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Scootering | #334 April 2014


Scooter insurance

worth up to


Little Red Rocket

Aprilia kitted 33hp Vespa 50N!

Maroon Machine

Custom Lambretta tribute to the Paras

HOW SAFE IS YOUR “I’m a villain, I’m a rogue. I’ll nick your wallet, or garden gnome.”







Lambretta Series 3

Headlight upgrade


Scooterist Meltdown, Motown star Brenda Holloway interview, Sticky in Istanbul, 33 page Kickstart section and much more!

No.334 April 2014



CONTENTS 03Hello & welcome...

... to the April edition of Scootering. We hope you enjoy your read!



The front section of the magazine packed full of information from news and reviews of products and events, to archive material, opinions, rumours and whispers, workshop essentials, old custom scooters from the 1980s, handy hints, readers’ letters, oddballs, personals, app of the month and a quick one with a scooter riding MAG rep.


Brenda Holloway

From Motown to Northern soul, an interview with this American soul sensation prior to her appearance at London’s Modstock.

36Maroon Machine

A customised Serveta Lambretta tribute to the British Army’s Parachute Regiment featuring some stunning artwork.

Scootering – 83Practical Staff Scooters

No, we’ve not forgotten them, we’ve just been pushed for space recently. This time we fit a 12v battery to an AC system.

88Specialist Services

Whatever you want, you’ll find it here. Hopefully.

91Scooter Trader

Classified and business advertising, for all your scootering needs.

Security 98Scootering Guide

13 pages full of tips, hints and suggestions on how to keep your scooter safe and secure. Including testing trackers, building a secure shed and a look behind the scenes at Thatcham.


Win Lexham scooter insurance worth up to £250!

42Club do’s & events 123Scooter Club do’s Show Us Your Classic Scootering – 124Scoots! 44Panorama Mods A calendar of scooter related events.

Ray Silk – a 60s Mod who appeared on BBC TV’s Panorama and decades later inspired a young Vespa enthusiast.

Pictures of you, on your scoots – simples, eh?


Sticky’s ride from Italy to Istanbul on Frankenstein’s scooters – well, they don’t actually belong to Frankenstein...

The Book of Scootering Rules

Our final instalment (for now) as the original rules have suffered flood damage, but just enough to prep you, as best they can, for the scootering season ahead.

126Touring to Turkey

132Little Red Rocket

When a standard Vespa 50N just isn’t enough, why not fit a tuned liquid-cooled 33hp engine?

54Scooterist Meltdown 138Into the Sunset The year begins in an abandoned nuclear establishment, somewhere in Germany...

Another of your tales of trials and tribulation. Keep ’em coming folks!

Modrapheniacs’ 59Sandford Rally A sunny outing on the south coast.

66Martini Gold

An authentic Mod custom Vespa GS 150, just like they used to be before the tabloids went and spoiled it all.

Practical Scootering – 74 I Can See Clearly Now...

... the rain has gone at last. No, it’s not a weather report, Sticky has been converting headlights again!










the primer PK frame looking for a new owner, that is until you looked at the rear shock mount. What seemed to be a good buy suddenly looked more like a plater’s wet dream! So, the scoot by the side of the road? It was an Italjet Dragster stripped of bodywork with crosser style bars and a peanut tank mounted in the traditional place in anything but a traditional application. Very neat, very simple, yet very eye-catching, something that summed up what the Brewers show is all about, that and the sun always shining... Richie

DRT FOUR-SPEED GEARBOX FOR EARLY THREE-SPEED VESPAS Denis of DRT has come up with a very clever solution to improve the performance of all the early three-speed lowlight (Faro Basso) Vespas from 1948-1957 (and presumably the Douglas versions too) by giving them an extra gear. What is particularly ingenious about this four-speed conversion is how it uses production components to keep the cost down. The four-speed gear cluster itself is all new, but the conversion uses the original Vespa first gear and two common PX cogs to complete the required loose gear set. Estimated cost for this conversion will be less than â‚Ź220 once it is in serial production. For more info see


Maroon Machine

The scooter you see here gets its name and theme from the BritishArmy’s Parachute Regiment and its distinctive head-wear.


Don’t get complacent, take the extra few minutes to protect your scooter. It’s your pride and joy and it’s worth securing. You know it makes sense.


any owners think nothing of spending £400 on an exhaust or tuning kit, maybe a grand on an engine rebuild or £1500 on a spray job, but most won’t even spend a fraction of that to help keep their investment safe. That’s like buying a massive home cinema set up with some tasty surround sound speakers, then going down the pub and leaving your front door on the latch. How foolish is that? So here are a few hints and tips on scooter security that we’ve learned over the years, some of which you may recognise and use, others maybe not. Hopefully, by combining a few together, it will help keep your scooter safe and secure and you can continue to enjoy it for a long time to come. Andy

Datatag Datatag security marking is both a deterrent to anyone thinking of stealing your scooter to sell on or strip and sell for spares, and a tool for recovering your bike and its parts should they get stolen. The Datatag electronic anti-theft system consists of tiny transponders (about the size of a grain of rice) that are hidden in your scooter, as well as Datadot microdots and other identification technology which you apply to your bike and the parts, from frame to panels and everything else. This multi-layered identification system enables the police to identify the true owner of any Datatagged scooter – either by reading the electronic transponder, or noting the unique microdots on parts – even if the numberplate and identification numbers have been removed or changed. Available from all good scooter and motorcycle dealers to retro fit yourself (£59.95). Datatag has also been fitted to literally thousands of Yamahas, Piaggios, Vespas and Gileras too. There are no annual fees, and when you come to sell your scooter you’ll find that the Datatag registration can be transferred to the new owner.



