New Vespa & Lambretta Tech @ Scooterist Meltdown | NEWS
Continuing our report on what was hot in the halls at Kalkar, we look at the new classic scooter parts from other stands.
If you want to talk about product testing then the CP and RLC team pushed the boat out once more with their #breakdownparty ride over the Alps, once more using Lambretta Vega and Lui models to test all the production parts they’ve now developed for the Casa One35 kits. These include crankshafts, clutches, ignitions and 5-speed gearboxes, all ridden from Italy in sideways blizzards.
Along with the Italian contingent was Scotty Muir from Glasgow riding Dean Orton’s butt-ugly Avanti Kelvinator.
Kelvin was equipped with a new kit that Casa Performance are in the midst of developing. The 770 is their own piston-ported 225 kit (he 200cc smallblock version is called ‘766’). One of the prototype 770 barrels was fitted to Scotty’s pig-a-moose ride for development purposes while another was on display on the stand. The target with this kit is to tackle the main market with a powerful Italian-made proposition. The barrel itself has more ports than Singapore – 7 transfers in total – which along with the bore size explains the name.
At this stage the specific port timings and other details are still to be finalised. This will be a new entry in an already overcrowded market as my forthcoming book – The Complete Spanners Lambretta Kit Book – will reveal later this year.
Another main-market product due soon from the CP stable is the 7-plate Powermaster X33 clutch to fit standard Lambretta engine casings. Unlike the Powermaster for use with the CasaCover side casing, this one does not feature any additional cush-drive. There simply isn’t room in a standard motor for a cush-drive and 7-plates.
The X33 clutch boasts cassette construction, so the clutch can be fitted whole rather than needing a compressor. It also has needle roller bearings both in the clutch centre and also in the central thrust disc to minimise wear. Unlike some competing designs the Powermaster is available to fit both LI and GP-style side casings.
LAMBRETTA UPGRADE ENGINE FRENZY
It seems like everyone is jumping on the complete engine upgrade bandwagon these days rather than trying to squeeze more power from overstressed original casings.
As yet, the Targa Twin remains the only commercially-available twin-cylinder classic engine on sale, but it’s recently been upgraded beyond its current 275cc capacity and Tino has now developed special reedvalve cylinders with Boyesen ports that have resulted in a massive leap in power. As ever, the Targa retains its unique features of excellent engine balance and a Banshee-like wailing engine note.
Simonini paraglider cylinders are becoming very popular as a basis for air-cooled conversion engines. The 230cc Mini Evo engine runs a 70mm bore and a 60mm stroke crank so it lends itself to scooter conversions. The cylinder does fit under a cowling once the fins have been machined from square to round, so fan cooling is still viable. With air-worthy reliability and a claimed 33hp @8,000rpm it’s got ‘touring kit’ written all over it.
German CNC-machining experts KR Automation had on sale their billet Lambretta replacement engines with crankcase reed designed to accommodate the Italian flying barrels.
The same is true of MMW’s new Killercase – see article on SLUK – which is another billet CNC offering being used by builders such as Kevin Becker as the basis of a Lambretta touring motor, using either box exhausts or expansion chambers.
Both of these solutions use crankcase reed induction as there’s no inlet on the Simonini barrel.
With so much choice on offer it’s almost bewildering to know where to start.
When it comes to peak power outputs for sprinting, Lambrettas are currently a long way behind the Vespa creations of the likes of Italian nutters BFA – with their 306 – and Kingwelle’s insane belt-driven rotary disc valve creations.
I stumbled outside to follow the SIP lads at they ran their ‘Something Special’ metalflake creation to a run of over 70hp. To be honest, when it hit the powerband it sounded bloody scary. Lots of people think they’d like to ride a lightweight 70hp scooter. Far fewer are actually capable of doing so without their remains needing to be hoovered off the sprint track.
If you wanted more evidence of how extreme this performance arms-race has become, you only need to look at the specially cast Zerstorer (Destroyer) sprint barrels on the Kingwelle stand. Zerstorer are also responsible for the disc-valve inlet system fitted to the back of the engine.
All this extreme metal is developed for the German DBM sprint racing championships. Mere mortals need not concern themselves with these goods.
Not all the technical insanity is for sport.
Scooter & Service, now based outside Hamburg after an abortive attempt to move their Vespa tuning and customising business to Spain, continue to produce outstanding automotive sculptures based around Piaggio’s wonderful Wasp.
Their Superlow series of customs now includes the SLA 300 based on the BFA306 engine in a PX chassis modified to look like a VNB and all made quiet enough to be legal for the German roads. It features every trick Vespa part under the sun, including Motorino Diavolo’s sequential gearchange. Do not ask the price, just text Wolle your bank account password and a message stating “please help yourself”…
BACK IN THE REAL WORLD
Items of exotica are well and good, but what about products for sensible money for the scooters people already own?
The Scooter Centre stand contained a few hidden BGM gems that aren’t quite ready for market yet but will excite the restoration market.
Nagy Blechroller showed off several new items for wideframe (Faro Basso etc) early Vespas, not least of all a running example of the Pinasco 4-stud engine casing to accept the PX125/150 kits. Also on his stand was a rather tasty billet engine casing by CNC Hochstetter fitted with a Quattrini kit for the PX200 block. We are now living in a world where it is possible to have more power than you’ll ever need for any type of scooter.
SIP have recently added remade brake drums for older 4-stud wheel Vespa models as well as a new front hub for Piaggio PX disc brakes to replace the spoke style hub with something that looks like a drum hub wheel.
Vespa PX brakes were also the subject of some more of KR Automations work, with both a new, exotic 4-piston opposed caliper brake conversion, and an absolutely gorgeous CNC combined tubeless wheel and hub styled with lots of thin, sexy spokes.
OK so we left the real world again there, but if you have the money then it seems that billet CNC sexiness is available in almost every avenue of scooter transformation. All you have to do now is earn enough to pay for it…
Gallery of extreme loveliness – enter at your own peril
SLUK Shop – contains items not quite as exotic as the ones above