Piatti Scooters and Design

Today in Motorcycle History

Design ...what makes the Piatti so different

"The machine is completely new in concept and design and looks as different from the current styling of popular scooters as they in their turn did from ordinary motorcycles"
The Scooter, June 1956
Innovative adjustable suspension meant riders could have more control over handling

3 settings, soft, medium and hard (for heavy riders or lots of shopping!)

The stand was cable-operated, with this 'pull-button'!

"The stand will almost certainly claim the Power & Pedal "Oscar" for the year, as the easiest and safest stand yet devised. A gentle pull on this button and the machine rolls back without any effort at all"
Power & Pedal, August 1956

The first scooter to consider ergonomics in design:
Handlebars and seat were height-adjustable.

Light controls, speedo and engine cut-off were mounted in the headset.
The horn was sitting next to your right thumb. (in case the scooter alone did not raise enough attention)

With a curved top, the 1.5 gallon petrol-tank was tucked up inside the body.
To service the Piatti, you tipped it over on it's side for great access to all the workings, after you had screwed the 'breather' petrol cap shut! cap

section through petrol cap

A great example of 'form follows function' ...these louvres front and rear create an air bridge through the body, directing cooling air onto the head, and adding one of the Piattis greatest visual features.

Economical and functional, the split-rim wheels were interchangeable, with 4.5" expanding brakes.

If the tiny 7x3.5" tyres didn't hold when you braked, do not fear, as there was a wraparound rubber bumper up front.

In a configuration which was to be adopted by the Li series Lambretta, the Piatti had a horizontal cylinder, chain drive and internal hub gearbox in one compact unit.

There was a central pivot point either side of the crankcase.

Almost an enlarged version of the 'Minimotor' the domed head and cylinder had generous cooling fins, needed to capture the airflow through the body.

Without doubt the most appealing part of the scooter is the bodyshape.

Minus a few internal stiffeners, the body is entirely monocoque in construction, and is very light as a result

A seam runs the length of the bike, joining the two halves, allowing the characteristic fluid body shape.

With a sleek, low-slung body, the Piatti is the only post-war scooter with an adjustable seat.

The small compartment under the seat holds a toolbox, and battery for the parking light.

"Signor Piatti has returned to the original functional conception of a scooter as a light, economical, easily handled runabout and his boldly original design appears to have achieved the objective"
Power & Pedal August 1956