Reasons I like Italy… Food, weather, beautiful women, history, culture, beer and food. Ohh and Lambrettas. There’s always someone to visit on my two weeks summer holiday in Italy, someone who is interesting to me purely by virtue of the fact they are into Lambrettas.
I like Lambrettas.
I’ve made lots of contacts and friends in Italy despite the language barrier… I mean, my limited linguistic skills only stretch to “Una birra grande per favore” and that will only lead to me getting drunk. Which is not a bad thing!
Anyway, I’ve found that many Italians have a far greater grasp of the English language than some English people do so it’s not too much of an issue.
Alas, I digress. The point of me writing this drivel is to tell you about TV Scooter Garage in Nervesa della Battaglia which is just north of Treviso in northeast Italy, in the region of Veneto. More to the point the co-owners Fabio Basso and Alan Casagrande.
These two fairly young fellas (well young compared to me) are very talented Lambretta builders, restorers, tuners and fabricators.
They’re both into all things Lambretta, but in this particular instance, I’d like to talk about their Lambretta Lui. It’s fitted with a host of modifications along with a J125 engine built around a lot of the new Casa Performance upgrades for small frame Lambrettas including Luna and J range models.
They’ve been quick off the mark to build such a scooter considering the production versions of most of the upgraded engine components have only just been, or are in the process of being released. The first batch of full production kits should be ready for release after the Italian summer holiday shutdown, so around mid to late September.
Alan and Fabio were lucky enough to get their hands on a pre-production barrel, this is part of the continuation of development and testing of these kits to see what can be done to provide extra gains over the standard kits by different tuners and builders. Fabio and Alan took the barrel and tuned it to their own specifications, opening out the transfers, widening the exhaust port and applied a few other tricks of their trade to make a very impressive performance increase over the standard kit.
I believe that TV Scooter Garage will be offering a full tuning service for CP ONE35 kitted motors along with various other tuning options, exhausts, barrel modifications and cylinder heads to suit your individual requirements.
The standard kit is impressive in itself, having previously ridden a Vega fitted with the prototype kit. My personal Casa Performance equipped Vega ONE35 project will remain standard initially, but this is another story which will hopefully have the third instalment written the second I can get my arse into gear.
Coupling their tuned barrel with a bespoke CNC billet cylinder head, a hand-made inlet manifold, a 28mm Keinin carb, the new Casa Performance 5-plate clutch, the new Casa Performance Ducati Firefly ignition (again with a one-off bespoke CNC billet cooling fan) which delivers impressive air flow, and the mother of all snaking expansion pipes (an absolutely beautifully convoluted and intricately made one-off expansion pipe to their own design spec) a work of art in itself with something like a weeks work put into it. These will be made available to order.
They very generously invited me along to test ride their new creation. At first sight, the scooter looks like it’s a factory standard built scooter, with all original parts designed within the Centro Studi at Innocenti’s Milan headquarters.
Front disc brake
When you take a closer look you can see that it’s fitted with numerous other upgrades and modifications. For instance the series 3 internal disc brake! How the actual fuck did they get that to fit?
I’ll tell you how. They widened the forks by 15mm and modified the right-hand fork link to accommodate the backplate stud. Pure genius. They also fitted J range fork internals and reinforced the forks to provide greater strength under load. To look at them, it is as if they were always meant to be like that. And that’s a very impressive thing to pull off in my opinion.
Casa Performance will actually be producing a set of upgrade forks to fit the Luna line models in the near future. These will be a hybrid of shorter series 3 type forks coupled with a Luna type stem. This should allow the fitment of any configuration or series 3 type front brake setups, from drum brakes to hydraulic disc brakes should you desire to stop on a sixpence.
VIDEO | On board fly past on the TV Garage Vega
Scores on the doors
This scooter revs, and revs with a beautifully crisp exhaust sound. Not only that but it flies. The power delivery is incredibly linear as can be seen by the curve in the dyno graph. And delivers 20 Cv (19 bhp) and 26 Nm of torque.
This makes riding the machine on the road an absolute joy. It will wheelie off the throttle if prompted to do so but it accelerates through the standard Lambretta Starstream gearbox seamlessly. Fabio and Alan have asked for one of the new CP Vega5 5 Speed Cyclone gearboxes to fit to their Lui which will increase the fun even more, I’m absolutely sure! Top speed for me was not important on the twisting hillside roads but acceleration was mind-blowing for such a small scooter and with a BGM rear shock mounted the handling was very good too. But the lads have seen 80 mph on the road in 4th gear. I think I’d shit a brick at 80mph on a Lui.
The front disc brake was more than adequate to slow or stop the Lui due to its lightweight (despite my considerable bulk) and with a reverse pull action, it’s a very impressive conversion indeed.
The whole scooter is an absolute triumph in my opinion!
With all of that excitement and 37 degrees temperatures outside we decided to head back to the air conditioned confines of TV Scooter Garage where the fellas promptly opened a couple of chilled bottles of Prosecco – incredibly hospitable I thought. We had a couple of glasses each, followed by dinner at a beautifully typical Italian restaurant bar. Local beers, cheeses, meats, bread and pasta…. OMG the food was beautiful, as was Federica our waitress!
I did say initially how I liked the food, and the beer, and the Lambrettas, and the Italian women.
Remind me why I live in England?
Thanks once again to Fabio and Alan at TV Scooter Garage. Not to forget their friend Mario who helped to explain in simple terms to the fellas what I was trying to say.
Absolutely true gentlemen.
Words and photos: Kirk St Moritz
Kirk’s holiday snaps
SLUK Shop helps to keep the FREE features flowing