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Project Zip – Return to Elvington

April 21st, 2010

Adrenalin’s ongoing Piaggio Zip saga continues with a sprint session at Elvington.

If you’ve been following our Project Zip series of articles then Adrenalin Pedstop’s endorsement of Polini products should be more than apparent. Adrenalin, the scooter performance parts retailer in Barnsley, South Yorkshire ship out more Polini products on a daily basis than you can shake a stick at. With their matching racing liveries all their scooters proudly feature the latest kit from Italy. Their pièce de résistance is a 70cc Piaggio Zip RS powered by the very latest Polini Evolution 3 engine and ridden by the hugely talented Josh Brown from Pontefract who reigned supreme in last year’s BSSO championship. Suffice to say Adrenalin currently have a lot going for them which inevitably brings high expectations when it comes down to the actual racing.

So on Sunday 18 April the Pedstrop crew headed out to Elvington armed with the Zips for some quarter mile testing in preparation for the next round of the BSSO series set to take place at Three Sisters (not at Anglesey as previously announced) on the weekend of 08/09 May. The day’s racing went well with Josh and Sam Edwards knocking out some fast times up the runway. A 15.34 second quarter mile run terminating at 79mph is a 20mph improvement in top speed compared to six months ago when Josh glided across the finish line when the engine seized. Thankfully things went better this time and Adrenalin feel confident (more so than before) that Josh has the straight line speed he needs when he returns to the circuit next month. Hopefully the lad will be in better form too as he appeared to be struck down with a stomach bug at the last race meeting at Mallory.


You could say that automatic scooter sprinting requires more bottle than skill, so from this point-of-view how many 11 year olds do you see blasting up the drag strip? The results of Sam’s full throttle action at Elvington yielded times in the 16 second bracket with a 16.04 being his best time of the day and a top speed of 67mph. Looking at the stats Sam’s effort was quicker than what some of the riders of 172 and 180cc riders were achieving on the day. With a new Polini Evolution engine designated for his Zip before the action starts at Three Sisters, the attitude towards the way the engine was setup was pretty much thrash it until it blows. Then again isn’t that always the ‘modus operandi’ when it comes to sprinting? With an already tired piston still present and a carb step up from 19mm to 28mm the engine ‘nipped’ on what was to become Sam’s last run of the day. The presence of nickel lining was later found inside the exhaust port. Replacing the piston ring prior to the meeting might have helped which is of course easy to say in hindsight.

The proof is in the pudding as the old saying goes and the capabilities of these low engine capacity scooters needs to be seen to be believed. For the non-believers out there you only have to look at what’s been going on in Europe over the last five or six years to see that high performance low engine capacity scooter tuning has become commonplace. Granted it’s been happening here in the UK but on a much smaller scale, “we’re getting there” as they used to say in the old British Rail ad. I’m glad to say that Adrenalin are on the right track.

Words & Video: Paul Robinson
Photos: Chris Halliday

Related articles:

BSSO 2010 – Round 2: Three Sisters
BSSO 2010 – Round 1: Mallory Park
Project Zip – The Saga Continues
Project Zip
Young Gun Sam Edwards to race for Adrenalin