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Lambaretta

1962 Li 125 Lambretta in a box – restoration

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So, back in November I bought my first Lambretta … and it happens to be a Lambretta in a box. I've been wanting a project bike for a while, so I guess I got one. I've owned a vintage scooter of the other Italian make since 2003 and know how risky it is to buy something like this. Especially since I've never owned a Lambretta before. But it seemed like a good deal, so I took my chances. 

 

wmccart actually found this one. He knew I was looking and told me about it. Thanks, wmccart!

 

I've made quite a bit of progress, but I haven't been very good at taking pictures along the way. At this point, I've completely disassembled the engine and I'm going to send my cases off for vapor blasting this week. The body is ready to go to blasting, but I want to make sure I get the paint matched first before I send it off.

 

Anyway, here are the a few pictures early on. I'll try and be better at taking more pictures from here on out.

 

Here it is day one. 

Yel8WC7l.jpg

 

 

I spent a lot of time trying to sort through all the parts. I think it's all there — at least all the major stuff. The previous owner was going to restore it, so he already bought a lot of extra parts, like 180 top end, a bigger carb, a big bore exhaust, etc. So I've got the original parts plus his upgrades, which is nice. I even have saddle seats and a dual seat. 

SExRb9Vl.jpg

 

EZP6KN9l.jpg

 

XynWgoxl.jpg

 

Not sure what these huge holes were for. It's a pity they are there.

g3HAl04l.jpg

 

There are (were) some neat parking stickers on it. I tried to save them but they crumbled to pieces.

4dUf9aIl.jpg

 

rV5wLu8l.jpg

 

o7v9utPl.jpg

 

Speedo rim was snapped. I'll have to see if I can fix that.

3Waba8Ll.jpg

 

 

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You are a brave man, taking on a Lambretta in a box as a first Lambretta. Good luck on your project and ask questions when in doubt, you have a good resource here for help.

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I wouldn't paint it, this would look great just with a good paint buffing. 

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I wouldn't paint it, this would look great just with a good paint buffing. 

I'm with Rudy, elbow grease and this will look great.

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What will they be looking for?

 

Lots of things,

 

Bore piston clearance

rings

seals

crankshaft alignment/wear

leaks

 

the list is pretty endless.

 

Also the 125 is not a speed monster by any means. I'd start looking for a bigger top end to be able to keep up with traffic.

 

The good news is a 125 has usually had an easy life, so not likely much or any wear.

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Lots of things,

 

Bore piston clearance

rings

seals

crankshaft alignment/wear

leaks

 

the list is pretty endless.

 

Also the 125 is not a speed monster by any means. I'd start looking for a bigger top end to be able to keep up with traffic.

 

The good news is a 125 has usually had an easy life, so not likely much or any wear.

 

Ah. Actually, it came with a new 175 cylinder, piston and head that I'll be using on it. It's the cheaper $90 cylinder from Jet200.

I'm upgrading to a GP crank, have a 17 tooth front sprocket and will be getting an 81 link chain. Also going with a12v AC electronic ignition and will be ordering the proper flywheel for my set up soon.

 

Thanks for the heads up.

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Take that top end to Soulruner here or a motorcycle machinist to have it checked out before assembly. you'll want .0035" piston clearance and have the ports champhered. This will add a lot of reliability.

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My first Lambretta was purchased exactly the same way for $250.  Luckily you have the Sticky's book and forums like this now days.  I learned a lot by taking lots of photos at rallies.  Used those to figure out how to rebuild the bike.  You'll do fine.

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My first Lambretta was purchased exactly the same way for $250.  Luckily you have the Sticky's book and forums like this now days.  I learned a lot by taking lots of photos at rallies.  Used those to figure out how to rebuild the bike.  You'll do fine.

 

Thanks! I appreciate the vote of confidence. I've done two engine rebuilds on my V3$p@, so I'm not a complete newbie to this kind of stuff. I've found a lot of great advice on here, and fortunately I live in a city with a very tight-knit and knowledgeable scooter community — and some great mechanics if I get myself into trouble!

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If you have it apart, you have the best opportunity to paint it now rather than later.

Factory paint codes are out there so you don't have to go custom if you don't want to - but it's your bike. I'm just pointing out the advantages of having it.all apart already.

Good luck!

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You may not have picked up on this but......

