Thoughts about Vespas?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Rasseru, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. HIKO

    HIKO Ol'Timer

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    Just to keep the Vespa topic living ( maybe it is worth a sticky?) I contribute some pictures so that Tropical John and Mikerust have something to look at...

    vespa.

    VESPA fourwheeler!!!!

    Vespasidecar.
    Vespa with original side car. Something for PICO-PICO.

    390px-Roman_holiday.
    One of the movie ads for Roman holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. This movie made Vespa a Cult in USA.

    ANITA.
    The movie add for La Dolce Vita by Frederico Felicini and Anita Ekberg as the star. This movie made Vespa a Cult in Europe.

    515754_tn.
    Same movie and Anita Ekberg bathing in the Fountaine. The movie pictures were so "rude" that the movie was censored in many countries mostly because that you could see the bare swedish home breed tits of Anita Ekberg

    ROMANHOLIDAY.

    Another movie add for Roman Holiday

    vespa-classic.

    And here we have the original Vespa with the head light on the front fender.

    With Vespa love HIKO
     
  2. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer

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    Ah a one wheeled trailer something for Pico to aspire to.

    When I was in Brazil lots of small businesses use motorbike trailers for small deliveries. Fibreglass boxes on two wheels with a minuature ball hitch.
     
  3. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

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    Hiko

    I always enjoy reading your posts, they are very informative, and when you reply to technical questions, its like reading a workshop manual, keep all the great info coming.

    Now we want more info on the Lambretta's please as thats what myself and Mike used to own.
     
  4. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

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    Here is a foto of a one wheel trailer I saw when I took part in the 3 Nations Charity Ride held in Trang

    782378962_cbfd58536b.
     
  5. HIKO

    HIKO Ol'Timer

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    HE LAMBRETTA STORY

    The factory where the Lambretta Scooters were manufactured was established by a famous Italian Industrialist Ferdinando Innocenti. Born in 1891 as a son of a blacksmith and after conducted a few years at a Technical School he was put in charge of the family Empire at the age of 18 together with his half brother Rosolini.

    Their main business at this time was a seamless Tube Manufacturing Company and having good connections to the Italian Mussolini and the Vatican they got plenty of huge projects in the capital and Vatican, They also developed some kind of Irrigation system which was well sold..

    In the last year before the war Innocenti was quite a big company engaged in constructing stands and stages for the Football World Championship in Rome,
    electric hardware manufacturing, seamless tube manufacturing etc.

    Since the wars were knocking on the door the production was converted to war needs. It didn’t last long before Innocenti was a big supplier of huge bombshells and bullets for the war industry. and they had good contacts with the German Nazi army mostly because Ferdinando was very skillful in political matters.

    Ferdinandos political skill were needed after the war when the Innocenti Group was about to turn into civil production without being blacklisted by the allied army. Innocenti tried to convert company by focusing on three areas:

    1. Developing and producing a cheap mean of transportation for the working class.
    2. Developing factories for manufacturing seamless metal tubes.
    3. Manufacturing of sintered materials to be used as bearings.

    Ferdinando Innocenti was at this time one of the leading Italian Industrialist but he had a huge challenge waiting for him. His workforce was about 3000 people at this time, a part of his factories were bombed and he didn’t have any immediate business. The workforce was cut to 900 and they were surviving by making tube steel factories for countries on barter trade deals and sintered bushings for electrical engines. At the same time the company invested huge amount of money into developing a “scooter” resulting into the Company being actually bankrupt in 1946 but Ferdinando didn’t give up. A loan from the American Eximbank saved him for a while.

    The scooter business took off slowly. Ferdinandos initial idea was to copy the Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) manufactured foldable bicycles with a small engine that the allied army dropped over Italy in parachutes.

    It is quite interesting that on the other side of the world, in another war loosing country, another person, also with a very thin education behind him started to put US army left over engines into bicycles. His name was Soichiro Honda and the rest you know.

    The name of the scooter was to be Lambretta.. To develop his idea into a commercial product he hired colonel D’Ascanio but after a while Ferdinando found out that they had different ideas about the vehicle and D’Ascanio left for…Piaggio and is one of the people behind the first Vespa. The world is small. Anyhow Innocenti hired another colonel Ing.Torre and he was to become the creator of Lambretta.
    The start was tough. They succeeded to make a small batch of bikes for the exhibition in Paris 1947 and they got 3000 orders for the local market and 2000 export orders all to be delivered in 1948. The daily production was supposed to be 85 pcs a day but in the start they could only do 10 a day mainly due to energy shortage and lack of raw materials.

    The first model was M which production continued with several modifications until 1955. The first model was more known as model A and the last model was model F. On the first models Innocenti lost big money but Ferdinando was convinced that when the sales goes up he will recover the money. In the board of directors there were many people opposing the continuing of Lambretta Scooters but Ferdinando was the boss….

    The models manufactured during the first years up to 1955 years where as follows:

    Model A
    Model B
    Model C
    Model D
    Model E
    Model F

    image001.

    All these models where almost the same but off course there where many improvements during the years.

    image002.

    The last model F looked like this .

    Some interesting technical modifications was that the B model had a Coil Spring Damper under the engine ( maybe Buell copied it from here) and the later models starting from model D had Torsion suspension also used by Volkswagen in their chassis and for example by Honda in 1965 in their CB 450 DOHC engine to handle the valves.

