What You Need To Know About: Lambretta

May 7th, 2015 | In: Lambretta, Motorbike

The name “Lambretta” was inspired by the Lambro River in Milan, which ran near the factory where this line of motor scooters was originally produced.  Manufactured by a local company called Innocenti, the production of these two-wheelers began in 1947, just a year after the introduction of Vespas by Piaggio.  Innocenti shared a similar vision to Piaggio, which was to provide an inexpensive mode of transport for ordinary people in Italy.

Today, the Innocenti brand name rights are owned by Fiat, while the Lambretta trademark registrations worldwide are owned by Scooters India Limited, a company created by the Indian Government.

A Brief History

The first Lambretta scooter had a 123cc engine with a 3-speed gearbox that was operated by foot via a rod mechanism.  Known as Lambretta Model A, this vehicle was in production for 2 years, from 1947 to 1949.

Its success paved way for subsequent models to be designed and introduced.  However, the fortunes of Innocenti took a tumble in the 1960s when wealth began to grow steadily in Italy and Western Europe.  Scooters became less popular as small cars became more affordable to the masses.  Before long, the company diversified into the production of small cars and was then sold to the British Leyland Motor Corporation.

BLMC also failed to survive, and production of Lambrettas ceased temporarily in 1972.  In the same year, the Indian government bought the Milanese factory, the rights to the Lambretta name and created a company called Scooters India Limited.  It had the same vision as the founders of Innocenti – providing cheap transport to the working class.

Production of Lambretta scooters resumed, and today, they are also manufactured under licence by Fenwick in France, NSU in Germany, Serveta in Spain, API in India, Yulon in Taiwan, Pasco in Brazil, Auteco in Colombia and Siambretta in Argentina.

Lambretta badge on a green and cream moped

Popular models

LN125, 2014

An iconic scooter reviving the memories of the sixties, the LN125 is an easy ride with a 125cc engine that produces a top speed of 55mph.  Often cited as a competitor to the Vespa GTS 125, many believe the Lambretta triumphs over its rival.

Price new: £3,195

Price used: £1,995

Licence type required:  A1

LN151, 2013

A contemporary and reliable scooter with a 151cc single cylinder four-stroke engine, the LN151 offers a bit more power, great value for money as well as stylish good looks.

Price new: £ –

Price used: £1,295

Licence type required:  A

Lambretta Hero in red and white

Sponsorships

It is unclear whether Scooters India Limited who owns the Lambretta brand undertakes any charitable giving.

However, Fiat, the owner of the Innocenti brand, operates an extensive community investment program worldwide.  In particular, it supports initiatives relating to the environment, sustainable mobility, road safety, health care /scientific research, education, social, cultural, support in the case of natural disasters and highly significant events of national relevance.

Reviews

The LN125 scooter gained favourite reviews as a machine that’s easy to ride and has a stylish retro look.

Since the early days when scooter races were popular events, Lambretta has not been involved in competitions.  Despite the lack of recent awards, the brand continues to be popular worldwide and there are many Lambretta clubs operating globally today.