Spirit of 84 Scooterists present Scooterist Meltdown 2019 – Kalkar | RALLERY
It has been said many times over, that Scooterists could have a good laugh just about anywhere. The venue wouldn’t matter too much, because we would make the most of it and have a good time. But you might think a scooter rally in an old nuclear power station on the Dutch/German border might be a real test for our fun seeking determination. Well, how wrong you’d be.
Power station SNR 300, near the German town of Kalkar, sits on the banks of the river Rhine about 80 kilometres away from Dusseldorf. It took 13 years and the equivalent of 4.6 billion euro’s to build, but bizarrely, was never commissioned. Thankfully, its reactors never saw any plutonium and so anyone visiting it now does so completely radiation free! I say thankfully because 20 odd years ago a Dutch businessman bought the dormant building and turned it into a massive and very quirky holiday camp. Those of us that have stayed there know it affectionately by its new name “Wunderland.”
Multiple bars; a restaurant and big open plan high-roofed rooms are all a Scooterist could need to house an all in one undercover scooter rally. Most of the outdoor fun fair type attractions are still closed as this event takes place in early February, although I did hear a couple of Scooterists hatching a plan to try and scale up the outer wall of the brightly painted 130ft tall cooling tower. The place has to be seen to be believed! (look on the website).
Spirit of 84
For the 7th consecutive year, Spirit of 84 Scooterists have hosted this magical event. I attended the first two and loved them. But I was blown away by how much this rally has progressed and now morphed into, what must surely be the largest gathering of performance scooter parts in any one room anywhere. When Germany’s two biggest scooter shops turn up to display their products it takes your breath away. It is then you realise that SIP and Scooter Center aren’t just Germany’s biggest shops, they’re the biggest scooter shops in the world, and with good reason too!
Many of us are bored with seeing stalls and stalls of scooter themed or tenuously related scooter tat at many of the UK events. But Meltdown couldn’t get further from that if it tried. SIP scooter shop’s PX Vespa is powered by a bespoke 300cc engine breathing through a 41mm carb. On the dyno this monster ripped up to 60 plus bhp – that floats my boat in a way no target or Union Jack type jacket ever will. I’m very aware some scooter owners take Modernism style and dress sense very seriously indeed (and so they should) but if you lean towards the comedy Mod side of scootering, stay well clear of Wunderland in February – there’s nothing there for you!
Virtually every one of the dozens of traders/dealers from all countries around Europe were very generous with their time and free advice to the Meltdown rally goers. English tuning and know how was well represented too.
The Rimini Lambretta Centre Luna tics caused a real fuss turning up on their 135cc tuned small frame Lambrettas on what turned out to be the longest coldest most epic journey to Kalkar. A feat not even nearly matched by anyone else over the weekend. I was lucky enough to have a blast around the power station on one of the RLC Vegas and I was gobsmacked as to how it performed. I think these lot have just increased the value and desire for the Vega, Lui, Luna range of Lambrettas – In a big way! Thanks go to Luke Salvin for sorting the test ride on a CP 135cc kitted scoot and also being great company on our ferry back to England, The world of scootering needs a lot more young blood like this lad.
The standard of modification on display in the custom show was out of this world! Paintwork that flashed and changed colour on a smallframe Vespa; and a fully CNC machined fuel injected owner built from scratch (literally) 250cc Lambretta; were just two scooters I couldn’t stop looking at all weekend. Old school Vespas are a big part of the German scooter scene. It seems if it’s got indicators it’s too modern, and unless it’s got two gear cables it doesn’t even count. I always thought that German rallies were very Vespa biased but the tide seems to be changing quite a bit with the massive amount of heavily modified Lammies.
Free food and beer!
Much of the music on offer at Meltdown isn’t run of the mill either. Yes, there is plenty of old school favourites to be heard, Played by top DJs from many different countries, but the live acts were all superb and different, to say the least. Elvis lookalikes all over the place, both amused and confused me. The quality and variety of food was very un-scooter rally like too. The all-inclusive price is something a few people struggle with – but it really is that simple! Approximately €200 gets you a wristband that covers not only self-contained accommodation but literally as much food and drink as you can swallow for the whole time you’re there. The average scooter rider doesn’t see an all you can drink offer, they see ‘CHALLENGE’ in big letters!
It’s quite ironic to think that many years ago, most, if not nearly all, holiday camps in the UK would have signs up saying ‘No Scooters’, and yet here we are in 2019 and the owners and employees of Wunderland Kalkar say that of the 600,000 visitors a year the camp gets, we the Scooterists are the best guests and it’s the weekend the staff most look forward to working on..!
I got to spend a fair bit of time watching Andy Hylton and his film crew grabbing some footage for the forthcoming “The Scooterist” video. And all I can say is if the finished article matches their enthusiasm it should be very good.
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Rallery 1 by Lit