View Full Version : A better Lambretta......???

25 June 2012, 1204
Hi all, here is the project I'm starting.

My donor bike is a 1976 Lambretta GP125. I bought it through ebay a while ago as a frame and engine with boxes of mixed up parts. It came with all the correct legal paperwork so that’s the first hurdle already jumped.
Straight off the production line it would have looked something like this


Right now though it’s still in bits in the boxes.

It’s an Italian designed scooter, although mine is an Indian made one after they moved the complete factory there from Italy. It was made for the English market so has never had to ferry a whole family into town on market day in Mumbai!

Here are some stats I have found for an original one;
The 125cc 2-stroke engine made 7.3hp at 6200rpm
It had a whopping top speed of 57mph
Achieved 112mpg (UK gallons)
Weighed 118kgs
And had blindingly bright 6v lights

I am converting it just for the fun of it and I’ll be making it road legal. As for its appearance I’d like to man it up a little, not set my mind on anything yet, but there are thousands of these things customised to take some ideas from.
I’m aiming to keep the 4 speed gearbox and clutch. It could add a little bit of interest to the build and may even make riding more fun :D

I have already bought some parts so rather than stating a goal I think I will just estimate what it could do in one of my next posts.

Any questions and comments are more than welcome and any answering of my questions is especially welcome as this a new adventure for me so I will need to learn a lot of new things, cheers :)


25 June 2012, 1359
Iíd like to say that with thorough research I chose my parts for the lambretta, but actually what happened is after just a couple of months of finding out people actually convert motorcycles to electric I bought my first couple of parts. I canít thank the sellers enough for their advice at that time and Iím chuffed to bits with what I have bought.

One of the sellers was Matt from ARC EV Racing who you will know from this forum. After a few emails and a phone call I had got myself the Kelly Controller from their 2010 TTXGP race bike.
How awesome is that!!!!! What a great bit of history to have in my Lambretta!!!!!

Here is the beautiful race bike that it started its life in.


And now itís at my house, the Kelly KDC72601 (72v 600A) controller



They have now got a new race bike and its having some more upgrades fitted to it. Iím hoping to see it as I will be going up to see Matt soon.

Pictures and videos of Matt and Brendanís race bike are on their website


ARC EV Racing
25 June 2012, 1425
This is going to be such a cool build, and look at all that space for battery!

Meantioning the gearbox is fine, just don't use the word 'Transmission' or everyone gets all angry...

25 June 2012, 1444
Let's try that again.

25 June 2012, 1447
I love the looks of that series of Lambretta scooters. I owned a red and cream1963 Lambretta 150Li that I bought new from Al Fergoda in San Francisco for $335. I put 7K miles on that scooter before trading it in on a 1964 Yamaha YD-3. However, I sure hope your e-conversion runs better than mine did. Every time I would get it up to 45 mph the motor would start to freeze up and I had to pull over for a few minutes for it to cool off before I could continue riding. :mad: I wish the Italians had put as much effort into building the motor as they did making the scooter look really nice. :rolleyes:

25 June 2012, 2248
I actually had a box of pistons and cylinders with all the marks of seizing come with it. I can't imagine somewhere as hilly as San Francisco would be kind on a 2 stroke as when you throttle off going down hill the engine gets none of that oil/petrol mix for lubrication.
I really like San Francisco, I proposed to my wife there a few years ago, there is nothing like proposing to someone and a visit to Alcatraz in the same week to make you start to worry about losing your freedom ;)

26 June 2012, 0507
This is going to be such a cool build, and look at all that space for battery!

Meantioning the gearbox is fine, just don't use the word 'Transmission' or everyone gets all angry...

Angry? Naaaaa..... Passionate with opinions..... That's all. :)

Now about that racing bikes chain size .... :O

Back to this project. Looks cool. Rode one overseas and loved it. Can only imagine it with the torque
of an electric motor in it.

26 June 2012, 0517
:) your gonna put a 72 volt 600 amp controller in a Lambretta - OMG!!!

:cool: you should pull up to a harley and ask them if they want to race, when they start laughing just leave them in the dust...

kewl project...