Personally I know what it feels like to have a scooter stolen (Vespa 50 Special from a shed when I was 16) and to have both a house and garage burgled on more than one occasion. Unsurprisingly, since then I’ve taken security very seriously. More recently I was able to have a garage purpose built and so of course, security was of high importance. The windows use tinted glass so you can’t see inside and they don’t open, so they can’t be prised. The side door has five-lever security to the same spec as the house door and the sectional garage door is 60mm thick and as solid as a wall. The garage was also built so it can’t be seen into from the road when the door is open. My scooters are chained to an immovable object inside and to each other. Call me paranoid if you like, but the garage is also alarmed – if the alarm goes off I get a phone call on my mobile, as does my other half. This allows us to realise there may be a problem if we’re away from home. What use is that you may well ask? Well we’ve also got CCTV with visible and covert cameras, these cameras record 24 hours a day to a remote hard

drive and can also be viewed on our mobile phones. This is great for keeping an eye on things, day or night – and also means we can see how many folks are enjoying the teenage parties while we’re on a rally! This lot didn’t come cheap, but sleeping easy at night is more important. The alarm was around £400, it’s a good quality insurance backed system so we get discounts on our annual house insurance premium. It has never given any false alarms, so if it goes off anybody who knows us will take it seriously. The CCTV is also a good quality system, fitted by a professional installer. The quality of the images is pretty good compared to lesser systems and its night vision is excellent. Expect to pay around £1000 for a similar four-camera system with remote viewing function. Steer clear of bargain cameras and hard drives, picture quality is often useless (especially at night) but the cameras themselves can still be a visible deterrent (as can a dummy alarm box). You can also buy realistic looking dummy cameras – any visible security is better than none. Iggy

Sign of the times

Ground anchors If you’re going to nail a sign to your garage or shed wall, then instead of enticing thieves in with adverts of what you have stored inside, how about putting up a sign to put them off? That means no ‘Lambretta Parking Only’ type signs, okay?

Grip or Croc? I first came across Grip Lock a few years ago and have used it regularly since, mostly as a secondary device alongside another lock and chain. It grips the front brake lever on, making the scooter harder to move, although the slide adjuster for different handlebars seems to be getting loose, meaning the placed rubber inserts of the new Datatool version – Croc Lock – appear to be a better idea. Only time will tell if it lasts as long of course, but for now this is a visible deterrent, if not the most secure lock on the market. Croc Lock is £29.99 from while expect to pay around £45 for a Grip Lock,

In the loop If you can get a lock around the leg of a Vespa fork that should prove fairly secure. However, if your Vespa is not suitable for that, or you have a Lambretta on which the front wheel can be dropped out in seconds, how about getting a steel security loop welded on to your frame? Done right, it remains discreet, and while it’s maybe not original, it’s better to have the scooter still in your possession like this, than exactly as Innocenti intended in the back of a thief’s van, eh? The lock here is a 1.5m Oxford Combi Chain. While it doesn’t feel as hefty as the rest in this article, the number combination lock (oddly branded Wordlock?) and light weight could prove convenient for some riders. The RRP is £39.99.

Ground anchors come in all shapes and sizes and usually include the necessary security bolts to fasten them down securely. This one is a heavy-duty item and is wide enough to allow a scooter to sit over it and a long chain to pass over the footboards.

If you’ve got a suitable concrete base you’ll just need a heavy-duty drill and masonry bit (or hire one from a local plant hire firm). In this case we had to dig a large hole, mix the concrete and allow it to go off before the bolts could be drilled in. Ball bearings are hammered into the Allen bolt heads to prevent them being unscrewed – so make sure you’re happy with its position!

Although this concrete block isn’t huge, the location of the anchor between an external wall and the shed would make it difficult for a thief to prise it out and wheel the scooter, chain, anchor and concrete away. A larger concrete base would be better though.

If you’re worried about it looking unsightly you can disguise the anchor using slate, gravel or bark. At least then you’ll only have to see the prongs sticking up when the scooter isn’t over it. In reality you’ll still leave the chain threaded through though.


Little Red

Rocket The scooter world – when it works as it should – runs on favours-for-favours as much as it does on two-stroke oil and petrol.


atthias Dahl has long been the photographer behind Hamburg high-horsepower haberdashery Scooter & Service. In exchange for photos of new products and projects, Matthias is allowed free run of the workshop to build his scooters. He can also call on the expertise of the welders and fabricators behind some of northern Germany’s most mental Vespas. This modified Vespa 50N was an old project converted at great time and expense into a Vespa 90SS lookalike. This was long before you could simply buy an SS90 legshield and floor section to weld on to your Vespa smallframe, as you can today. At the time, shop owner Wolle was running around on a radical smallframe of his own with an engine converted to accept an Aprilia RS125 Rotax cylinder. We featured that scooter back in April 2009.


