Scooterist Meltdown 2018 – all-inclusive lunacy | RALLERY
Scooterist Meltdown is rapidly blossoming from ‘international all-inclusive scooterist piss-up’ into one of the most important pre-season scooter trade and custom events on the calendar. This year, you could catch up with all the latest news from SIP, Scooter Center, Casa Performance, Pinasco and a host of smaller firms.
Naturally the pay-once, eat-and-drink-all-you-like concept is still the prime draw for those keen to shake off the winter blues. Equally, despite this not being headlined as a scooter rally, there are still those who make the effort to ride.
At the top of the ‘making an effort’ list this year were Micky and Dean from Rimini Lambretta Centre who rode 1,300km up from Italy over the Alps on a Lambretta SSR265 and the first prototype of the touring SST265 configuration respectively. The idea of the SST is to provide a torquey lower-rpm alternative to the 47hp SSR. The SST runs a smaller carb, used 20% less fuel and is better suited to touring. That said; Mickey had no problems with the full-fat SSR on the autobahn; not that you’d expect cooling problems when there’s snow on the side of the road.
Attempting to ride to Meltdown is a game of Russian Roulette with the weather. One year it’s going to go bad, but this year the revolver clicked to another empty chamber for all those on our ferry from Hull. Oldest of those vehicles present (by a few years over Tracy’s trusty Maico) was a lad – who shall remain nameless – riding a Lambretta D150. His luck ran out when a car pulled alongside in a howling rain-storm to signal him to stop slipstreaming the lorry in front. He politely waved at them and carried on, only to realise that they were Dutch police in an unmarked car. The cops proceeded to take a very dim view of both his riding style and the level of entertainment he’d had on the ferry the previous night. I’m sure that penalty will make his eyes water more than catching a zip on your foreskin.
We had our own fun with Diablo Al getting a rear puncture on the motorway on his Vespa and egging the tyre trying to ride it to safety. As luck would have it we were near the Gorinchem motorway exit and a couple of CO2 canisters were enough to get Al to a friendly cycle/scooter shop called Allwheels. There Piet and John let us use the workshop, fed us coffee and replaced the misshapen Michelin so we could get back out into the sleet.
Despite the pit-stop, we managed to catch up with the large contingent from Yorkshire’s Logistical Nightmares SC just before Kalkar, while the rest of our crew – including Andy who rode the Scomadi 400 prototype (SLUK report coming soon) – were still in the lobby drinking the free welcome schnapps.
Time to get on it.
This year, the event was fully sold-out for accommodation in the rooms scattered around Kalkar’s never-commissioned nuclear power station. Music was spread over three venues with the main room offering a mix of sounds and the Darkside pumping up the jam in the cellar. A third room acted as a live music venue for indie bands The Mocking Birds, The Orders and a welcome last-minute return for The Superlatives.
The drummer from one of the bands took to “all inclusive” with the gusto of Keith Moon and had to be physically carried to the drum stool on Friday night, but still managed to successfully bang out a rhythm. And you wonder why all the girls love a drummer…
It took the rest of us a little longer, but many caught up with that state before being slung out of the music venues at 3am.
Meltdown has not undergone any serious changes. Instead organisers Spirit of 84 Scooterists simply tweak the recipe a little each time. The event has evolved so that Saturday daytime is as much the focus of the event as the two evening parties. This time, however, the hall was equipped with even more chairs and tables, as well as a mechanical bull for those who fancied a ripped rectum and to walk like John Wayne.
The number of hot custom scooters and dealer stalls has blossomed while the dyno test area remains as popular as ever. This year prospective punters were able to test ride the Casa Performance Lambretta SSR250 test machine on the strip of tarmac behind the hall. Andy Francis proclaimed that it was the best Lambretta engine he’d ever ridden and promptly ordered one for himself.
Vespas – Fat and low
Meanwhile, in the world of Vespa, the current craze for all things wide-body and low-headlight continues unabated. There was a wealth of gorgeous accessorised and customised ACMA Vespas – from Rennstaffel – which scooped prizes. Also, both Ralph Bollag and Pinasco were on hand with a wide range of wide-body tuning parts. Ralph is also stocking the SLUK Vespa Fireball screens now.
Andreas Nagy even let me have a quick go on his Vespa fitted with a prototype of the forthcoming Pinasco cylinder for early Vespa models. With a claimed 15hp on tap it really goes far better than you’d expect. The reed kit does more than turn these museum pieces into useable street scooters. Even with a relatively quiet box exhaust of Nagy Blechroller’s design, it makes more power than any 2-stroke production Vespa. Certainly; enough performance to demand a brake upgrade as a matter of urgency. I loved it.
