Group Six racer for the road: JB Tuning race replica | CUSTOM
The scooter-tuning world certainly isn’t what it was a decade or so ago. Until then the usual tuning route for road riding Lambretta owners looking for some extra bolt on power was to fit a TS1 kit. Terry Shepherd’s long-standing top end had enjoyed a 20-year reign by that time. It was pretty much the only useable kit still readily available before the new kids on the block started to arrive. The likes of Rapido, Imola, RT, Casa are mainstream these days. Back then a new big power kit was about to upset the TS1 lovers.
The RB series of kits arrived in 2008 and became the first off-the-shelf kit to rival the legendary TS1, in the power stakes at least. You all know by now the RB kit was just the start of this new wave of tuning parts, Lambretta tuning has gone mental since then with new kits, casings and parts arriving seemingly every week. New parts often proven on the race track before road riders get to use them in anger. In the case of this scooter though it runs an RB 250 based Group Six race engine on the road…
In the world of tuned scooters, bragging rights are almost as important as the latest go-faster gadget, kits or performance enhancing fuel additives. Being able to lay claim to having the quickest scooter, especially amongst members of the banter-fuelled Lambretta Street Racers Facebook page is more important than the size of your penis. Just as well really in many cases.
Talking of cock length, having a road-going Lambretta complete with full on Group Six race engine makes Tik Tester (the owner of this tasty machine), King Dong. Well for the time being at least, because there are plenty more porn stars waiting to take his crown.
Why use a race engine?
Basically because it was available and not being used. Tik had the freshly built 38bhp, John Balcomb built race engine lying around in a cutdown Group Six bike. Tik had planned to go out racing with it but life and time constraints put that plan on the back burner so it seemed a shame to have the engine just sitting there gathering dust. It seemed like a good idea to stick it in a full-bodied GP…
Go hard or go home
The good thing about this scooter though is that it gets ridden and will be ridden hard once that engine has had a few miles to loosen up a bit, it’s a great looking scooter but is no show pony. A few years ago the thought of using a top spec race engine in a rally-going Lambretta was unwise to say the least (although it’s not the first time it’s been done). Advances in components, set up and the resulting reliability (in theory at least) has changed things though. If the scooter is built properly and set up by somebody who knows what they’re doing then it’s not quite as daft as you’d think. This motor churns out 36bhp and 20ft lb. of torque yet will be ridden to rallies next season.
Aside from the big power motor, this racer for the road looks the part as well. Tik asked the permission of JB Tuning to replicate Mikey Bonett’s race paint. A striking and eye-catching colour scheme, whether on the track or road. It’s a metallic Ford Focus ST orange base and it ‘pops’ in the right light. The paintwork was carried out by Dave rose of DRC.
Before that though the GP frame needed some reworking to allow the engine and more importantly its up and over one-off JB race exhaust to exit through the rear side panel.
Drilled and shaved
The legshields were drilled to replicate Mikey Bonett’s race bike (albeit Tik’s holes are bigger than Mikey’s – we told you it’s all about bragging rights). Those holes are an exercise that shaves weight rather than providing any real benefit on the road. That huge cylinder head and air scoop aren’t just for show though. Just as well really because the scooter is running a race spec finless lightened flywheel, good for track use and so far on this machine it seems to work on the road as well.
Lloyd Watts is a talented young fabricator, he built a one-off tank to work with the routing of the exhaust and also strengthened the frame to help cope with the kind of stresses a highly-strung race engine was likely to put through the vintage metal when subjected to the extra horsepower and torque. We do like to give our scooters a much harder time than they were ever designed for. Lloyd also frenched in the toolbox door.
The end result is a mean looking street racer with more than just a fancy paint job to show off about. If you’re looking for power, fun and a bit of excitement you can’t beat a quick scooter. You might be able to buy yourself a good used hyper-fast superbike for less than the price of this engine but you’ll never be able to beat the thrill of riding a quick two-stroke on 10″ wheels. With all the handling characteristics of a well sorted wheelbarrow, a fast scooter certainly makes life much more interesting. Click the video above for a quick listen to it.
A modern bike will never induce that hair-tingling sensation only a well sorted two stroke engine can produce when it’s on song. Whilst ever we can ride machines like this on the road we need to make the most of them because one day in the not too distant future we’ll only have our memories to look back on.
Words and photos: Iggy
Owners name: Tik Tester
Town: Walton on Thames
Club: Virgin Soldiers SC
Scooter name: JB Tuning race replica
Engine details: JB tuned RB250, Casatronic ignition, 62×116 crank, 7-plate clutch, JB one off pipe,
Top speed: Still running in, ask Martin Murray how fast as I left him for dead…
Power output: Was 36bhp on JB’s dyno, 20ft lb of torque
Paintwork: Ford ST orange and blue by Dave Rose, DRC.
One-off parts: Exhaust by JB, tank by Lloyd Watts (Rusty Innovations) and kickstart by Keith Newman.
Fabrication: Work to tank, glovebox door, and frame strengthening by Lloyd Watts.
Accessories: Gamma Tech, SLUK Screen and Taylor Tuning thumb choke.
Acquisition? Swapped the GP minus the engine for a chopper I had
Inspiration? Had my Group 6 cutdown sat there doing nothing as I didn’t have the time to race it. So I thought ‘If I cut a hole there that’ll fit in the GP. I liked Mikey Bonett’s race paint so phoned John at JB to ask if it was ok to use it seeing as he built my motor.
Alteration? I cut the holes in the panels and rear loop and stuck the motor in it. It’s a thoroughbred Group 6 engine.
Perspiration? Always dry build first, as I did.
Recommendation? I’d recommend the services of all involved in the conception of this bike, JB Tuning, Rusty Innovations, DRC Paintshop, Anthony Tambs, SLUK, Keith Newman, JPP for linkages and breathers.
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