It can be hard to customise old school scooters. Their flowing lines don’t lend themselves to modification as they tend look sweet enough in standard trim. Today’s feature bike is a scooter that definitely breaks the rules though. Built by Berlin’s premiere custom workshop, Berham Customs, this 1953 ACMA Vespa was given a new lease on life, showing that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
From the start of the build, Martien from Berham Customs knew how the build should look: ‘I just wanted it to look like someone had found a 50 year old custom project and fitted a new fork & engine to it’. Luckily at the start of the build, the standard scooter had all the patina of a barn find, it’s brownish reddish colour scheme matching the look Martien wanted in the build. To ensure the theme carried on throughout the bike, any new parts were painted brown, then red, and a hint of grey added. To add to the look, the paint was then rubbed back with oil and steel wool.
Once the paintjob was finished, a bar was mounted to fit the MZ fuel tank, already painted in the same style as the rest of the bike. To round out the look, the shock was painted in the original colours of the scooter, and wrapped in a wet salty towel for a few days. Once the desired aesthetique had been achieved, the whole lot was sealed up with Zapon, to ensure the scooter will be around for another fifty years.
Powering the scooter is a 230cc Vespa unit, the engine that served in Martien’s daily rider before being fitted to the rat rod ACMA. For go power, Martien had blown out the factory capacity by the fitment of a Scooter & Service crank. The head is a modified Malossi unit, working with a piston from the same company. Fuel duties are taken care of by a trusty Mikuni TMX35, while the exhaust is a Scooter & Service system. The whole drivetrain works well, with the scooter being dyno’ed at 32 horsepower.
From a weather beaten EBay find, this bike has been rebuilt in true hot rod style, using whatever was available and worked. Using whatever means possible to stick to the original idea, this is definitely one scooter that won’t be found sitting at the back of the shed anytime soon.
many thanks to Berham Customs (Berham.com) for supplying the pics and thank you to Scooter Magazine for the information on the build.