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Project ESC Vespa

This thing looks like a SnowQuake weapon. I started my two-wheeled life on Vespas and Lambrettas so I still keep an eye out for them.

Project ESC, for Escape, has the monocoque frame and basis of the engine from a P-range, but that's about it. And even the engine cases are Pinasco custom case that had reedvalve induction, fed by a 42mm Keihin. The head is liquid-cooled. I don't think one part of the engine is original Piaggio. Maybe the kickstart.

The most radical change is the rear suspension. Normally, a single side-mount shock, at the rear of the engine, to the top of the frame. Now two shocks are mounted along the spine of the frame, below the Husqvarna 70 tank. The upside-down forks replace the original single steering stem, tuning fork-shaped Vespa forks.

It has disc brakes front and rear and a foot gear shift, rather than handshift that characterises Vespas and Lambrettas, before the auto revolution.

There have been scooters like this been built for nearly 30 years, and while I really appreciate the engineering and thought, commitment and love that goes into them, I can't help thinking, you've spent a lot of time and huge amount money turning a scooter into a small wheel motorbike. And there's plenty of great motorbikes out there, but that would be missing the point. When you're obsessed by Vespas, and want to promote your business, like German parts specialist SIP, and Russian Vespa custom builders, Butcher Garage who built Project ESC for SIP, then you keep pushing the boundaries.

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