Scooter (motorcycle)

A scooter (also referred to as a motor scooter to avoid confusion with kick scooter, but not to be confused with a motorized scooter) is a type of motorcycle with a step-through frame and a platform for the rider's feet. Elements of scooter design were present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and scooters have been made since 1914 or earlier. Scooter development continued in Europe and the United States between the World Wars.

The global popularity of motor scooters dates from the post-World War II introductions of the Vespa and Lambretta models in Italy. These scooters were intended to provide economical personal transportation (engines from 50 to 250 cc or 3.1 to 15.3 cu in). The original layout is still widely used in this application. Maxi-scooters, with larger engines from 250 to 850 cc (15 to 52 cu in) have been developed for Western markets.

Scooters are popular for personal transportation partly due to being more affordable, easy to operate, and more convenient to park and store than a car. Licensing requirements for scooters are easier and cheaper than for cars in most parts of the world, and insurance is usually cheaper.

Red scooter rider Avenida Do Mar, Funchal, Madeira Island
The Vespa was the first globally popular scooter.


The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines a motor scooter is a motorcycle similar to a kick scooter with a seat, a floorboard, and small or low wheels.[1] The United States Department of Transportation defines a scooter as a motorcycle that has a platform for the operator's feet or has integrated footrests, and has a step-through architecture.[2]

The classic scooter design features a step-through frame and a flat floorboard for the rider's feet. This design is possible because most scooter engines and drive systems are attached to the rear axle or under the seat. Unlike a conventional motorcycle, in which the engine is mounted on the frame, most modern scooters allow the engine to swing with the rear wheel, while most vintage scooters and some newer retro models have an axle-mounted engine. Modern scooters starting from late-1980s generally use a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while older ones use a manual transmission with the gearshift and clutch control built into the left handlebar.

Scooters usually feature bodywork, including a front leg shield and body that conceals all or most of the mechanicals. There is often some integral storage space, either under the seat, built into the front leg shield, or both. Scooters have varying engine displacements and configurations ranging from 50 cc single-cylinder to 850 cc twin-cylinder models.

Traditionally, scooter wheels are smaller than conventional motorcycle wheels and are made of pressed steel or cast aluminum alloy, bolt on easily, and often are interchangeable between front and rear. Some scooters carry a spare wheel. Many recent scooters use conventional front forks with the front axle fastened at both ends.

Regulatory classification

Most jurisdictions do not differentiate between scooters and motorcycles. For all legal purposes in the United States of America, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends using the term motorcycle for all of these vehicles. However, while NHTSA excludes the term motor scooter from legal definition, it proceeds, in the same document, to give detailed instructions on how to import a small motor scooter.[3]


The emissions of mopeds and scooters have been the subject of multiple studies. Studies have found that two-stroke 50 cc mopeds, with and without catalytic converters, emit ten to thirty times more hydrocarbons and particulate emissions than the outdated Euro 3 automobile standards.[4][5] In the same study, four-stroke mopeds, with and without catalytic converters, emitted three to eight times the hydrocarbons and particulate emissions than the Euro 3 automobile standards.[4] Approximate parity with automobiles was achieved with NOx emissions in these studies. Emissions performance was tested on a g/km basis and was unaffected by fuel economy. In 2011 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds with engine displacements less than 280 cc to emit ten times the NOx and six times the CO than the median Tier II bin 5 automobile regulations.[6][7] An additional air quality challenge can also arise from the use of moped and scooter transportation over automobiles, as a higher density of two-wheeled vehicles can be supported by existing transportation infrastructure.[8]



Scooter-like traits began to develop in motorcycle designs around the 1900s. In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller in Munich, Germany produced the first motorcycle that was available for purchase. Their motorcycle had a step-through frame, with its fuel tank mounted on the down tube, its parallel two-cylinder engine mounted low on the frame, and its cylinders mounted in line with the frame. It was water-cooled and had a radiator built into the top of the rear fender. It became the first mass-produced and publicly sold powered two-wheel vehicle, and among the first powered mainly by its engine rather than foot pedals. Maximum speed was 40 km/h (25 mph). The rear wheel was driven directly by rods from the pistons in a manner similar to the drive wheels of steam locomotives. Only a few hundred such bikes were built, and the high price and technical difficulties made the venture a financial failure for both Wolfmüller and his financial backer, Hildebrand.[9]

