Conversion kits electric drive for Vespa & Lambretta at SIP Scootershop

Created by Jesco at 10:08 on August 31, 2020

To truly enjoy any great masterpiece, it needs to be experienced with all five senses. This is especially true of our beloved vintage Italian scooters. The smell, the soundtrack of the diva delivering the operas solo – this unique transportation and way of life is the stuff of legend!

People in tune with the above-mentioned philosophy are becoming increasingly rare and ever more legislation exists meant to protect the environment and reduce vehicle emissions, not making it any easier for fans of traditional scootering. Despite honourable intentions, the banning of combustion-engined scooters from whole cities will never be popular with the riders of vintage scooters!

The sustainable solution

Whether you like it or not, the time has come to consider alternative methods of powering our vintage scooters in modern urban environments. SMEETS CLASSICS, a firm from the Netherlands, took on providing a solution in the form of electric replacement motors, suitable for vintage Vespa, Lambretta and certain automatic scooter models. These kits were conceived with the aim of providing an economic solution when converting your scooter to electric power. This also means that it is a very simply designed entry-level model. This set up makes it possible to swim with the flow of urban traffics 50 kph limit, with a range capable of reaching your workplace. The conversion will require a little mechanical know-how and skill as some fixings require adaptation and fabricating to fit your particular model of scooter. This is due to the fact that these motors are designed to be easily modifiable to fit a wider range of scooters. The installation itself is relatively straightforward involving just a few simple steps.

2 vintage scooters on a first view

Simply installed

First remove the original swing-arm engine unit and replace it with the electric motor including swing-arm. Both the shock absorber and main pivot mountings can still be used for the new motor. According to model of scooter a few spacers may be required to eliminate any mechanical play. The motors controller and converter units can now be located within the frame. Some initiative is required to mount them safely, the manufacturers recommend the modules be glued in a protected position. The cables from the throttle grip need then to be routed from the steering assembly, through the frame to the motors controller module. The original wiring looms power supply and earth cables can then be connected to the 12 volt port located on the controller. The positioning of the motors main power switch also requires a little consideration and depends completely on the individual choice and requirements of the rider. On Vespa models the fuel tap opening in the frame can be enlarged for this purpose. The battery can then be placed beneath the seat in the space vacated by the fuel tank, connected to the main switch and you are ready to go!

Conclusion: A bitter pill maybe for scooter traditionalists, but a viable and necessary solution enabling the continuation of vintage scooter riding in modern urban environments.

Technical specifications

  • Battery: Li-Ion; 60V/20Ah
  • Range: 50 kilometres
  • Maximum speed: 55 kph
  • Battery charging period: 4-5 hours from 0-100%
  • Motor: Bosch 1000W with 60V
  • Aluminium swing-arm
  • Throttle grip with integrated battery charge indicator

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Jesco is a technician and product developer at SIP Scootershop. Many people know him from videos on the SIP TV Tutorial Channel, where Jesco explains complicated stuff in a simple way.