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LML STAR.. just bought another one

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Some reflections on the whole thing:

I made it to Stroud without any hitches on the train, although my mind was swinging from “this is an amazing adventure†to “this is a terrible idea, ABORTâ€. I had good feeling about the scooter though and upon getting a lift to the vendors house for the station and seeing it tucked up in an immaculate garage I just kind of knew that it was going to be ok. I gave it a quick buzz up and down his drive and all seemed well- the gears and throttle feel a bit light and more positive that the PX but the clutch slightly heavier. I definitely accidentally committed blasphemy at least 3 times that I'm aware of.

First stop- Halfords, 5 minutes away for some fresh L-plates and a set of bulbs- one thing I had meant to pack but didn’t. “oh it’s got an indicator buzzer†I thought. “how handyâ€. Little did I know that 6 hours later I’d be cursing that fucking horrible sound- especially as the right indicator produces a feeble drone. That’s going to be the first thing to go. It’s also very quiet exhaust wise- my PX has a sort-of-expansion chamber on it in the form of a SIP Road pipe- they’re the quietest performance exhaust you can get but mine has been getting progressively louder. My theory is that the wadding in the baffle must get oiled up and lose effectiveness. I love the cackle on the overrun but it can be a bit blarey when you’re tired. Popping around Stroud it felt pretty brisk- nothing too different to what I’m used to.

A quick stop for some flapjack and £2.07 of fuel and we’re off onto the open road for the first time. OH. It’s SLOW. I’d read before that they have a bit of a gap between 3rd and 4th and there it is- it just kind of didn’t pull up any sort of incline in 4th. They’re slightly longer geared than a UK PX (geared for a 150 engine that they’re supplied with across the rest of the world) but also I think it’s mostly down to them being pretty restricted by the cat and recirculating exhaust, and too much restriction on the air intake. That will all be going- probably for a standard PX exhaust this time. I was also greeted with an oddly familiar but unsettling burning smell which freaked me out a bit- thought it could possible the drum sticking at the back, which would further explain the lack of performance- but actually a bit of investigation revealed it to be mud burning off the hot cat. That fucking thing can get tae..

Anyway, I’d set my Sat NAV for Richard Morris’s place. He’d been kind enough to let me park up there over night if I was completely done for by that point, and I’d be able to get a train back to London and return for a second leg. Also the route looked really pleasant- especially a nice stretch essentially following the M4 but on B-roads. Mentally it seemed a lot less daunting- it should only be 2.5 hours.

Some initial inclines out of Stroud left me toiling at about 25mph, but no-one seemed to vocalise any aggro.. On the flat it could do 50-55 depending on headwind. A little bit of a stretch on a dual carriageway was fucking horrible- showing up all the worst of it’s handling vices. They’re top heavy on and on tiny wheels and they do this thing that I’ve noticed on my PX- they will tramline LIKE FUCK on painted lines and road wear. It’s bad enough at town speeds but at 55 its horrible. Add in getting blown around like crazy by the turbulence from passing lorries and you have a recipe for some pretty wayward handling. I noticed myself holding on pretty tightly form time to time, occasionally having to remind myself to breath normally and relax a bit.. Death was my main concern really. By this point I was confident in the scooter and I knew that if it went mechanically tits up I’d just get a tow and a warm lift home, I just didn’t want to die. Cool.

On some smaller roads I found myself having a lovey time- plenty of interesting little villages and lots of space for cars to pass. I was making good progress and that bit of flapjack I had in Stroud was keeping me going. I’d even remained warm. Gradually though, cold started to creep into the tops of my thighs. I could feel myself tiring little bit and getting a little hungry- hmm. 45 minutes away from Richards place and still going strong. Time? About 2 o’clock. Fuck it. I’m feeling good, things are going well, Richard probably wouldn’t be expecting me this early, I’m GONNA KEEP GOING!

I’m where’s the nearest place for food? Basingstoke, the centre of which I discovered to be a roundabout. Devoid of anywhere else, I had some food in a supermarket cafe and charged my phone up a bit. I also put on another set of thermals in the toilets to fend off any cold later on.

Journey so far:

Screen%20Shot%202016-12-10%20at%2022.49.

So, phase two. Further wrapped up I remount my fine steed. The battery was flat when i picked it up but by now I’ve put some juice into it so the electric start is spinning away nicely… but it’s not catching.. fuck. I try a few things.. nothing. My PX only needs choke on the coldest of days. Surely after being sat for half an hour in 12 degree heat it won’t need choke will it? Oh yes, a bit of choke and we’re fine. Duh.

