"TITTER YE NOT"
How many times have you woken up in the morning after a hard night of
drinking and thought 'How did I get home?'
The answer to this puzzle
is that you used a beer
scooter. The beer scooter
is a mythical form of transport, owned and
leased out to drunks by Bacchus, the Roman god
of wine. The beer scooter works in the following fashion:
The passenger reaches a certain level of drunkenness and the 'slurring gland' begins to
give off a pheromone.
Bacchus detects the
pheromone and sends
down a beer scooter. The scooter scoops up the passenger and deposits them in their bedroom via a trans-dimensional portal.
It is not cheap to run a beer scooter, so a large portion
of the passenger's in pocket cash is taken as payment. This generates the second question after a night out 'How did I spend so much money?'
Independent studies have also shown that beer goggles cause the scooter's navigation system to malfunction thus sending
the passenger to the wrong bedroom often with horrific consequences.
For the family man, beer scooters come equipped with flowers picked from other people's garden and Thump-A-Lot Boots. These boots are designed in such
a way that no matter how quietly you tip-toe, you are sure to wake up your other half. Most useful of all is
the on-board heater which allows you to get home from the bar in sub-zero temperatures wearing just
The final add-on Bacchus saw fit to invest in for some scooters is TAS (Tobacco Absorption System). This explains how one person can apparently get through 60 Marlboro in a single
THE HISTORY OF LAMBRETTA
Lambretta is the brand name of a line of motor scooters initially
manufactured in Milan, Italy, by Innocenti. The name is derived
from the word Lambrate, the suburb of Milan named after the river
which flows through the area, and where the factory was located.
Lambretta was the name of a mythical water-sprite associate
with the river which runs adjacent to the former production site.
In 1972, the Indian government bought the machinery of the
Milanese factory, creating Scooters India Limited ( SIL ) in order to
produce the Lambro three-wheeler under the name Vikram for the
domestic market. Lambretta scooters were also manufactured
under licence by Fenwick in France, NSU in Germany, Serveta in
Spain, API in India, Yulon in Taiwan, Pasco in Brazil, Auteco in
Colombia and Siambretta in Argentina.
In 1922, Ferdinando Innocenti of Pescia built a steel-tubing
factory in Rome. In 1931, he took the business to Milan where he
built a larger factory producing seamless steel tubing and
employing about 6,000. The factory was heavily bombed and
destroyed during World War II. It is said that surveying the ruins,
Innocenti saw the future of cheap, private transport and decided
to produce a motor scooter, competing on cost and weather
protection against the ubiquitous motorcycle.
The main stimulus for the design style of the Lambretta and Vespa
dates back to pre-World War II Cushman scooters made in
Nebraska, United States. These olive green scooters were in Italy
in large numbers, ordered originally by the United States military
as field transport for the paratroops and marines. The United
States military had used them to get around German defence
tactics of destroying roads and bridges in the Dolomites (a section
of the Alps) and the Austrian border areas.
Aeronautical engineer General Corradino D'Ascanio, responsible
for the design and construction of the first modern helicopter by
Agusta, was given the job by Ferdinando Innocenti of designing a
simple, robust and affordable vehicle. It had to be easy to drive for
both men and women, be able to carry a passenger and not get its
driver's clothes soiled. D'Ascanio, who hated motorbikes,
designed a revolutionary vehicle. it was built on a spar frame with
a handlebar gear change and the engine mounted directly onto the rear wheel. The front protection
"shield" kept the rider dry and clean in comparison to the open front end on motorcycles. The pass-
through leg area design was geared towards women, as wearing dresses or skirts made riding
conventional motorcycles a challenge. The front fork, like an aircraft's landing gear, allowed for
easy wheel changing. The internal mesh transmission eliminated the standard motorcycle chain, a
source of oil and dirt. This basic design allowed a series of features to be deployed on the frame
which would later allow quick development of new models.