In France, the Auto-Fauteuil was introduced in 1902. This was basically a step-through motorcycle with an armchair instead of a traditional saddle. Production continued until 1922.[10]

ZweiRadMuseumNSU Hildebrand Wolfmueller

1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller motorcycle

Autofauteuil 490 cc side valve 1908

1908 French Auto-Fauteuil motorcycle

First generation (1915–1930)

The Motoped entered production in 1915, and is believed to be the first motor scooter.[11] They were followed that year by the Autoped, whose engine was engaged by pushing the handlebar column forward and whose brake was engaged by pulling the column back.[12] Autopeds were made in Long Island, New York[13] from 1915 to 1921,[12] and were also made under licence by Krupp in Germany from 1919 to 1922, following World War I.[14]

The number of scooter manufacturers and designs increased after World War I. The British - ABC Motors Skootamota, the Kenilworth, and the Reynolds Runabout debuted in 1919, with Gloucestershire Aircraft Company following with its Unibus in 1920.[15] The Skootamota was noted for being practical, popular, and economical,[16] the Kenilworth for its electric lights,[17] and the Reynolds Runabout for its advanced specifications, including front suspension, a two-speed gearbox, leg shields, and a seat sprung with leaf springs and coil springs.[18] The Unibus also had a two-speed gearbox, but it is more notable for its full bodywork, similar to that which would appear of second- and third-generation scooters.[16][19]

The reputation of first-generation scooters was damaged by a glut of unstable machines with flexible frames,[16][20] and more substantial examples like the Reynolds Runabout and the Unibus were too expensive to be competitive.[16][18] The first generation had ended by the mid-1920s.[16]

Autoped 1919 Ever Ready 1

1919 Autoped Ever Ready

ABC Scootamota 2

ABC Skootamota, designed by Granville Bradshaw

Kenilworth scooter 1921

1921 Kenilworth scooter


1920s Unibus scooter, in grey, at right.

MHV DKW Lomos 01

DKW Lomos, a cross between a scooter and an auto-fauteuil

Second generation (1936–1968)

E. Foster Salsbury and Austin Elmore developed the Salsbury Motor Glide, which was a division of Northrop Aircraft,[21] a scooter with a seat above an enclosed drivetrain, and began production in 1936 in California. In 1938, Salsbury introduced a more powerful scooter with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This was the first use of a CVT on a scooter.[22] It was such a success that Salsbury attempted to license the design to several European manufacturers including Piaggio. The Motor Glide set the standards for all later models. It inspired production of motor scooters by Powell, Moto-scoot, Cushman, Rock-Ola, and others.[23]

The Cushman Company produced motor scooters from 1936 to 1965.[24] Cushman was an engine manufacturer that started making scooters after Salsbury found their offer to supply engines to be unacceptable. Cushman and Salsbury competed against each other, with both companies advertising the economy of their scooters. Cushman claimed an efficiency of 120 mpg‑US (2.0 L/100 km; 140 mpg‑imp) at 30 mph (48 km/h). Cushman introduced a centrifugal clutch to their scooters in 1940.[22] The Cushman Auto Glide Model 53 was designed to be dropped by parachute with Army Airborne troops, and was eventually called the "Cushman Airborne".[25] Cushman scooters were also used around military bases for messenger service.[26]

Salsbury continued manufacturing scooters until 1948,[27] while Cushman continued until 1965.[28]

Small numbers of the 165 cc (10.1 cu in) Harley-Davidson Topper scooter were produced from 1960 to 1965 using the engine from their line of light motorcycles based on the DKW RT 125. It had a fiberglass body, a continuously variable transmission, and a pull-cord starting mechanism.[29][30]

1956 Allstate Scooter 2

Typical Cushman scooter, this one sold by Sears under the Allstate brand


1948 Salsbury Model 85 scooter, in the middle

Early postwar Japan

After World War II, wartime aircraft manufacturers were forbidden from making aircraft, and had to find other products to make in order to stay in business. Fuji Sangyo, a part of the former Nakajima Aircraft Company, began production of the Fuji Rabbit S-1 scooter in June 1946. Inspired by Powell scooters used by American servicemen, the S1 was designed to use surplus military parts, including the tailwheel of a Nakajima bomber, re-purposed as the front wheel of the S1.[31][32] Later that year, Mitsubishi introduced the C10, the first of its line of Silver Pigeon scooters.[33][34] This was inspired by a Salsbury Motor Glide that had been brought to Japan by a Japanese man who had lived in the United States.[34]

