Today we celebrate SLUK’s second Birthday.
This time two years ago the results of a long winter of near-solitary confinement were finally unleashed to the world wide web. Myself and Sticky (with the help of a few others behind the scenes) had been busy writing lots of content, learning how to use this new-fangled internet machinery, meeting various web developers and working out what pages, headings, sections and features we’d like to see on a brand new online scooter magazine.
Thanks to our sponsors
We were also learning how to shoot and edit video, a new medium to us (there wasn’t much call for it in the printed magazine world we’d just vacated). We’d also gained the support of some forward-thinking companies who were happy to put their trust in us to deliver something worth staking their companies money on. The likes of Lexham insurance, Rimini Lambretta Centre, Casa Lambretta, Pinasco, Scooter Center Koln, Putoline Oils, The Scooter Republic and Midland Scooter Centre were there from day one. For that we’re eternally grateful.
SLUK had already been a full-time job for the previous three months, a job without any earnings. To get a little bit of cash in helped us to stay afloat. We’d also like to thank some of the current advertisers, VE (UK), Scorpion Exhausts, Supertune, JB Tuning, Ron Daley, Peugeot Scooters, Sip Scootershop.
Remember to use those companies when you’re buying products or services. We’ve also had support from Readspeed, Kymco, Tucano Urbano, Chiselspeed, Silkoline, Yamaha, AF Rayspeed, Retro Tech Racing, South West Scooter Clubs, VFM, Spirit of 84 Scooterists, Scottish Number Ones, Mansfield Monsters/Olympics, Colchester DVLC and Big 7. There will have been a few other companies (sorry if I’ve missed anybody).
Before we launched the website we’d spent a day launching high-powered homemade rockets from a shed built ‘rocket launcher’ bodged on to an old Lui. This contraption was used whilst filming ‘Underdog’ our first SLUK video. You can see the original video above. We ended up using a different version due to music copyright issues.
Around lunchtime on March 7th, 2016 we sat nervously in our web developers office in Worcestershire and pressed the big red button to launch ScooterLab.UK, or SLUK as it’s affectionately known. Our teaser campaign had been gaining traction in the weeks leading up to the big day but pressing that button was a bit of an anti-climax, turning a website on isn’t an instant job so it took a while before people could get their first glimpse of what we’d been up to. Slowly the analytics started to show where we were being seen and the traffic almost ran us over before the end of the day. We’re now read in over 120 countries worldwide.
Our first custom feature was Stef Hall’s very tasty Aquaracer, pictured above. You can revisit that feature here. Steff became the first person to receive one of our prestigious SLUKED laser-cut badges. We also had a big article on PLC Corse and the rebirth of Pinasco. when we launched. As well as various road tests and features on our Modern side. We wanted to split the site between Retro and Modern so that traditional scooter riders didn’t have to sift through the new stuff, whether that’s still a good idea or not I’m not sure?
Other big news at the time was the advent of new Lambretta engine casings. New casings from BSG, Misano, Uni, Gran Turismo and Casa Lambretta arrived, some have gone on to become game changers in the world of Lambrettas. Sticky’s casing wars series kicked off here.
Probably our largest launch after the rockets was our online SLUK Shop, it was never really in the plan but we’re not really into planning. The shop was launched with a few t-shirts and before we knew it we were having various products made for us. Products that we knew would appeal to the average scooterist, and of course work and fit properly. Our screens, SLUK Guards and over 32 SLUK developed plastic products are still evolving and being added to. We also launched the SLUK Clip, an ingenious solution to the age-old Lambretta bridge piece fixing problem.
Aside from our own products we also sell other brands we use ourselves and trust to do what they should do. We’re not bothered about selling cheap stuff that doesn’t work or offer a benefit.
Probably the biggest change over the last two years was last autumn when Sticky left SLUK to research and rewrite his Spanners Manual. The third edition will be ready in a few months, along with a few other products he’s currently developing. He still pops by from time to time and writes articles for us when he gets time, his wife, Tracy was an unsung heroine behind the scenes as well (as was my other half, Linsey for putting up with the first 18 months of us living on bread and dripping).
Who knows where things will go, we launched SLUK as an independent scooterist run alternative to the mainstream scooter media and as a forward-thinking medium to get the latest news out there to the biggest audience FOR FREE, as quickly as possible. We’re continuing with that philosophy.
Thanks to all you SLUKERS around the world for reading our features, liking and sharing our stories, buying our products and the products and services of our advertisers.
I’d like to personally thank you all for believing in us and helping us to grow into the largest online scooter media source in the world. Keep sending in your scooter stories, tips, workshop advice, thoughts and suggestions (email editorial@ScooterLab.UK).
Let’s keep those little wheels rolling…
New products always in development…