Regular SLUK readers will know that there’s been a lot going on in the retro automatic scooter market in the past year with Scomadi, Royal Alloy (Royalloy or R.A, depending on the week) and now ‘new Lambretta’ entering the mix.
If you’ve missed it, read our latest Clone Wars article to get yourself up to speed.
Rain stops play
For Scomadi’s UK operations, the ongoing saga has simply meant that they haven’t had any scooters to sell for 7 months; which naturally also affects dealers who need to make a living. Hopefully, there will be a little more clarity on the situation with a court case scheduled to take place towards the end of September 2017.
Meanwhile, in Lancashire
In a bid to prove that they haven’t been sitting on their hands in the meantime, Frank and Paul from Scomadi invited us up to their Lancashire HQ to show Iggy and I their latest developments. We also got to try a few on the road, including the much-anticipated prototype of a 400cc Scomadi.
VIDEO | Scomadi 125 2-valve vs 4-valve
New 125cc 4-valve water-cooled prototype
Essentially, this is a 125cc version of the current TL200 water-cooled model. The 125 is based on the same 4-valve Rotax/Aprilia-based engine as used on the BMW C1 etc. It’s easy to identify thanks to the radiator-mounted in a scoop under the bodywork.
This fuel-injected engine makes just under 12hp at the rear wheel, which is around 30% more power than the standard 2-valve TL125 and bang on the maximum learner limit. Admittedly, this is a prototype that Paul has set-up perfectly on the dyno, but if the production ones are nearly as crisp then Walkers need to worry. The Prawn Cocktail don’t stand a chance.
What this means in the real world is a new Scomadi 125 that’s a real 10mph or so faster on most occasions than its air-cooled brother. Up to 30mph there didn’t seem to be a massive difference between the two, but beyond that, the 4-valve motor lifts its skirt and really gets its skates on. We saw 64mph on the digital speedo with enough power for more if the gearing was taller. The prototype was already wearing a 130-section rear tyre in place of the standard 120 to give it more top speed.
The bad news is that the 125 water-cooled is likely to cost almost as much as the 200 because it is a much more expensive engine to buy in than the 2-valve air-cooled lump.
How soon it will arrive is another question…
New speedo & headset
This was out first chance to see the latest generation Scomadi headset destined for the Thai-produced TT models. This is a completely cast aluminium headset bottom with a plastic top containing a new speedometer to replace the occasionally troublesome one on the previous Scomadi models.
This speedo face is larger and clearer than the old version, and comes with all the icons needed for Euro-4 (engine management and ABS etc).
The headlight contains two strips of daytime running LEDs with a halogen bulb in the centre. Unlike the TL headlight surround – which was roughly rectangular like the Lambretta GP – this one has a ‘thruppeny-bit’ SX-style top, but still with a flat headset bottom. It’s a bit of an odd shape, but overall I think I prefer it. Certainly it seems more like the Scomadi is gaining its own style and personality rather than borrowing so heavily on the past.
New ‘CBS’ linked brake system
One of the requirements for Euro 4 compliance for over-125cc scooters and bikes is to have an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), while below 125cc machines can make do with a Combined Brake System (CBS); which is much cheaper to implement.
The 2-valve test bike featured a very simple iteration of CBS using a 3-piston sliding front brake caliper. On this machine the right brake works as normal operating the two outside pistons of the front brake. The left lever operates not only the rear brake, but also the central of the three pistons via a linked brake hose.
This is an economical way to comply with the new regulations allowing lazy riders to do almost all of their slowing down using the left lever alone. Personally I’d much prefer to have proper ABS, but that adds around £200 to the cost of a vehicle which is still a big deal at this end of the market.
New slimline steel bodywork
One of the few developments we weren’t able to see in the flesh is the new, steel bodywork for the Thai-produced TT model. This is more SX-styled with indents at the rear of the sidepanels which Frank and Paul say make it a much slimmer machine.
New electric prototype
Scomadi already displayed a primitive hub-drive electric model at Milan show a few years ago, but time and technology have moved on rapidly since then. Currently they are working with a British University on a new prototype with a belt-drive system, twin removable batteries and regenerative braking.
When for new models?
This is the million dollar question and one that they really can’t answer at the moment.
Scomadi are gearing-up for a busy show in Milan this winter. This will be their first exhibition of Thai-produced models. My overall impression is that they want to get the legal action settled before concentrating on the 2018 selling season in Europe with fresh new machines. Until that point they are limited to what they can or cannot say.
At least the company’s focus on improving product quality with respect to materials and engine performance all bodes well for the future. The 125cc 4-valve reinforces Scomadi’s original position as a sporting scooter brand, but it’s really the 400cc model – the biggest ever retro scooter – that most people will be excited about.
Read about our Scomadi 400 test here.
Words and photos: Sticky
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