SX200 Restoration Project

Checking Your Parts

I spent hours looking at every part I removed from the bike learning just how much of a perfectionist can I be and how much of a perfectionist can I afford to be. For instance, the second step in the process is mounting the center stand. As I looked at my center stand I saw that someone had drilled new holes in the feet to attach their own bolts. The surfaces were pitted from rust and they were slighly bent from years of abuse. The splash plate was also bent, torn, and in generally bad shape. How do I fix all of this so that when these parts are painted they look great and will last until the next restoration? Do I fix this part or do I buy a new one? Are new ones available? Do I have the skills or tools necessary to fix this part?

This is the part of the restoration that took the most time. I spent hours looking over each part, making sure they were correct, and really learning the differences between the parts I had and the parts from other bikes. It was at this time that the "Stickys" book came out. This book is a MUST HAVE if you are doing a restoration, regular maintenance, or just messing with Lambrettas. I was amazed at the quantity and qaulity of this information. If you don't already own this book you should BUY IT NOW.

The "Stickys" book has an entire chapter devoted to the differences between all Ser III Lambretta parts. It made the job of a proper restoration MUCH easier and was a great learning experience. I realized most of the parts I had were correct and was able to make sure any part I replaced was the correct version for my model.

In the next section I am going to review each part I used for my restoration. Sticky coveres a lot more data than I do so you should buy a copy of his book to review the points of your parts. I will point out the issues I had with each part and then discuss how I solved the problems with each part before I sent them off to paint. Side note, the only reason I'm doing this is to remember all the cool details I found while restoring my bike, your bike will proably be different.

Roll your mouse over each image to see a larger version.

lambretta series 3 frame

Frame

Since the frame is the backbone of your scooter it makes sense to make sure it's as perfect as possible before sending it off to paint. You should make sure your side panels fit correctly, make sure the support ribs are level and straight, and fix any dents. If your frame is bent then this is the time to fix it.

Notable Markings: lambretta series 3 frame number

  • Small circular Innocenti logo followed by a star, serial number (SX200 star XXXXXX), star, and IGN number (IGM.4355.0M) located below the gas tank mounts on the right side of main tube. The stampings should be crisp and clear with a different font for the SX200, the actual body number, and the IGM number.
Problems:
  • Center stand holes were pulled through and needed to be hammered flat and welded.
  • Right front rib was bent and needed to be removed, straighted, and re-welded on to the frame.
  • All ribs and supports were not level and needed to be level before all pieces would fit correctly
  • The stud that is used to hold the horn in place was completely stripped and needed to be removed, a new one created, and welded back in place
  • The rear 'fender' portion of the frame was pushed in and needed to be massaged back into place so the side panels would fit correctly.
  • I had to make sure the frame was not bent in any way that would change the fit of the legshields.
  • Was the frame free of rust on the inside?
Solutions:
  • I had the frame acid dipped to make sure all rust on the outside and inside was dissolved and ready for paint.
  • I sent the frame to CasaLambretta (now Jet200.com) in Colorado to have Jon fix the frame using their jig. This would make sure that the frame was 100% correct and fixed by a professional. When the frame was returned the supports were all level, the rear had been pulled out, the horn stud was brand new and I could be sure the frame was 100% correct. Money well spent.
lambretta series 3 forks

Forks

Forks are really tough but they see their fair share of abuse. Mine had a dent right along the front right edge. That metal is TOUGH and yet something put a considerable ding in them. I filled it with some weld and filed it down. Also, someone put the forks back together without the proper washers and over-tightened them which slightly bent the box that holds the fork links. I got creative and was able to get is pushed back out enough to hold the proper parts.

Notable Markings:

  • The forks don't come with any markings from the factory that I could find.

Problems:
The forks were generally in good shape and straight but had 1 major issue and 2 minor issues.

  • The forks were re-assembled without the internal washers and the box that holds the fork links had been compressed and the fork links would no longer fit with washers.
  • There was some small pitting along the top of each fork where it connects to the fork tube.
  • There was a small dent on the front of the forks that was visible.

Solutions:

  • A friend told me how to fix the compressed fork box area with a bolt and 4 nuts. I used the biggest bolt that would fit through the forks with 2 nuts on the inside and 2 on the outside. I then kept screwing the inside nuts 'off' the bolt to press the fork box walls outwards and into their original position. It worked well!
  • I had the forks acid dipped along with frame. This make sure that all the rust inside the fork tubes was gone.
  • I sent the forks to CasaLambretta (now Jet200.com) with the frame to have them take a look at them. They confirmed they were straight and in good shape.

lambretta series 3 legshields

Legshields

Legshields are hard to find, have lots of holes for logos, different shapes and are generally beaten up and abused. Finding good legshields is not easy.

My legshields were ready for the garbage bin. They had been bent, welded, rusted, and generally abused. I tried several times to salvage them but all attempts met with failure. I found a set on eBay that had been stored for 15 years and they were in perfect shape. YES!

Notable Markings:

  • The legshields don't come with any markings from the factory that I could find though they do come in at least 2 different styles. I've noticed that Spanish ones don't have a very nice crease along the left & right vertical flap and don't have the edge flap in front of the fork tube.
Problems:
  • The new legshields I got were not 100% correct. They did not have a small flap of metal at the top to join up with the fork tube. On later models this was hammered flat. This really didn't make much difference to the bike but is something I noted before deciding to use them.
  • The replacement legshields had the wrong holes for my logos.
Solutions:
  • I was able to find a really nice set of leg shields on eBay for under $200. My patience paid off! You can also get reproduction legshields from the UK that have no holes drilled in them. The repros are very nice but dilling all the holes was going to take quite a while.
  • I filled the old logo holes with some steel rod I found at the hardware store that matched the diameter of the holes. One good technique is to buy the rod at a diameter that is the same size as a drill bit you have as your local hardware store probably doesn't carry rod in a lot of odd diameters. For example, if the holes were slightly smaller than a 1/2 inch then drill them out to a 1/2 inch then buy rod that is a 1/2 inch diameter as that diamter is fairly common. Then the holes and rod are the same diameter which makes filling them a lot easier.

    I cut the bits a little long and used a hammer and dolly to crush them into the holes. This made the bits expand into the holes so they wouldn't want to fall out. I then welded them into place and filed them flat. I then carefully drilled new holes while matching them to the replacement emblems I got from Casa. Note that after you get your legshields painted you should run a small drill be in the holes by hand to wear off the paint on the inside of the hole. If you don't do this then the emblems will push on the paint as they are mounted and the paint will chip.

lambretta SX 200 side panels

Side Panels

The side panels on an SX200 are the center-piece of the design and are unique among all Lambretta models. Not only are they rare but when you do find them they are generally expensive. My side panels were straight and original but generally beaten up just like the rest of the bike.

Notable Markings:

  • The forks don't come with any markings from the factory that I could find.
Problems:
  • There were many small dents in various places.
  • Someone had drilled holes in the panels to attach the panel flashes. These holes would need to be filled.
Solutions:
  • I got lucky on this one. I found a pair of perfect SX200 side panels on eBay for $380.00! Cheap! I bought them and had them stripped to make sure there were no hidden surprises. They were prefect! One thing you should note about side panels is that they become 'fit' to the bike after so many years of use. It is generally preferred to keep sidepanels with a bike. If you have new side panels you should warm them up (room temp is fine) and gently bend them to fit your frame.

Next: Checking Your Parts - Continued

Restoration Steps