Production of the Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon and the Fuji Rabbit continued through several series until the 1960s.[31][35] Some series of the Fuji Rabbit were developed to a high level of technological content; the S-601 Rabbit Superflow had an automatic transmission with a torque converter, an electric starter, and pneumatic suspension.[36][37] Mitsubishi ended scooter production with the C140 Silver Pigeon,[35] while Fuji continued production of the Rabbit until the last of the S-211 series was built in June 1968.[31]

Fuji Touring 150 - Side View

Fuji Rabbit Touring 150 (S-402)

Third generation (1946–1964) and beyond

Italy - Vespa and Lambretta

Lambretta 125 D 1952 a
1952 Lambretta 125 D

In post-World War II Italy the Piaggio Vespa became the standard for scooters, and has remained so for over 60 years. Patented in April 1946, it used aircraft design and materials. D'Ascanio's 98 cc (6.0 cu in) scooter had various new design concepts, including a stress-bearing structure. The gear shift lever was moved to the handlebars for easier riding. The engine was placed near the rear wheel, eliminating the belt drive. The typical fork support was replaced by an arm similar to an aircraft carriage for easier tire-changing. The body design protected the driver from wind and road dirt. The smaller wheels and shorter wheelbase provide improved maneuverability through narrow streets and congested traffic. The name originated when Piaggio's president, upon seeing the prototype, remarked "Sembra una vespa", "It looks like a wasp".

Months after the Vespa, in 1947, Innocenti introduced the Lambretta, beginning a rivalry with Vespa. The scooter was designed by Innocenti, his General Director Giuseppe Lauro and engineer Pierluigi Torre. The Lambretta was named after Lambrate, the Milanese neighborhood where the factory stood.[38] It debuted in 1947 at the Paris Motor Show. The Lambretta 'A' went on sale on December 23, 1947, and sold 9,000 units in one year. It was efficient, at a time when petrol was severely rationed. It had a top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) from a fan-cooled engine of 123 cc (7.5 cu in). The first Lambretta designs had shaft drive and no rear suspension, later designs used various drive and suspension systems until Lambretta settled on a swingarm-mounted engine with chain drive.[39]

Also other Italian firms manufactured scooters in 1950s and 1960s, like Italjet and Iso.


Germany's aviation industry was also dismantled after World War II. Heinkel stayed in business by making bicycles and mopeds,[40] while Messerschmitt made sewing machines and automobile parts.[41] Messerschmitt took over the German licence to manufacture Vespa scooters from Hoffman in 1954 and built Vespas under from 1954 to 1964.[42] Heinkel designed and built its own scooters. The Heinkel Tourist was a large and relatively heavy touring scooter produced in the 1960s. It provided good weather protection with a full fairing, and the front wheel turned under a fixed nose extension. It had effective streamlining, perhaps thanks to its aircraft ancestry. Although it had only a 175 cc (10.7 cu in) four stroke motor, it could sustain speeds of 70 mph (110 km/h). Heinkel scooters were known for their reliability.

Glas, a manufacturer of agricultural machinery, made the Goggo scooter from 1951 to 1955. Glas discontinued scooter production to concentrate on its Goggomobil microcar.[43]

Several manufacturers in the German motorcycle industry made scooters. NSU made Lambrettas under licence from 1950 to 1955, during which they developed their Prima scooter. Production of the Prima began when NSU's licence to build Lambrettas ran out. Zündapp made the popular Bella scooter in the 1950s and 1960s. It was in production for about ten years, in three engine sizes, 150 cc (9.2 cu in), 175 cc (10.7 cu in) and 200 cc (12 cu in). They could perform all day at a steady speed of 60 mph (97 km/h). Extremely reliable and very well made, many of these scooters still exist today. Maico built the large Maicoletta scooter in the 1950s. It had a single cylinder piston-port two stroke engine, with four foot-operated gears and centrifugal fan cooling. The Maicoletta had a choice of engine sizes, approximately 175 cc (10.7 cu in), 250 cc (15 cu in), or 275 cc (16.8 cu in), The tubular frame was built on motorcycle principles, with long-travel telescopic forks and 14-inch (356 mm) wheels. The Maicoletta had a top speed of 70 mph (110 km/h) which was comparable with most 250 cc (15 cu in) motorcycles of the time. Other German scooters made by motorcycle manufacturers included the DKW Hobby, the Dürkopp Diana, and the TWN Contessa.

