“I HAVE A PLAN”
At RLC we have enough to do for a team of 30 people…whereas there are only 8 of us and with 3 years of resto’ work booked up and a constantly increasing list of complete engines to build, the time restraints associated with possibly having an ‘Open Day’ don’t make such decisions any easier. We have only had one previous event of a similar ilk and that was the shops Opening 4 years ago. Then we had the original 201km/h Siluro Streamliner from the Maserati Museum on show and both original Innocenti Twins on loan from Vittorio Tessera, a BSG305 and a SS225 demonstrator all available for those present to play with.
At that time “Casa Performance” was still just ‘an idea’ and we were still toying with the idea of marketing the BSG305 motors and providing high-quality replacement tuning parts for the Targa Twin motors. The impossibility of getting production dates from the former and the difficulty of dealing with the manufacturer of the latter soon put those ideas to bed. These reasons alone led to the birth of Casa Performance, the SSR motors and all the accompanying tuning parts we now produce but that’s another story on its own….
This time we decided it would be a bit different with less machines to test (and possibly destroy) and the emphasis being on presenting all the latest parts from Casa Performance and also showing people what we do on the restoration side of things. Both the main display area in the shops entrance, the actual workshops and the dyno room area would all be ‘open-house’ with absolutely no holds barred, for all to see.
People already started arriving at the start of the week but Friday 26th was the first ‘official’ day of the event and there was a constant stream of people coming and going all day making the best of the 10% discount on EVERYTHING offer we were running for the event. A lot of Brits had brought over scooters to use during the event and they took the time to partake in a few rideouts to local points of interest in and around the Rimini area. Most of those present were non-Italians as it was a normal working day here in Italy. For us it was great to meet and greet a lot of names we regularly deal with but had never seen in first person.
Inside, both the main showroom area and workshop areas had several scooters on show with a lot of interest being shown towards the SLUK / Brogue Trader custom GP (complete with radio controlled flip-up rear ends), the shops Mod Custom TV1, a pair of freshly restored TV1s and with loads of SST and SSR motors in various stages of being built up dotted about everywhere, there was plenty to peruse. Outside we had a brace of weird and wonderful Indian and Spanish Lambrettas including the prototype Serveta RX300E and a super-oddball ASV Avarali 150. There were also not one, but THREE bright orange SX150s all in their original paintwork, two original Ancillotti tuned Lambrettas (a TV175 with a 235cc motor and an Special 125 with a 200cc motor), an original ‘70s British racing Vega, an original Lambretta dealers Lambro 3-wheeler scooter delivery vehicle and much, much more. There was top drawer catering courtesy of our friends at Forno Urbinati who ensured that the food was a lot better than you’d normally come expect at a scooter shop open-day.
PUBLIC ENGINE BUILD-UP
Late morning we decided to show our customers how we build an CasaCase engine up. For the task we chose to use the latest 250cc set-up from Casa Performance, called the ‘Dominator 250’ which uses a high-end, no holds barred cylinder we have developed with world-champion Superkart specialists DeA. We laid out all the parts necessary for the job on a work table and left them in full view so everyone and anyone could see, check, touch, inspect all the parts at their own free will.
Micky and Lorenz set to and without rushing, just 2 hours later the engine was finished. As people watched, the main comments and general consensus was just how easy everything went together, just like a mechanical jigsaw puzzle. There was no filing, fettling, ‘having to get it to fit’ and definitely NO ‘dealer touches’. And there wasn’t even a leak-down test. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
57BHP FOR THE WEEKEND SIR?
If that wasn’t enough, they then took the freshly completed engine into the dyno room and bolted it into our engine support frame we use for testing. Once cabled up, we added some fuel to the tank and opened the doors (and windows). The engine fired up immediately and after a minute of warming up, they put the engine through its paces – again right in front of everyone. For all the Doubting Thomas’ our dyno is a state of the art rolling-road setup with a 600kg braked roller which ‘gives’ absolutely nothing ‘extra’. What you see is what you get, period. A factory standard GP200 that is supposed to have 12bhp will put out no more than 9bhp on our dyno. In the past we have also seen that when testing various scooters, our dyno gives nigh on identical readings to those used by Stoffis Garage, Scooter Center and SIP. It’s about as ‘real-world’ as it gets. So how did the engine fair?
We ran the motor about a dozen times over the course of the weekend and the average reading was 57bhp at the rear wheel, with 4kg of torque. That’s a box-fresh motor, with zero running in, built up in front of people and most importantly, it had NO TUNING. Plug n’ play all the way. Sure there might be even more powerful scooter engines out there in but it’s strange how we never see them being used for touring across Europe when we’re out and about? This is the most important thing for us; this will be a ROAD GOING set up and not just designed for 400 metres down a drag-strip or to be used on a race track to give keyboard warriors bragging rights.
