Thursday, June 30, 2011

A day off from Scooters... well almost

I must admit, it was nice to have a day where I wasn't covered in grime. Suzanne, Akiko and I had a day off in Milan.

Vittoria, the owner of the B&B, took us to the local town to catch the bus. Rather confuding. There's a 73X, a 73/ and a 73. We needed the 73/ and promptly got on (BTW, buses are really cheap here. 15km was only 1.60 Euro). Only to find, when we got back to where we had started, that the bus was going in the wrong direction. Anyway, we stayed on teh bs, and Arrived in Milan on Corso Europa. I was then on a mission to get to the Lambretta shop, which is now Sisseley.

Take a look at the building in the background of the poster and me.

Now, to get there. We walked the Length of Europa, up to the Dorma, which is a fantastic Gothic Cathedral in Milan, down Corso Vittorio Emenuele II. BIt of a walk in 32 degree heat. Got the pic, and then we started shopping! Well, what else you going to do in Milan. Akiko was after some shoes, I was after a hand bag, and Suzanne was after gifts for the grand children.

We walked back to the Dorma. Where you just see a streetscape that defines Italian.

Then you turn around, and you see this magnificent gothic cathedral

What could you do after seeing that? Look to your left and see the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, or just The Galleria:

It just so happened to be lunch time, so we thought we had better eat. BTW, what's so good about the Galleria, other than the amazing architecture? Take a look behind Akiko:

Just in case you didn't get it, it's Louis Vuton, and there's Gucci, Prada, etc. Even in Milan I, unfortunately, couldn't afford anything from there.

After lunch, we wondered back down the street. Akiko and I had already got two blouses. I got my handbag. Suzanne had spotted what she wants to get the grandkids, and Akiko was running out of options on shoes. We finally got back to where the Lambretta shop was, cut through a Glleria to find ourselves exactly where the bus stop was... so we'd walked a huge distance for no reason when we first got there... and Akiko finally got her shoes.

Arriving back at the B&B, we debated what to do for dinner. In the end, Ron and I went to a local shop and bought some cold meats, wine, cheese and tomatoes and we had a fabulous fun night in for not much money. Wine here is SOOOOO cheap!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scooter is ready... almost

Another day started at Casa Lambretta. Here I am at the front desk being useful.... actually not. Just doing some personal emergency stuff via email.

Helped Ron finish his scoot. Today it was his rear brake shoes that needed replacing. Finally, though his scoot was finished.

Whilst we were working on Ron's scoot, Vittorio comes into the workshop and tells us that we need to go outside and see a beautiful new Lambretta in original condition:

Finally, though my scoot is ready. Ron and I went for a test ride of a few kilometres. The scoot behaved well, but vibrates quite badly at higher speeds. I think this is because I have the original LI150 engine mounts instead of the later large type. The front brake, however, is next to useless so I'll have to go back to Casa Lambretta to dismantle it and see if I can find out what the issue is.

Still, she's mostly ready.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day spent at Casa Lambretta

Today started at 6am. Well, that's when I woke up. Lovely and peaceful B&B though. Can hear the birds singing as I type this.

9am we went to the garage at the back of the B&B and I rolled out my scoot. Here was the moment of truth. I had started it a few weeks ago when I was in the UK, but I never got to ride it. This was the first time....and it started first time!

Ron and I went down the road and got some petrol, and then returned most of the way to go to Casa Lambretta, where we were warmly greeted by Vittorio.

Akiko and Suzanne were already waiting for us and Vittorio gave us a personal tour of his scooter museum, the highlight obviously being the Lambretta section.

We got pictures of Akiko with Fuji's, and a very early Japanese scooter. I managed to get a picture with a Swallow Gadabout and, if you know my interest with Jaguars, you'll understand why I was so interested in the Swallow.

With the tour over, Ron and I set to work on our scoots. Mine was mostly cosmetic, but I did have to readjust the clutch as it was way too tight. I did embark on changing the headlight lens, as it was plastic. Changing the headlight meant that I junked the plastic lens, etc and swapped for glass.... then came Lunch.

Vittorio took us for lunch in his huge Caddilac convertible, and we met his son... who speaks excellent English. After lunch, we re-started with the scoots, and my "change the headlight" became, change the headlight, and the reflector and the chrome ring, and headset screws.

