Monday, April 30, 2018


The Lambretta died while riding a couple of weeks ago.

I was arranging to have it serviced by Chris and Alex at ACE, but decided to see if it would start this past Saturday.

I kicked it three times and it fired right up.

I couldn't let that happen without a big ride so I geared up and headed out.

With it's reliability suspect, I chose to ride within a few miles of home, but got in at least 25 miles of riding.  And as the miles add up, it keeps getting better.

The stiff throttle is getting lighter.  The clutch lever the same.

It still wants to jump out of second and third gear, and the front brake is worthless, but it is a hoot to ride.

Sunday was beautiful, so I rode it again, this time a little further from home.  I stopped to talk to my friend Drew for a few minutes.  It started on the first kick after we ended the discussion.

Then I rode around looking for a photo op and decided to go by the River House that I designed and was completed a couple of years ago.  It continues to be my favorite project ever, and that is getting reinforced as Southern Living magazine is coming by this month to photograph it for an article in an upcoming issue.

I was so confident that it would restart that I turned it off.  After the minute or so to shoot the photograph, it wouldn't start.  I gave it a break of a few minutes and it still didn't start.  After another break I kicked several times in succession and it finally fired up.  But in doing this, my bad knee got tweaked and started hurting.  I could barely walk for a while.

I rode it home and put it up for the rest of the day.  It is truly a cool machine.  I enjoy riding it a lot.  It is painfully slow, going through the four gears.....10 mph in first, 15 in second, maybe 20 in third to finally get into fourth.  From there it is good for maybe 45 mph, but it probably takes 20 seconds to get there.  It challenges my need for speed, but I have come to the realization that it is a lot more fun to ride it like it prefers.  So we go slow and easy and enjoy the ride.

Today I took Rocket to work.  When I arrived I had a message that clients on the other side of town wanted to meet to talk about an addition to their house.  I rode Rocket, briefly on I-95, then down Hendricks Avenue and San Jose Boulevard.  It felt like a rocket ship compared to the old Lambretta.  I would tear away from traffic at lights and pass anyone I wanted, whenever I felt like passing.  It is such a cool machine.

But I truly like both.

At the park on Saturday

At the River House on Sunday

Waiting for it to be able to start.


  1. Since they are totally different animals compared to the moderns, I changed my expectations of the vintage years ago. Shorter rides, slower rides, be mindful of where you are when you shut it off, and be prepared for it not to start. I always carry a spark plug and wrench as that is almost always where the non-start problem lies.

  2. I have learned that already, at least everything except the spark plug. I don't even know where it is yet. Of course I know approximately where it is, but the engine is covered in tinware (air cooled you know) so I haven't seen it yet. It won't be long before I will learn to fix the typical issues. It is a simple design.

  3. Did you persevere with the lambretta. I bought one in October and it seized after forty miles. I learned how to rebuild it on youtube and am in the middle of breaking in the rebuilt engine. I have done just over 400 miles but have to stay below 34 MPH until have finished breaking it in. If I stay around town I don't feel too much like I'm standing still. Its a blast to ride though and the rebuild taught me a lot. My throttle and clutch were tight too and putting the correct new cables in changed them completely for a small cost. Bit cold even here in Sanford Fl but having fun. good luck, nice blog.

    1. Thank you for the comment. My Lambretta is sitting in the garage, waiting for me to decide what to do. I need to find someone to make it reasonably reliable. Boris, who lives in Sanford, got it running, but the transmission and starting problems continue. Should you be willing to provide the repairs, I would gladly bring it to you and pay for your services.