26 June 2012, 1152
Iím glad you guys like my Lambretta as a donor bike :)

Another seller who gave me some great advice was Steve (jozzer) who owns the Jozztek shop. After having a few phone conversations and swapping a few emails I got this in the post

An Agni 95R


It is a reconditioned second hand motor, fitted with brand new brush holder and brushes and had the commutator surface cleaned up. Steve said it performed like a champ on his dyno, and from what I gather he is the bee kneeís with agniís so I have no worries.
What I like most about the motor though is that its first life was in Voltron!
AgainÖÖÖ How awesome is that!!! Another bit of racing history to put in the Lammy.

I think you all know Chris (Jonescg on forums) and have seen his bike Voltron which raced in the Australian 2011 TTXGP series, but what the heck, here is a great photo of him racing at Wakefield in October 2011, flying along at around 154km/h which is just shy of 100mph.
The photo was taken by Tony Castley, splinteroz on here.


I asked Steve after I had the motor if he could send me an email confirming its race history which I could then file away, he did better than that though. The following day Chris had emailed me with a complete race history of Voltron and in his own words said he smoked three motors and crushed two, my motor would be one of the crushed ones. It seems there will bits of Voltron scattered around the world.

Hereís a link to Jozztek, get yourself a bit of racing history too :)


26 June 2012, 1359
Digging this build. I love the lammy gp and have been plotting a build like tis in near future. Good luck!

27 June 2012, 2002
Fantastic project ... so impressed you're putting an Agni into a scooter!!! Will definitely be keeping an eye on this build :)

27 June 2012, 2312
Great to see those well travelled motors getting a second life :)

29 June 2012, 0220
So you got one of these? :p
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6103/6227606199_f6a7300c53.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/splinter/6227606199/)
Wakefield Races 03 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/splinter/6227606199/) by Splinter (http://www.flickr.com/people/splinter/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6213/6219762302_2172589f5d.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/splinter/6219762302/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/splinter/6219762302/) by Splinter (http://www.flickr.com/people/splinter/), on Flickr

29 June 2012, 0509
Don't scare him Tony!! :P

29 June 2012, 0534
Couldn't resist :cool:

29 June 2012, 1453
Cheers for posting those :)

My serial number doesn't match the agni in the top photo, but I think that the stainless steel outer band has been replaced anyway so its still 50/50 which one is mine.

This was a previous hobby


I'm not scared of a bit of mud!

I've had my Land Rover for 18 years, its 41 years old now. It has a V8 with two micron exhausts off a Honda Firestorm track bike, sounds beautiful! Its still great but I only do a couple of hundred miles a year in it now.

The Agni resurrected, can you tell which one it is.................


13 July 2012, 0835
I went up to see Matt the other week, he’s not too far from me, perhaps one and a half hours away. It took about 2 1\2hrs though due to traffic mainly caused by the Olympic torch route around his area. They have been driving the torch around to then have local hero’s or celebs run it through the towns and cities around the UK. Caused me a numb bum sat in my car that day!

I got to see the new Arc Ev racing bike fresh from the graphics shop and ready for Matt to install the electrics. It’s a thing of beauty!

The frame was bare bones apart from their AC20 with its cooling mods they designed and has worked so well for them.
There were a few other brackets attached to the frame for a transmis…….. errr a gearbox, phew nearly let out an unsafe word!
I made him promise to post up some photos of their bike as I’m sure you will all be as eager as I was to see it, and I want to see it finished!

I went up to help make some space so he could fit the race bike into his workshop, which is why I came away with a car boot load of goodies :p

13 July 2012, 0844
So Iím sticking with my way of doing things and getting used parts again, which might make some people nervous but it has worked well for me in the past. Plus, I tend to enjoy a hobby more if it has cost me less :D

In this package are the last major parts of the electric conversion. I have the motor and controller and now I have the batteries with a BMS and a charger. Woo hoo!