 

DO NOT PAINT IT

 

keep the stickers too, that's history and authenticity right there.....

 

Cheers!

Arf

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I appreciate all the advice and enthusiasm, but I bought it specifically because I wanted to restore a bike. I know it's going to upset a lot of purists out there, but this one is going to be painted. My scoot. My choice. Sorry.

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I'd paint the shit out of that thing. I'd even drill some holes in it.

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A quality motorcycle repairer will have facilities to reproduce de-cals and stickers, so why not go to one and get all that adhesive history reproduced? You might want to put them on after the paint to make it look as good as it did back in the day.

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Don't paint it. Want to restore a scooter then I'll trade one you can paint.

You will spend more to paint that than you will ever get back from it

Clean it up. Get it running and ride it.

Just my 2 cents

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My scoot. My choice. Sorry.

 

same argument parents who hit their kids in public use, don't smack your Lambretta in public with shiny paint

 

That scoot will carry more value as is, than with shiny paint

 

You'll get more "nice scoot" comments from the folks that know leaving that scoots as is, than with shiny paint

 

You'll be on the road sooner with more $$$'s in your pocket with that scoot as is, than with shiny paint

 

Then you can afford buy a scoot that's already lost its original flavor, and paint that one with shiny paint

 

Then you'll come back on here, and thank us for our profound wisdom

 

Then you will have two scoots, and you'll ride the first one, the one without shiny paint more, because you're too worried to scratch the shiny paint one

 

We have all lived this life for you, made the same mistakes

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You'll get more "nice scoot" comments from the folks that know leaving that scoots as is, than with shiny paint

 

I'm going to argue this one.  I consider myself a person "in the know"...and I can appreciate a nicely done new paint job just as much as a nice original paint job with character.  I have a Jet with what I think is a great custom paint job, and not once have I heard from a scooter person "yeah that paint job is okay, but it would have been way cooler if you hadn't painted it".  In fact the reactions were quite the opposite at the last rally.  No one has ever even asked me what it looked like before it was painted.

 

 

You will spend more to paint that than you will ever get back from it

 

Haha, since when is that an argument?  Does that stop most of us from doing even half of the things we do to our Lammys?  I'm definitely not in it for the "profit margin".  (Also, you don't have to spend $2k on a paint job to have it look good.)

 

I'll cast my vote, however unpopular it may be...it's your scooter, if you wanna paint it, PAINT IT!  Now, if we were talking about a TV or SX with nice original paint, or an original ochre Jet, I'd probably say leave it alone.  But we're talking about a nondescript white LI 125 with big holes in the legshield and one seriously rusty floor board.  That paint job is simply not worth saving IMO.  And while the stickers do add some history, let's be honest...they're university parking passes, not touring stickers or something else that tells a cool story. 

 

I would not lose a wink of sleep over blasting that paint off, plugging some holes, adding some bondo where appropriate, and slapping on a sweet shiny new paint job!

 

Lastly, I feel obligated to point out that the OP never asked anyone's opinion on painting.  Seems rather lame that a 'new build' post from a new member has swiftly devolved into people trying to convince him why he shouldn't paint a scoot that he purchased specifically with intentions of painting.  I'm pretty sure that's not what he had in mind when he started the thread, and it's far from helpful or supportive.

 

Just my two cents.

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Sounds good in theory.

 

Lambaretta, please do keep us updated on your build... regardless of whether or not you paint it, I know everyone would love to see the progress.

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$2000 for a paint job!!!!! point me at them I've got 8 to be done at that price!! now I'm even more jealous of the US pricing regime. Depending on panel condition one colour inc repairs in Oz $3,500 to $4,500, two colours, you need your first born as a deposit. Maybe I'll pay excess baggage and bring a couple to the Jammy to be painted while I'm there?

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$2000 for a paint job!!!!! point me at them I've got 8 to be done at that price!! now I'm even more jealous of the US pricing regime. Depending on panel condition one colour inc repairs in Oz $3,500 to $4,500, two colours, you need your first born as a deposit. Maybe I'll pay excess baggage and bring a couple to the Jammy to be painted while I'm there?

Not to get too off topic here but in my experience a $2000 paint job will A) leave you wishing you paid for a $4000 job and B ) having to look for another painter because the person who just did that job swears they will never do another one again.

Personally, it's his bike. He can turn it in to a chopper if he wants.

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