Sunday, 4 March 2012

LML – Lohia Machinery Limited

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Piaggio, not to praise them. The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones; so let it be with Piaggio. The noble Lohia hath told you Piaggio was ambitious by embarking on building Vespas in India. If it were so, it was a grievous fault, and even more grievously hath Piaggio a decade later sell its share. Here, under leave of Lohia and the rest of the Machinery Limited - for Lohia now known simply as LML continued building the classic Vespa P models using the same Vespa machinery.

Now Piaggio, in its wisdom has decided to re-enter the Indian market and they have also decided to reintroduce the classic Vespa P model. So now in South Africa, you can buy two similar 80s era scooters at vastly different prices. A genuine Italian Piaggio Vespa PX150X for R50,000 and a LML Star Deluxe for R20,000. Although the build quality of the LML leaves a lot to be desired, it is a new scooter at 30k cheaper so they are becoming very popular with many being resprayed and rebadged to resemble their Piaggio cousin in a Mod form. I am not sure if the LML would hold a good resell value but that time will tell.

Scoots in Fourways who repairs, restores and service older models of Piaggio Vespas and Innocenti Lambrettas, also sell the latest LML models. This morning, I joined Scoots for a ride to Sofi in Greenside for breakfast then to Newtown, under the bridge to view the graffiti. It was more of a LML ride than anything else as you can see in the photo above. From left to right is a silver LML Star Deluxe, a white LML Star Deluxe, another silver LML Star Deluxe with the blue seat, a red LML Star Deluxe with the lime seat, a copper Vespa P200E with a red seat, a Lambretta Grand Prix 150 and finally Sophia, a black Vespa ET4.

After the graffiti tour, our motley crew ended up at 44 Stanley for more refreshments.

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