An Italian scooter, built and ridden by a German owner with plenty of go-faster goodies, oodles of gold plating and an eye-catchingly different paint job.
Brown Sugar – how come you taste so good?
Thanks to Bastian Geheimnis for getting in touch with us about this tasty little number. It might not be the first time you’ve seen Brown Sugar but like many custom scooters it’s still evolving.
In fact Bastian was still making changes to it on the day he sent the photos in and he’s not finished yet.
Aside from the BMW paint, unique murals and lashings of 24 karat gold garnishing this scooter, it also has some trickery beneath the panels. As well as a few one-off modifications, clever detailing and stylish finishing touches. Not to mention the 1950s style pin-up model who accompanies it and of course the stunning photography by scooterist Aly RockZ (additional photos by Marcus Broix).
Legislation and aggravation
As you probably know, German regulations are quite strict when it comes to modifying a scooter.
Bastian told us about the process to get the scooter past strict German TUV testing.
“Due to the fact that my scooter had a Lusso frame from 1991, I had no chance of getting an MOT here in Germany. I searched everywhere and eventually found someone in Munich that had an authorised frame. I’d only just been to Munich to have the motor fitted, so I was faced with the prospect of having to drive all that way again.
“Luckily for me a friend of the seller drove him up with the new frame. I received a message in the middle of the night that they would be arriving at a motorway stop close to my home in approximately 30 minutes.
“So off I went to meet them there! At that time of night, there were a lot of strange people around, and just as we began loading the frame into my car, the police showed up! They searched us all including our cars, but it all worked out ok in the end.
“Two weeks later I was able to take my scooter for the MOT and get it registered.”
As is quite ‘normal’ in Europe the basis for this scooter was actually a PX80, rather than the usual PX125/200 that are more common place in the UK. Even so, this scooter was never going to be kept standard.
The PX80 engine was used, along with a PX200 transmission, whilst a Quattrini M1X cylinder sorted the top end out, linked nicely to an S&S 62-stroke bell crank, BGM superstrong clutch, Tassinari Vforce 4 reedblock, Vespatronic ignition and a whole load of other power-inducing goodies.
You can read the full engine spec later on but just to give you a bit of an insight, this engine is said to produce 42bhp and can do 150 kmh (93mph). That’s a bit more than your average PX80 but with power also comes pain…
Up to yet the crank has failed and been replaced and the clutch backplate also failed. You can’t put a price on adrenaline though and usually fun two-strokes and oily fingers go hand-in-hand together.
We’ll get to the paint and finishes shortly but before all that Bastian needed to sort out the front end as it sat higher than he’d like.
5 centimetres were cut out of the forks in a delicate operation. Marcel Becker was responsible for that precision engineering and the fabrication job on those was a work of art in itself. Check the gallery out for close ups…
Making best use of the dropped front end, Bastian used a short 185mm YSS front shock to slam it as far as possible. The PX mudguard was also stripped back, had it’s troublesome crest removed, was strengthened underneath and de-seamed. A T5 mudguard would have had the same effect, but why make things easy?
The handlebars were dropped and the top cover sorted to match by the owner. Body mods were finished off by filling the autolube hole and cutting the panels 80s style to show off the bling that would come later.
Sweet but no candy
Paintwork can be an evolution and isn’t always how you envisaged it at the start of a project. Bastian had his mind set on candy red, a nice enough colour but not exactly unusual. That choice changed when he went to meet Tim Tailor…
Leader not a follower
“I chose not to follow any particular style or colour scheme. I only thought about which colour to go for when I actually went to get it sprayed. I initially chose the colour Candy Dark Red, but it ended up brown. That was a good choice in the end as it harmonises perfectly with the gold.”
Did somebody mention gold?
There’s plenty of the shiny stuff on this scooter and it’s the real McCoy. Proper 24 karat, not the cheapest option and for many an ostentatious choice of brightwork. Sometimes though you need to go with what your heart wants, on this occasion it works very well and complements the BMW B09 Marrakesch metallic paint perfectly. Sweet.
That list of gold plating includes the kickstart, choke lever, carburettor top, flywheel cover, rims, various visible screws and nuts, the rear light and indicator surrounds. Whilst the oil and petrol caps, seat base and custom speedo face are all done in gold leaf.
Show it off
An engine is usually the last thing people want to see but when it’s covered in gold, dripping in exotic tuning parts and looks as good as this one why would you want to hide it?
Bastian is so proud of the engine that he had it recreated by Tim on the panels, look from afar and you could easily mistake it for the real deal, look a bit closer though and you’ll see it’s an airbrushed statement of intent.
Like everything else on this scooter the paintwork is finished to perfection. Bastian has trodden his own path and brought fresh ideas to make Brown Sugar stand out from the crowd.
It just shows with some creative expression, forward planning and attention to detail a custom scooter doesn’t have to follow the same old formula to be a success. Originality, like the airbrushed engine on the panels is something new and it works very well.
The Germans are still leaders when it comes to innovation, originality and creativity in the world of street racers.
Not all street racers are created equal though, but if you think yours is better, faster, unique or more interesting we’d love to see it. So would the 300,000 readers who’ve visited SLUK so far.
Photos: Andreas Reinhold & Marcus Broix
Brown Sugar – Specifications
Scooter name: Brown Sugar
Model: Vespa PX80
Engine details: Vespa PX 80 engine with PX 200 transmission, Quattrini M1X cylinder, Nord Speed M1X exhaust, S&S 62-stroke bell crankshaft, MRP manifold, Tassinari Vforce 4 reed block, Keihin PWK 35 Airstriker carb, Vespatronic ignition, CNC flywheel, Ram Air filter, SIP fastflow fuel tap
Top speed: 150kmh
Power output: 42bhp
Paintwork: BMW Marrakesh brown by Tim Tailor
One-off parts: Forks, drops, speedo
Fabrication: Marcel Becker, Blechbecker, forks and mudguard
Coatings & finishes: Tim Tailor for his stunning airbrush work
Acquisition? Bought in a ‘dodgy deal’ on the motorway
Inspiration? I chose not to follow others
Alteration? Cutting, shortening & slamming
Perspiration? Getting it legal and on the road…
Aggravation? Some engine problems but they’re to be expected
Celebration? Due to my present workload, I unfortunately don’t get to attend so many shows but here are some of the awards the scooter won. 2014 1st place Scooter Centre custom show – Best street racer, 2013 1st place Max Power, Dynotest Classic Days Scooter Centre, 2013 2nd place photography competition. It’s also had multiple photo shoots (some my own and some professional), multiple articles in a number of different magazines.
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