Photography / Scooters

Scooter Scrambling

In the 1960s the motor scooter was the people’s transport, and it was cheap and easy for riders to compete in motorsport events. In theory it was completely possible to turn up to an off-road scramble meeting on every-day road bike, compete, and ride it home again afterwards. But realistically most riders would modify old Vespas and Lambrettas, and the rules meant that they had a lot of leeway.But the flexibility regulations that allowed this also killed the sport, as riders with scooter dealership facilities behind them could build expensive ultra-competitive machines, which were perfectly legal, but a million miles from anything that could be recognised a true road-going scooter. Ray Collins in particular was taking the sport to another level, with his highly modified ‘Stingray’ scrambler.

The scrambler consisted of a Ray Collins’ designed frame, Alf Hagon front forks and a Norton Jubilee rear swinging arm. The power came from Ray’s magical cut-and-welded engine and transmission (the BOC factory said it could not be done) with the cylinder head being turned 45 degrees). The air-cooling was deflected and a ‘Bella 200’ cylinder head was adapted to suit.

Still Batty after all these years‘ by Graeme Aldous offers an insightful, nostalgic trip down memory lane, whilst recollecting the halcyon days of scooter scrambling. Early enthusiasts from The Bats Scooter Club remember the bikes and the riders, and visit the main venue at Elstead Royal Common in Surrey to find the course can still be traced after 40 years. This hour long video includes footage from actual 6o’s race meetings, and the days when scooter riders could enjoy a good day’s motorsport for a fiver.

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