The Complete Spanners Manual: Lambretta Scooters 3rd Edition by Martin “Sticky” Round Review

Back in the olden days, in a time when we lived with 3 TV channels, the fear of nuclear war and metal dustbins, trying to solve a scooter problem, you would usually have to phone a friend from the house phone, bodge it or guess how to fix it. When it was fixed, we had to run the gauntlet with the local bikers and casuals and relied on hope to keep our motors running. The good old, bad old days.

Thankfully, time and technology have moved on and one of the greatest resources is the Internet. It’s a remarkable source of information to help solve carburettor problems, engine builds and restorations. It’s still not always the answer though. Some forums and Facebook groups can end up giving you a multiple choice of answers, including the wrong advice and ruin all your hard work.

The first edition from 2004

Back in 2004 Martin “Sticky” Round published his Lambretta manual. The Complete Spanners Manual. There have been other manuals around but nothing on a par to this. I remember the Lambretta Home Workshop Manual, lots of words and not a lot of images to help guide me through engine work. Now things were going to get better for me and those like me who needed all the help we could get with a completely fresh look to a Lambretta manual.

Then in 2010 Martin released the 2nd edition with a lot of important upgrades. It still kept to the same working format and it was well received in the Lambretta community.

The second edition from 2010

Last week, Martin released the 3rd Edition of The Complete Spanners Workshop Manual. There’s a lot of changes and additions to what has now become an essential part of a Lambretta owners possession but still keeps to the winning format.

The third edition August 2018

The one thing this manual has above anything before and probably will ever have, is that it’s universally accepted due to the extensive research and input of the manual from many mechanics and tuners who have helped shape the Lambretta to its current form as well as help those who persevere to restore their Lambretta to its original form.

With new parts and upgrades released all the time and Martin has included the latest parts released up until the end of August 2018 with a large section on aftermarket products.

There’s a greatly improved piece on chain alignment. It can’t be understated the importance of this. I limped home the last few miles from an LCGB rally in 2012. When I inspected the engine after I got home the chain was very loose and slipped badly. On fitting a new chain and checking alignment, it was well out.
The Electrical System section has been improved and expanded with more advice and instruction, including new electronic components like Scootronics CDI’s, Pick-ups and flywheels.

The improved chain alignment section

There’s information on improved building techniques throughout the manual including what is also became essential, Leak Down Testing.

More wiring diagrams, including Full DC Conversion diagrams.

Plus a whole lot more.

Updates on upgrades

It also has to be noted that the quality of the paper and the binding has meant that the manual has always been the same and held together well as they get fumbled through with oily hands, dropped on garage floors, trod on and spilled blood, sweat and tears, it’s still held together.

Despite the abuse, the manual still held together well.

If you’ve never owned it, buy it. If you’ve already bought the 1st and 2nd editions, buy it. It’s definitely worth it to keep up on the advancement of the Lambretta in all its forms and still the definitive, complete Lambretta manual.

The Complete Spanners Manual can be purchased at Scooterproducts

Here’s a Direct Link

The manual is also available through most Scooter Dealers

The price is £24.99 and the ISBN is 9780954821654





Scootronics Hi Powered CDI

Anthony Tambs at Scootronics has just released a new CDI. This version is a high powered version with diagnostic LED’s.


It has two diagnostic LED’s that will indicate a fault. The red LED indicates the Pick Up is working and the green LED indicates voltage is working from the Low Tension Coil.

Also incorporated into the CDI is a voltage controlled boost circuit, which Anthony says “I’m making use of the unused negative half cycle of the low tension signal. The voltage boost circuit is stabilized to 320 volts. This should give you a power rating of just over 100 millijoules.”


Included is a Flexible HT lead, (which for me is one of the best ones I’ve used). When you’re bending it through the frame to the Spark Plug Cap there’s plenty of flexibility that will allow for movement. You need to get your own Spark Plug Cap. There are too many preferences out there for Anthony to cover.

I’ve never been able to get to grips with electrics, this CDI goes a long way to helping those like me, make the diagnosis of electrical faults easier.


