world we sometimes forget just how big a market South East Asia is for the new Lambretta, from some of the buzz online, it almost seems to be their lead market. 

Via LambrettaFace

Lambretta LN lands in Vietnam

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Here in the UK, we sometimes get a bit of a “brit-centric’ view of the world, and scootering in general. And despite it’s obvious Italian origins, and the fact that it was never manufactured in the UK, we feel a certain “ownership” of the Lambretta brand. We love it more than anybody else. Except perhaps the Italians. And of course the Spanish. And the Germans. Ok, the Dutch, French, Swiss, Swedes… you get the picture. But maybe only half the picture… what about the US? There’s a huge scene out there. And Brasil, Chile, Argentina… But one place I hadn’t expected the Lambretta to be quite so popular is the far East… It’s held in high regard across Malaysia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam… as can be seen if you follow the reaction to the launch of the new Lambretta LN in Vietnam recently. And either the design is growing on me, or the photographer is rather talented… I’ve never seen the LN looking better than in these shots. I suspect a bit of both.