Soul­sa­tional

Lam­bretta

Scootering - - Front Page - Andy

Soul­sa­tion is a box set of mu­sic per­formed by the Jackson 5 cov­er­ing their Motown la­bel years from 1969 to 1975 that was re­leased in 1995 to cel­e­brate the 25th an­niver­sary of the year the Jack­sons be­came the first group to have their first four re­leases go straight to Num­ber 1 on the Bill­board charts; or so the in­ter­net tells me. What I do know is that like many Motown bands of the pe­riod, the Jackson 5 were pur­vey­ors of fine soul mu­sic and while some of it might be thought of as a lit­tle too pop­u­lar for those who con­sider them­selves rare soul purists, you can’t ar­gue with the num­bers. Or the fact that cer­tain tunes will al­ways get a dance­floor groov­ing.

But it’s not the mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment of the Mo­tor City we’re here to ap­pre­ci­ate, but in­stead this rather fine Lam­bretta TV 200 owned by young Is­abella An­to­nioli from Italy. It may ring a bell with a few of you who spend time surf­ing the Interweb be­cause work­ing at the renowned Ri­mini Lam­bretta Cen­tre, Isa’s scooter here has been used to pro­mote the shop be­fore, and in­deed visi­tors may recog­nise it from their show­room, where it proudly sits on dis­play when she’s not out en­joy­ing it. It also ap­peared on the Casa Lam­bretta an­nual cal­en­dar soon af­ter it was com­pleted, but this Lam­bretta wasn’t al­ways as stun­ning as you see it here to­day.

The Lam­bretta TV200 was an ex­port-only model pro­duced by In­no­centi, most of which were sent from Italy to the UK. This one how­ever was found in Greece and was re­turned to Italy as a present from her hus­band a few years ago.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing her gift Isa set about choos­ing a de­sign and colours for what she was later to name Soul­sa­tion. With an idea or two in mind, a trip to the paint shop nar­rowed down the ex­act colours to go with the fi­nal de­sign and so the scooter be­gan.

The Lam­bretta it­self was quite straight, es­pe­cially for a Greek scooter (ap­par­ently they are used hard out there), but had been rid­den to the place of sale. Mind you, the en­gine cas­ing turned out to be bro­ken. Luck­ily RLC had enough new old stock parts – from head­set to en­gine cas­ing – that the bike could be re­built to brand new con­di­tion, ar­guably bet­ter some might say.

The paint­work was done to Isa’s re­quire­ments by RLC’s reg­u­lar man, Rob­bie, with sub­tle at­ten­tion to de­tail in­clud­ing the five stars in the pan­els rep­re­sent­ing the five Jack­sons. They also ap­pear else­where on the scooter, in­clud­ing the horn­cast badge which is just one of the unique parts on this scooter cre­ated by French crafts­man and jew­eller Yann at Carte Blanche, who RLC first be­gan work­ing with a few years ago now for be­spoke scooter parts.

With a de­sire for a chrome-plated tool­box to com­ple­ment the stun­ning paint­work, RLC sourced a NOS Vespa GS160 Mk2 tool­box which was ex­pertly cut, shut and fin­ished so that it was able to be chromed.

Other chal­lenges in­cluded the Pe­ga­sus ‘T-bar’ seat which were ap­par­ently fit­ted to some of the early Bri­tish TV200s (Isa’s com­ing from Greece had a more run-of-the-mill seat fit­ted). RLC painstak­ingly re­paired the seat frame­work and then set about search­ing for the me­talflake ma­te­rial to

RLC sourced a NOS Vespa GS160 Mk2 tool­box which was ex­pertly cut, shut and fin­ished so that it was able to be chromed.

er it that Isa re­quired, again to com­ple­ment the rest of the scooter. Not so dif­fi­cult in the 70s or 80s maybe, but to­day such things aren’t so thick on the ground. Even­tu­ally it was Dean at Scootopia who put them on to a sup­plier that had what they were af­ter so RLC’s mae­stro up­hol­sterer Dante could work his magic and cre­ate the per­fect pad on which to plonk your der­riere.

Other fea­tures are less ob­vi­ous, but are per­son­ally the kind of neat, in­di­vid­ual and thought-pro­vok­ing touches I’d like to add if I was build­ing such a scooter. Th­ese in­clude the Amer­i­can spec Lu­cas rear light which was deemed nec­es­sary in some states due to lo­cal reg­u­la­tions which re­quired the rear light be seen from the sides. RLC found this one in Canada.

Along with the match­ing num­ber plate holder which is nec­es­sary as the longer rear light unit no longer lit the plate on a stan­dard bike. This too eeded mod­i­fi­ca­tion to fit a larger Ital­ian plate. An­other for­eign fea­ture is the larger head­light m as fit­ted to Lam­bret­tas built in Brazil. An am­ple was first spot­ted on such a Lam­bretta it­to­rio Tessera’s scooter mu­seum and so am­ple was sourced, mod­i­fied (the il­ian’s ap­par­ently used a 6v sealed beam t which needed adapt­ing) and fit­ted. Now ere’s a talk­ing point if ever I saw one. Down at the en­gine the at­ten­tion to de­tail con­tin­ues but is far less ob­vi­ous. The least sub­tle is pos­si­bly the rare SH2/24mm Del­lorto carb which came from an Aer­ma­c­chi 125cc tri­als bike, so they were able to in­crease the size while re­tain­ing the Lam­bretta style. Yeah, I told you they weren’t too ob­vi­ous!

Aside from the tun­ing and up­grades such as crank, ig­ni­tion and Cy­clone five-speed gear­box, RLC also made a few mod­i­fi­ca­tions specif­i­cally for Isa when re­build­ing the en­gine, to take into ac­count the fact she’s not the tallest girl in the world (and at my height I’m al­lowed to make com­ments like that, okay?). Up on the han­dle­bars a GP Elec­tronic clutch lever has been used be­cause it re­quires less of a hand-span to op­er­ate. Dean at RLC also ex­plained, “I al­ways re­mem­ber Terry at Taffspeed telling me that ‘the big­ger the front sprocket, the lighter the clutch’ and that’s stuck with me when build­ing en­gines ever since.”

They also fit­ted a longer SX kick­starter too, just an­other ex­tra thought dur­ing the build which com­bined with the rest are all de­signed to make it a lit­tle eas­ier for Isa to enjoy Soul­sa­tion. At­tend­ing a num­ber of Ital­ian ral­lies since her TV has been on the road, Isa has also picked up a couple of tro­phies for her scooter too, which comes as no sur­prise of course, as if you think it shines in th­ese pho­tos, you should see it out in the mid­day sun where it looks even more stun­ning in­deed. But once you’ve got over the paint­work and deep chrome, take a sec­ond look at all the sub­tle pieces, as it’s the at­ten­tion to de­tail along with the sun that make this Lam­bretta shine head and shoul­ders above many oth­ers.

Right: Th­ese pan­els are from an un­known scooter or moped from the 60s, and were found with the raised square in the mid­dle of them. Carte Blanche then added the ‘J5’ to each one.

Above: The fit­ted Brazil­ian Lam­bretta head­light rim with a thin­ner In­no­centi rim held against it.

Left: It might look stan­dard but this is ac­tu­ally a rare SH2/24 carb that’s been fit­ted here.

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