As with anything that comes from the DeA stable this will be exclusive and high-end but as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Prices for this set-up will be released this summer once we have the motors ready in-house.
In the afternoon, several people took our shop scooters out to test including the two shop Lambretta Lui’s, both of which were fitted with a ‘CP One35’ kit, a ‘Ducati Firefly’ ignition and a ‘Vega5’ 5-speed gearbox. Judging by the feedback, huge grins and positive comments these products are about to transform the J-Range and Luna Line machines forever. The ‘Firefly’ ignitions actually arrived the day before the event and were being shown on display for the first time over the weekend.
Our ‘famous’ bright green Lambretta GP SSR was also being used and abused. The scooter had (literally) just been rebuilt after a German customer had totally binned the bike while testing it only a month ago and during the rebuild we’d also upgraded it with a full-fat Scuderia 265 motor. Now aesthetically perfect, it was sods law that third person to go out on it didn’t listen to our advice and immediately gave it large, opened the throttle in second and the front end went skywards. Five seconds later the scooter was on its side and the rider on the deck. The result? Damaged legshields, footboards, headlight, handlebars and best of all, the crash also bent the forks well off to one side. With a lot of people coming the Open Days Weekender specifically to see - and possibly test - that particular scooter it wasn’t really what we needed. Fair do’s to the rider, as he immediately offered to cover the cost of the damages but it just goes to show that if you don’t treat an SSR with respect you’ll end up on your arse. The lad who binned the scooter actually has an SSR265 Scuderia engine on order and we reckon that you can bet your grannies pension he’ll be a lot more careful when he gets to use an SSR next time out. The beat-up scooter was immediately sent back into the RLC workshops to be straightened out as best as was possible but the bent forks remained there for the weekend as it was too late to change them.
The fourth scooter to see LOADS of action was the shops Serveta Lince 200 that has a SST265 and was running a prototype expansion chamber. This was an interesting configuration as the SST is originally intended to run a box exhaust. Over the course of the weekend, we had a lot of people making the journey specifically to test our scooters and they all tried both the SSR265 (R=Race) and SST265 (T=Touring) for a back-to-back comparison. In normal out-the-box format the SSR makes 45-47bhp at the rear wheel and is probably faster than any scooter you’ll ever try.
TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE
The more docile SST with a box pipe puts out 30bhp with more grunt than a forest full of wild boars. However, with the new expansion chamber fitted, the power output of the SST shoots up to 40+bhp and becomes an instant missile. A sort of mini-SSR if you will. This means that with a simple change of exhaust you effectively get two totally scooters, with different power outputs and different engine behaviours. Two customers, both RB250 owners, sceptically tried the SST265 with the expansion chamber exhaust fitted and both came back shocked. Peter Hewitt came back white faced after sitting at 95mph and declared it was “better than anything (he’d) ever ridden”. Brogue Trader supremo Chris Macnamara was also suitably impressed. Sticky also spent a lot of time on this scooter and his thoughts will be posted elsewhere on SLUK. Judging by the amount of complete engine orders we received over the weekend, this configuration is going to be extremely popular.
That evening people went off to various recommended restaurants in the area before heading over to a local indie pub where there was a ‘60’s Garage Music’ night, and there were certainly more than a few sore heads the next day.
Saturday 27th saw loads of Italians now arriving with some very cool scooters being ridden to the event, along with a 5.7L ‘El Camino’ pickup complete with Series 2 loaded into the back. As cool as you get. The weather was blue skies and sunshine, start to finish, and the atmosphere was that of a summer festival with people from all over Europe mixing, chatting, enjoying the food, drink, checking out the scooters with DJs spinning the tunes outside. The shop was busy all day and the previously mentioned 250cc engine was put through its paces on the dyno several times much to the delight of those present. One group of German lads had come over especially to check out the SST265 and asked us if we could dyno it? As the new expansion chamber had only arrived two days before the event, we still hadn’t run the scooter on there at that point but we thought why not? Normally a motor is slightly down jetted for use on a dyno to give a realistic figure (as it’s impossible to replicate road going conditions) but we chose to run it exactly as it had been ridden by everyone up to that point, even though we knew the reading would be lower as it would be running rich in the dyno environment. The scooter put out 37bhp with ease and once dialled in, with minimal work, that reading will be well over 40bhp. The Germans were well happy.