However, D'Ascanio fell out with Innocenti,
who rather than a stamped spar frame
wanted to produce his frame from rolled
tubing, allowing him to revive both parts of his pre-war company. D'Ascanio disassociated himself from Innocenti and took his design to Enrico Piaggio
who produced the spar-framed Vespa from 1946 on. The final design of the Lambretta was done by aeronautical engineers Cesare Pallavicino and Pier
Luigi Torre. Pallavicino had been Technical Director at the Caproni airplane factory during World War II before working on the Lambretta design. Torre was an engine designer at Italo Balbo's Idros; he designed the engine and organized Innocenti's factory for mass production.
Taking a year longer to produce, the 1947 Lambretta featured a rear pillion
seat for a passenger or optionally a storage compartment. The original front protection "shield" was a flat piece of aero metal; later this developed into a twin skin to allow additional storage behind the front shield, similar to the glove compartment in a car. The fuel cap was underneath the hinged seat, which saved the cost of an additional lock on the fuel cap or need for additional metal work on the smooth skin.
Innocenti started production of Lambretta scooters in 1947, the year after
Piaggio started production of its Vespa models. Lambrettas were manufactured under licence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India and Spain, sometimes under other names, but always to a recognizable design, e.g. Siambretta in South America and Serveta in Spain.
As wealth increased in western Europe in the late 1960s, the demand for motor scooters fell as the small car became available to more people and Lambretta started to struggle financially, as did parent Innocenti. The British Leyland Motor Corporation took advantage of Innocenti's financial difficulties and their production and engineering expertise and contracted Innocenti to produce
cars under licence from BLMC. The Innocenti Mini used the mechanical components of the original, but was in many ways superior to it. Innocenti Lambretta was eventually sold to BLMC. Unfortunately, lack of foresight had caused BLMC to join a fashion trend that was ending rapidly. Long industrial strikes in BLMC ensued; motor-scooter sales declined sharply, and both Innocenti and Lambretta closed shop in 1972.
The Indian government bought the factory for essentially the same reasons that Ferdinando Innocenti had built it after the war. India was a country with poor infrastructure, economically not ready for small private cars yet with a demand for private transport.
Automobile Products of India (API) began assembling Innocenti-built Lambretta scooters in India after independence in the 1950s beginning with 48 cc, Ld model, Li 1st series. They eventually acquired a licence to build the Li150 Series 2 model, which was sold under the Lambretta name until about 1976 and later on changed the name to Lamby for legal reasons. They also for sometime made and sold Lambretta TV 175 series under the name of Mac 175. Scooter India Ltd acquired the entire Innocenti Unit in 1972. API also built the trademark model [API-175] three-wheeler which was based on Innocenti's Lambro. API continued to build Lambretta-derived models until the 1990s but have been non-operational since 1993.
In 1972, Scooters India Ltd. (SIL) a state-run enterprise based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, bought the entire Lambretta manufacturing and trademark rights. Former Innocenti employees were used to set up an Indian factory as all the manuals and machinery instructions were in Italian. The first scooter built was the Vijay Delux/DL, which was badged the Lambretta GP150 in export markets. This was later enhanced to become the Vijay Super. Further improvements were made in the final years of production by incorporating a contemporary Japanese CDI unit and an advanced front suspension. SIL also distributed complete knock downs that were assembled in different parts of India and sold as the Allwyn Pusphak, Falcon, and Kesri. These were of a lower quality than the SIL-produced models and sometimes incorporated significant styling changes.
SIL production seems to have peaked during the financial year 1980–81, with around 35,000 scooters being built. However, by 1987 this had dropped to around 4,500 units with production finally ceasing in 1997. As of 2011, SIL's production now centres on the Vikram 3-wheeler, powered by the Lambretta engine. SIL also produces limited spares for the GP/DL range of scooters.
