For Vespa Video Vednesday, here’s a song NOT about Vespas, and without an actual video, but hey, it’s still Wednesday!
It’s the feel-good single of the summer, a month too late, but whatever, the LP just came out this week… “My Lambretta” by North Cackalacka’s The Gallows Birds is just what you’d hope for, a surf-ish pop-punk love paean to the World’s Finest Scooter.
I’m not the foremost scholar on Lambretta history, but I’m pretty sure the “TV Special” is not a model that ever shipped out of Milan, but it does have “a two-stroke engine and the body’s painted baby blue” so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re taking some poetic license. The B-side (of the digital single — I wish it there was a 7″ for my jukebox) is a fantastic cover of the Graham Parker favorite “Local Girls.”
The rest of the debut album (which is thankfully available on LP from Rum Bar Records) is a quick romp through familiar pop-punk territory, but there ain’t a thing wrong with that. If you liked the Smugglers, you’re gonna dig this. Along with a few other 100%-solid originals, there are top-notch takes on Wreckless Eric and the Beach Boys. And the front AND back covers feature a Lambretta, and it includes a mini-poster, so… I see you’ve already bought it, nevermind… (Thanks, Matt, for suggesting I preorder this two months ago, ha!)
The Lambretta Club USA is famously (and justifiably) snobbish about their national rally, only Lambrettas and their attendant Lambrettisti are welcome, so I was flattered to be invited (my scooter of choice be damned) to serve as official photographer of this years’ Lambretta Jamboree in Duluth, Minnesota.
It was an amazingly well-organized and fun event, and hopefully any lapses in the quality of my photography were balanced by the quantity, I took an awful lot of photos, and you can see them all here. Thanks to Matt, Peter, Patrick, and all the other Minnesotans and LCUSA brass for all the work you put into an event I’ll never forget.
Canadian Gordon Bowman is proposing to publish a book detailing his fathers romantic mid-century journey across the Americas. The Kickstarter page details the project and levels of financial participation. The manuscript is complete and a publisher is sought; with this being the goal of the project. Head over and take a peak at some of the cool photos. The masked bandit photo is what caught my eye. Just about the coolest scooter snapshot I’ve seen in a while.
(Note: Facebook hasn’t killed 2SB yet, but you can also check out the facebook page on the Scooter Diaries effort)
This weekend is the annual international endurance classic scooter race in Aragon, Spain known as Vespa The Resistance. It looks like a top notch group of people that organize a fun weekend. Several scooter shops send teams and someday I hope to see an American entry! Check them out on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.
The 2012 Lambretta Jamboree put on by the Lambretta Club USA will be held in lovely Colorado Springs, Colorado this summer, just one week after Amerivespa. While Amerivespa is open to any type of scooter and has even been sponsored by the likes of Kymco in the past, the Lambretta Jamboree is 100% vintage – 100% Lambretta. You have an all original 1963 Vespa GS160? Well that’s cute but you aren’t getting in the LamJam with it. 2SB will be reporting at both rallies.
One of the most super-helpful pages on the internet, SCOMO’s table of vintage scooter cable lengths.. Most cables you buy these days aren’t the right length, Confirming and adjusting the lengths can save big headaches and make your scooter work more smoothly.
Once again I’m drinking alone and reading Facebook. I just read about the new service offered by Jet 200 to re-magnetize Lambretta flywheels. I inquired if it was open to Vespa flywheel re-magnetization. The reply of ‘no’ was soon delivered. So I guess if you are one of the ‘cool kids’ with a Lambretta you are set for getting back good spark and bright lights before the next season starts. If not, you’ll have to rely on Motorsport Scooters (aka ScooterWest). How about everyone get on this before Memorial Day weekend when you call your buddy who’s a crack scooter wrench to try and get your scooter running for the first time in 8 months. It’ll probably help.
Any other scooter shops out there have one of these magic magnetizers?
Jen points out that Heritage Helmets now offers Trojan Records helmets to go along with their Consortium-approved Lambretta helmets. They even offer one with both Trojan and Lambretta logos, which is kind of surreal. Beautiful stuff, but, once again, they totally forgot the part that covers your chin and face. If you can afford an extra helmet for parades and photo shoots, pony up!
…so says lambrettaweb.com (via scooter-infos.) Sorry to get your hopes up, ha. I’ve stopped guessing (and caring) which of the dozen fighting parties is behind which models or which hype, or if any of it will ever see the light of day, but maybe you’re still holding out hope that something good will come of all this.
Scootermercato shared an Italian language article about a new Lambretta design. I like the color and the headlight has been moved to the front of the leg-shield. The angle of the headset and light position likely taunt those passionate Lambrettisti who adore the the first series of LI model scooters that followed the LD with enclosed bodywork. The photo looks great because the scale would be perfect if those would be 10″ wheels. But they are 12″ and if placed alongside other models it’s lack of proper proportion would be more apparent.
If you are interested in the Lambretta Saga, check out the Lambretta.com site. It is now mostly a posting of legal actions the supposed true copyright holders are taking against everyone involved in anything tangentially related. Tartarini the younger designed this new bike. They should have just done these bikes under a name of a different Lombardy river or maybe just the Italjet founder surname.
Jeb (of FIDO fame) spotted an interesting badge on the electric car shown at 4:28 in this video collage of electric vehicle photos from EICMA…
Our first Britney Spears-inspired headline heralds the (maybe? sorta?) return of famed Lambretta maker Innocenti in a story that hasn’t garnered any media coverage, but once we blow it out of proportion here, it may send a few Austrian IP attorneys into a tizzy.
Jeb (of FIDO fame) spotted an interesting badge on the electric car shown at 4:28 in this video collage of electric vehicle photos from EICMA: Continue reading “Not So Innocenti…”
The British rider Danny Webb has put the Mahindra Motors Racing 125cc Grand Prix motorcycle on Pole Position for the final round of the 2011 Championship at Valencia, Spain. This is significant on several levels.
Mahindra Motors acquired the Italian firm Engines Engineering prior to the 2011 season in an effort to go racing. Engines Engineering had be entering machines in Grand Prix racing before, but it was under the Lambretta name in 2010 with Marco Ravailoli and a raft of temporary guest riders. While the young Italian and his teammates made valiant efforts under the Lambretta Reparto Corse banner, the switch to Mahindra racing colors and new riders, Danny Webb and Marcel Schrotter, has resulted in a better points placement this season. German and British hands seem to be able to get old Lambrettas going a bit quicker.
The Lambretta to Mahindra conversion also mirrors an Indian continuation of the Lambretta efforts. Interestingly, Scooters India Limited (SIL), the company that took over producing Lambretta models in the subcontinent, is up for sale. Piaggio, Atul Auto and Mahindra have all thought about acquiring the state-run factory, but have reconsidered in recent months. If they had bought the currently money losing company it would have made for a very tidy story!
The saddest and most important part of this event is that it is the last time two-stroke machines will compete at the top level of World-Class racing. It’s not that four-stroke 125s haven’t raced before and been magnificent. But for the last 40 years two stroke machines have dominated at least one class of Grand Prix racing and now it comes to an end. Not by lack of competitiveness, but by simple rule change. Manufacturer goals have changed and that sweet 2 Stroke Buzz plays no role in these aims. The new class will be single-cylinder four-stroke engines and Mahindra and others including Honda and KTM will field machines. But it certainly won’t be the same. Not the same noise, the same smell, the same simple beauty of the two-stroke steeds.
If you’d like to see the event, you can watch live from MotoGP.com for a price. The race starts at 4:00 AM CST on Sunday (tomorrow) morning. Less than an hour later will be a distinct end of an era.