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theageofindustry last won the day on February 15 2016

theageofindustry had the most liked content!

About theageofindustry

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    Saint Paul, MN
  • Interests
    Really? It's the LCUSA so yeah, my interests are in Lambrettas but more specifically in bastard Lambrettas made under license (except NSU's; NSU's can suck it)
  • Currently Owned Lambrettas
    1955 D150
    1959 Series 1 LI150
    1960 API S2
    1974 Vijai Super
    1975 Serveta "El Toro"

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  1. Every few months somebody posts one of these scooters on the interwebs and people are immediately confused and some even go so far as to call them bodges. The reality is, these are extremely rare machines and only sold in the US and a handful of other countries. The primary reason for this is the original square headlight found on Indian and Italian Lambrettas did not meet the updated DOT standards during the 1970's as the headlight could not be aimed left to right. SIL's solution to this issue was very similar to what Serveta did with the use of an SX style headset that they fitted with an adjustable headlight. The reason for this was the adjustable round headlight glass used in the Serveta (along with later model Vespa) was commonly available already so SIL just needed to cast a different headset top and bottom to fit these. SIL may have borrowed the designs almost wholly from Serveta as these machines even include the large "space shuttle" CEV switches found on Servetas. The base of the headset casting is slightly different from what Serveta used as the bottom had lugs cast in for signal mounting.The back of these headsets are also slightly different from their Serveta counterpart.These machines also included a variaton of the CEV tractor light tail light as found on Servetas and had a special fuel tap lever as DOT regulation required the fuel tap lever to point forward when in the "On" position, which is why we see the use of the bridge mounted fuel tap on Servetas of the same era. These were only supplied with 150cc engines which also had a curious neutral switch that SIL designed to meet another DOT requirement. Basically it's a rear brake switch mounted to special braket that operated by moving the cable butterfly: image credit: Craig Bachler US market SIL GP's were only imported for a brief time during the late 1970's-early 1980's. It is unknown how many were actually brought in during this period.
  2. Non-US Market SIL GP's are for most intents and purposes the same as the Italian GP/DL models they are related to. Things get very grey with these in the US as a lot of them are rebadged Vijai Super models that were "restored" in India to look like the original SIL non-US market export model. If you have a square headlight SIL GP in the United States that is badged as a Lambretta, than it most likely was never originally sold in the US. The only exception to this rule is due to tastes and preferences, it is common for actual US model SIL GP's to have the SX/Serveta style headlight to be switched to the square type either due to a lack of replacement parts or personal tastes. Frame numbers start as follows for actual US market SIL GP's: 22/0*01* If yours does not have the 01 in the number sequence, than it is a grey market scooter and never originally sold in the USA. Later models using a special fork that may or may not have a turning front mudguard and P-series style turn signals. The often labeled "Tron" SIL GP's are actually grey market models imported into Canada during the mid-1990's and sold into the US. Tron GP's are 200cc models with special paint jobs in blue or red with integrated turn signals on the legshield and side panels. They also use a special fork that is considered to be superior in handling over the conventional Series 1-3 fork. More information regarding SIL frame numbers can be found here: http://www.britishlambrettaarchive.co.uk/indian-frame-info.html
  3. Changing the gearbox oil is very straight forward. Although some people recommend measuring the oil you put in, using the oil level plug is the easiest since that is what it is there for. The first thing you want to do is go for a ride to heat up the existing gearbox oil. This will insure you get the most of the old oil out when you remove the drain plug. Heating the oil thins it so that is what you are trying to do here. No need to thrash it, just go for a cruise for 5 or 10 minutes. Once that is done, go ahead and put it on the center stand and put a drain pan below the rear allen bolt on the engine case. Remove the bolt, set it aside and allow the oil to drain completely. This might take a few minutes so go surf the LCUSA's webstore while you wait. You can use a clean rag or paper towel to clean off the magnet on the end of the drain plug unless of course it is a Serveta, as they don't have those. Install the drain bolt. Be sure to replace the fiber washer although these can sometimes be reused if you do not have one. Remove both the oil level bolt and the breather on top of the chaincase as you need the breather off to fill it. Get a long skinny funnel if you can as this will make filling the gearbox easier. Put this in the top breather bolt hole and slowly add gearbox oil. Once oil starts coming out of the oil level hole then it is full. If you over filled it, let it drain out of this hole until it is a slow trickle. Reinstall the level plug and the breather bolt and that is it.
