Roadkill: March 2008

Scootering to the beach, Part 1
Mar. 31, 2008, 8:47 AM

Scootering to the beach OK, so we didn't take scooters - it's a bit difficult with almost 50 people and 2 year olds - but we did scoot to the beach for a staff holiday Friday and Saturday. We've been so busy that it was time for a reward and a break for everyone in the factory and office. Not all the staff could come, but it was a pretty good showing.

We rented a large bus for 2 days and went to Phan Thiet, a few hours from HCMC. Surprisingly, almost none of our staff had been there before, so everyone was eager to go. The Phan Thiet beach area is now largely developed, quite different from just a few years ago, with a main beach road that is not exactly what you'd call charming, but the beach is nice and there are untold resorts to hunker down in.

In this first set, we start off, stop for lunch en route, visit a whale skeleton housed in a pagoda (a whale god is prayed to for good luck by fisherman), arrive and check-in, then promptly hit the beach.

We'll post Part 2, the food and sport issue, next...


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Lambretta SX/LIS headset
Mar. 30, 2008, 8:17 AM

A nice email the other day about our Lambretta SX/LIS Headset:

Lambretta SX/LIS headsetI received my ScootRS order today. Thank you once again for such speedy service! I've been anxiously waiting the arrival of my ScootRS made Lambretta Special headset and I must say, it looks great! This one is a replacement for my broken one; I have two other Special headsets, but neither of them are matched tops and bottoms. I'm pleasantly surprised at how nicely everything fits together and nothing about it is unexpected. [....]

PS. I know you quote customers on your website and it'd be totally cool if you wanted to include this with your product description or whatever. I really just had to let you know that this headset is good quality and a great solution to replace an otherwise unobtainable OEM part.


See more in: Lambretta

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Gone to the beach
Mar. 29, 2008, 3:49 PM

We forgot to post that we were closed Friday and Saturday because we've taken the entire staff to the beach. If waiting for a reply, it will have to wait until Monday. We'll post some photos shortly.


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Website update
Mar. 24, 2008, 10:01 AM

We've updated the site a bit to make a few things look better, most notably the little blog/news/review/email boxes such as you see on the homepage and on the scooter review page, for example. A few other tweaks under the hood.

It looks good in Firefox, IE7, Opera. No Mac, sorry Safari people; email a screenshot if an issue. On ye olde IE6 it should be fine but who knows, we don't have it anymore and haven't checked yet.

If you are still using Internet Explorer 6, and we see about 29% of you still are: WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? You're driving a rusty old browser around with a flat tire, oil leaks, and bad brakes. And people are giving away fully-restored browsers for FREE! Go and get one (or even get IE7 if you really must) right now.


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ScootRS rubber vs. Italian repros
Mar. 20, 2008, 8:00 AM

As we noted just the other day, many of the items we offer are as good as, or often better than, Italian, even though vastly cheaper. Many Italian repros are good, but many are not and it is silly - and costly - to believe something is good because made in Italy, or bad because made in Asia. (Especially when many items sold by Italian repro parts companies are actually made in India and Vietnam, though they don't really want to advertise that because it goes against their entire “Italian quality” marketing allure used to justify high prices.)

A good example just came up where someone was complaining about Italian repros of Lambretta panel rubber and asked what was better and got several replies regarding us:

Lambretta panel rubber>>Which are the best Series 3 side panel rubbers to use? I have the Casa ones but they're wrinkled along the frame edge with no signs of straightening, even tried to heat them up, and they still look awful.

-I found the Casa rubbers to be rubbish as well. The scootRS are very good with plenty of height to stop panels rubbing on the frame

-Also just fitted some scootRS ones and quite pleased with them, not all this remade Italian stuff is all it's cracked up to be

-I've just used some scootRS series 3 LI panel rubbers and I'm pleased with them look OK fit OK

In this particular case, the Casa Lambretta panel rubber is about $10, while ours is just $5.50. Paying double adds up very quickly over dozens of items.

It is the same with quite a number of new rubber items we make inhouse which are far superior to the local Vietnam market version and for which we've explicitly stated “Same as Italian but half the price.” And there will be more to come because it doesn't make sense to pay double what you need to.