I’m thinking that if I put some petrol in now I won’t need to stop again, so I fill up at the next garage. £5.80. It’s about 3 o’clock now and the light is already fading a bit… in the dark and following the sat nav it all starts to get a bit disorientating, but there were some lovely stretches of road around Ascot and Windsor. I basically wanted to avoid the A40 as much as possible but I didn;t really have the time, phone charge to energy to avoid it completely so I did give in and take it. This was definitely the grimmest bit. I was tired by this point and 3 lanes of packed traffic after endless countryside is a right downer. After a while I thought “fuck it†and peeled off and headed in roughly the same direction on smaller roads. It was actually nice to be in London proper and not the endless A40 suburbs, not least because the handling of a Vespa starts to make sense again. Instead of feeling dwarfed, under powered and unstable, it felt light, nippy and agile.

So that’s about its really. I didn’t stop after the petrol station so by the time I got home I was bursting for a piss and it was only after 20 minutes of getting home that I realised how completely exhausted i was… Fuel was about halfway down, so I reckon total expenditure was around £9-10.

Screen%20Shot%202016-12-10%20at%2022.50.

Next stop is sorting the electrics and deciding which to sell out of the PX or the LML… Hmm time will tell..

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Bit of an epic journey! Good write-up. Has it taken three days for your hands to loose the handle bar death grip?

 

I'm glad you were trouble free.

 

The electrics can't be that complicated - probably a good idea to pull apart each connection block ( one at a time) and clean up with some electrical contact cleaner.

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That was a great read, cheers. Did you rely on the speedo for speed or the sat nav? I remember supposedly doing 65-ish on my 200 and being overtaken by trucks on the M53! 

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That was a great read, cheers. Did you rely on the speedo for speed or the sat nav? I remember supposedly doing 65-ish on my 200 and being overtaken by trucks on the M53!

65 must feel sketchy! I used my speedo, but it was expertly* calibrated by going through those speed signs as you come in to 30 zones. It was certainly pretty accurate at 30, though I did wonder what actual speed I was doing at an indicated 55..

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Not sure how fast it was ever going to be honest, it had decent tyres though which instilled a bit more confidence. Motorways and bypasses were never much fun, except maybe on scooter runs where there'd be hundred of others. For maximum fun* trying riding through a long tunnel with a few others. You can't see, you can't breathe and you can't hear!

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Not sure how fast it was ever going to be honest, it had decent tyres though which instilled a bit more confidence. Motorways and bypasses were never much fun, except maybe on scooter runs where there'd be hundred of others. For maximum fun* trying riding through a long tunnel with a few others. You can't see, you can't breathe and you can't hear!

Sounds like bliss..! The LML still has its original tyres- hard as anything which definitely won't be helping the handling. I've heard good things about the Heinadau K58, so might pick up a set of those once all is hunky dory..

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Sounds like bliss..! The LML still has its original tyres- hard as anything which definitely won't be helping the handling. I've heard good things about the Heinadau K58, so might pick up a set of those once all is hunky dory..

About 10 years back, Michelin S1's were THE tyre to have on a scooter. Apparently they're shiz now though. However, I'd imagine anything would be better than the rubber supplied on the LML from new.

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About 10 years back, Michelin S1's were THE tyre to have on a scooter. Apparently they're shiz now though. However, I'd imagine anything would be better than the rubber supplied on the LML from new.

I've got one on the back of the PX- came with it. aren't they a sort of sporty dry weather tire?

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I've got one on the back of the PX- came with it. aren't they a sort of sporty dry weather tire?

I've fitted them to both Lambrettas and Vespas over the years, using them for dry and wet weather riding. However, I was chatting to someone a while back about replacing the tyres on my SX150, and the word on the street was the quality of S1's has gone down the pan.

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I've fitted them to both Lambrettas and Vespas over the years, using them for dry and wet weather riding. However, I was chatting to someone a while back about replacing the tyres on my SX150, and the word on the street was the quality of S1's has gone down the pan.

That's good to know. I've heard that a classic tread pattern can be worse for tramlining- your Michelin k83's etc with a central tread.

 

The s1's supposedly avoid it by having no central tread. I'm also after something good in the wet since dry grip isn't really a problem but wet grip is on greasy London streets.

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Well done that man, good to see that some Vespa clones are OK.

 

I had a Bajaj when I worked on Ascension island and it couldn't do the 4 miles from Travellers Hill to the Airhead without breaking down when I first bought it.

 

I reckoned it was a dodgy fuel tap so I soaked in some sort of cleaner stuff overnight. The next morning it had virtually dissolved so I had to concoct a bypass system which kind of worked as long as I kept the tank over half full. 

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Okay, with christmas and new year disposed of, and with a couple of sunny lunch breaks at work, it's time to get the LML working. 

