SIL back in scooter production
Wednesday 03 March 75049 Shares
SIL of India have today announced that they are preparing to bring back the classic shape Lambretta's into full-time production.
In 1972, the Indian government bought the machinery of the Milanese factory, creating Scooters India Limited (SIL) and continued producing them until 1997, finally ceasing production to concentrate fully on the 3-wheeled Vikram models. However, after seeing a ressurgence in the demand of retro scooters and the success of the Lambretta cloned Scomadi, they have now decided to re-enter the scooter market.
Marketing Director, Viswanathan Kottur Krishnapillai said in a statement "With the growing economy in India, more families can now afford cars, so we have seen a steady decline in the sales of our 3-wheeled Vikram's, so we decided we need to adopt a new strategy to take the business forward. Having seen how classic scooters are in such demand, it seemed logical to steer the company back to its roots, into the 2 wheeled market".
"We are fortunate to still have all machinery to produce these machines, although there will be some significant changes, most notably the engine. With the changes regarding 2-stroke engines and the emissions (especially in the European and US markets), we have developed a 4-stroke, geared engine that will simply bolt straight into an existing Lambretta frame and at a quick glance, looks almost identical to the original Lambretta engine. These will be available in 125, 200 and 350cc versions, so we can hopefully cover the requirements of all customers".
Another noticeable change will be front & rear ABS disc brakes, also to fit in with the new regulations regarding motorcycles.
Production is due to start in July 2017 and they are hoping that they are available to buy in the UK at the beginning of 2018. These will initially be GP models, but Viswanathan has not ruled out other models. "We are also looking at producing Series 3 models, such as the SX and TV, as these seem to be popular in Europe and we won't rule out a Series 2 model either. This will of course depend of feedback we get from potential customers".
Although nothing can be confirmed as yet, pricing would be competitive, with the 125cc starting at around £3,500. The only downside to this, is the scooters won't be badged Lambretta, as they don't have the rights for the name, but I'm sure many will not be bothered about this small detail (and you could of course simply re-badge it yourself, if you wish).
However you look at it, this can only be good news for the scooter scene.