There are still clubs across the world, both national and local clubs, devoted to the Lambretta scooter. The clubs still participate and organize ride outs and rallies which regularly take place during weekends over the summer months and have high attendance, some rallies achieve 2,500 paying rally goers. Across the UK there are many privately owned
scooter shops which deal with everything Lambretta, from sales, services, parts, tuning, performance and complete nut and bolt restorations.
In Brazil, "lambreta" is used as a synonym for "scooter", being listed at the Novo Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa, one of the country’s main dictionaries, as a noun/substantive.
The small village of Rodano, near Milan, hosts the biggest Lambretta museum in Europe and the Innocenti archives. In the collection are also several non-Lambretta scooters, including some first models from the 1910s and US Army scooters parachuted over Normandy in 1944.
The Animal Jack Band
I can't strip my Lambretta down in the kitchen
In Weston-super-Mare, England, there is a Lambretta Scooter Museum which houses a total of 61 Lambretta models – at least one from each year between October 1947 through to May 1971. It also houses a large amount of Lambretta memorabilia. This museum and collection was sold in early 2007 and re-opened on 8 August 2008 following refurbishment.
In 1997 the UK-based Lambretta Clothing brand of clothing and accessories was founded. The company is currently part of Lambretta Consortium.
Like Vespas of the day, Lambrettas had three or four gears and two-stroke engines with capacities ranging from 49 cc to 198 cc. Most two-stroke engines require a mixture of oil with the gasoline in order to lubricate the piston and cylinder.
Unlike the Vespa, which was built with a unibody chassis pressed from sheets of steel, Lambrettas were based around a more rigid tubular frame, although the Cento (produced 1964-1965) & "J" range models (produced 1964-1970) did have a monocoque body. Early versions were available in "closed", with fully covered mechanicals or "open", with minimal panels and thus looking like an unusual motorcycle. The model A and model B were only available in "open" style. The D models were noted for their torsion-bar rear suspension; at its peak, the D model outsold all other two-wheeled vehicles combined. The much greater success of the "closed" version confirmed that riders wanted protection from the weather and a clean-looking machine.
Along with the Vespa, Lambretta was an iconic vehicle of the 1950s and 1960s when they became the adopted vehicle of choice for the UK youth-culture known as Mods. The character Jimmy from the influential scooter movie Quadrophenia rode a Lambretta Li 150 Series 3. Of the 1960s models, the TV (Turismo Veloce), the Special (125 and 150), the SX (Special X) and the GP (Grand Prix) are generally considered the most desirable due to their increased performance and refined look; the "matte black" fittings on the GP model are said to have influenced European car designs throughout the 1970s. These three models came with a front disc brake made by Campagnolo. The TV was the world's first production two-wheeled vehicle with a front disc brake.
As the race to be the first person on the moon gathered pace, Innocenti's new model was launched, the Luna range (Luna meaning "moon", in Italian). The machines looked very advanced for their day, reverting to the open frame style of the much admired "D" types, and although sales were slow to start with, racing success from grass-tracking to circuit-racing soon made them a sales success. Designed by Bertone Innocenti wanted a small frame and engine Lambretta that could be sold alongside the larger models. The frame had a tubular-steel front end, with bolt-on leg shields, and a monocoque pressed-steel rear frame.
Lambrettas have attracted an eclectic following of "revival" Mods, collectors, scooterists, cutdown enthusiasts, and even racers. Vespa and Lambrettas both can be converted to fun and relatively fast machines with little (but relatively expensive) modification. Many owners customize these scooters with elaborate customizations and paintwork and attend well-organised scooter rallies. The Lambretta has benefited from advances in technology in the motorcycle world. To boost performance some owners have fitted aftermarket cylinders and crankshafts that increase the swept volume to as much as 250 cc. Common modifications include a Nikasil plated aluminium barrel with radical porting, large Dell'Orto or Mikuni carburettors and bespoke expansion chambers.
Hydraulic disc brakes in the front are becoming common on the more highly tuned machines, as are hydraulic clutches and rear brakes. Modern low-profile tyres greatly improve handling, as do uprated front and rear suspension units.