INTO THE SUNSET With the bitter break up of a 20 year relationship in its death throes and all the crap that entails; not to mention a nasty bug my kids had shared, causing me to lose a stone and a half in weight, I was down, very down…


hat I needed was an injection of my drug of choice, nothing dispensed from a pharmacy, but out of my own garage. I needed a weekend away on my bike crossing Europe to enjoy a few pints with like-minded friends. Euro Lambretta would be the perfect prescription! Two travelling friends had left Tuesday night, but time constraints meant that I had to leave Wednesday evening and return Monday afternoon, in short a long hard ride with plenty of drinking in between. Despite the fact it was Euro Lambretta, my steed of choice was my old P200E – the Li was running fine but it just wasn’t fast enough, I needed speed! And if I am completely honest I couldn’t deal with any more stress, I needed as close to bulletproof reliability as an Italian motor scooter can give you, hence my choice of the ‘workhorse of Europe’. Any pangs of guilt soon faded when on the ferry I realised there were four separate parties going to Avignon and I was the only one on two wheels! ‘Charlatan’ was the word that came to mind, and not in a good ‘Tim Burgess’ kind of way… I disembarked at Le Havre early Thursday morning and with a full tank of fuel hit the ground riding hard as I had some catching up to do. A text message confirmed that my colleagues were a good 200 miles in front of me, meaning I would have to cover nigh on 400 miles to catch up. The first stop was just outside Chartres, to refuel, grab a coffee and croissant and admire the view of the beautiful cathedral in the distance. Shortly after lunch I passed Bourges where the boys had stopped the previous night – surely they couldn’t be far ahead now? No word on the phone, I pressed on. The midday sun

peaked and began to fall as I headed further south... another refuel but still no message. I decided to grab a coffee and text them for a location. While I was enjoying coffee, the sun slowly slipping down to the horizon, a small snake slithered under the table at which I was sat, hopefully not an omen, but along with the prickly pears growing at the roadside, a sign of how far south I was, and how close to the Mediterranean Sea. Just as I was ready to leave, a text message arrived. I quickly consulted the map and located their last position, I was on the right road and only 60 klicks behind. Throttle wound on to the stop I headed off in hot pursuit. The road took me through beautiful French countryside along virtually deserted roads up into tree-lined mountains. It was while on a long stretch of road, through a wooded mountain pass, that the driver of an apparently stricken car beckoned me to pull over and help. Completely alone I pulled up next to the car, no bonnet was up and no puncture that I could see. I sat on the bike, engine still running. A man of North African origins with a shiny suit and gold chains around his neck and rings on his fingers gestured for me to come round the side of the car, while his friend in the passenger seat sat texting and glancing at me out of the corner of his eye. I asked if they were all right; “Yes my friend, I have something for you here,” was his reply. I had seen enough, politely declining I engaged first gear and made a speedy departure. The fuel gauge was flashing, the road deserted and damp from a sudden torrential storm leaving the road steaming. I daren’t turn round until I was a good 500 yards away. When I deemed it safe to look they were reassuringly standing round the car, smoking and chatting on their phones and not chasing after me! How strange…

The night was drawing in, the bike needed fuel. I hurriedly filled up from the can and pressed on into the arriving darkness. I passed a campsite; maybe the boys had stopped and camped up for the night, or were they still on the move? Travelling too fast in my eagerness to find my companions, I entered a small village at speed and just in time I saw two laden Lambrettas outside a pizzeria. I slammed on the anchors and skidded to a halt. What a welcome sight, and just in time for grub! At that time I decided it was quite possibly the best pizza I had ever eaten together with the most refreshing coffee that I had ever drunk. Once finished we headed to the next big town, a short ride away and wheeled our bikes silently onto a campsite for a much needed rest. Breakfast was in the beautiful town square of Le Peu en Velay before we saddled up for what was a stunning ride through the Mont Du Vivarais mountains, passing through Mende and stopping at Ales for a spot of lunch. With the sun shining and the bikes performing well, it was a spectacular ride through the mountains. Early that afternoon we arrived at Avignon and were greeted by friends old and new. No sooner out of the saddle a beer was handed to us – what more could you want? Surrounded by bikes of all shapes and sizes, good friends from across Europe – not to mention new friends from America – this was the perfect pick-me-up and just what I needed. Another excellent Euro Lambretta rally! Paul


And yes I did have a sore arse, it ached for days! I had covered well over 1000 miles by the time I arrived home five days later, but it was well worth it; roll on William Tell, Toblerones and cuckoo clocks, Euro Lambretta 2014!

We’ve all got a scooter story to tell down at the pub, and many of you have even said: “I’ve got a great story for Into the Sunset.” Well, now is the time to share it with the rest of us, write it down (between 1000 and 1200 words long please), and send it to: Scootering Magazine, Into the Sunset, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6LZ. Alternatively, send via email to


Scootering Magazine April 2014  

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