Special X 200
Many regard the SX200 to be the finest scooter Innocenti produced, and it certainly ranks up there with the best scooters ever made. It was indeed an excellent blend of sporty style, good power, and refined ride. Though not many were made, quite a few of them made their way to the US in the late 1960's. Nevertheless, because the SX is the quintessential Lambretta, they are extremely prized by collectors. Prices in the US for well-restored or excellent original-condition scooters in the US are inching up to the ten thousand dollar mark.
The SX retained most styling features of the TV 175/200 Series III which preceded it. The front mudguard and horncasting are more angular than that of the LI models. In addition, like the TV Series III, the headset housed a keyed ignition/light switch in the space that the standard LI had a simple kill switch. On battery models, this switch had an extra position for "parking lights" which would turn on some of the lights with the bike not running. Also, like the TV's, the headlight on the SX had an octagonal rim as opposed to the LI's round edge. Additionally, all of the headsets on the SX were of the later type which was slightly longer at the bottom because the frame did not sport the chrome ring of earlier Series III Lambrettas. The styling for the speedometer was altered from the earlier Lambrettas, and the SX200 had a 90 mph speedometer fitted. In terms of badging, the SX had a "Lambretta" emblem on the left side of the legshield which was slightly larger than that on the TV/LI bikes. A large "Special" script badge was on the right side of the legshields. There was a smaller "X200" badge mounted just below the "Special" badge. Finally, a badge was mounted on the frame behind the seat which said "Lambretta." The most notable outward styling difference between the TV and SX 200 was unique cowls that had large arrow flashes on each side that read "200" in the middle of them. These cowls were only fitted on SX 200's and are unlike those on any other Lambretta model. The SX had a metal front mudguard, as opposed to the fiberglass version on the TV. All SX200's destined for the US market were painted white, and had an oxblood colored dual saddle as standard. In the US, the SX200 also came standard with a horizontal chrome rear luggage rack with integrated spare wheel.
Under the bodywork, the SX200 motor was essentially a refined version of that on the TV200. The improvements were made so that the scooter's power could be retained at lower rpm's, thus increasing reliability. In addition, the gearing on the SX200 was changed from the tall gears used on TV200 to the shorter gears used on the TV175 in order to give the scooter better acceleration. This change in gearing resulted in a slightly lower top speed however. Other minor changes were made on the SX's motor to the piston and to the exhaust mounting from the previous TV200. The carburetor used was a 20mm Del'Orto as on the TV. The disc brake and dampeners from the TV were also retained on the SX. SX200's left the factory as both battery and non-battery models, and both were sold in the US. It does not appear that there was any price difference between the battery and non-battery scooters, and they were probably sold depending on what stock a dealer had on-hand.
There were several modifications to the SX during the production run. These changes included different cowl latches, switches, horncasting crest, glovebox, and forks. However, it does not seem that any of these later SX's came to the US market. By that time, in 1968-9, Innocenti was having real troubles with selling any scooters in the US and it appears that they had given up importing new scooters in any quantity.
On the road, SX200's are fast and are very useable in normal traffic conditions. They have the power and acceleration to hold their own on modern streets. The dampeners provide some improvement over the spring-only set-up on the LI models. However, the disc brake, though a novelty, does not provide much of an improvement over the drum brakes on the LI. The biggest weak point on the SX, as with all Lambrettas, is the ignition system. This is easily rectified by fitting a relatively cheap electronic ignition kit. Overall, the SX200's classic style and good performance make it a vintage scooter that can easily be ridden on today's roads. Still, their extreme rarity and stratospheric value would make me think twice before using one as a daily driver.
Number Produced: 20,783
Years Produced: 1966-68
Power Output: 11 hp @ 5,500 rpm
- Rough but restorable = 1500-2000
- Drivable, but not show = 3000-6000
- Restored or Excellent Original Condition = 7000-10000