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November 8, 2019
Lambretta G-325 Special

Yes, another Lambretta reboot. *sigh* (Photo: Lambretta GmbH)

It’s EICMA time again, and wouldn’t you know, yet another rebooted Lambretta (or “Lambretta,” your choice) has rolled out.

I have a headache.

I no longer even try to count how many proposed, launched, or failed Lambrettas litter the scooter landscape. Never mind the other scooters that look like Lambrettas but don’t attempt to negotiate the minefield that is the dispute over who actually owns the Lambretta name.

This one is produced by something called Lambretta GmbH, a German company. Credit where it’s due, it’s nice lookimg and appears to be screwed together quite well.

Lambretta G-325 front 3-quarter view

As with nearly all of these intros, details are scarce.

The name suggests the engine will displace… wait for it… 325cc. Um, why? In Europe, 300 is a major market segment. Piaggio Group has 300 versions of things like the Aprilia Scarabeo (same engine, different transmission cover caps). Everyone else who sells scooters on the Continent plays, too.

And as we saw with the Vespa GTS, the bump from 246 to 278cc yielded one more horsepower and one more foot-pound of torque. A similar difference seems likely here. So, what’s the point?

Lammy GmbH is quick to point out the G-325 Special is made of STEEL. Unlike the GTS, however, the side panels are removable. Your bill from the body shop to repair damage from being knocked over will be significantly less, though I’m inclined to think that’s not the reason they designed it that way.

In fact, from just about every angle, the G-325 Special looks like the result of someone thinking, “what if a Vespa GTS looked like a Lambretta?” An episode of Overhaulin’, if you will. Chip Foose and his band of merry men doing their thing on a scooter.

How much? Good question. That detail was not mentioned, though it probably could sell reasonably well if the price undercuts the GTS by a grand or so. The engine is said by some to be sourced from SYM, so it should be well-engineered and reliable.

But fergoshsakes, Lambretta (in all its many iterations) has become the Harley-Davidson of the scooter universe. A brand inexorably tied to a time long past and customer base that is starting to literally die off. The people behind these ventures don’t seem to realize that Vespa is an icon: The name is universally synonymous, not only with the very concept of the motor scooter, but with Italy and all things Italian, and a romanticized but still appealing lifestyle. La Dolce Vita. Not “we are the Mods,” laying siege to a sleepy beach town.

Lammy GmbH also announced the intro of a “high-power” (their words) electric scooter, to take place in February 2020 at the Delhi Auto Show. Did you happen to catch Fred de Sam Lazaro’s PBS News Hour report on India’s extreme air pollution? High-power or not, this is what India really needs.

In fact, electric scooters were numerous at EICMA, Europe treating global climate change much more seriously than the U.S.

As for Piaggio Group, their stand was all special editions, all the time. This is what you do when there’s no truly new product in the pipeline for the foreseeable future. Their scooters all got new engines because Euro 4 emissions compliance in 2017 and Euro 5 in 2021 for current models. Piaggio is in the happy position of having a product portfolio that is mostly unique in their market segments, so there’s really no pressure to update them frequently.

Take the Vespa GTS: new engines are a matter of removing and replacing three bolts; there’s a new horncast, which simply required changing the shape of the hole in the front of the legshield. The GTS is the Ford Crown Victoria of the scooter world, except the market for it extends well beyond police departments and taxi operators.

As usual, has the most in-depth EICMA coverage. Not to mention a chance to practice your Italian.

One Comment
  1. David permalink
    November 12, 2019 3:12 am

    This is one of your best posts! Thank you.

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