As someone previously wrote:

I can heartily recommend the scootRS rubbers for the side panels. They are the best you will get in my opinion. In fact all their rubber is exceptionally good quality. Anyway, the sidepanel rubbers are nice and thick. Not too stiff and not too soft and my sidepanels sit on them a treat with no riding up of the rubber. “Same as Italian. Half the price.” as they say.

See more in: General, Lambretta

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Manufacturing scooter parts at our factory
Mar. 18, 2008, 1:13 PM

Stamping scooter parts Another factory post: here are a few shots of us stamping some scooter parts in our factory. In the first photo you see one side of a stainless steel Lambretta rear spare wheel holder, while in the second there are a couple small items, again stainless, both fork link caps and lower steering cup covers.

Lambretta and Vespa scooter parts are very low-volume compared to other industries. Years before, items like this were always manually done by us or local suppliers, but to get good consistent quality we've moved over the past few years to molds and stamping everything and doing everything inhouse as far as possible: stands, racks, seats, lights, rubber, etc. In that way we have raised our quality far above all the parts that come out of the local market, as sold by the low-end Vietnam market resellers types. Taking virtually any item from the local market vs. what we do inhouse, you can see a good quality difference. So many items we do today are now equal or better quality than Italian (Casa Lambretta, MecEur, etc.) but still vastly cheaper. We'll write about some of these in upcoming posts.

All the hard work shows when a UK shop tells us how a sandcast knockoff disc brake they happened to try didn't fit well but how pleased they are with our high pressure diecast original for the same price, or emails from new shop customers in North America that begin:

Fri 2/22/2008 6:04 PM: We just got 2 more bikes to restore and we are going to order several items for their restoration over the next few weeks. We have been extremely busy and we are so satisfied with the quality of your product that we are going to use you guys as our number one parts source. You have proven to us to be a top notch company and totally reliable in every respect.

Here's a quick video - a little dark, sorry - of stamping out the rear spare holders. As you can hear, we opted for a very good hydraulic press instead of the cheaper type because it is so quiet:


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Vespa GS160 stainless steel sports exhaust
Mar. 12, 2008, 12:38 PM

GS160 stainless steel sports exhaust An Australian customer of ours has a brand new Vespa GS160 stainless steel sports exhaust for sale at a discount. If you're in Oz and interested, let us know and we'll forward your info.


See more in: Classic Vespa

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Factory update - new tools!
Mar. 11, 2008, 1:20 PM

Factory update At the factory we've added a big new, shiny blue, air compressor to power all the air tools throughout the shop.



And what better way to celebrate than with shiny new tools, like die grinders, drills, grinders, and so forth?


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Lambretta hydraulic disc brake auction
Mar. 4, 2008, 6:27 AM

If you are in the UK and have a Lambretta LI, someone is auctioning our disc brake kit:

Better than new ScootRS hydraulic disc conversion to fit Lambretta LI model links. (Please note this will NOT fit TV, SX or GP200 links) The master cylinder has been stripped of paint and polished. (A devil of a job!!) The whole set up has been fully sorted and is fitted with a new Goodridge hose. This brake set-up works brilliantly, and looks fairly subtle.

Auction ends in 8 days.


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Restorations, Lambretta, Mugello
Mar. 2, 2008, 7:20 AM

An email today from a Lambretta scooter customer of ours who decided to hop up his engine a bit:

Hope your New Year celebrations went well. Had 225 Mugello kit fitted to scoot, really powerful now. Just wondered what carb you use on your Mugellos. The guy that fitted it and did all the porting work seems to think that the PWK one that you fitted originally will be fine.

By the way, he said the work on the engine was first class, especially the way you welded the crankcase to take the 200 barrel. He also said that the port timings were spot on and he liked the lightened flywheel, so thanks for that. Cheers.

We do use the PWK carb on all our Lambretta scooters. The 24mm is good for stock engines, and the 28/30mm is great for tuned engines. We've done a few Mugellos now. The 186s go very well with a tuned exhaust and PWK. And we're just finishing up right now a 225 Mugello with PWK and tuned exhaust with an electric starter.

Glad to hear of another UK shop confirming the quality of the work we do. There are so many scary-bad scooters coming out of Vietnam that Western shops naturally assume things will be terrible going in - because they usually are from the wholesalers and eBay special dealers - and are then shocked to see something done so well from here, especially when we include as standard normally expensive extras like lightening the flywheel.


See more in: Lambretta

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