Reader’s Ride

At Belfast, ‘Hell’ at­tracted many ad­mir­ing glances. In fact one group of Aus­tri­ans were so taken with it that they’re prob­a­bly hack­ing lumps off their PXs right now!

Scootering - - Contents -

Our favourite road rid­den scooter this month, it’s al­ways some­thing spe­cial. Take an oil com­pany and re­move one let­ter – it’s Hell!

The owner and cre­ator of this dis­tinc­tive Vespa cut down, Richard ‘Bo’ Gelling laughs: “I wanted it ready for Vespa World Days but the last few weeks have been a night­mare!” Like so many scoot­ers we’ve fea­tured in ‘Reader’s Rides’, Hell is Bo’s own work and he’s quick to point out its im­per­fec­tions, but even on close ex­am­i­na­tion it looked good to me.

Start­ing with a bat­tered EFL frame, Bo set about cut­ting, weld­ing and gen­er­ally fet­tling it un­til he was happy with the sil­hou­ette. The tank, which came from a Honda Benly, tips for­ward, giv­ing ac­cess to the spare wheel, while the Tri­umph seat tips back­wards re­veal­ing a stor­age com­part­ment. Any­one who’s smoothed off a set of EFL leg-shields knows that it’s not an easy task and deal­ing with the re­sul­tant maze of wiring is just one ex­am­ple of the self-in­flicted pain on this build.

“The forks came from a Gil­era Run­ner but there was in­suf­fi­cient space for them to turn,” ex­plained Bo. “I con­sid­ered all sorts of so­lu­tions, in­clud­ing sculpt­ing the leg-shields but fi­nally achieved enough clear­ance by weld­ing a PX stan­dard bot­tom bear­ing cup part­way up the stem. This re­tains the steer­ing stops, al­lows enough move­ment and its ge­om­e­try gives a very pleas­ant ride in­deed.” The paint is self-ap­plied although Kirsty, Bo’s part­ner, helped with the finer de­tails. “Ig­nore the bore and stroke in­for­ma­tion,” sighs Bo. “It should have a Pinasco 177 lump but a bear­ing failed last week. I had to re­place it with a P2 unit, the plea­sure of sort­ing it out is wait­ing for me when I get home!”

It’s not un­com­mon for cut down builders to use mo­tor­cy­cle parts and the Street­fighter fair­ing gives Hell a lean, ag­gres­sive look. How­ever, as Bo ex­plained, any­one want­ing to repli­cate the speedo and light hous­ings needs to turn in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion. “They’re kitchen spot­lights,” he laughs. “The light units have Land Rover De­fender lenses and LEDs in­side them.”

Hell’s first out­ing was al­ways planned to be VWDs but in typ­i­cal scooter­ist fash­ion Bo cut things fine: “It was MOT’d about four hours be­fore we caught the ferry!” Judg­ing by Hell’s re­cep­tion it was well worth the ef­fort and sales of hack­saw blades are set to rise in Aus­tria! Words & Pho­to­graphs: Stan

Han­dle­bars and an­cil­lar­ies are all from Bo’s fer­tile mind. In­ge­nious use of kitchen fit­tings!

Sim­ple in ap­pear­ance but dif­fi­cult to achieve.

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