20061018 Fertig montiert 04

Goggo scooter, made by Glas

Heinkel IMG 1249

Heinkel Tourist

ZweiRadMuseumNSU NSU Prima

1957 NSU Prima

Zündapp Bella R 154 (2008-05-21) Seitenansicht ret

1958 Zündapp Bella R 154

Maicoletta (33)

Maicoletta scooter

ZweiRadMuseumNSU DKW Hobby

1954 DKW Hobby

Dürkopp Diana 1955

1955 Dürkopp Diana

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Douglas manufactured the Vespa under licence from 1951 to 1961 and assembled them from 1961 to 1965.[44] BSA and Triumph made several models of scooter including the BSA Dandy 70, the Triumph Tina, and the Triumph Tigress. The Tigress was made from 1959 to 1964 and was sold with a 175 cc 2-stroke single engine or a 250 cc 4-stroke twin;[45] both versions used a foot-operated four-speed gearbox. The 250 twin had a top speed of 70 mph (110 km/h).[45] The BSA Sunbeam was a badge engineered version of the Tigress.

Eastern Bloc

In Eastern Bloc countries scooters also became popular in the second half of 1950s, but their production was a result of planned economy rather than market competition. The Soviet Union started in 1957 with producing reverse engineered copies of 150 cc Vespa and 200 cc Glas Goggo as Vyatka and Tula T-200 respectively.[46] They and their developments were manufactured in big numbers into the 1980s. In East Germany, IWL manufactured several own design 125 cc and 150 cc scooters (most notably SR 59 Berlin) from 1955 to 1964, when the authorities decided to switch the production to trucks.[47] There were also produced small 50 cc Simson scooters, manufactured into the 1990s.[48] From 1959 until 1965 there was produced the only Polish scooter, 150 cc to 175 cc WFM Osa.[49] In Czechoslovakia, there was produced an uniqe 175 cc scooter Čezeta at the outbreak of 1950s/1960s, then there remained only small 50 cc Jawa scooter-style mopeds.[50]

Мотороллер Электрон фото1

Soviet Vyatka-3 Elektron

Wiesel rechts 1-1

IWL Wiesel


IWL TR Troll

1978 Schwalbe Simson Scooter

1978 Simson Schwalbe

WFM Osa PICT0038

Polish 1963 WFM Osa

Cezeta scooter at Regiontour 2010

Czechoslovak Čezeta


In India, Bajaj Auto manufactured its line of scooters from 1972 to 2009, which included the Chetak, Legend, Super and Priya. The Chetak and Legend were based on the Italian Vespa Sprint. It was discontinued in 2009.

Another Vespa partner in India was LML Motors. Beginning as a joint-venture with Piaggio in 1983, LML, in addition to being a large parts supplier for Piaggio, produced the P-Series scooters for the Indian market. In 1999, after protracted dispute with Piaggio, LML bought back Piaggio's stake in the company and the partnership ceased. LML continues to produce (and also exports) the P-Series variant known as the Stella in the U.S. market and by other names in different markets.


Trends around the world have seen new developments of the classic scooter, some with larger engines and tires. High-end scooter models now include comprehensive technological features, including cast aluminium frames, engines with integral counterbalancing, and cross-linked brake systems. Some of these scooters have comfort features such as an alarm, start button, radio, windshield, heated hand grips and full instrumentation (including clock or outside temperature gauge).[51][52][53]

Three-wheeled scooter

Piaggio mp3
Piaggio MP3

During World War II, Cushman made the Model 39, a three-wheeled utility scooter with a large storage bin between the front wheels. They sold 606 to the US military during the war.[54]

The Piaggio MP3 is a modern tilting three-wheeled scooter. Unlike most motorcycle trikes, it is a reverse trike, with two front wheels which steer, and a single driven rear wheel. The front suspension allows both front wheels to tilt independently, so that all three wheels remain in contact with the ground as it leans when cornering.


