Breaking new ground…
In every new venture, someone has to go first. That might be the leader of the cavalry-charge, screaming sword-aloft as they race down the guns, or Neil Armstrong tentatively laying a boot on the Parmesan-cheese surface of the moon.
When it comes to choosing to debut his scooter digitally on SLUK, rather than in print, the first brave step was taken by Stef Hall.
What if SLUK looked like every other website? What if the images were small? That wouldn’t do justice to Maca from DTC’s paintwork, or Jason Lock’s engraving.
Scan through, and you’ll realise that Stef’s faith in the SLUK team has been rewarded handsomely. We aren’t as restricted to the number of shots we can use; so our gallery at the end shows you all the best ones, full-screen. The detail is obvious and abundant.
Not only does the Aquaracer look great in static images, but we’ve made a short HD video to show off both its visual and dynamic features. Custom scooter reviews no longer need to be dead-pan on dead trees. We might not have the resources to do this for every one to begin with, but it gives you an idea of what is possible once SLUK is full-bore in 4th gear.
Make that 5th gear in the case of Stef’s Lambretta. This is a custom that’s destined for the road, not the mantelpiece, with a motor to suit. It’s based around a 240cc BGM RT kit converted to reed-valve and set up for rally use; sensible power, good fuel economy and a power spread that’s as broad as the Thames Estuary. This will pull 5th gear from 20mph through to over 80mph just on the twist of a throttle, but the five evenly-spaced gears will help keep it on song during acceleration. This new gearbox is an MB Scooters development, made in Britain, with an eye-watering price-tag.
Stef not only entrusted Mark Broadhurst with the engine, but also the assembly of Maca’s sticker-free, fully-painted bodywork into a rideable machine. As much as Stef and I joked about Mark’s immodest ways (did you know Broady invented oxygen?) you can’t criticise his attention to detail. The Aquaracer has metres of extra wiring for additional sensors and functions, but it’s all so tidily routed that you’d struggle to spot it.
Core to this is a neat digital display from Gamma Tech which reads speeds and temperatures. Temperature and EGT gauges are fine if you ride along watching them, but occasionally you should also look where you are riding.
The special function installed on Stef’s scooter is a relay that makes the ignition stutter if the exhaust gas temperature exceeds a pre-programmed limit. With a physical warning of problems you should now be able to back-off, or pull-over to investigate before you get an expensive hole in your piston…
The inspiration for this 2-year project runs like a common thread through many British custom builds. The specialist subject being the Custom Lambrettas of Jeremy Howlett. Stef’s favourite from Howlett’s celebrated selection box was the Nike Air Racer and the blood-line is obvious. To me, the only thing that would have improved Howlett’s scooters would have been to see them ridden more often.
The best gallery for these automotive artworks is not a scooter custom show open exclusively to knowledgeable paying punters. Surely it is far better for them to be seen in use, maybe parked in a petrol station or in action on the motorway. That is how Stef intends to display his scooter. On the road, where the noise, smoke, colour and camaraderie of the scooter scene can serve as an eye-opener to the snotty kids on the back seat of the car. Kids that we once were.
SLUK will serve a similar purpose. Features like this aren’t behind a pay-wall so Stef’s scooter can inspire people beyond the newsagents and beyond our national borders. ScooterLab is the UK scooter scene broadcasting globally and the message is “look what we do, come ride with us”
Words and images: Sticky
If you have an interesting scooter that you’d like seen first on SLUK, please get in touch. Talented scooter photographers and videographers also sought.
Owners name: Stefan Hall
Town: Beccles, Suffok
Scooter name (if any): Tag Heuer Aquaracer
Engine details: MB RT 245, MB 62mm crank, MB 5 speed gearbox, with 18 x 47 gearing, MB 6 plate clutch, BGM ignition with Kytronik, MB reed valve with 30mm Dellorto carb, stainless steel Supertourer exhaust
Top speed: 85 mph
Power output: 25 bhp, 20 lbs/ft
Paintwork: Maca at DTC
One-off parts: MB outboard hydraulic disc, MB old school twin tank conversion
Accessories: Gamma Tech speedo, BGM shocks, BGM stainless steel rims
Coatings & finishes: Everything is polished stainless steel, in keeping with the watch theme, with the exception of the chromed hubs. Polishing by John Walklate, hubs engraved by Jason Lock, chrome by Quality Chrome.
Acquisition? 3 years ago, as a frame and bodywork. Bought NOS Italian GP casing, everything else is new, and you guessed it, from MB!
Inspiration? Nike Air racer and Tag Heuer Aquaracer watches.
Alteration? PM Tuning stainless forks.
Perspiration? Patience with people and waiting for Broady’s bill!
Aggravation? Frame was bent, steel Supertourer used for setting the engine produced 3 bhp more than the stainless steel version fitted. Have you finished my MB exhaust yet Mr B?? J
Recommendation? MB Scooters, good quality parts and a quality service.
In my experiences with MB, you get the engine you really need for your riding style, which doesn’t necessarily reflect what you think you need, when you first talk with Mark. A lot of dealers just build what you ask for, without considering how you ride.
Celebration? Special thanks to Mr B, Maca, Jason Lock, John Walklate and Dave Oakley for putting me in touch with Macca.