Well, I donít see this as a risk anyway as Matt has cycled all the cells with his powerlab 8 and as there are a few spare cells he has put the best matched ones together in the packs.
These batteries were in their 2010 TTXGP race bike, a few teams that year were sponsored by LiFeBATT but Matt no longer needs them as they have switched from lifepo4 to lipo packs for all their builds now.

I absolutely love the race history of my parts, itís all by sheer luck that these were available when I started looking.
Here is a pic of their green and white RG250, check out the size of that tank to fit these batteries in. How the hell are these gonna fit in a Lambretta!!!!! :O


So this is what I have got
Three packs of 72v 15Ah LiFeBATTs, so in the lammy it will be a 72v and 45Ah battery pack
Some spare LiFeBATT cells, which is great because Iíve been told it might be hard to get hold of spares
The packs come with a BMS which has a low voltage cut off, high voltage cut off and an over temperature fault warning. It top balances the cells and will cut off the charger.
It comes with LiFeBATT monitor software so I can connect the battery pack up to my laptop via RS232 and monitor individual cell voltages and error counts (whatever an error count is?)
And a Zivan NG3 charger set up for the three packs at a 20 amp charge rate.

Anyway thatís enough chit chat, here are some pics





16 July 2012, 0639
Wow nice batteries and charger!!! I like the idea of having the BMS built in ... hopefully there are no major issues getting everything to fit!

18 July 2012, 0243
hopefully there are no major issues getting everything to fit!

Yeah,I'm going to have a bit of fun getting things to fit, oh well!
Fitting the batteries in boxes will be like trying to put a square peg into a round hole, and they look a tad dull and functional too. So I'll be attempting to copy some of the tidy headway pack builds that quite a few are doing now. My cells are pretty much the same size as a 15Ah headway cell.


:cool: you should pull up to a harley and ask them if they want to race, when they start laughing just leave them in the dust...

Maybe I can do a winner takes all bet with them? I'd quite like a Harley. Don't see many here in Blighty though, I'll have to hunt them down :D

18 July 2012, 1055

Looks like you starting off on a great build! Keep it coming.

Los Angeles

14 December 2013, 1722
There hasn't been a lot going on with this unfortunately, but I have managed to cycle the batteries a few times so I can be make sure that they are in and around the recommended storage SOC.
I have been using the LifeBatt BMS to monitor all of the cells voltage during charging and discharging and also counting out the Amphours with a Cycle Analyst during discharge to get them at about 70% SOC for storing.
Some of the cells have drifted out of balance slightly during storage and I'll top balance them before I put them into the bike. Maybe a while off yet............


LifeBatt monitoring the cells using an old laptop 'cause I'm a lil' bit scared I may blow up a good one!

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh617/_picaroon_/SAM_1791.jpg (http://s1254.photobucket.com/user/_picaroon_/media/SAM_1791.jpg.html)

I did take the covers off one pack and put a bit of extra charge into one cell that was lower than the rest.

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh617/_picaroon_/SAM_1735.jpg (http://s1254.photobucket.com/user/_picaroon_/media/SAM_1735.jpg.html)

I have some spare cells that I am also cycling. I have just done an upload of newer software on my icharger 208B, so I can now do a regenerative discharge. This means I can power my icharger with some old 12v lead car batteries I have kicking about, then charge a cell and then discharge it back into the 12v lead batteries rather than just burning the energy off as heat. I can set a cut off voltage or Amphours and a safety timer too, such a nice little charger.

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh617/_picaroon_/SAM_1995-Copy.jpg (http://s1254.photobucket.com/user/_picaroon_/media/SAM_1995-Copy.jpg.html)

Discharging the cell at around 10 Amps puts it back into the lead batts at about a 2 Amp charge at just over 14v. I could do with paralleling a few more 12v car batteries so I can do a higher discharge into them.

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh617/_picaroon_/SAM_2001.jpg (http://s1254.photobucket.com/user/_picaroon_/media/SAM_2001.jpg.html)