 

First things first, I disposed of the crappy AC indicator circuit, combined left and right indicator circuits, and hooked up and electronic flasher unit to a switched 12v DC feed from the rectifier. This will allow me to run LED's in the near future. Oh, and disconnected the horrible AC buzzer. 

 

Under the horncast

29F663C3-3547-4B80-8670-B5EF7398D2E7_zps

 

Get that buzzer tae fuck

F77CA31B-4F21-4357-9718-F0255ACE460C_zps

 

Flasher unit: NOT OK. 

2A44038D-08A1-4DE3-BE5C-675E59317DD0_zps

 

New 2 pin electronic flasher. 

4AE0DB02-9EE2-4C6D-B62D-E7961ADD84F1_zps

 

Rectifier and stuff: 

E48B5974-3725-4312-9FF5-DBD3D5E74D7A_zps

 

Look at the mess in the headset. 

62464FB9-B4F1-4CE9-A101-F6348BC096D0_zps

 

Success! 

 

In order to celebrate I went for a ride.. Oh bugger.. occasionally both front indicators and indicator warning lights on speedo (indicator indicators?) would drop out, whilst the rear indicators would flash happily away. Weird, since most of the circuit is independent for left and right. 

 

Oh well, a quick squizz of the wiring diagram suggests that the only thing that could knock out both front indicators would be the switch. Opening this up revealed that the white cable is was held to that back of the switch unit with something resembling blue tack. Flippin outrageous since the minister had failed to have it repaired at a succession of crap motorcycle places.. Soldered this on and we seem to be reliably up and running, which doesn't make any sense on the wiring diagram. Oh well. 

 

Wiring diagram: 

WIRING_DIAGRAM_LML_STAR_DLX.jpg

 

And the soldered white cable: 

43C8D981-B621-4523-9E7B-AD71827E5700_zps

 

So, the headlights. Testing the switch revealed that the headlight switch until itself is away. Liberal applications of all sorts of solvents and lubes got the main beam working, so I've adjusted the headlight down as far as possible so that I can ride around to test it until a new switch unit arrives. It doesn't help that all the soldered connections are at the end of cables stretched to within an inch of their lives, so a wee bit of shoogling has everything loosened up a bit. 

 

One more thing, the front brake switch ain't working. This doesn't seem to make any continuity when i operate the brake but then neither does the light come on when I short the circuit. So two faults there presumably.. 

 

I agree these are a lot of problems for a flipping brand new bike. 

 

We now had 2 (mostly) functioning scooters, until the Vespa decided to snap a gear cable on the way home. Balls.

 

66E6C6A2-7715-4968-920F-CFBBCF00A953_zps

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They still look ace after all those years, don't they? Is there much difference in performance between the two by the way? 

 

They definitely have their charms!

 

The LML is currently strangled by it's anti emissions crap, so it's very sluggish by comparison. Once unleashed* it should be slightly quicker, due to reed induction. An article I was just reading says you gain almost 40% by losing the cat and extra filters, then upjetting. 

 

http://www.scootering.com/scootering-classics-lml-125-star-dlx/

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That doesn't look overly difficult to sort out, the other big plus of these things is the huge spares availability and after market bits. Mine seems gutless to be honest, I'll take it to my mate who's a whizz with them and get him to drill the airbox and all that I think.

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That doesn't look overly difficult to sort out, the other big plus of these things is the huge spares availability and after market bits. Mine seems gutless to be honest, I'll take it to my mate who's a whizz with them and get him to drill the airbox and all that I think.

Is this on the lambretta? We need pics!

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I've put the LML into daily duties and found it to be a but plasticky and lacking in soul..

 

Also, London is in the depths of a pollution crisis, with smog reaching critical levels on a daily basis. 

 

In tandem with this I also discovered that once I binned the catalytic convertor and air recirculating bollocks from the LML it suddenly came to life! It's wayyyyy more zippy, charming and smelly now.

 

Sorry London. 

 

Note the cat and weedy downpipe. It's also very rusty.. 

 

0F58DCB7-7A8D-40C4-94D3-7CCE3568AA72_zps

 

Versus the expanding down pipe of this SIP Road 2 pipe, giving free turbo charging effects! Plus it just sounds way better, I can hear the ring ting ting over the sound of the fan flywheel. Internet wisdom says we've gone from 4.6hp to about 8hp. Result!

 

s-l1600_zpsftlue3ic.jpg

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So I've booked my MOD 1 test for 8:45 in the morning. Haven't had any lessons or owt, WCPGW?

 

I really hope I can make 32mph in the speed trap. Also, I have to get off the bike to put it on its stand as I don't have a side stand. Think that'll be cool?

 

I've watched a couple of vids on YouTube, how hard can it be*

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