  4. Gearbox oil can be a contentious topic between Lambrettas owners as everyone has a favorite. Original service manuals suggest SAE 90 gearbox oil and if you can find it, that's great. Here are a few key things to consider when choosing a gearbox oil. Hypoid vs non-hypoid Hypoid gear oil is designed for automotive differentials and is not suited for a Lambretta. Basically it is corrosive to yellow metals (ie bushings)so that is all you really need to know since Lambrettas use those. Get non-hypoid gear oil. Multi-grade vs straight weight Multi grade oils were not available when Lambrettas were originally produced. An example of a multi-grade oil is: 85w140. The basics of a multi-grade oil are that it acts like the first number (85W) in colder conditions like when you first start it and the second number (140w) during normal (warmed up) conditions. These are completely safe for Lambretta gearbox use although with the target weight being 90w, 140w is going to be way to thick. Finding a multi-grade that actually should be used in a Lambretta is not easy and not something you need to look for. 80W, 85W, 90W? Honestly it does not matter. If you want to use 80W, feel free. If you have access to 90W then use it. All of these will work fine in your Lambretta gearbox. SAE 30W Non-detergent It is often said that straight weight 30 non-detergent engine oil (commonly used in Vespas) is the same as 90W gearbox oil. This is both correct and not-correct. Can you use SAE 30 Non-detergent in your Lambretta? Yes and it will work fine. Many people actually use this as a gearbox flush after they experience a contamination issue from metal shavings polluting the gearbox oil. Many old school builders will run this as the first fill on a fresh rebuild since it's cheap and they will be dumping it after 300 miles. It is generally not recommended that this be a long term use oil as you may experience increased wear over time. Automotive oil vs Motorcycle oil This is actually a lot more important than it might seem. What you need is a non-hypoid gearbox oil designed for use with wet clutches. Cars and trucks do not use wet clutches and generally require hypoid gear oil so it can be difficult to find the correct oil at your local auto parts store. Any decent motorcycle shop should have something that will work well for a Lambretta. If you do not have one of those, then even a Harley shop will have what you need. The nature of the Harley Sportster engine shares a lot in common with a Lambretta as they both use a primary chain and a wet clutch so Harley even makes an oil that will work great in your Lambretta.
  5. Box type of performance exhausts are all the rage right now due to the increase in performance with stock looks. Here is a list of the basic ones currently available and what to expect from them: AF Rayspeed/UNI/KBA Clubman/SIL Big Bore This is the most common and oldest box pipe on the market and for many years, it was the only option for those who wanted to retain the stock look and sound with an increase in performance. Fitment on these is all over the place. Some fit really well and some fit terrible. Prices vary between the AF and the Indian versions but they are all made in India and quality/performance is about the same across the board. The only really suspect version is the SIL exhaust as those are often made for SIl by outside vendors so the quality varies dramatically between them. Generally the quaity is acceptable between the UNI, KBA and AF versions although again, the fitment could be perfect on one but the next be almost unusable. Performance on these is slightly above standard with a deep exhaust note. Power is in the low and mid-range. BGM/MRB Clubman: This was one of the first pipes in the recent wave of updated box type exhausts. It comes only in oiled raw steel so it is up to the buyer to either high temp paint it or get it ceramic coated professionally. Fitment of this particular pipe is not forgiving. That is not to say it doesn't fit, but instead consider it to be a tight and precise fit with not a lot of slop built into it. That is not necessarily a bad thing but this will not be an easy exhaust to take on and off if necessary. On Series 1/2 models expect to fit a Series 3 shock due to clearance issues with the rear frame strut. Performance on this exhaust is all about the steady and linear delivery of torque and low-mid range power. That makes it ideally suited for stock engines or kits that create a lot of low or mid-range power like the MRB/BGM RT, the Mugello, the Casa 186/210, etc. Kits with long legs to them like the Imola/Monza, TS1 and Casa SS kits are not well paired as you will be leaving a lot of performance on the table as this pipe does not rev as high as those kits do. That does not make this a bad exhaust, it is actually quite good and offers a lot of power on tap off the line or when touring. Sito/Evergreen Ancillotti This pipe was designed by Tino Sacchi and is manufactured by Sito in Italy. It comes with a chrome head pipe and the box itself only comes in silver. Expect the chrome header to