A maxi-scooter[55] or touring scooter[56] is a large scooter, with engines ranging in size from 250 to 850 cc (15 to 52 cu in), and using larger frames than normal scooters.

The trend toward maxi-scooters began in 1986 when Honda introduced the CN250 Helix / Fusion / Spazio. Many years later, Suzuki launched the Burgman 400 and 650 models.[57] Honda (600 cc or 37 cu in), Aprilia/Gilera (839 cc or 51.2 cu in), Yamaha (530 cc or 32 cu in), Kymco (700 cc or 43 cu in) and others have also introduced scooters with engine displacements ranging from 400 to 850 cc (24 to 52 cu in). Honda's PS250 (also known as Big Ruckus) features a motorcycle-like exoskeleton instead of bodywork.

A new direction in maxi-scooters has the engine fixed to the frame. This arrangement improves handling by allowing bigger wheels and less unsprung weight, also tending to move the centre of gravity forwards. The trend toward larger, more powerful scooters with fully automatic transmissions converges with an emerging trend in motorcycle design that foreshadows automatic transmission motorcycles with on-board storage. Examples include the Aprilia Mana 850 automatic-transmission motorcycle and the Honda NC700D Integra, which is a scooter built on a motorcycle platform.

Enclosed scooter

Some scooters, including the BMW C1 and the Honda Gyro Canopy, have a windscreen and a roof. The Piaggio MP3 offered a tall windscreen with roof as an option.[58]

Four-stroke engines and fuel-injection

Piaggio XEvo 250ie, four-stroke Maxi-scooter

With increasingly strict environmental laws, including United States emission standards and European emission standards, more scooters are using four-stroke engines again.

Aprilia SR50 Factory
Aprilia SR50

In 2001, Aprilia released the SR50 Ditech with direct injection. The SR50 has a listed fuel consumption of 2 litres per 100 kilometres (120 mpg‑US) and meets the Euro 3 standard with a two-stroke engine. Later on, more brands, including Derbi and Peugeot, started using direct injection systems for their scooters. Catalytic converters are now common in two-stroke and four-stroke engines sold in the E.U. and the U.S.

Electric scooter

Generally, the source of power for the electric motor has been batteries, but development in fuel cell technology has created several prototypes. Some examples are: the ENV from Intelligent Energy, Honda's scooter using the Honda FC Stack, and the Yamaha FC-AQEL. Also, petroleum hybrid-electric motorcycles are available. Some examples are the Ecycle, and Yamaha's Gen-RYU. Electric motorcycles and scooters are rising in popularity because of higher gasoline prices. Battery technology is gradually improving making this form of transportation more practical.[59]


Kymco Activ
Kymco Activ underbone. This has a slanted downtube, which defines an underbone, and no foot platform, the presence of which defines a scooter.

An underbone is a motorcycle built on a chassis consisting mostly of a single large diameter tube. An underbone differs from a conventional motorcycle mainly by not having a structural member connecting the head stock to the structure under the front of the seat and by not having a fuel tank or similarly styled appendage in the space between the riders knees. Underbones are commonly referred to as "step-throughs" and appeal to both genders in much the same way as scooters.

Underbones are often mistaken for scooters and are sometimes marketed as such. However, an underbone does not have a footboard, and is therefore not a scooter.

The engine of an underbone is usually fixed to the chassis under the downtube, while a scooter usually has its engine mounted on its swingarm. As a result, underbone engines are usually further forwards than those of scooters. A typical underbone therefore has a more central centre of gravity than a typical scooter. Furthermore, having an engine mounted on the swingarm gives a typical scooter more unsprung mass than a typical underbone. These factors give a typical underbone better handling than a typical scooter.

The engine of an underbone typically drives the rear wheel by a chain of the kind used on a conventional motorcycle. This final drive is often concealed by a chain enclosure to keep the chain clean and reduce wear. The final drive of a scooter with a swingarm-mounted engine runs in a sealed oil bath and is shorter.

