The New Lambretta(s)

Just for fun, how many “new” “Lambrettas” are there now?

  • There’s the Piaggio-engined, British-built Scomadi that was formerly backed by the Khurana family and CMSI (and which was known previously as the “Series IV,” the “L-series” and a few other long-forgotten names)
  • There’s the Lambretta Uno and Due, rebadged Adly scooters sold in the U.S. by the Khuranas after they left the Scomadi project. The Khuranas licensed the name from SIL, and hope to eventually convince SIL to fire up the Indian Lambretta GP production line again, but I’ll believe that when I see it.
  • There’s whatever those things are at the top of the “Official website of Lambretta International” (the “Cigno?” “Cygnus?”)
  • There’s the European-market Lambretta Pato, which is a rebadged Chinese bike sold under at least 50 brand names around the world…
  • …and the new version from the same company, called the Pato 125n, which was unveiled at EICMA 2009 and looks like a Fiberglas carnival ride body stuck on top of a chinese motor.
  • And please don’t forget the electric “GP200” allegedly under development for the U.S. by Chinese electric car importer Wheego.

There was also a bicycle in the works, and I believe a go-ped style electric Lambretta pushscooter or two, but I still feel like I’m forgetting some. Some are intriguing, some are embarrassing, but they all share one desire: to capitalize on the reputation of an iconic Italian scooter marque that hasn’t been made for 30 years.

Believe it or not, Lambretta brand-name licensing is finally starting to make sense to me, but that still seems like way too many things competing for the title of “New Lambretta.”

UPDATE: I take it all back, with the news of “Lambrettas” racing in MotoGP 125 this season, nothing makes sense anymore.