It's All About Me

Scootering - - Contents - Andy

Or rather, it’s all about her. Her be­ing Vicki, the owner and rider of this high mileage cus­tom auto-Lam­bretta.

Well kind of. Ap­par­ently the name be­stowed upon Vicki’s scooter here was given the first time around, fol­low­ing a few jibes from friends at the time. But be­fore I con­tinue I sup­pose I should point out that I’ve known Vicki and her hus­band Mark for a while now, and liv­ing fairly lo­cally to each other we’ve of­ten rid­den to ral­lies and events to­gether. Of course the only thing that has to do with this ar­ti­cle is the fact that not only have I spent many miles ad­mir­ing Vicki’s scooter, but I also know that it does the miles, hav­ing rid­den through hell (well, some dodgy look­ing places) and high wa­ter (lit­er­ally, in­clud­ing the 10 hours to Llan­dudno in 2015, and flooded roads on the way back from the Isle of Wight in 2014), to­gether.

For those who don’t know, hus­band Mark also has a cus­tom scooter, the Rolling Stones themed Start Me Up, but their joint ded­i­ca­tion to rid­ing and then show­ing clean scoot­ers has led to some mirth

among friends as they spend the Fri­day night of a rally clean­ing while the rest of us are in the pub!

But enough of her clean­ing habits and back to Vicki and her scoot­ers. She got her first one, a Vespa P125E, in the early 90s but never really rode it much, not get­ting on with it. As a con­se­quence Vicki spent a lot of tim­ing rid­ing pil­lion, which also meant she never got around to pass­ing her test ei­ther.

Fast for­ward to the 21st cen­tury and when hus­band Mark bought back his old early-90s cus­tom Lam­bretta, Start Me Up, and be­gan re­vamp­ing it, mem­o­ries of the small Snet­ter­ton seat on this scooter the first time around came flood­ing back to Vicki, who de­cided she wanted a tidy bike of her own to ride.

It’s All About Me was orig­i­nally pur­chased as a Frank San­der­son Se­ries 5 project that had never been built by the pre­vi­ous owner. Fin­ished in Lam­bretta GP turquoise, the main parts were there, namely the mod­i­fied chas­sis to ac­com­mo­date the Pi­ag­gio built Aprilia SR125 air-cooled two-stroke auto en­gine, forks, bars and body­work. Mark and Vicki set about sourc­ing the miss­ing parts and Mark com­pleted the build ready for the 2012 scooter rally sea­son. The fin­ish­ing touch to per­son­alise the scooter was painter Jon Holme adding some sub­tle Me­talflake-type ef­fect, stars and the name: All About Me.

Us­ing it for ral­lies around the UK, un­for­tu­nately on the way to Ex­mouth in 2013 a car driver clipped the back end of her scooter as she rode through a round­about re­sult­ing in a shat­tered wrist, bro­ken el­bow and torn mus­cles, and a con­sid­er­able amount of dam­age to her scooter too. Oh and she also missed the rally!

Now if any cloud has a sil­ver lin­ing, then in Vicki’s case it came in the form of dis­cov­er­ing Mandy who worked for an accident re­pair com­pany in Sur­rey and turned out to be a bit of a whizz when it came to cus­tom paint­work. Af­ter a bit of dis­cus­sion with Mandy over de­sign, a deal was done to pay for the scooter to have a makeover above and be­yond the ba­sic re­pairs that were (par­tially) cov­ered by the in­sur­ance claim af­ter the accident. And no, be­fore you ask, get­ting in­volved in a RTA and end­ing up in hos­pi­tal is not a cheap or pain­less way to cre­ate a cus­tom scooter! Find­ing Mandy was a touch though and Vicki is over the moon (or the stars!) with the fin­ished paintjob.

My big ques­tion here though was ‘why did you go to an accident re­pair cen­tre rather than a scooter spe­cial­ist?’ As Vicki told me, at the time of the accident, un­der­stand­ably her hus­band and son Jor­dan (who also rides scoot­ers) were more con­cerned with her well-be­ing rather than her scooter, so the bike ended up with said com­pany via the po­lice and re­cov­ery ser­vices. How­ever when they went to col­lect the scooter they saw some of

the work Mandy had done on other ve­hi­cles and were so im­pressed they de­cided to com­mis­sion her to paint Vicki’s scooter too.

The com­pany then re­built the scooter but Mark and Vicki were not sat­is­fied with the re­sult. This meant that when the scooter was back at home, Mark ended up strip­ping bits and re­build­ing them to make it right; like re­fit­ting the legshield tool­box be­cause he felt that it hadn’t been se­cured prop­erly, cor­rect­ing the legshield rub­ber trim that had been glued on and the stand which was foul­ing on the ex­haust.

Chris Sadd at CS Engi­neer­ing was com­mis­sioned to fix the stand, while Leon Bug­bee added some fi­nal art such as the stars on the en­gine cas­ing, and paint­ing the wheels, splash plate and mod­i­fied stand.

Newark 2014 was her first out­ing since the re­build, and Vicki’s been on It’s All About Me ever since, at­tend­ing ev­ery BSRA na­tional rally from Scot­land to the south west, as well as a reg­u­lar at­tendee of LCGB ral­lies too, pick­ing up a fair few tro­phies along the way for her well-rid­den cus­tom scooter.

In re­cent months she’s fi­nally passed her bike test and, with a full li­cence for geared ma­chines, can also be spot­ted rid­ing the ‘black bo­gey’ some­times, aka hubby Mark’s Se­ries 1 Lam­bretta. That said, while Vicki did tell me, “I wish I’d done my test sooner and per­se­vered with gears, most of all I have loved rid­ing my auto up and down the coun­try.”

And that folks, is what scooter­ing is all about.

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