NEW Lambretta HT 400 – Fact or fiction? | NEWS
A teaser video has recently surfaced purporting to show a drawing for a large capacity retro scooter sporting Lambretta badges. Sticky looks into whether this may actually arrive in metal, and if not, what a new large Lambretta may actually look like.
What’s in a name?
If you look back at the in-depth articles we wrote in 2016 about the new Lambretta scooters (various features on it here), you may remember that we chose not to comment on the ownership/origins of the Lambretta name as used on a modern scooter.
We haven’t changed our stance since.
What you may also recall is that we didn’t expect the ‘new Lambretta’ to get taken seriously by anyone in the traditional scooter scene until the brand had a scooter to offer that was a rival to the Vespa GTS.
Let’s face it, many aficionados of classic Lambrettas won’t take anything that isn’t 2-stroke or geared seriously; and who can blame them?
Royal Alloy GP 300 LC
But what about everyone else? What about people who like the classic scooter brands but want a fast, practical modern scooter which has elements of the classic scooter style.
If you like Lambretta styling then you have a choice of Scomadi, which currently has a maximum capacity of 200cc or Royal Alloy which has teased, but not yet released, a Piaggio-powered 300. Although it is claimed to be arriving very soon.
Keep it in the family
Today that leaves you with the only option of a Vespa GTS 300. It’s a choice so obvious and without competitor that thousands upon thousands of scooter riders are buying them; whether involved in the scooter scene or simply for daily transport.
With consistent lineage and construction, the Vespa GTS is a true descendant of the first Vespa made in 1946.
Certainly if a Vespa GS died, then the GTS would be there at the will reading to claim an inheritance. You do not need a paternity test to check this blood-line.
What if the GTS had a rival with a historic name?
What if it had a true engine capacity of 300 to 400cc and out-performed the Vespa?
What if it had telescopic forks and twin front disc brakes?
What if it looked as close to a classic Lambretta as a GTS does to the Classic Vespa?
What if new high-performance Lambrettas start to show up on rallies and overtaking everyone on the way there?
Would Scooterists change their opinion about the new Lambretta brand if they offered a traditionally-styled modern scooter that out-gunned the best that Vespa had to offer?
VIDEO | Lambretta HT 400
Lambretta HT400 Rendering Video
An Italian designer called Tommaso D’Amico recently released this video of his drawing of a possible 400 HT Lambretta design. If you look around Tommaso’s Youtube channel you’ll see that he appears to be designing new models of various scooters for the fun of prediction, so don’t put too much faith in his design making it into production as a Lambretta, given that the previous V-series models were penned by the Kiska studio.
However, given that Lambretta have previously promised that there should be a 400cc model coming in the future then it’s not a bad guess on Tomasso’s part. Certainly, the technology required – double front disc brakes and water-cooling radiators – are included. There are 400cc engines that could be made to work – as we tested in the Scomadi 400 demonstrator, so the idea is not impossible.
But essentially this is just a guess as to what a forthcoming large capacity Lambretta MIGHT look like.
What would a large capacity Lambretta be powered by?
If we assume that any new Lambretta continues to be built by Taiwan’s massive SYM (San Yang Motor) enterprise, then you’d expect the motor to come from their range.
SYM have a 400cc 4-valve fuel-injected engine available in the Maxsym 400i which was released in 2013. The actual engine capacity is 399cc and powers the scooter to a claimed 143km/h (89mph). If a derivative scooter was built on that chassis platform then I’m sure it could handle that sort of performance, but the Maxsym runs on large wheels (14-inch rear and 15-inch front) to aid stability at speed. Also the engine is long and very wide.
Can you handle it?
Have you ever wondered why Piaggio have never released a Vespa GTS 400 or 500 when they have engines available off the shelf to do it if they wanted? Personally, I think the answer lies in handling and stability. It will not be easy to make a Vespa that looked right with a 15-inch front wheel and telescopic forks, but these are the sort of parts you’d need to make it safe at 90mph.
I wonder if a new Lambretta brand might come to the same conclusion, and in the interests of maintaining an aesthetically-pleasing wheel size (12 to 13-inches) might instead opt for a smaller capacity engine of around the 300cc mark like Piaggio?
Looking at 300cc models within the SYM range you discover the 280cc CRUiSYM which has a 13″ rear wheel and an engine that makes 27hp. That’s a similar true capacity to the Vespa GTS but with more claimed power.
If this engine was tweaked further to make it a clear capacity and power advantage over the Piaggio 300 used by the Vespa and the Royal Alloy then that wouldn’t massively surprise me.
What would a large capacity Lambretta look like?
In the same way that a Vespa GTS is roughly 20% bigger all over than a PX (to retain the visual proportions), I’d expect a large capacity Lambretta to be similar. Somehow it will require a radiator (or radiators) to be integrated into the design – either twin rads in the legshields like the GTS and Tommaso’s rendering, or underneath the floor like the original Scomadi watercooled models.
My expectation is that the ‘family feel’ of the modern V200 models will be maintained, but the bodywork at the rear will need to be elongated to cover a longer engine and a larger rear wheel.
The new Lambretta brand have previously teased to expect something new and larger capacity at next month’s EICMA show. Whether they can manage to meet this deadline is still to be seen, but we don’t have long to wait.
Is the HT400 actually a new Parilla?
Meanwhile we’ve also heard rumours that the scooter design shown in the video, or something similar to it, may actually form a large capacity model for the Parilla brand which is being revived by Massimo Tartarini (of Italjet fame). The historic Italian Parilla brand is currently being used to market the scooter that was once called the Lambretta LN in Asia.
If that indeed is the case then it’s even more interesting as it’s not an ugly design and if it ever came to market it would form yet another mid-capacity rival to both Vespa and any new Lambretta that we might see at EICMA…
Get your winter kit from the SLUK Shop before it gets too cold and wet