One last note to add. Lunchtime today, I went into town on the Lambretta. when I rode away to come home, it was spluttering badly unable to ride it, I checked the CDI diagnostic LED’s and they both light up. So within an instant, I was able to dismiss the Pickup or LT Coil. I changed the plug and it ran fine for the ride back home.

Contact with Anthony Tambs can be made on his Scootronics page on Facebook on the link below.
Scootronics Facebook Page

You can also look up the relevant information on the CDI and other Lambretta related info on the Lambretta Tuning Group on FB from the link below.
Lambretta Tuning Page on Facebook


Taylor Tuning Cowling Spacers

When building engines with longer conrods, you need packing plates. Sometimes it means that when fitting the cylinder cowling, you can find it doesn’t fit properly, sometimes it will under stress, which can lead to them cracking from their connections leading to loss of air for cooling

To help combat this Darrell Taylor of Taylor Tuning has made spacers of different sizes.

In the pictures, you’ll see before and after where I have the 3mm packer fitted to my 230 engine. There’s a gap before fitting the spacer.

You can contact Darrell on his Taylor Tuning Facebook Page here.


Check Your Nuts!

Maintenance and the usual checks are usually essential on a Lambretta. Gearbox oil, cables, tyre tread and air pressure, carburetor, spark plug, petrol flow, filters, connections, the list goes on, but have you ever been complacent when everything seems to be ticking along nicely without a worry? Have you ever got lazy when checking for the simple things like the wheel nuts? I have, a lot. About a week before I was heading to France for my Western Front Run I “dodged a bullet”.

The video will show me pulling up to traffic lights at a junction. These lights are the bane of my local scootering. It’s about a mile from my house and I use it a lot when going to Belfast City Centre and other places. This time the junction that annoys me so much, may have saved me a nasty experience on the Lambretta.

I left home on my way to the city, as I was coming up to the lights the front end felt odd, when I reached the lights (that take a lifetime to cycle through the sequence) I lent over the headset to take a look, giving the headset a wobble to see what was going on. I couldn’t see properly, but I thought I’d ride on and check at the next opportunity. The lights changed to green and as I set off the wobble returned, so I rode off the crossroads and pulled over onto the pavement.

I stopped the engine and got off. My first thoughts were steering issues or fork problems. I was in for a shock.

Three of the four SIP nuts were gone. The last one turned in my fingers. The last thing I thought it could have been was the wheel nuts. It’s the first time I’ve ever had wheel nuts come loose.

Now, I’ve been running SIP Tubeless rims for a while now and I’ve had no problems like this (there’s that complacency I was talking about). It was suggested to me by Martin Hyland of Just Lambretta some time ago that I could use Kart nuts. These are M8, but they take a 10mm socket and the important bit is, they fit the well the nut goes into. More importantly, you can see easier for any loose nuts. I had forgotten all about these (which I had already ordered). I replaced the SIP nuts with these as soon as I got home.

What if the lights at the junction were green when I reached them? Knowing me, I’d probably had ridden on until I stopped for a proper look, but the wheel would have come off long before that.

When was the last time you checked your nuts?

Watch the video linked below.

Oily Blog Nuts Video

K2 Custom Classics Fork Compressor

When I rode to France in 2017, my Lambretta picked up a bit of an issue with the front end. When I got home I decided to take a closer look and strip the forks for a service (which doesn’t happen as often as it maybe should).

I didn’t fancy dropping the forks out completely as I don’t have a strong enough bench to hold them, so it involves trying to balance them and unless you have a friend to help, a third hand.

This is where the Fork Compressor from K2 Custom Classics comes in. Firstly it’s small. Secondly, forks can be stripped in situ. It works by clamping the unit to the fork leg and a bolt that runs through the unit with a U shaped piece at the bottom that fits over the spring. When you tighten the night the bolt rises compressing the spring. It’s as simple as that.

If you’re worried about scratching the paint. You can overcome this by wrapping some insulation tape around the area where the clamp fits before fitting the compressor.

It didn’t take long to strip the forks. The diagnosis was collapsed fork link buffers. So forks rebuilt handling was back as it should have been.

You can get the compressor from k2 Customs Classics