It’s a bit like selling sand to Arabs really and it’s fair to say that Dean Orton at Rimini Lambretta Centre wasn’t too happy when he received this pink and rusty Indian GP frame in the post from us. We should have known better than to send a non-Italian frame to a world-renowned scooter restoration and go-faster Lambretta emporium based in Innocenti’s backyard. This is SLUK though and we like to do things differently here.
This frame is the basis for a collaboration between a few big hitters in the scooter world. It’s a joint project between SLUK and a good friend, Chris Macnamara, Chris is a well-heeled Welshman with a chain of gentleman’s Loake branded shoe shops around the country. His self-built rapidly growing family empire started just five years ago with a complete career change when he opened his first shop, The Brogue Trader in Cardiff.
He’s just about to open his tenth shop, the latest in Manchester city centre, also branded as Loake. Aside from providing chaps with a pampered shopping experience, Chris also has a few tasty bikes and scooters, including his KTMbretta, as featured by us a while ago.
Like many of us, Chris is a speed freak and wanted to build a Casa-based full-on, high-spec scooter (that’s a lot of hyphens in a single sentence). Earlier this year Chris bought the sorry looking pink frame for £150 and shipped it out to Italy, much to the disgust of the Italians.
Day trip to Rimini
We flew out to Rimini (no expense spared, £24.99 cattle class return with Ryan Air from Bristol) to work out a few details for the project and to let Chris take a test ride on the shop’s demo SSR 250 to see if he actually liked it. Watch the video below, I’d say he was fairly enthusiastic and it kind of sealed the deal.
The good news is that Chris loved the 250 and Dean, after much persuasion agreed to build our joint project using that tired old frame. Chris argued that the scooter was going to be chopped about so it was daft to spend proper money on buying a good Italian frame. We were initially thinking of doing a Casa-style race replica using one-piece bodywork so what was underneath didn’t really matter. Eventually, our smooth-talking Welshman verbally battered Dean into a corner and the frame was allowed on one of the coveted Rimini Lambretta workbenches.
What’s the deal? Basically, the lads at Rimini are going to build a scooter that will not only look stunning, but it will also have a few neat tricks beneath the well-finished exterior. Obviously, it’ll be getting a full on Casa SSR 265 Scuderia engine, we’re going to use the stealth, all-black version for added cool. It may also get tweaked a bit because 47bhp isn’t quite enough in a lightweight scooter chassis. We like speed and living on the sharp edge of a finely tuned powerband is good for the soul.
This scooter will also get all the latest Casa Performance goodies we can throw at it, the full-on package. Front and rear CP disc brakes, hopefully, a sequential gearbox, maybe some other as yet unseen developments. It’ll also be fitted with the highest quality Mupo suspension because this thing will be no show pony, it’ll be ridden. It’ll be ridden hard, used for rallies, used to play around the Brecon Beacons upsetting bikers, leaving them deafened by the Protti exhaust and dazed in a cloud of two-stroke. It’ll also be used as a real-world test bed for new developments as and when they become available.
Supertune Electric start
Not for any other reason than because we fancied it, we’ll also be using a Supertune electric start on the project. The lads at Supertune are converting a Casa Cooler mag flange to use their electric start system.
Our initial idea of using race bodywork was deemed impractical for road use, it’s light and a bit flimsy so would rattle and possibly crack the paintwork over time. We could have gone for some one-piece heavier duty bodywork instead but Dean convinced us we needed something a little special. Once straightened out and fitted with some fresh bodywork he sent the frame down to Claudio, an Italian hydraulics specialist to convert the back end to lift by remote control.
Like any project, this one has already started to get out of hand.
Our first thoughts were to do a Casa Performance style race replica using the SLUK/Brogue Trader/Casa Performance/Supertune names as part of the livery. As seen on the Casa race bikes and the special edition Lambretta V-Special (pictured above). We’ve since moved away from that theme and the colours but you can expect some top quality paintwork from one of the countries leading scooter sprayers. We’ll reveal more details about that in part two.
The project so far
As it stands now the frame has been straightened out and dry built to perfection by RLC. It’s also been down to Claudio and had its fancy remote control back end sorted (see video above).
Then it was taken back to Rimini for some final tweaks and for a few details to be added before it gets shipped back to the UK for our chosen sprayer to work his magic. We’ll give you an update once it’s in the paint shop in the next few weeks…
UPDATE: You can read part 2 here.
New products always in development…