flake off after a short amount of use. I am unsure as to why, although nit is entirely possible it is paint or nickel plating and not actually chrome, which would explain this. Earlier versions of this exhaust had issues with fouling the center stand although this was resolved on the latest version. The unique head pipe design makes this one of the easiest and adaptable box exhausts currently available. On Series 1/2 models expect to fit a Series 3 shock due to clearance issues with the rear frame strut. Performance on this exhaust differs from some of the other offerings as it is designed to rev higher. That means that this exhaust would be better paired to kits that rev higher than other big box exhausts although it still works well on a standard setup. Casa Series 1/2 Big Bore This particular exhaust is designed exclusively for fitment on Series 1/2 Lambrettas to retain stock looks and fitment. Fitment of this exhaust is fairly straight forward and overall it fits well. It uses the standard 1 piece U-bend like OEM exhausts or Indian/AF/KBA type exhausts. The U-bend comes in silver with the box itself being in black although expect the silver paint to burn off in pretty short order. Performance on this pipe is on par with the Indian/AF/KBA Clubman type of exhausts. Do not expect to be blown away by it but considering the limitations of the S1/2 exhaust box design, this is to be expected. Scootopia Ancillotti Scootopia recently put their hat in the ring with a new Ancillotti exhaust design. These come with a chrome head pipe and silver body that is similar to the Sito/Evergreen Ancillotti. Fitment: ? Performance: ? Gori Exhaust About? Fitment:? Performance: ?
  6. Series 1 Lambretta LI125 models are identified by the use of metal floor rails instead of rails with rubber inserts and end caps as found on LI150 models. They came with saddle seats from the factory and a bunch of other stuff I am not aware of
  7. The most well known API models are the Series 2's mostly because they were produced for the longest period of time. All of these models came with a 150cc engine except the MAC 175, which was based on the TV175 engine. There were many revisions to this model but the basics are in 2 categories: Pre-SIL and Post-SIL Pre-SIL API's are identified by the use of the Lambretta name on legshield and horncast badges. The earliest of these models looks identical to their Italian counterpart and are mostly made out of Italian parts. General guidelines for identifying these are the frame number being stamped above the engine pivot bolt and the use of black rubber trim instead of grey. They also use the earlier Series 2 horncast with the round horn grill instead of the later pear shaped grill. Horncast badges for these models were the same Innoccenti badge found on the Italian Series 2. The general consensus is that these models were offered from 1960-62. As the API factory's capabilities increased, Italian parts started being replaced with API made Indian parts.during this time they introduced the pear shaped horn grill, side panels without Lambretta script badges and later still they used a slimmer front mudguard. Horncast badges during this period say "API Lambretta". This period lasted from 1963-1972. Early API with traditional Italian style mudguard, pear shaped horncast grill and side panels without script badges. This would put it sometime from 1963-the introduction of the slimmer front mudguard. (Unsure of when that happened, sometime after 1963 but before SIL was established in 1972): API Lambretta Horncast Badge: Post-SIL API's are identified by the use of the Lamby script badge instead of "Lambretta" or the Mac script in the case of the elusive Mac 175 model. After SIL was established, API lost the right to use the Lambretta name but other than badging, the initial offerings were identical to the previous models. During sometime in the mid-1970's, they revised the side panels to the embellised panels with inset badges. They also introduced the short-lived MAC 175 model, although it did not sell in any heavy numbers as consumers preferred the more fuel efficient 150cc engine. The horncast badge for this period says just API. Late model Lamby 150 with embellised side panels and inset badges. Also note the slimmer front mudguard: Mac 175: credit:https://rarelambretta.wordpress.com/an-amazing-story-of-one-of-the-rarest-lambrettas-in-the-world-part-4/ API Horncast Badge:
  8. The earliest "Series" Lambrettas assembled in India by API were actually Series 1 models. These were made entirely from Italian parts and assembled in India. Unfortunately these are extremely rare in India as many of them were converted to Series 2 models after those came out. Since Series 2 models were new at the time, this was often performed to update the outdated looks of the series 1 and increase desirability and resale value.
  9. Very little is known about the earliest API Lambrettas. It is known that they started by importing and assembling shaft driven models from entirely from Italian parts.
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