Wildcat Scomadi 172 | RETRO CUSTOM
Wildcat Scomadi dealer special 172 two-stroke: An alternative to the 200 four-stroke models.
The idea of dealer specials came up in the 1960s to boost sales by creating unique selling points. Scooter dealers refined their stock with two-tone paint schemes, engine tuning or other modifications. Models like the Eddy Grimstead Hurricane Vespas and the Arthur Francis S Type or the Rafferty Newman Wildcat Lambrettas are still famous today.
Keeping in with this tradition Wildcat Scooters in Newport build their modern version of a dealer special; a Scomadi 172 two-stroke. Co-proprietor Bob has no problem admitting that the idea for this conversion is not new; the first person to have built one of these would have been Frank Sanderson of Lambretta Innovation who developed the Scomadi together with Paul Melici of PM Tuning. ‘This set-up works extremely well and has also been done by other dealers. We have now made seven of them; it has almost become like a routine to us.’
The Scomadi 172 is essentially a 50 model with a kitted Aprilia SR/Piaggio Typhoon 125 engine. The only alteration required to fit one of these motors is changing the mounting bracket; which is fabricated by Frank Sanderson. Incidentally, this solution allows the bike always to be converted back to 50 cc. The scooter can easily cope with the extra power because the Scomadis have a modular construction, i.e. all models from 50 to 200 cc use the same chassis; similar to the Vespa GTS.
However, the new 172 power plant alters the frame geometry slightly; the rear wheel diameter is increased from 12 to 13 inches and the wheel base is longer by 70 mm. None of it affects the handling negatively; the Scomadi is stable on the straights but still agile around corners.
Naturally, owner Steve White could have just gone for a standard four-stroke Scomadi 125 or even waited for the 200 model. But he wanted something with attitude that reflects his passions; a crisp two-stroke, West Ham and the Cockney Rejects. The bespoke design was discussed with Bob who had the decals and GT Gulf stripes made locally.
The same applied to the engine. Every donor engine is rebuilt and then tuned to the customer’s desires. Steve went for the tried and tested set-up of a Malossi 172 barrel, 25mm Dell’Orto and modified Technigas pipe.
How does that feel on the road? Even with only a few miles on the clock the acceleration was already impressive. On the dyno the Wildcat made over 16 horses at the wheel – with a dry weight of just below 100 kg! Once the engine is freed up the power output will come even closer to that of the standard 200 which is estimated to be around the 18 BHP mark. So if you are looking for a sporty alternative to the 200 four-stroke this dealer special might just be the answer. At £4,500 OTR for the basic conversion, excluding extras like the graphic design, you certainly have to dig a bit deeper in your pockets (comparison Scomadi 200: £3,795 – £4,095 plus OTR costs) – but then refined tastes never come at discount rates.
Words & images: Marcus
Owners name: Steve White via Wildcat Scooters Ltd
Town: Canvey Island.
Scooter name: Wildcat West Ham 172 Dealer Special
Model: Scomadi TL 50 converted to 172cc two stroke twist and go.
Engine details: 172cc Malossi kit, Piaggio two-stroke engine, completely stripped and rebuilt, cases blasted, powder coated, new seals and bearings/new internals etc, new Dell’Orto 25mm carb, engine mounting fabricated, exhaust modification/fabrication, Lambretta stand modified, new Bitubo rear shock, bespoke leather seat with embroidered Wildcat logo, bespoke Dealer Special decal themed design – West Ham/Cockney Rejects.
Top speed: Tested just after build, i.e. not run in. 75mph on dyno.
Power output: Max Power: 16.10 BHP; Max Torque: 10.32 ft/lbs
Paintwork: Standard Scomadi “Ocean Blue” with added West Ham/Cockney Rejects decals for attitude!
Fabrication: Modified Lambretta stand, modified exhaust & exhaust mounting.
Coatings & finishes: Standard Scomadi Ocean Blue paint scheme with bespoke graphic design combining West Ham, the Gulf GT strip & logo and Cockney Rejects.
Acquisition? Steve didn’t want a standard 125 4-Stroke Scomadi but something that would get him where he wanted to go fast, that “felt and sounded” more like a Lambretta. He had seen the other 2-stroke Scomadi 172 Dealer Specials that we had completed on our Facebook page, also we had a mutual friend. He called us, liked what we said and the project was a goer.
Inspiration? Wildcat have used their experience of previous dealer specials to guide and steer Steve to a performance scooter and find out what was important to him. We have completed quite a few themed 172s now and the process of engaging the customer on the design side works well.
Alteration? We always start off by removing the 50cc original engine. Our mechanic Clare completely strips the donor engine (125 Piaggio two stroke twist and go). The cases and rear wheel are blasted and powder coated. The engine is rebuilt, to what the customer wants, i.e. unmodified Malossi 172, or extras such as performance gearing kit, variator, case matching, porting etc..
Perspiration? We have a “menu” of prices for the 50cc to 172cc engine conversions. We ask the customer what they are looking to do and what budget they have. In Steve’s case, he wanted a “standard” 172, i.e. not massively tuned or case matched/ported 172. So a list of upgrades were discussed and performance extras we agreed or declined to make sure there were no surprises or disappointments afterwards. A lot of work goes into making sure that the customer is fully on board as far as the physical engine/frame modification work is understood, design and graphics and budget obviously. We aim to keep everyone in the loop.
Aggravation? Good, reliable case blasters who deliver on time and on budget. This delayed our delivery by three weeks…Grr…
Recommendation? We use Steve Rowe from Weston-Super-Mare for the fabrication work and The Sign Shop in Newport for all the final design and fitting of the decals.
Celebration? Steve White for choosing us and engaging with us on the design. Steve Rowe, the guys/gal at The Sign Shop Newport, Pete Fryer for the seat, Frank Sanderson for answering our technical queries and Clare, our chief mechanic, for putting it all together.