By the end of the day, I was finished. Ron's needed a bit more work as he had decided, just in time from the evidence, to change his clutch. So, we are back again tomorrow.

What can I say about working on a scoot in the workshop of Casa Lambretta? It's like a kid in a candy shop. You need a tool... they have it. You need a part... they have it. Wonderful!

Here's some more pics from the museum:
Model of the Innocenti factory
From left to right, Vittorio, Ron and I with a New York Police dept Serveta in the background
The Gold plated Lambretta, as sat on by Jane Mansfield
Official cut-away Lambretta
Lambretta for the 1960 Rome Olympics
New York Police Serveta
Factory Racing Vega
First Twin prototype that uses 10" wheels
2nd twin prototype that used 12" wheels.
cross-desert Serveta

Arrived in Millepini

We are absolutely buggered! It took 30 hrs from door to door to get to Millepeni! The flight from Sydney to London was full, but that was OK. The flight from Heathrow was awful. It was chockers with a whole bunch of Africans who insisted on shouting across the aircraft... all at the same time. Doesn't sound that bad, but when you get woken up by someone shouting, not so good.

We got met by Vittoria, the owner of the B&B, and Ron De Pannone. The pic was taken by Suzanne, Ron's wife, as we arrived at the B&B. All we wanted to do was get a drink and a shower. Later on we had a snooze, but were up again for dinner at the Brick Cafe, and then Ron and I stayed up until 1:30am just talking and drinking a few glasses of wine... well, OK, quite a few glasses of wine.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Got a visit from Bill Guthrie

Bill Guthrie came and stayed last night, and gave me all kinds of tips about the MiTa. Bill has done it twice now. He's had success,a nd less than success.

He told me how not to gain points, how to loose points. Attire standard for the evenings, attire standard for the days.

Some great information!

Apparently, I loose points (That's a good thing) if the officials see my cleaning my scoot. I need to be at a checkpoint within 30secs of my alloted time to get 0 points.

Most of all... enjoy the ride, and take plenty of photos!

I called the B&B in Milan. My scooter has arrived, as well as my helmet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The joys of being international

I've just registered the scoot with Footman James. Because I still have a UK drivers license, and I can use my mothers address the scoot is now fully insured, for unlimited mileage, for 126 pounds a year, which even gives me breakdown cover in Europe! My LCGB membership just paid off. Yay!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Just before shipping to Milan

She's now been rebuilt and this is roughly how she looks now. I have since had a bench seat put on and, finding out that I needed to carry petrol, a rear rack has been added.

Recently I was in the UK and so I actually started her up. Started well, but needed a minute to warm up. Didn't get to ride her though, as she was still unregistered. I also didn't get to do a close inspection.

As I type this, she's on her way to Milan.

Final Bill? Well, let's just say that I nearly spent enough to buy the TV200 in the pics :-(

The good, the bad and the downright ugly

As Kernow Lambrettas looked over the machine they found that whilst the engine did, indeed, run, it made an awful noise. It was diagnosed that the main bearings were shot... so we now got into an engine rebuild. The rear hub was also damaged, and the wheel rims were a tad rusty, and not original.

So, now she has new bearings, seals, a race crank, Casa 185, and an ancilotti exhaust, a New rear hub, new wheel rims, shocks added to the front forks, new electronic ignition and recabling then exposed the horror of the horncasting.....

The Scoot as it arrived at Kernow Lambrettas

I bought the scoot, a 1966 LI 150 from ebay. It was originally bought from Italy and had never been registered in the UK. It had been in a private collection for a few years and was described as running.

I wanted a red and white '66 LI 150 as that was my first ever scoot (DWV 803C if anyone knows it).

I bought it to go to EuroLambretta 2010, which I unfortunately didn't make.

So, here's some pics as it arrived at Kernow Lambrettas in April 2010.

A Start

During Lammie Drive I rode with some great friends. One of whom is Renato De Pannone. If you buy the Lammie Drive DVD, you'll see Ron talking about doing the Milano - Taranto, and how he wasn't going to do it again. Since then, Ron has done it once more in Team Australia and this year, in 2011, I get to join him on the 25th anniversary. Why not? It's just one more crazy ride :-)

I can't even remember how I got involved in it, but here I am. 5 days to go until I get on the plane to go to Italy.

6 Days in Milan
6 Days from Milan to Taranto
7 Days back to Milan.

Should be fun.