Saturday, February 11, 2006

The New Lambretta...

When I heard that CMSI was looking to create a new scooter under the Lambretta name I thought, "They've got to be kidding!" It seemed like one crazy idea. Out of all the scooter communities, I find that Lambretta owners can be the most loyal, picky, sometimes snobby, and truly committed to maintaining the integrity of their scooters. I say that not to be catty, but to illustrate what an uphill battle a company encounters when attempting to create a new version of said scooter. Compound that by the fact that the Lambretta name is owned by another company, and you've got to wonder about the planning behind it.

Well, on the International Scooter BBS, Phil Waters from Pride of Cleveland has posted some news which I thought would originally get the board all fired up. See it here But I was surprised that not many comments were logged. Maybe this is because the whole Lambretta scooter thing has been circling around since 2003 and scooterists may be tired of it. Maybe its because most scooter bbs people log on from work! :)

Regardless, the announcement that there will be another brand name for the forthcoming (?) Lambretta-style scooter probably makes scooter fans feel as if the project is even less likely to happen. Although it seems to me that this should have been done from the beginning. Sure, Lambretta fans would have bitched..."Hey, they've stolen the Lambretta look!" but at least the project wouldn't have been hampered by the name ownership. I am no trademark lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I doubt that the man who owns the Lambretta name also owns the rights to the design elements of the Innocenti Lambrettta scooter. Even so, the realities of changing technology since Lambretta closed its doors decades ago makes it impossible to make a bike like they used to. Thus, a new Piaggio engine, liquid cooling, emissions controls, etc. The bike would need to be changed & updated to work in today's world. And that is where that overpaid & sneaky trademark lawyer comes in. :)

At Scoot!, we've been stonewalled for news about the Lambretta project. CMSI wouldn't give us news, said they weren't ready and then Scootering (bless their hearts) would get coverage of the new English developments. Even as "news" was coming, I felt that most of it (prototypes with blatantly repurposed parts that would never be DOT compliant) was too unreliable to count as real news. My gut feeling is that we weren't seeing something that was going to be a reality. Now, I don't mean that this project would never come to fruition,but what we were seeing seemed too unfinished and up in the air to dedicate our limited space to, especially when I was sure that much of it might be changed by the time our issue hit the stands.

Well, what do you think about all of this? I'd love to hear what readers think. Do vintage scooterists care about a new scooter "in the spirit of" Lambreta? Do new scooterists (the fastest growing segment of scootering) even care? If you were CMSI what would you do?

1 comment:

Robert H. Bruce said...

But I saw a Lambretta Li modernized motorbike on the Blue Smoke, Red Eyes book!

Why is a PX 150 allowed in the US and why wouldn't a Lambretta two stroke be banned?