Addiction is a remarkable 1958 Lambretta Li Framebreather; customised by owner Bryan and powered by a CamLam-prepared 250 Targa Twin.
This unmistakable blur on the seafront in Whitby came closer and closer. Now it was in sight, truly chunky in deep candy red with the distinctive howl of a two-stroke twin cylinder; Bryan’s Li Series One Targa Twin. He has had it for ages: ‘I bought the scooter in 1985 for six quid. A local lad who was still at school had it. God knows where he got it from. I haggled him down from a tenner! It was a box of bits but 90 percent of it was there.’
‘I had no money at the time to restore it. I had a PX so all my money went into attending the rallies on it. I remember the legshields were solid but a bit tatty and one of the corners was broken off on the horncast.
‘It being the eighties and me being stupid I threw both of them in the bin thinking I would replace them with new ones. I can still picture folding the legshields in half to get them to fit in the wheelie bin. Fast forward 30 years and I’m spending almost of 500 quid to replace them. I cringe every time I think of it.’
Today Bryan works around the world in the gas and oil industry, which allows for sufficient funds and enough time to finally tackle this custom project. The result speaks for itself yet it certainly polarises opinion; not everybody likes the double headlight combination courtesy of a Series Two headset or the sprung solo saddles. He calls that the ‘Marmite’ effect.
The most exceptional part of this scooter is the power train though. It being a once-in-a-lifetime operation, Bryan decided on an uncompromising, no-money-spared alternative; the twin cylinder 250 Targa Twin made by Tino Sacchi in Italy. This exclusive engine doesn’t come cheap though; he paid £6,700 to buy it, plus another two grand to have it set-up.
Trevor from Cambridge Lambretta explained why customers want additional work carried out on their engines rather than just using them straight out of the crate: ‘When we got the first Targa Twin, our tuner Charlie Edmonds managed to develop it and squeeze the full potential out of it; an amazing 27 bhp at the rear wheel. If people want that kind of power out of an absolutely reliable engine they come to us and usually spend one and a half to three grand. These motors will be checked over, leak tested, set up correctly and reliably upgraded.’
Naturally, we didn’t forget to ask Bryan for his verdict: ‘If anyone does have the spare cash and they are toying with the idea of a Targa Twin, but can’t decide, then I would thoroughly recommend going for it. You only live once and if you love your scooters then owning the ultimate engine is a must.’
Owners name: Bryan Breckenridge
Scooter name: Addiction
Model: Li Series 1 Framebreather
Inspiration? I’ve promised myself for almost 30 years that I would someday get it on the road. It’s been stored all that time in various sheds and garages, my mother’s spare room (not popular), my spare room (when I eventually got one).
I had no money when I got it, then I joined the Royal Navy so was away most of the time. Then I went to university so no money again, then I went travelling. Finally, I have a job with good money and plenty of time. So it was now or never.
Alteration? As you can see it has an extra headlight. A Marmite effect they call it. People love it or people hate it. I f*ckin’ love it.
Perspiration? Getting things to fit. I tried to buy original parts but some of the bodywork parts are reproductions. My advice: Try to avoid eBay! I bought three front mudguards before I got one that was okay and even then it had to be fettled. Same with the glove box; what a nightmare that was.
I built the scooter myself. Apart from the engine every nut and bolt was tightened by me.
Aggravation? What really aggravates me is the price of things. Reproduction parts would be a decent value for money if they’d bloody fit right. As for original parts, Jeezo! I bought the plastic insert that the rear grille screws into – an original – it cost over a hundred quid! You can’t even see it! I think that this is leading to the increasing trend in scooter thefts we are now seeing. These bastards know they can strip them down and sell them as parts. I had a loop welded on the underneath of the frame to put a bike chain through.
Engine details: Targa Twin 250. Words can’t describe just how good this engine is once it’s set up right and out on the open road. Sounds fantastic, super smooth, a blur through the gears and a respectable top end. It is expensive (8000 Euros) which worked out at the time to £6700, followed by almost another two grand to get it set up. They are advertised as plug ‘n’ play but, unless you are shit hot with engines, this is not so. Not in my case anyway. There were a number of things wrong that I would never have found and the engine was close to some serious damage if it hadn’t been spotted. Now though; it’s running like a very good dream. All the engine work was done by the Targa wizards at Cambridge Lambretta – superb service. It was put through its paces on the dyno by Charlie Edmonds.
Top speed: Around 80mph. I plan to have the engine blueprinted next winter which should add a bit more to the top end. To be honest though, 80 is plenty. I think if the scooter wasn’t as heavy as a tank it would go quicker.
Power output: 22-23 bhp (tested on a Factory Pro step tester rolling road)
Paintwork: Done by Pete Gavey from Pete’s Panel & Paint who are located in Yarm near Darlington. I explained to him what I was looking for and he came back with an absolutely fantastic job – top bloke, too. He also did a lot of the bodywork prep, i.e. filling holes and rust damage, and getting things to fit. The paint is a very deep cherry red, or wine, over a subtle silver metalflake which only comes out with the sun.
Accessories: LTH hydraulic reservoir, this is a really tidy bit of kit and works great. Chas Speed stainless oil tank. Taylor Tuning handle bar choke. I installed this choke to fix issues I had with the scooter starting. Setting up the cables, because it uses a splitter, using the standard choke was a bitch. I couldn’t get the plungers on the carb to lift high enough. It’s a bit embarrassing bump starting an 8000 Euro engine. Now though it works perfectly and starts first kick. PM Tuning stainless front forks. The front end was set up by Frank Sanderson who fitted the dampers and installed a standard looking outboard disc brake hub. I’m going to add some gadgets to it in the winter like a rev counter, a gear change light, an EGT and a head temp gauge. Stuff like that. Need to add a fuel gauge too. It’s a thirsty beast and that’s with a 14 litre tank. Ran out once and couldn’t for the life of me get it started again. Lost a stone bumping it in full riding kit – turns out the jets were blocked.
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