T HE N U T S A N D T HE B O LT S
In the early 1990s, says Izumi, large numbers of Vespas and Lambrettas were brought into Japan. Asked their view on Indian Lambrettas – as expected, given the Japanese love of detail and heritage – they instantly said no.Italian only.Many parts, like the scooters, were brought into Japanin the early 1990s. Today, Japanese scooter dealers import parts from Germany and Vietnam. Dyno centres are widespread across the country –no problem getting a scooter tuned.In the Japanese scooter world as a whole, Vespas outnumber Lambrettas. The Japanese ‘shaken’ is the equivalent of the UK’s MoT test. For a 400cc motorcycle, the cost –mechanics are often paid to strip downmachines, prepare them for test, and deal with all the paperwork – is in the region of £200-£300, depending on the necessary work.Machines under 250cc, though, are exempt. Scooter riders like Izumi pay an annualinsurance of just 10,000 yen, in today’s money the equivalent of about £70.