The Lambretta Model A sold badly in the first 2 months only moving 47 units but production picked up and in th last 5 months they were producing over 1,000 units a month.
After the success of the Model A Ferdinando Innocenti needed a refined bike so the Model B was very similar to its predecessor.
The main aim was to improve ride quality and comfort while keeping the scooter a low cost form of transport. It was just as simple
as the Model A, but the improvements mean it cost more. The Model B was more successful than the Model A selling 35,014 units compared to the 9,669 units of the A.
The Model B is a more refined version of its predecessor the Model A. Its main improvement is in the suspension, the front and rear now has spring suspension, and there is a horizontally mounted coil spring damper on the engine to allow the rear of the engine to pivot. The handle bars have been moved forward and the saddle has been raised,allowing for a larger fuel tank for a more comfortable riding position. The gear changes had been made easier with a handlebar gear changer, which will become standard on all future models. It also had a legshield-mounted speedometer. The tyres were made bigger for greater ride quality, from 3.50*7 to 3.50*8.
Production of the Model B lasted 15 months, and was over three times greater 35, 014 and three months longer than the Model A.
The Lambretta TV200 (or GT200 in the UK) was a motor scooter produced by Innocenti from April 1963 to October 1965. During this time, 14,982 units were made for and exported to markets outside of Italy.
Innocenti's Lambretta Li 125 Special began its life in October 1965 with frame numbers starting from 850001. It inherited the same streamlined body styling from its older sibling the Li 150 Special, which, in turn had inherited its styling from the TV range. These variations included the octagonal headlamp bezel, shortened horn cast grill, front mudguard and side panels with aluminium flashes. The 125 Special emerged two years after the 150 Special and, although carried a smaller capacity engine, was in fact a more highly tuned machine featuring many improvements over the 150. Just one year before Innocenti introduced the sportier SX range of scooters the 125 Special represented a new level of scooter tuning, a level of tuning that would later be seen in the SX150 and SX200. This is why the 125 Special is often referred to as the SX125 even though it does not carry an 'X' badge or an SX frame number; though they do share the same larger script 'Lambretta' legshield badge.
The 150 Special was introduced in 1963 as a sportier alternative to the standard
Li 150. The compression ratio was increased from 7:1 to 7.5:1 giving the special
8.25 bhp (6 kW) over the standard 150's 6.6 bhp (5 kW). The introduction of the
125 Special brought with it a further compression ratio increase up to 8:1
producing 7.12 bhp (5 kW) over the 5.5 bhp (4 kW) of the standard Li 125. The 125
Special along with the SX150 and SX200 featured a larger 20mm Dell'Orto
carburetor over the 18mm carburetor found on the 150 Special. Although the 150 Special had a higher top speed the tuning improvements along with a new gearbox, which would later wind up in the DL/GP range of scooters, gave the 125 Special an advantage in acceleration. Between 1965 and 1969 a total of 29,841 Li 125 Specials were produced and were only available in light blue metallic (paint available from Lechler, code 8061) with white internals (petrol tank, air intake box, tool box, mudguard) and grey rubber trim. There were changes to the 125 Special during its 5 years of production the first of which was a change from a white button switch to black buttons sometime during 1966.
The Lambretta SX200, or Special X200, was Lambretta's top-of-the line scooter, with 20,783 units produced from January 1966 – January 1969.
The SX200 superseded the TV200 as a more reliable 200cc scooter designed for the world market, but was released at a time when scooter sales, and motorcycle sales in general, were starting to dwindle. The SX benefited from its ability to be tuned for more speed and power, thus making it a favourite with the then-burgeoning scooter racing scene in the UK. Many dealer specials were produced, based on the SX200, including the Arthur Francis "S-Type", Supertune "Rallye", and the Rafferty Newman "Wildcat".