An underbone is usually fitted with near full-size motorcycle wheels, which are often spoked. Scooter wheels are usually small, and made from pressed steel. In both cases, more recent examples often have cast alloy wheels. The bigger wheels of an underbone allow more ventilation and better cooling for the brakes than the smaller wheels of a scooter.

While the engine and suspension layouts described here for scooters and underbones are typical, they are not rigid definitions. There have been scooters with fixed engines and chain drive, and there have been underbones with swingarm-mounted engines. A twenty-first century example of variance from the typical scooter layout is the Suzuki Choinori, which had both its engine and its rear axle rigidly bolted to its frame.

Heinkel Tourist 103 A0, Bj. 1956

1956 Heinkel Tourist. This scooter had a frame-mounted engine and a swingarm with an integral chain enclosure.

Honda NC50 1980 rear

1980 Honda NC50. This underbone had its engine mounted on its swingarm.


Suzuki Choinori. Introduced in 2003, this scooter has no rear suspension. Both its engine and its rear axle are bolted to its frame.


Monsoon couple on motorcycle
Bangalore couple on LML Vespa
Vespa in Trieste
Rider looking for a place at parking lot in Trieste, where use of a scooter in city transport is among highest in Italy.

Motor scooters are popular in most parts of the first world, Europe (particularly Italy and the Mediterranean), Japan and Taiwan, but not the US.[60] They are even more popular in most parts of the developing world, particularly in countries such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and China where there is local manufacture. Parking, storage, and traffic issues in crowded cities, along with the easy driving position make them a popular form of urban transportation. In many nations, scooter (and other small motorcycle) sales exceed those of automobiles, and a motor scooter is often the family transport.

Zweiradparkplatz in Sorrent
Motor scooter parking lot

In Taiwan, road infrastructure has been built specifically with two wheelers in mind, with separate lanes and intersection turn boxes. In Thailand, scooters are used for street to door taxi services, as well as for navigating through heavy traffic. The extensive range of cycle tracks in the Netherlands extends into parts of Belgium and Germany and is open to all small powered two-wheelers. Motor scooters are popular because of their size, fuel-efficiency, weight, and typically larger storage room than a motorcycle. In many localities, certain road motor scooters are considered by law to be in the same class as mopeds or small motorcycles and therefore they have fewer restrictions than do larger motorcycles.

According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, sales of motor scooters in the United States have more than doubled since 2000. The motorcycle industry as a whole has seen 13 years of consecutive growth. According to council figures, 42,000 scooters were sold in 2000. By 2004, that number increased to 97,000.[61] Scooter sales in 2008 in the United States were up 41% on 2007,[62] and represented 9% of all powered two-wheeler sales.[63] However, there was a decrease in US scooter sales in 2009 of 59% against 2008, compared with a 41% fall for all powered two-wheelers,[64] while the scooter's contribution to total US powered two-wheeler sales in 2009 fell to 6%.[63] After a two-year slump, scooter sales in the US rebounded in the first quarter of 2011.[65]

In popular culture

A common reference for the glamorous image of scooters is Roman Holiday, a 1953 romantic comedy in which Gregory Peck carries Audrey Hepburn around Rome on a Vespa.[66][67][68]

Old Mods photo
Mods on a scooter
Scooter rally, Smallbrook, IW, UK
Scooter rally at Smallbrook Stadium, Isle of Wight

In the 1960s mod subculture, some members of this British youth cult used motorscooters for transportation, usually Vespas or Lambrettas. Scooters had provided inexpensive transportation for decades before the development of the mod subculture, but the mods stood out in the way that they treated the vehicle as a fashion accessory, expressed through clubs such as the Ace of Herts. Italian scooters were preferred for their cleanlined, curving shapes and gleaming chrome. For young mods, Italian scooters were the "embodiment of continental style and a way to escape the working-class row houses of their upbringing".[69] They customised their scooters by painting them in "two-tone and candyflake and overaccessorized [them] with luggage racks, crash bars, and scores of mirrors and fog lights",[69] and they often put their names on the small windscreen. Engine side panels and front bumpers were taken to local electroplating workshops and plated with highly reflective chrome.

