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Exotic cylinder conversions

The main limitation of tuning a Lambretta engine is its cylinder stud layout (forgetting the rest of the engine).
The engine was designed with the studs close to the outside of the bore, making boring out, increasing port sizes or fitting another cylinder difficult to do.
TS1 tuning has been limited by this fact and is probably why our engines donít reach higher horsepower limits.

There have been over the years various extra capacity cylinder conversions.
In the 1960ís a UK firm made an alloy cylinder with a iron liner for series 1 and 2 Lambrettas.
Possibly the most famous has been the 250 S type.
There were to my knowledge originally three made using a Spanish motor cross cylinder, to be honest Iíve seen one of these original engines and how they run is a mystery!
Any way these were modified to use a 200 cylinder, which was bored out and fitted with an iron liner.
The liners spigot diameter was increased to take the larger piston (72mm), this required the casing opening out to suit.
The kit ran on a new 60mm crankshaft fitted with a TV 175 con rod.

Over the years various other types of conversions have been done to increase the capacity of the Lambretta engine and make it faster!
Motor cycle crankshafts and cylinders have been grafted onto casings in various ways.
MB Developments have over the years done our fair share of these conversions so have other dealers!
MB Developments have to date fitted various motor cycle cylinders to include Kawasaki KX 250, Kawasaki KDX 175, 200, Yamaha YZ250, Yamaha DT250 and Honda MTX200.
Other people have gone the other way and fitted motor cycle engines into the frame.
Some have used ridiculously over sized engines such as 350, 400 and even a 750 or have chosen to use super high revving motor-cross 250 engines.
When fitting these engines into a Lambretta chassis it totally kills the look and style.
When these conversions have been done very little improvement has been made to the brakes making these conversions very dangerous!
Lately the Gilera 180 engine has become very popular to fit into Lambrettas.

Today there are plenty of excellent small sized, large capacity engines in the motorcycle market ideal to convert into a Lambretta frame.
For instance I personally would look at Trial and Enduro engines with cylinder capacities of 200, 210, 220, 240 or 250cc.
These engines are physically small and simple but have plenty of torque required to pull the large Lambretta frame.
There are also tuning possibilities to suit a road going Lambretta.
Some engines could be around 50HP, which realistically is the limit of the Lambretta frame, suspension and brakes.
And if done correctly you would hardly know, making the scooter a wolf in sheepís clothing!

One of the latest engines that we have done and have had no credit for is Stuart Owens scooter, as seen on www.Lambretta.100mph.com.
This engine originally started life as a 1970ís Yamaha DT250 trial engine.
We modified the cylinder to fit onto the engine, turned it from a reed valved engine into a piston ported engine, turned down the fins to fit into the cowlings and fitted it into a restored TV200.
The original engine set up was then relinered down from 275cc to 250cc to be within racing limits, rebuilt and fitted into a sprint frame.
MB Developments did all the groundwork and development and set the engine up to be very reliable and fast and Iím sure will eventually break the ľ mile sprint record! It is only 200ths of a second off the record. We have also another engine based on a TS1 that is only 100th of a second of the record!
Keep an eye out as we have other engine projects coming up which will do very well too!

Please E-mail us with any questions or comments.