The Bavarian brand dragged people to their stand with a head-to-head beer drinking race, but behind the party there were a few interesting products on show.
First up is their new Vespa ignition for PX and PK based on the same Czech brand flywheel and stator as the Overrev ignition we recently mentioned for Lambretta. SIP have chosen to match this with a rather lovely CNC-machined fan which is screwed (not riveted) to the Vape flywheel.
The difference with Sip’s basic system is that it features fixed ignition timing and is expected to come in at a very reasonable price of around 260 Euros. They are also planning to release a version for Lambretta and higher spec models with variable timing. The chief advantage over all the IDM-based ignitions will be much higher lighting power output. Iggy is getting one of these systems to test so expect more news on SLUK soon.
Scooter Center Goodies
For those in need of improved lights, Scooter Center have a full LED headlight conversion for both Lambretta LI/SX and also for Vespa PX coming soon. This is not a dodgy LED bulb conversion but a sealed unit with dedicated high and low beam as well as an ‘Angel Eye’ halo riding light. The light output was not only impressive but also accurately concentrated while using less than half the power of a traditional halogen headlight bulb.
The only bad news for the Scooter Center LED is the price – expected to be around 199 Euros.
As you might imagine after a full day on the tiles, it took a little longer for the atmosphere in the dos to pick up. I caught the end of The Superlatives set which was great but the encore cover of a Buzzcocks track saw some heavy duty wrecking. What ended up broken was Kieron from Southampton who got slammed against a post and ended up in hospital for the night with a badly bruised kidney. Not so much psychobilly as silly-billy.
After a slow start, the atmosphere in the dos picked up towards the end of the night with the Darkside lads getting the smaller room bouncing.
Sunday Slide to the Ferry
An extended breakfast helped us sit out the snow showers before setting off for Rotterdam. Had the Meltdown formula never altered then it could become another “déjà-do.” Instead the subtle, small changes each year are enough to make me look forward to it as the first good blast with my club-mates after Christmas.
It is still a lottery to ride there, as Mark from the Big 7 –best-attended club on scooters – found when he dropped his GTS as they landed back in snowy Kent. Nobody can blame anyone that flies or drives to Meltdown, but where would the world be without a few crazies on scooters?
Words and photos by: Sticky
Ralleries by: Sticky, Lit & Bill Mac
Videos by: Vespa Eric
With alcohol being in unlimited supply, there’s little surprise that a few items get misplaced. Scott from er, Scotland lost a jacket, as did Geronimo from Austria whose precious patch-filled garment has taken a lifetime of rallies to complete. If anyone can help the owners recover these, please email email@example.com
Geronimo’s jacket has been found.
Rallery by Sticky
Rallery by Lit
Rallery by Bill Mac
Scooterist Meltdown 2018 results
Best Vespa ACMA Vespa by Sambatero from Rennstaffel
Second best Vespa ACMA Vespa by Willi Nicosia from Rennstaffel
Best Lambretta Jet 200 by Christian from Salem Speed
Second best Lambretta Series 1 SSR 250 by JB Tuning
Best dealer scooter BGM/RLC Lambretta Demonstrator
Second best dealer scooter ACMA Vespa by Klassik Roller
Best custom scooter Great Escape Lambretta by Bob
Second best custom scooter Vespa GS3 by Christian Merz
Best oddity Scootacar by Nigel
Second best oddity Banana Vespa Chopper
Best ridden scooter Lambretta 150d
Second best ridden scooter Rothmans Lambretta
Best vintage scooter Lambretta TV 175 Ser 3 by Sam the Lambretta Finder
Second best vintage scooter ACMA Vespa by Tore form Rennstaffel
Best engineering Vespa Small Frame with RG 250 engine by Simon from Dark Arc
Second best engineering Lambretta GP with GPz 500 engine by Marek from Spielzimmer
Furthest travelled Micky Boy from Rimini Lambretta Centre (800 miles incl. Alp crossing)
Best turned out ridden club Big 7 SC (8 riders)
Best fancy dress Peter Pocock (Baywatch & curly pubes theme)
Best UK Lambretta Rothmans Lambretta
Best Continental Lambretta GP by Sabberköppe SC
Major power awards
Vespa large frame PX Dragster by Jesco (52,1 BHP 41,3 Nm)
Vespa small frame PK Dragster by King Welle (51,3 BHP 34,4 Nm)
Lambretta TS1 by Dan from Logistical Nightmares SC (23,5 BHP)
Vintage class GS 150 Quattrini Stage 4 Conversion by Nagy Blechroller (22,5 BHP)
New products always in development…