Scooters were also a practical and accessible form of transportation for 1960s teens. In the early 1960s, public transport stopped relatively early in the night, and so having scooters allowed mods to stay out all night at dance clubs. To keep their expensive suits clean and keep warm while riding, mods often wore long army parkas. For teens with low-end jobs, scooters were cheaper than cars, and they could be bought on a payment plan through newly available hire purchase plans. After a law was passed requiring at least one mirror be attached to every motorcycle, mods were known to add four, ten, or as many as 30 mirrors to their scooters. The cover of The Who's album Quadrophenia, which includes themes related to mods and rockers, depicts a young man on a Vespa GS with four mirrors attached.[70] The album spawned a 1979 motion picture of the same name.

Scooterboy magazines include the British monthly magazine Scootering[71] and the American quarterly magazine Scoot!.[72]


Scooter clubs include the Ace of Herts and in England, and the Secret Servix Scooter Club in the United States.

See also


  1. ^ Various scooter definitions:
    • The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (third ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 1968 [1956]. pp. 1808–09. 3. A child's toy consisting of a narrow flat piece of wood on low wheels, with a steering-handle, propelled by pushing with one foot on the ground; also, a similar machine propelled by a motor
    • Gove, Philip Babcock, ed. (1966). Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. Springfield, Mass. USA: G & C Merriam. pp. 1476, 2035. ISBN 0-7135-1037-4. a low 2- or 3-wheeled automotive vehicle resembling a child's scooter, having a seat so that the rider does not straddle the engine, sometimes having a parcel compartment, but having smaller wheels and being less powerful than a motorcycle.
    • Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary. Cleveland OH USA: The World Publishing Company. 1970. p. 1625. ISBN 0-529-04852-3. 1. a child's vehicle, consisting of a low, narrow footboard with a wheel at each end, the front one attached to a handlebar for steering: it is moved by a series of pushes made by one foot against the ground. 2. a somewhat similar vehicle equipped with a seat and propelled by a small internal-combustion engine: in full motor scooter
    • The Living Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language. The English Language Institute of America. 1973. p. 624. ISBN 0-8326-0001-6. motor scooter, n A scooter like vehicle usu. having two wheels separated by a low footboard, and equipped with a motor and a seat for the driver
    • Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus (3rd ed.). Glasgow: Harper Collins Publications. 2004. p. 776. ISBN 0-00-718139-6. motor scooter n a light motorcycle with small wheels and an enclosed engine. Often shortened to scooter
    • Chambers Concise Dictionary. Edinburgh: Chambers Harrup Publishers. 2004. p. 1084. ISBN 0-550-10072-5. 2. (in full motor scooter) a small-wheeled motorcycle with a protective front shield curving back to form a support for the feet
    • World Book Dictionary. World Book. 2005. p. 1356. ISBN 0-7166-0105-2. motor scooter: A vehicle like a child's scooter, except that the driver is seated. It is run by a motor.
  2. ^ "DOT Regulation Part 571.123: Standard No. 123; Motorcycle controls and displays". Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  3. ^ "Importation and Certification FAQ's Directory-Motorcycles and Scooters". Retrieved 2009-04-27.
  4. ^ a b "Emissions from a Moped Fuelled by Gasoline/Ethanol Mixtures" (PDF). Schramm et al. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  5. ^ Adam, T.; Farfaletti, A.; Montero, L.; Martini, G.; Manfredi, U.; Larsen, B.; Santi, G. De; Krasenbrink, A.; Astorga, C. (2010). "Chemical characterization of emissions from modern two-stroke mopeds complying with legislative regulation in Europe (EURO-2)". Environmental Science & Technology. 44 (1): 505–512. doi:10.1021/es9021969. PMID 19928903.
  6. ^ "Highway Motorcycles: EPA Regulations and Global Activity Update" (PDF). 2016-08-16. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 26, 2012. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  7. ^ "Untangling US Vehicle Emissions Regulations". Jason Kavanagh. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  8. ^ "2 Stroke Scooters International Projects Network" (PDF). IEA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
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  21. ^ "Salisbury Manual Archive". Salisbury Scooters. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
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Jack Pul writing on scooter

External links

<a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="">Scooter (motorcycle)</a>


Aermacchi was an Italian aircraft manufacturer. Formerly known as Aeronautica Macchi, the company was founded in 1912 by Giulio Macchi at Varese in north-western Lombardy as Nieuport-Macchi, to build Nieuport monoplanes under licence for the Italian military. With a factory located on the shores of Lake Varese, the firm originally manufactured a series of Nieuport designs, as well as seaplanes.

