The 'S' Series

Arthur Francis of Watford

The first S-types appeared around 1965-66
and were based on TV200's but also SX200, SX150, 125 Specials and TV175 models appeared. Later on GP200 S-types appeared but in a slightly different paint scheme. It was a bit like buying a car in that there were a lot of additional extras which could be added on and with that up went the price. The basic S-type was built around a tuned (various stages) Lambretta, not around the accessories.


Various levels of tune from stage 1 - 3 were used with porting, hi-comp heads etc being available. The top spec being a 250 with 32mm Amal Mk1 carb, and later a Mk2. Clubman " big bore" exhausts were used as these were the best expansion systems of the day - these had the extra securing lug on the base and if the casing did not have the tapped hole for this, the modification was then done, they were nearly always painted black.

On the pre GP 200 versions the standard SH1/20 Dellotro carburettor could be reamed out to 21.7 mm and then up jetted. Alternatively a bigger carburettor could be used. The kick start side engine mounting was doubled in length to give extra stability when cornering as an engine can move out of line by as much as 1 1/2 inches when cornering hard. The original was basically a second machined mount lined up and welded onto the side of the first. This was only done on the kick start side. Obviously a longer bolt was needed. Today extended mounts are available from AF Rayspeed. To do this which would be stronger than the welded version but if going for authenticity then the welded version is the way to go.


The paint scheme was based on a factory painted white scooter with an additional second colour. This second colour was painted on the leg shields front only, the main frame loop from the floorboards (not the bridge piece) up and back to the mud flap and along the top of the panels with a thin white tramline appearing on the post SX models just inside the edge of the second colour.

Any second colour was available but popular colours of the day were purple, black and roots electric blue. The original one for the demo was orange and the second colour was normally metallic. This was the basic paint scheme although the customer could request what he/she wanted so differences were seen like partly painted mudguards, bridge pieces etc... We've even seen a all black 'S' type.

The design of the paintwork was never "set in stone" but Arthur insisted that if an 'S' badge was to be fitted, that the headset, horn casting and mudguard MUST be sprayed white, with no additions. Later on special paints were made available, such as metal flake, vreeble and candies, these normally appeared on the GP range, but some late SX models were also painted in these new paint finishes.


The lights on the leg shilelds were normally the Lucas Pathfinder type (one fog, one spot on later models and 2 spots on the first generation S-type) and were wired seperately, so only one came on at once. They worked off the battery were controlled by using a series 3 Li handlebar light and horn switch (and casting) instead of the SX/TV one. This had to be rewired to suit. A second battery could be fitted in the toolbox and the batteries were charged by means of modifications to the stator plate, wiring circuitry and Zener diodes etc could be fitted to get over the overcharging problem. Today one way of doing it is to run standard electronic ignition with one of the 12v regulators converters/rectifiers which Cambridge Lambretta and others sell. This (like the one on the Varitronic) will rectify the current on an AC model and charge the battery so the extra lights can be fed. The lights were mounted on the leg shields (normally 2 lights) normally with their centreline about 1 inch above the top of the horn grille and located centrally or just outside the vertical central line on each side of the leg shield.

The wiring came through the securing bolts for the lights and through holes in the central spine where it went up to the headset. Grey sleeving was used for durability and appearance, together with waterproof grommets and silicon sealant.

The mounts for the lights have been remade today but a good original set will be better although these also needed modifications to allow the lights to sit correctly. The remade ones are flat in the indent where the back of the light sits where as the originals had a sort of castellated or star design.


Spare wheel holders again were optional extras with the basic one behind the legshields,in front of the riders knees. Another better looking but less practical version was the inline models which sat between the riders knees and touched the leg shields and toolbox door. A modification to the toolbox door could be made to allow the wheel to be removed from the carrier more easily when needing access to the toolbox. These modified doors were available at the time but seem rare now. One alternative method is to cut a piece out and fit a section of a series 2 inner mudguard into it to receive the wheel. Popular inline carriers were Vigano, Fiar, Super and Cuppini. Cuppini remade models are available but not as good in detail or as useable as the original. 

The rear rack was a much larger solid bar rack for pulling the scooter out of bogs etc when doing off road events. Originally this was painted the same as the second colour on the scoot but white ones and chrome ones have been seen. The rack was a Arthur Francis Sebring (looks like a larger version of today's sprint racks) and bolted in the 4 hole positions behind the seat.

A Chronometric speedo was sometimes used from old British bikes. There was no standard S-type chronometric speedo so different types and makes are seen. Most had the reverse sweep needle motion whilst some had gear ratios printed on them. Some had a tacho which was reset from a thumbscrew which came out of the speedo side and through a slot in the modified headset, but not many of these were made, due to the complicated welding and cutting involved.

Most had the thumbscrew on the base of the speedo and the adjuster simply poked out of the bottom headset. Most 200 models had a 120mph speedo and the 150/175 models had a 80mph one. Chronometric speedos are much deeper, so a modification is needed to raise the speedo up to clear the wiring cables etc in the headset.

Chronometric rev counter. This is a direct cable driven rev counter from the crank. A small gearbox is attached onto the side of the side casing with a shaft/tongue which locates into a slot machined into the front sprocket bolt. This is the direct drive which drives the rev counter. This needs to be setup exactly as any mis-alignment will chew up the small drive gearbox. The gear boxes, cables and revcounters are available from the companies mentioned above. The correct ratio cable/revcounter needs to be used and the rev counters come in 8,000 or 10,000 max revs. These rev counters are available off-the-shelf from the above companies and for the rev counter, cable and gearbox you're talking £200 plus.

A modification was made to the front disc setup to make it reverse pull operated. This provided better braking force. Details are on this site in the Lambretta Club Great Britain workshop section how to do this. A gear or clutch rubber cable gator was occasionally fitted over the open part of the cable to keep it mud free. Reverse pull cable guides will be available from Team S Equipe in the very near future. Nowadays some people add an air scoop which requires drilling and tapping two 5 mm holes in the hub. This was not available at the time but has become a popular modification recently but whether it is purely aesthetic or functional is debatable. The seat was up to the customer but could be Standard, Ancillotti, Nannucci humpback or anything which was available. If a full Ancillotti is used then a different type of sprint rack is used.

S-type badges from a Mini Cooper where fitted to the legshields, about 5mm underneath the Lambretta script. They were also fitted to the rear panels. On the original 'S' Type demo model the longer tail of the "S" was at the top. Racing ovals and numbers were seen on some versions, both on the leg shields and side panels. Some front mudguards had number plates on them but the stick-on versions not the pressed curved type.

Gaitors could be added to the dampers and these were to keep mud etc off the damper mechanism. These were normally black. Ball end levers were used, either the screw on balls or the complete lever incorporating the balls on later GP versions. Other extras were the today rarely seen panel locking system which worked off the side panel/handle/clips position.

This isn't meant to be the essential guide to S-types. It is only info we have put together when speaking to people in the know and collecting bits and pieces for many years!

The Basic 'S' Type was built around
a tuned (various stages) Lambretta,
not the accessories.

Arthur insisted that if an 'S' badge was fitted, that the headset, horn casting and mudguard must be sprayed white.