Piaggio’s small and fiery home scooter becomes the first choice for international scooter competitions: Malossi develops kits for performance never achieved before.
Starting with the development of MHR-branded special parts dedicated to the Piaggio’s first liquid-cooled scooter, the unforgettable Quartz, Malossi continues its quest for ever-increasing performance, identifying the Zip Sp, following several tests, as the vehicle most suitable to be prepared for racing competitions.
From 1996 onwards, the catalogue of special parts dedicated to this little fireball has never ceased to grow, starting with the first kits that included an aluminium cylinder, which has much greater performance compared to previous cast-iron cylinders.
An increased power performance obliged the Malossi technicians to develop special parts able to provide better handling and grounding: For the first time, the head office in Calderara di Reno produced full circle crankshafts and a control unit to better manage all of the scooter electronics.
Tests on the track revealed new requirements to the official team who demonstrated the need for suspensions capable of giving the scooter more rigidity and the possibility being able to make specific adjustments. The solution to this challenge is called RS24, the new brand that identifies the scooter suspension specific to the track and which increases the quality of this component, introducing gas shock absorbers for the first time to this type of vehicle.
In these years, another important Malossi brand was born, one which would be destined to have a long history reaching up to the present date: 7.1, the ideal oil for competitions, created specifically to ensure the best performance on track.
With the help of Mauro Sanchini, official rider for the Malossi team until 1998 and multiple winner of the title, the team’s Zip SP development reached levels never previously reached with other scooters, reducing the Piaggio-based components to just the chassis and the crankcase.
The Zip you see in these photographs is the official one belonging to Sanchini, who in 1998 concluded his adventure on scooters in order to move onto the Superbike championship, enriched by years of experience that gave him technical and vehicle-tuning skills as well as great fun.
In the next article, we will discuss four-strokes for the first time: Another challenge that the company has faced and overcome with great ability, tackling a market that is completely different from the one discussed up to this point.
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