    The model C and D had special models named LC and LD which were in principle the same naked model with “scooter” coverings and they are regarded as the first real Lambretta Scooters

    image003.
    The LC model

    image004.
    The LD model

    These “real scooters” were anyhow just covered C and D models or the original “parachute bike concept” covered by metal sheets.

    The engines in these models were 123 cc or 150cc engines in the last models integrated with the rear wheel. Power was all the time increased, mostly by increasing the size of the Dellorto carburator.

    Starting from the LDA MK2 model you could get electrical starter the first models with a 6 Volts battery the later models with two 6 volts battery connected together.

    The sales started to increase with the model C which was sold in 150.000 pcs and all together the A-F models where sold close to half a million.

    The next models were the Li Series and the TV Series.

    image005.

    Li Series

    image006.

    TV1 Series 1

    The bikes were almost identical the TV1 being a little more expensive. The TV1 was launched at the Milan show 1957 featuring a little slimmer look and a totally new engine and transmission the same as in the L1. The engine still 125 or 150 cc was placed horizontally in the frame and the transmission was handled by a duplex chain instead of shaft.

    image007.

    TV1 Series 1

    Li Series2 the Lambretabilitty

    image008.

    TV Series 2 The Sportmans style

    image009.

    With next Series 2 the Li series was launched with a Lambretabilitty slogan
    and the TV Series to were launched as “the sportmanstyle”

    On the TV second series, they had serious problems when the main frame tube on the early examples had started to crack. Innocenti recalled all models, and production line was stopped. Innocenti reacted by cutting the frame in half, weld in a flat plate, and then weld the frame back together, thus improving the strength. By doing this modification on all outstanding models Innocenti maybe got rid of the acute problem but at a very high cost and it must have cost Innocenti much more money to carry out these modifications, then it would have to make new frames and start again. When all outstanding frames were modified, Innocenti improved changed the frames by making them from thicker gauge tube. Frame numbers on the TV series two, appeared in two groups, the first version which were mainly the ones that needed the modification started with a 1, later thicker frames started with a 2.

    Li Series 3

    The slimmer Li series three was the start of a long production series and almost all future large frame models were an evolution of the Li series 3. The Li 3, was a great sixties design, and a lot of the advertising for the scooter used sixties sex model Jane Mansfield, showing her best parts on the bike. The bike itself was all new in design, slimmer and sleeker, than the series two it replaced. New headlight, horn cast, slimmer leg shields, panels, rear running boards all helped to make it look slimmer. Twin single saddle seats were fitted as standard on these machines, although the single dual seat was available as an option

    image010.

    LI series 3.

    Li Special

    1963 the Li 150 Special was presented .It was meant to be a sportier version to the standard Li, but a cheaper alternative to the TV, the Special was given different styling, by the way of the newly revised Series 3 T.V panel work, including a new headset, front mudguard, horn cast, and side panels. The side panels featured front and rear finger flashes, and two Lambretta badges. A dual seat was offered as standard, but the single seats from the Li were available as an option on certain markets. Engine wise the 150 had a new heqd and barrel but kept the old carburator of 18mm The new power figures were 8.25bhp compared to the 6.6bhp of the standard Li.

    image011.

    Li Special

    TV Range

    In 1962 the TV175 went into production. A new "slim style" range of scooters from Innocenti featured narrower body work then than the out going series 2 models, new sleeker side panel with a raised band in them replaced the bulbous old model ones. Slimmer leg shields, rear floor boards, front mudguard and headset. The headset featured a hexagonal light rim, with a new shaped speedometer, the lights were mainly controlled by a multi position ignition switch, with only the dip and main beam on the handle bar switch, along with a button for the horn.

    The TV was also the first production two wheeled vehicle to gain a disc brake, This was made in a joint venture between Innocenti and an Italian company called CAMPAGNOLO more famous for bicycle saddles and under wear trousers for some feminine GT riders who cannot sit on a motorcycle long enough to make the coffee ready.

    image012.

    TV175/200

    The model was later modified into 200 cc mainly because of the English importers request. Innocenti refused first but modified it providing that the importers take the guarantee responsibility. The TV200 was known in England as GT200 because of its sporty image..

    SX Range

    The SX line was launched in an effort to concentrate on details and quality.. Lambretta launched their new model with the slogan "SX appeal" and the new model was available in two engine sizes, these being 150cc and 200cc. For the 150cc version, it it was about the same as the Li 150 it was supposed to replace but some Lambretta freaks can tell you about the differences. However when compared side by side more subtle changes can only be seen by freaks.

    image014. <img src=""
     
  6. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

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    Hiko great reading, wonder if NSR Mike has read it yet.....

    keep it coming.....

    Saw a Lambo for sale here on Phuket but the guy wants about 50,000 baht for it.

    The scooter scene is geting quite popular now, especially over on Koh Samui
     
  7. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

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    Whilst in Chiang Rai, went to visit an old friend, (now 71). In his youth, he rode his Lambretta TV175 from London to India, and return TWO UP, how about that for a trip. Dont think he had any major problems and made it back safely.

    One of the fotos below shows the Lambretta on the Mulsane Straight, at Le Mans, which is a public road most of the year. I have been on the Mulsane Straight my self, but in the family's camper van, and not whilst the 24 hour race was running.

    1311714555_65925ff894.
     
  8. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer

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    Rockers are bikers and Mods are…

    At the club in nice threads picking up toty in very short skirts:)
     
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