People were coming and going all day right up to closing at 7.30pm, whereby we simply moved the roadshow 100 metres down the road to a nearby restaurant we had booked up and reorganised internally, with a large buffet area set up along with DJs spinning the tunes and an adjacent dance area. The do wound up in the early hours and unlike at our shop Opening do 4 years ago, we didn’t have some of the local scooterists performing a wild-west punch-up to finish it off!
On Sunday, local scooter club the ‘Teste Cromate’ had organised a mass scooter ride through the surrounding hills and despite the weather forecasts not being at all favourable, 50 scooters turned up for the mid-morning departure. The colourful two-wheeled convoy took in some stunning areas and villages, along with a pit-stop in the medieval hamlet of Monteleone. It eventually arrived at the Farneto restaurant in Sogliano al Rubicone, smack bang in the middle of the countryside, about 10 miles as the crow flies from RLC. Literally as we parked up the heavens opened so the timing was perfect! The lunch was HUGE and no-one left there hungry, that was certain.
It was a superb finale for a superb weekend and we’d like to personally thank all those who made the effort to come along to visit and support us. We are truly humbled!
RIMINI LAMBRETTA CENTRE ‘OPEN DAYS’ EVENT 26-27-28th April 2019
Thursday 25th April 2019
Despite this being a National Holiday in Italy, we’ll be open for the early birds to snap up a bargain and we’ll be holding Q&A sessions over the course of the day! Want to know about our resto’s? Or how we set up an engine? Fire away and we’ll let you in on some shop secrets. In the evening we’ll be heading off to a local pizzeria for munchies and a few beers.
Friday 26th & Saturday 27th April 2019
Now the fun officially starts! The shop will be open for purchases and we’ll have loads of on-the-day massively discounted parts for you to choose from and we’ll even ship them back for you, so no need to drag them back on your plane! The workshops will once again be open-shop and you’ll get to see what we’re up to both on the restoration front and all the latest happenings from Casa Performance will be on display.
We have had several people ask us if it really is THAT easy to build a CasaCase motor - so what better way to prove it than do so in front of you all? The workshop will be ‘open-house’ with completely free access for one and all. On Friday we’ll build up a complete motor - start to finish - that’ll be fitted with the exclusive all-new ‘CP Two50’ kit over the course of the day and we’ll fire it up on the dyno once built. Again, right in front of everyone. So, what’s a ‘CP Two50’ kit??? Better get down to see us to see for yourselves and you won’t be disappointed. Early birds can also pre-book a ride on one of the shops 4 Vega’s, fitted with a ‘CP One35’ kit. Discover what it’s like to try 12hp+ in a Lambretta smallframe. On Friday, in the evening we’ll be heading off to a local restaurant where there will be a special menu for those attending the event.
Over the course of the weekend, we’ll have our superb on-site catering (ask those who came to our previous ‘Open Day’ what that was like!) courtesy of ‘Forno Urbinati’ who’ll keep you both fed and watered throughout the weekend. We’ll have DJ’s spinning the tunes and there will be scooters galore. We’ll have some really cool scooters on display and a few surprises as well.
Saturday evening will be a ticket-only affair with both a really classy buffet type meal and a full on do being held very near to the shops location. You can pre-book your Saturday night tickets by emailing us at : email@example.com Tickets are Euro 25 for both the evening meal & the do, but please note there are only a limited number, so don’t leave it to the last minute!
Sunday 28th April 2019
Last time we held the our Open Day, local lads the ‘Teste Cromate S.C.’ organised the Sunday scooter ride-out and it was really appreciated by all those who participated. This will be held along the same lines, taking in the Romagnolo countryside but with a different final location, being the ‘Farneto Restaurant’ where we’ll have a special lunch laid on to finish the weekend off in style.
When contacting the following hotels always mention that you are booking for the ‘Lambretta Event’. We recommend 3 hotels in the immediate area, with whom we have worked with over the years. They are:
‘Locanda Antiche Macine’
Via Sogliano No.1540,
Santarcangelo di Romagna (FC
Tel: (++39) 0541.627161
BOOKINGS FOR THIS HOTEL ARE ONLY TAKEN THROUGH ‘RIMINI LAMBRETTA CENTRE’ : firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotel ‘I Tre Re’
Via Fratelli Cervi, 1
Poggio Berni (RN)
Tel: (++39) 0541.687918
email@example.com (Maurizio Sarti)
‘Hotel Della Porta’
Via Andrea Costa 85
Santarcangelo di Romagna
(RN) – ITALY
If you require any other info, please contact;
Rimini Lambretta Centre; (++39) 0541 686449 workshop hours
Isabella; (++39) 339 3785860
Micky; (++39) 33 2559050
Dean : (++39) 339 7038887