Without a doubt, the star of the EICMA show for me was the restyled, brand new for 2019 Italjet Dragster. It would have been easy for Italjet to wheel out a slightly restyled Dragster (again this year) like they have at previous shows. Mildly tweaked updates to an already iconic modern classic are one thing and are always going to be risky with ‘original’ die-hard Dragster fans.
Reinventing the Dragster from the ground up is an even riskier strategy but Massimo Tartarini, the man behind Italjet and the designer for this new machine wasn’t phased. He told us this morning that…
I have Dragster inside my blood. It would have been too easy to just recreate the past but it needed something more…”
I have to agree with him. This takes the 1999 machine, which in itself was a stunning creation and brings it firmly into the 21st century, where once again it will cause a stir, unleash passion and win fans, both old and new. This is what the scooter world has been crying out for, something different. Something to be excited about, something to make people want to get on to two wheels, a scooter worthy of a poster to stick behind your bedroom door (even at my age I’d have one).
Lamborghini good looks
One thing is for sure, Massimo has turned his dream into a production-ready model. It may have taken a few years, and plenty of broken promises but it looks like this time, the Italian who cried wolf in the past will finally see this stunning machine come to life. I heard it described as ‘The Lamborghini of the scooter world’ today by a Dutch scooter distributor. He’s not far wrong either. The more you look at this scooter, the more you realise (from a design point of view) just how far above everything else it stands. This rips up the scooter design rulebook and blows the current modern crop of cloned-lookalike scooters into the weeds.
This is more than just sticking some well moulded plastic bodywork onto an ugly steel frame. This is a geometric creation, its steel trellis frame is well thought out, looks stunning and there are details to look at everywhere. You just know that this scooter will look as cool as SLUK parked up, it’ll fit in and be accepted on rallies, a scooter to bridge gaps – just like the original. People won’t be able to walk past it, kids will want to steal it. Ladies will throw their bras at you as you ride by, and female Dragster owners will be swamped by middle-aged fat balding men. Yes folks, the Italjet Dragster is well and truly back. Destined for an early summer 2019 launch we’ll be glad to swing a leg over one as soon as Italjet let us go over to try it out.
Massimo told us that the aluminium front steering arm is interchangeable with the original Dragster, that will please lots of owners who struggle to keep their scooters on the road, thanks to failed steering bushes. Original Dragster owners will also be pleased with the larger 12″ front tyre. The old 11″ made tyre choice (or lack of it to be precise) tricky. The fat 120-70 x 12″ front and 150-70 x 13″ section rear tyres look huge. I had to double check the specs to see I’d read them correctly. All the details, the lights, the seat, suspension, clocks, even the indicators look well thought out, well put together and are nicely finished.
Right, don’t shoot the messenger, we all know you want a 350cc, maybe a 400? Perhaps a 500? Massimo told us the engines are Aprilia derived, 4-valve, 4-stroke lumps in both 125cc and 200cc variants (as used by Scomadi, although the Italjet uses liquid-cooled engines, as opposed to air-cooled so power is good). Naturally there will also be an electric version later on. There will be no two-stroke option (as you’d expect), so put your oil bottles back in the garage and if 200cc isn’t big enough for you it’s tough luck.
Engine: 4-stroke, 4-valve, liquid -cooled
Power: 125cc 14.9bhp/200cc
Torque: 125cc 9.2ft lbs @7750rpm/200cc 12.5lbs @6250rpm
Brakes: 125cc CBS (Combined brake System), 200cc ABS
Weight: 125cc 108kg, 200cc 112kg
Price: 125cc €4500, 200cc €4800