Lambretta TV175 Series III
The TV 175 Ser III was great scooter. The pleasing styling and fast motor made the TV one of the world's best scooters at the time it was produced, and still ranks among the best ever made. Its motor produced 8.7 hp, but at lower rpm's than the Series II TV. Plus, and more importantly, the Ser III was improved by the addition of a mechanical disc brake system on the front wheel. The TV was one of the very first motorcycles ever to employ a disc brake. The body was based off of the standard Series III Li platform, but had many subtle changes. The ride, power, and styling had come a long way in just a few years since the debut of the TV 157 Series I.
The TV's styling differs from the LI in many small ways, and was the pattern for all the "high performance" Lambrettas which followed. On the TV, the front mudguard and horncasting are more angular than that of the LI. In addition, the headset housed a keyed ignition/light switch in the space that the standard LI had a simple kill switch. The TV had three separate keys, one for the ignition, one for the glovebox lock, and one to lock the steering. Another difference from the LI was that the headlight on the TV had an octagonal rim as opposed to the LI's round edge. Early TV's had the same cowls as the LI models, but that was quickly changed so that the TV would have its own distinct profile. The later cowls on the TV are coved, and they are flatter than the LI's. The TV cowls are embellished with two vertical inset alloy flashes on each side. The standard single seat and friction dampeners on the front fork were retained from the Ser. II TV's, though the seat had a slightly different shape on the series III.
Under the bodywork, like the LI's, the TV was more of an evolution rather than a revolution from the series II. As with the Series III LI, the TV Series III's exhaust and carburetor were updated to larger and better versions. The stator/flywheel magneto was changed to a better version with more coils. The gearing was also changed to make better use of the TV's power. Most of the TV models found in the U.S. had a battery onboard to boost the electrical system.
The most noticeable improvement to the TV series III was the addition of a mechanical disc brake on the front wheel. As I mentioned above, this was a first for a production motorcycle. Despite its novelty, the Lambretta disc brake was not particularly effective. It was housed inside the front hub, and worked through a normal brake cable mechanism acting on a solid disc. It certainly looked impressive, but in reality, it didn't work any better than the standard drum brakes.
This scooter is certainly fast enough to be no problem to use in normal traffic. It has good acceleration and reasonable top speed. The gearing is excellent, and the scooter pulls well in second and third gear. Expect a top speed around 60 mph. See the notes above in the LI section about parts availability, which similarly applies to the TV.
Number Produced: 37,794
Years Produced: 1962-65
Power Output: 8.75 hp @ 5,300 rpm
- Rough but restorable = $1500-2500
- Drivable, but not show = $ 2500-4500
- Restored or Excellent Original Condition = $4500-6000