Reader’s build – Lambretta Lui | FEATURE
Jerry Kurek has shared a few of his projects with SLUK readers in the past. This latest one is a revamp of an already tidy looking Lui 50. As is often the case, it needed slightly more work than expected though. Here’s how he got on…
I’ve had scooters for a number of years, but always fancied a Lui. You may be forgiven for asking why? I just think they’re quirky and a little different.
In late October 2016, a friend of mine put one of his collection up for sale. It was a running 1968 Lui 50c in white. It was a little different from others I’d seen, as it had the tubular type handlebars. The engine number seemed to suggest it was one of the first 500 produced.
Strip & blast
Only living a few miles away, I visited Gary, and immediately fell in love with the little beauty. It was suggested that I leave it ‘as is’, but on closer inspection, it needed some welding. I agree with the view that ‘it is only original once’, but I felt that it deserved a makeover.
Stripping the Lui was a doddle. I took the frame to Will who sorted the welding. Then, straight to Bowky to be blasted. Bowky has blasted several scooters in the recent past, and is always sympathetic with his approach, not blowing holes through the tinwork!
I sent the hubs and brake pedal off for powder coating. All the metalwork went to Tom, to be painted in Bianco Spino-what a top-class job! Now for putting it all back together again.
Whilst away, the engine was dispatched to John Knott, who had it vapour blasted (see the before and after images) before setting to work on the internals. Upon stripping, he was amazed that the engine was in such good condition. Even the points were as new, as was the clutch, so just seals and gaskets were changed.
The worst part is always waiting for everything to be returned. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this, but it’s well worth the wait.
Whilst the cats away
Wife away visiting her sister, so it was a perfect opportunity to get the Lui into the dining room… well, the lighting is better in there, and the kettle is closer to hand! The rebuild was fairly straightforward. However, as with anything Lambretta, there are always a few little foibles to overcome!
You fit the tank, only to find that you can’t fit the fuel tap-so, off it comes again.
The engine is another matter. Whoever designed the spacer between the engine mounts was really having a laugh! Once the spacer is fitted, the engine bolt slides in effortlessly. Patience is the name of the game with this one. What makes the job even more tedious, is that you have to fit the exhaust before you mount the engine in the frame!
Now, once you’re cabled up, and all ancillaries are fitted, then comes the tunnel tube. When I dismantled it, it was a painless operation – not so this time! Again, it must have been the same designer as the engine spacer? You need patience by the bucket load for this job, it’s a swine. However, the satisfaction on completion is one of euphoria-until you realise you have to fit the rubber gasket first! So, off it comes again. It comes off fairly easily, as you would expect. But the Innocenti fairies go to work overnight, and seem to make it bigger when you come to re-fit it. Grrr!
A strong cup of tea, talking to yourself constantly, yards of masking tape (you don’t want to scratch the bloody thing!), and voila, it’s done. Looks really neat when it’s done, and it’s NOT coming off again-I hope!
Oil added, fuelled up, and time to start it. About third kick, and away it went. So, up the road I went-very, very, slowly. These in their factory form are certainly built for comfort, NOT speed! So, Casa 75 kit fitted, and a Casa big bore exhaust. That’s better, far more useable. I may even get above 30mph?
The seat was good, but I saw the work of Corky on Facebook, so had him make me a custom seat. What a job, the man is a genius!
Having no spare wheel was a concern, so I messaged Keith of K2 Customs to fabricate a holder, and it fits a treat. Later I asked him to make me an oil can holder to fit inside the spare wheel, and it looks the dogs.
So, it’s done. Not a rally going machine by any means, but I’m smitten.
I have just the two scoots in my garage (at the moment) – the Lui (the tortoise), and TS1 240 (the hare), which I both love for very different reasons.
Words and photos: Jerry Kurek
Big thanks to the following people, in no particular order:
Gary Seale for providing the project
Paul (Bowky) Bowkett for stripping
Will Good for welding
Cambrian Powder Paints for powder coating
Tom at TNC Body Repairs for paintwork
John Knott for mechanical knowledge
John ‘Corky’ Corcoran for the seat
Keith Newman at K2 Customs for spare wheel and oil can holder
And last, but not least, all those in the Lui/Luna community for their help and advice
For his next trick
They’re still out there folks, often right under our noses. Here’s what Jerry is up to at the minute, we’ll bring you a feature once he’s finished this one.
“Myself and a friend are restoring an original Jet 200 that has been stored in a shed for over 30 years. It was less than 400 yards from my house and I never knew it was there! Sadly, it wasn’t for sale, so we agreed to do it up for the owner. I’ve kept a photographic record of every stage; the tin work is currently at the painter’s but here’s an image of the project as we received it.
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