It’s nice to get away on your hols for a week or two, forget the stresses of work and suchlike, but if only you had your scooter to hand to get out go for a decent ride too. Well… now you can.
If you’re not lucky enough to have a wife/partner who is interested in scooters, then for goodness sake don’t let them read this article. Imagine it’s the one time of year she gets to drag you away from your beloved scooter, two weeks in the sun for the family holiday and she is in a good mood. Perhaps you suggest that she takes a few euros down town with the kids and does a bit of shopping, while you take in the culture of the island’s capital. If you are a very lucky man, the capital city in question will be Palma, Mallorca, and one cheeky little gem you might unearth on your travels is Loco Wheels at Jaume III next to the heart of the city.
It is the brainchild of lifelong friends and scooter addicts Daniel and Tomas. After a family member passed away and left a small flat to one of the guys, they realised that letting the flat out above, and using the garage below could allow them to embrace their passion… and Loco Wheels was born. Initially it was simple scooter repairs and restorations, but it grew and they soon had a fleet of scooters on their hands. Now some of you may be thinking… are Lambrettas really that popular on Mallorca? You better believe it. I’m told by Tomas that Mallorca has more Lambrettas than the whole of mainland Spain. So these guys are busy, and they are good too. I take a look around the workshop and see ongoing projects, their own machines, and customers’ scooters waiting. But this is only half the story.
Rental and guided tours
Having amassed such a fine stock of Lambretta scooters, it seemed a shame to have them sitting gathering dust, so Daniel and Tomas decided to get into the scooter hire business. Initially, I thought to myself… are you nuts? Renting out these beautiful machines to every young spunker out on holiday with his Club 18-30 mates? But as you see when you arrive at Loco Wheels, it’s certainly not that type of affair. While the garage is centrally located, it’s not easy to find…which is just the way any Lambretta owner wants his garage!
Once you do find the underground cave, you immediately see that the setup is not anything like your traditional ‘scooter rental’ shop, more a cross between the Batcave and urban living quarters, a home-from-home for any scooterist, and a place which also acts as a club house for music and beers! The guys have a comfy area for you to be seated while they figure out what sort of ride you are looking for. The choice of available scooters is great, both classic and geared auto, yup…Scomadi is on the Island of Mallorca too.
Where to go?
Daniel and Tomas explained that both solo rental (get out and see the island on your own) or guided tours are available. I visit Mallorca a lot, and so straight away I thought… solo. Plus, I was with the wife and we were in Mallorca for her birthday (imagine how surprised she was when I found out there was a scooter hire place specialising in Lambrettas!) so I wasn’t sure she’d be too chuffed with me talking scooters all day with these guys.
However, and it must be noted, Daniel and Tomas were the most likeable guys I’ve met in a long time. I know the island well, really well…but there’s no way I could know it like they do. So I explained to Mrs Dan that we were far better off being guided by these guys than going it alone, she agreed… and the four of us set out for the day on Lambrettas. The next part is something that can take as little or as much of your time as you wish, and we had the full day, so we let the guys from Loco Wheels lead. First journey was through the back streets of the city, to find the least commercial tapas bar for lunch, it was great to wind through the city, among the narrow streets and taking in the routes a regular tourist would never normally see. After that we went to more traditional locations, to see castles, churches and other buildings of note. After the city, we took in beaches and harbour scenery, which brought the cool sea breeze with it – most welcome! Next came the mountains and the views were breath-taking, but more interestingly… the roads were long, smooth, winding and empty! We didn’t see another vehicle in the whole of the mountain section. This bit was the best for me, just pure riding and great scenery. Finally we were getting toward the end of the day, and starting to look forward to some beers. So we headed back to our hotel and the guys took our scooter back for us, this meant after the thirsty ride, me and the Mrs could get straight into the refreshments. Bonus.
What does all this cost? Well, the price list is a work in progress, but at the time of going to press, the guys were offering a six-hour guided excursion (they ride a separate scooter out with you) for €130 including dinner, fuel, helmets and insurance. If you have a pillion to accompany you, they pay an extra €35. If your schedule doesn’t allow the ‘full monty’ then they offer a three-hour option for €90, again including fuel, insurance, helmets and this time drinks (not dinner) and a €25 pillion option. You need either the relevant licence to legally ride a 125cc Lambretta or Scomadi, or a full licence for their 150cc machines. Daniel and Tomas were still trying to work out the costs of simply allowing a customer to hire a solo machine, but promised the info would be on their website and/or Facebook soon.
I went in July and rode in peak temperatures which is not ideal. Daniel and Tomas advised that ANY time outside of July and August is perfect riding weather and said winter breaks to get out on the roads and tour the island make for an interesting holiday option. Having experienced the tour, I don’t disagree.
Loco Wheels can be found at: Jaume Duran, 07012 Palma, but it is advised to contact them via phone first: +34 661 593 063 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and you can check them out on Facebook too.