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Lambretta Model B

Years produced: 1948 - 1950
Amount produced: 35,014
Engine: single cylinder, air cooled 2-stroke
Induction: piston ported
Bore: 52 mm
Stroke: 58 mm
Cubic capacity: 123 cc
Compression ratio: 6:1
BHP at rpm: 4.1 @ 4500
Transmission: 3 speed (foot change)
Lubrication: 5%
Carburetor: Dellorto MA 16
Ignition: contact breaker & points
Ignition timing: 26-28 degrees BTDC
Breaker gap: 0.3-0.4 mm
Voltage: 6 volt
Wheel size: 8"
Tire size: 3.50 x 8
Max speed: 40 mph
Total dry weight: 121 lbs



The Lambretta 125 B was the natural evolution from the A, but received much more fanfare at the magnificent unveiling ceremony in December 1948. The B boasted numerous mechanical and structural improvements and finally had the elastic rear suspension connecting with a joint from the transmission crankcase. To make for an even smoother ride, the front suspension was changed from the rubber ring model to two compressed cylindrical springs. The gear shifter was moved from the floorboards to the left handlebar which would spin to control the movement of the gearbox via a patented flexible "Teleflex" shaft. The wheel size was slightly enlarged to eight inches, giving a little more stability.

Other smaller changes made for a more functional scooter: moving the control cables outside of the tubes and making them much easier to change; a larger gas tank, allowing the rider to go further on one tank; and the position of the handlebars was changed and the saddle was raised, giving the driver a more comfortable ride.

With this model, Innocenti introduced metallic paint in four different shades for its scooters. Strangely, future models were not offered with this option, and consumers had to wait until 1963 before they could get metallic finish on their stock scooters. Since the Lambretta 125 B was very mechanically advanced compared to its nearest competitor, the Vespa, it drew a huge amount of interest both on the national market and in the international sector. The B was successfully exported to the most important markets outside of Europe: Australia, India, Egypt, South America, etc. The agents in these areas would be authorized in the 1950s and 60s to assemble and sometimes even construct their own Lambrettas under license from Innocenti.

During the 14 months of construction, the Lambretta B received a few slight improvements that were enough to classify two distinct versions. The first could be recognized by the same light switch as the Lambretta A, by the brake cover with the internal control, and by the wedge-shaped rear brake pedal. The second version was obvious because of the light switch by the gas lever, the brake cover with the external control, and the pointed rear brake pedal.

The Lambretta 125 B ushered in the real dawn of Italian scootering that would blossom in the 1950s: tourist groups or solo riders taking long trips, large scooter rallies of only one brand, and the founding of the first Lambretta clubs. In 1949, the offical Innocenti Notiziario Lambretta hit the shelves as the offical newsletter of Lambrettismo in Italy and abroad. Each issue gathered technical information from experts and articles on the wildest Lambretta riders and their recent feats. In the racing arena, the B achieved numerous successes, especially in setting world speed and endurance records, which gave this little Lambretta the honor to adorn itself with the coveted symbol of speed "la freccia azzurra" (the blue arrow). The B was a success in the commercial sector as well. Finally, Innocenti was able to balance its books since the initial price of setting up the production line for the A model cost far more than initially thought. In spite of this success, it was not enough to prolong the brief life of the B longer than 14 months. A new completely redesigned series based on a well-planned market strategy took the Bs place.