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Project Serveta

Pete’s Project: 1973 Serveta Jet 200

New paint, Fresh engine. It’s all happening in leaps and bounds.


I’m still not quite sure what to make of it all, but Project Serveta has advanced faster than a drunk backpacker in Pamplona over the past couple of months. Coincidentally I’ve been living in Queensland for about the same amount of  time, about 1000km away from Sydney where the Jet 200 is currently located.

Given there was comparatively scant progress in the Serveta’s rebuild – although much disassembly and some cleaning – in the eight months preceding the big move north, I’m now congratulating myself for having the wisdom to leave the thing in the hands of people who know what they’re doing.

The main pair of hands belongs to Sandy Symeonides, one of the country’s foremost Lambretta experts. Project Serveta has become one of the first customers of Sandy’s new business, SS Scooter Engineering, in the inner suburb of Newtown (02 9516 0077), and he’s been going flat-out.

His first task was to strip the remaining bodywork off the Jet, drop the engine out of the frame and clean it all up. The frame and body panels were then despatched to Marc at Sydney Custom Spraypainting, but more on that later.

As mentioned last time [Scooter #9], the plan for the engine was a top-end rebuild, conversion to 12V electrics and a general once-over from head to gearbox. Sandy stripped the engine right down for a good look inside and, to my relief, found the damage was limited to the seized piston up top and a dodgy gear selector, which has been replaced.

At the time of writing, Sandy was ready to reinstall the engine back into the repainted frame and complete the final
tasks to get the mighty Jet running again. I won’t go into too much detail about the engine work because it will be the subject of an upcoming article, but there’s been a heap done.

The Serveta has a new Borgo 66.2mm piston and a freshly bored barrel for it to slide in; a new GP crankshaft has replaced the original SX crank; a 12V electronic ignition kit has been installed and timed; the original Spanish Dell’Orto
carburettor has been rebuilt; and the motor has all new bearings, clutchplates, seals, silent engine blocks and gaskets.

Still to go on are new brake shoes and a full set of control cables, along with the installation of the headset and throttle
and gear controls, some minor wiring jobs and a final carb set-up.

With Sandy taking care of the engine, the Serveta’s frame and bodywork were left in another pair of experienced hands,
those belonging to Marc Houssenloge. Marc’s services came recommended by a good friend and although he’s more
accustomed to doing custom Harleys, he took on the Serveta challenge with enthusiasm.

So far the only change to the plan of attack has been with the paintwork. Well, there were two actually. The first was a different colour. I’d been keen on a shade called Citric Acid, which adorns current-model Ford Falcons, but a closer inspection on a vehicle at the dealer up the road had me thinking again. I wanted something green or yellow, or a combination of the two, as long as it was nice and loud and suitably ’70s. No point running around on a classic scooter if no one notices it, eh?

In the end it was simple decision: Kawasaki lime green. I reckon there ain’t no lime green that’s limier or greener than the Kawasaki hue, and it should look tops.

The second change concerned the extent of the paintjob. Originally I wanted Marc to do a full bare-metal respray, but
he sagely advised that it was going to be pretty costly and probably unnecessary, so we agreed on the removal of any surface rust, then preparation, priming and respraying over the existing yellow paint.

The Jet’s going to get plenty of use and I’m not precious about it, so I’m happy to save a bit of cash on the paint. It’s all
finished and on the way to Sandy for reassembly as you read this, and although I haven’t seen Marc’s handiwork yet, I’m sure it’ll be killer.

Once Sandy finishes we should have a running scooter that will only need a few fi nal touches to be ready for rego. I’ll be
down in Sydney towards the end of September, so I’m dead keen to get round to Newtown and hear the beast purring for
the first time. After that I’ll stick it on a truck pointed towards Queensland and a new home in the sunshine.

Thanks heaps to:

Sandy Symeonides of SS Scooter Engineering. You’ll find him at 426 King Street, Newtown, or call 02 9516 0077.

Marc Houssenloge of Sydney Custom Spraypainting. Call Marc on 02 9721 2244 or email .

Yes, I know it’s still yellow. This is the Jet stripped at Sandy’s shop, before it was taken away for paint. Just imagine it in lime green, okay?

It works for me...

To retrace the steps of Project Serveta go to’sproject1973servetajet200.aspx

As published in TW SCOOTER MAGAZINE - 20/02/2007
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