The early 1960s were a time for Lambretta endurance records, a timed ride from London to Milan being recorded in 1960 and again in 1965. Then, in 1967, Arthur Francis Ltd of
Watford decided that they would have a go at breaking the record too. And in true Arthur Francis style, they didn’t just break it, but shattered it to pieces!
Ken Peters, Sales Manager for Arthur Francis, set off from Lambretta Concessionaires in Croydon for Gatwick airport where he flew to Le Touquet and continued riding to Milan from there on a second scooter to save valuable time unloading it from the aeroplane.
The scooter was a SX200 of sorts, which had been modified beforehand in the AF way. The SX200 frame had a GT200 engine fitted, which could cruise between 70mph and 80mph for long periods. The weak exhaust was strengthened with a second, large bracket to the tailpipe to reduce resonance and both supporting studs were enlarged. Ken also brazed a bridge in the exhaust port to support the piston-rings (another known fault of the TV200), the result allowing them to widen the exhaust port even further.
The total riding time from London to Milan was 16 hours and 50 minutes, an average of 45mph.
After a photo-shoot at the Innocenti factory in Milan, his finishing point, and a reception afterwards (following some rest!), Ken was back in the saddle and continued on down to Rome for a large Lambretta rally there.