In Italy the SX200 was only available in one colour: white with an ox blood red seat. British models were offered with either blue, black, green, gold, purple or red panelling, whilst other export models offered a choice of seat covering colours, namely green, dark blue and light blue. It also came in a smaller, 150 cc, version, the SX150, of which 31,238 units were built.
The Lambretta GP/DL range was the final range of classic Lambrettas to be produced before Lambretta was sold to British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1971. The range was called the DL in most countries, but was called the GP (standing for Grand Prix) in Britain and some other countries. This was in order to associate the scooters with Formula One which was extremely popular and successful in the late 1960s.
The GP/DL range was designed by Nuccio Bertone who was also acclaimed for designing several vehicles for Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, and Fiat.
The GP/DL range was offered with three different engine sizes: 125, 150, and 200.
In April 1971, Italian production of GP/DL Lambrettas ended. The Indian Government
purchased much of the tooling from Lambretta and continued production of GP/DL clone scooters under Scooters India Ltd (SIL).
Quadrophenia is a 1979 British film, loosely based on the 1973 rock opera of the same name by The Who. The film stars Phil Daniels as Jimmy, a young 1960s London-based Mod who escapes from his dead-end job as a mailroom boy by dancing, partying, taking amphetamines, riding his scooter and brawling with the motorcycle-riding Rockers.
After he and his friends participate in a huge brawl with the Rockers at the seaside town of Brighton, he is arrested and his life starts to spiral out of control; he loses his girlfriend (Leslie Ash) and discovers that his idol, the popular mod nicknamed "Ace Face" (Sting) is actually a bell boy at a hotel.
It was directed by Franc Roddam in his feature directing début. Unlike the film adaptation of Tommy, Quadrophenia is not a musical film, and the band does not appear live in the movie.
The film, set in 1964, follows the life of Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels), a young London Mod. Disillusioned by his parents and a dull job as a post room boy in an advertising firm, Jimmy finds an outlet for his teenage angst by taking amphetamines, partying, riding scooters and brawling with Rockers, accompanied by his Mod friends Dave (Mark Wingett), Chalky (Philip Davis) and Spider (Gary Shail). One of the Mods' rivals, the Rockers, is in fact Jimmy's childhood friend, Kevin (Ray Winstone). An attack by hostile Rockers on Spider leads to a retaliation attack on Kevin. Jimmy participates in the beating, but when he realises the victim is Kevin, he doesn't help him, instead driving away on his scooter.
A bank holiday weekend provides the excuse for the rivalry between Mods and Rockers to come to a head, as they both descend upon the seaside town of Brighton. A series of running battles ensues. As the police close in on the rioters, Jimmy escapes down an alleyway with Steph (Leslie Ash) – a girl on whom he has a crush – and they have sex. When the pair emerge, they find themselves in the middle of the melee just as police are detaining rioters. Jimmy is arrested, detained with a volatile, popular Mod he calls ' Ace Face ' (Sting), and later fined the then-large sum of £50. When fined £75, Ace Face mocks the magistrate by offering to pay on
the spot with a cheque, to the amusement of the fellow Mods.
Back in London, Jimmy becomes severely depressed. He is thrown out of his house by his mother, who finds his stash of amphetamine pills. He then quits his job, spends his severance package on more pills, and finds out that Steph has become the girlfriend of his friend Dave. After a brief fight with Dave, the following morning his rejection is confirmed by Steph and with his beloved Lambretta
scooter accidentally destroyed in a crash, Jimmy takes a train back to Brighton. In an attempt to relive the recent excitement, he revisits the scenes of the riots and of his encounter with Steph. To his horror, Jimmy discovers that his idol, Ace Face, is in reality an undistinguished bellboy at a Brighton hotel. Jimmy steals Ace's
scooter and heads out to Beachy Head, where he rides perilously close to the cliff edge. Finally, he crashes the scooter over a cliff, which is where the film begins, with Jimmy walking back from the cliff top in the sunset back drop.