Some may say that knowledge is power. But in the world of scooters, it is the knowledge that creates the power.
Let’s make no bones about this; Lumpy Lee likes a fast, powerful scooter. Lee also likes the kind of powerful scooter that JB Tuning delivers. Proven on the race track, built for the road, Lee is slowly creating his own street-legal squad of JB Tuned Lambrettas that perform as well as they look. And they all look pretty stunning too, I might add.
For Lee, scooters are more about the riding pleasure than anything else and after a hard day’s graft he wants to treat himself to something he can enjoy to the max. This here is his second Series 2, and his second Spanish Lambretta come to that.
However, this is also quite a rare scooter in the grand scheme of things, it being the fabled Winter Model. As you may well have spotted, it features an SX style headlight and speedometer on a special Series 2 headset produced at the factory in Eibar, Spain.
Approximately 15,000 Winter Models were produced in total (Li 125, Li150 and TV175 versions) from 1963 to 1964, bridging the gap in the Spanish Lambretta range between the regular Series 2 and Li Series 3 models.
Attention to detail
As well as liking something a little different, Lee has a good eye for detail. This is something that he shares with both JB Tuning, with regards to the overall build, and the scooter’s painter Joe Hatch at Brewster Motors.
Painted inside and out
You may not catch it all at first glance, but take a second and third look to notice the painted rear runner strips, detailing on the headset, and the black painted lip along the bottom of the unique Spanish horn-casting, for example.
Then there’s the inside of the side panels. I mean, how often do you see them painted with such detail? Not that Lee expects to be taking the panels off much of course, except when cleaning his scooter.
As has been said in the past by wise men and women, if you entrust your scooter to a dealer, then it pays to listen to their advice and follow them to the letter. A good tuner won’t suggest things just for the sake of it, there will always be a reason.
Equally, don’t be cutting corners to save a few quid because a package is not complete if one or two parts are missing. Lee sat down with John Balcomb at JB Tuning and told him what he wanted and listened to John’s knowledgeable response, advising him how best to achieve it.
JBT are not only Lee’s local scooter shop, but also the UK’s Casa Performance main agent and so through them he had been eagerly watching the development of the Casa Performance engine casings and kits. As such, Lee knew where he wanted to start, yet he also knew that simply bolting on a tuning kit would not be enough to satisfy his lust for bhp, no matter how good it was to begin with.
JB Tuning were therefore commissioned to modify a run-of-the-mill Casa SS225 kit and Casa Case, in the search for even more power, opening them both up as far as possible within the constraints that the stud pattern would allow. Together with the Casa Case-specific 64/120 crank, the engine’s capacity is now 248cc. And just to clear things up too, this is not a Casa SS250 kit, but a JB Tuning special 248cc engine, built around Casa Performance components.
Now it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to notice that the search didn’t stop with the porting tool either. JB also fitted a water-cooled head to the modified SS225 cylinder, an MB part that was subsequently machined to JB Tuning’s road-race spec. The advantages of a liquid-cooled engine are that tolerances in the top end can be reduced as cooling is more controllable than simply relying on air-cooling alone, thus squeezing out a little more performance from the motor.
Lee sourced a radiator to suit the scooter, which was then modified and plumbed in, JB managing to fit most of the hardware discreetly away below the scooter’s floor.
Race honed tech
In the same way that cars and motorcycles use the racetrack to develop parts that eventually end up on production vehicles, JB Tuning also transfer their success against the chequered flag into their showroom. Items like the flywheel for the CasaTronic ignition system have been machined to their race spec and also the 6-plate BGM clutch, which is now a quick-release 10 spring item following experience on the track.
Other modified parts include the Casa SS inlet which now hosts a V-Force 3-reed valve from a Yamaha Banshee and mates to a 39.5mm Dellorto carburettor. Oh and there is a one-off JB Tuning exhaust. Developed exclusively for JB’s modified Casa engine, that again evolved from an exhaust JB used on their racing Lambrettas during 2016 and worked so well that one was shipped back to Italy for Casa Performance to take a closer look at themselves.
What does all this mean in numbers that you can discuss down the pub? The accompanying graph (in the gallery) shows Lee’s Winter Model Lambretta with a peak power of 39.5hp at 10,580 rpm, and maximum torque of 20.55 ft/lb at 9830rpm. To put that into perspective, a standard Li 150 Series 2 was originally quoted as producing 6.5hp and a GP200 as producing 11.9hp.
In fact, before you do the maths, on the day of the photo-shoot, John put it on the dyno again after fitting their new JBT road exhaust. Using that pipe at slightly fewer revs achieved 41bhp with just over 23ft/lb of torque, which is good figure when it comes to Lambretta dyno power. It also suggests that there is more to come once fully run-in and finely tuned.
Oh and it also explains the rather tasty Casa Performance double disc brake on the front and the neat OilTek single rear disc. Together with decent suspension at either end, these ensure that once out enjoying himself, Lee can ride it to the max and know that the machine beneath him will both corner and stop as required.
And the 5-speed Cyclone gearbox? If you’ve ever had the pleasure of riding a Lambretta fitted with such a luxury you’ll understand exactly what I mean when I say it simply enhances the whole experience for you. Sweet, man.
As I said earlier, if you trust your dealer’s knowledge and experience then let them complete the job from start to finish. It may not be the cheapest solution, but the right dealer will be able to build you a scooter that ensures you ride it with a large Cheshire cat-like grin on your face!
If you have an interesting scooter that you’d like seen first on SLUK, please get in touch
Scooter name: 248cc Winter Wonder
Model: Eibar Lambretta Li 150 Winter Model
Engine details: Heavily ported Casa Case, heavily ported Casa Performance SS225 kit, modified MB liquid-cooled head to JB road-race spec, BGM water pump, Casa 64/120 crank, Casatronic ignition with flywheel modified to JB race spec, RLC Cyclone 5-speed gearbox, BGM 6-plate clutch modified to quick-release 10 spring JBT race spec, 39.5mm Dellorto race carb, V-Force reed block with modified Casa SS inlet manifold, one-off JB Tuning exhaust pipe to suit.
Power output: 39.5bhp (41bhp with JB exhaust)
Paintwork: Joe Hatch at Brewster Motors
Fabrication: JB Tuning
Owner: Lumpy Lee
Acquisition? Bought to add to my street-legal JB Lambrettas
Inspiration? Seeing the new breed of engine developments and a need for speed
Alteration? Fitting liquid-cooling plumbing sympathetically
Aggravation? The attention to detail
Celebration? Achieving the end goal of a very fast, head-turning scooter
Thanks? John and Mikey at JB Tuning, Joe for the paintwork
Words/photos/video: Andy Gillard