After World War II, the company began producing motorcycles as a way to fill the post-war need for cheap, efficient transportation.

The company later specialised in civil and military pilot training aircraft. In July 2003, Aermacchi was integrated into the Finmeccanica Group (now Leonardo) as Alenia Aermacchi, which increased its shareholding to 99%.


The Autoped was an early motor scooter or motorized scooter manufactured by the Autoped Company of Long Island City, New York from 1915 to 1921.The driver stood on a platform with 10-inch tires and operated the machine using only the handlebars and steering column, pushing them forward to engage the clutch, using a lever on the handlebar to control the throttle, and pulling the handlebars and column back to disengage the clutch and apply the brake. After riding, the steering column would be folded onto the platform to store the scooter more easily. The engine was an air-cooled, 4-stroke, 155 cc engine over the front wheel. The bike came with a headlamp and tail lamp, a Klaxon horn, and a toolbox. Developed during wartime and gasoline rationing, it was quite efficient, but was not widely distributed. An electric version was also available with a motor on the front wheel.A patent for the Autoped as a "self-propelled vehicle" was applied for in July 1913 and granted in July 1916. An early description of the Autoped described it as having a hollow steering column that acted as the fuel tank. However, the production version had a fuel tank above the front mudguard.The Autoped went out of production in the United States in 1921, but was manufactured by Krupp in Germany from 1919 to 1922.

Beta (motorcycle manufacturer)

Beta is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer, specialising in off-road motorcycles. Beta are best known for their popular trials bikes. In 2005, they launched a range of enduro motorcycles using KTM engines. In 2010 they launched the new RR series, with a new engine made in-house. Beta motorcycles have been used by world trials champions such as Jordi Tarrés, Dougie Lampkin and Albert Cabestany.

City Mantis

The City Mantis Electric Scooter (Also referred to as an Electric Bike) is a personal transporter developed by City Mantis USA. It is not clear when the City Mantis was first launched but its earliest appearance comes from a Cycle Show at the Business Design Centre in 2002. The original City Mantis model was known for its unique fold-up feature and was marketed for being conveniently stored or carried away after use. According to the official website, the City Mantis was voted "most innovative new product of 2003" at the time of its release.


Cycle-Scoot is an American line of scooters created by aircraft engineer & entrepreneur Woodrow Wilson Skirvin in 1953. The scooter was largely popular during the 1950s due to its Indianapolis "500" campaign & wide distribution across the country.


GoCar may refer to:

GoCar (carsharing), a carsharing program in Ireland

GoCar Tours, a GPS guided rental scooter (motorcycle) tour company found in several countries

Honda DN-01

The Honda DN-01 is a cruiser motorcycle made by Honda from 2008 to 2010. It was introduced at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show and went on sale in Japan and Europe in 2008, in the United States in 2009, and was discontinued at the end of 2010.The Honda DN-01 is one of a small number of motorcycles offered by a major motorcycle manufacturer with an automatic transmission, the others being the Hondas VFR1200F, NC700/750, Africa Twin, 2018 Goldwing, and NM4; Yamaha FJR1300AE; and the Aprilia Mana 850.

Honda NC700D Integra

The Honda NC700D/NC750D Integra is a motorcycle/scooter hybrid made by Honda since 2012. Known internally as the RC62,

the Integra was originally unveiled as the New Mid Concept in 2010, before being presented in production form at EICMA 2011 in Milan.

The Integra shares a platform with two motorcycle variants, the NC700S (RC61) and the NC700X (RC63). All three variants are powered by a 670 cc engine derived from the unit used in the Honda Fit automobile.

The Integra will be available with two different power outputs, one version develops a peak power output of 38.1 kW (51.1 hp) at 6,250 rpm and 62 N⋅m (46 lb⋅ft) of torque at 4,750 rpm, while the other has a lower output of 35 kW (47 hp) and 60 N⋅m (44 lb⋅ft) to meet 2013 A2 European licensing regulations.The Integra features motorcycle style 17-inch (430 mm) high-pressure die-cast aluminum alloy wheels and has only 15 litres (0.53 cu ft) of under-seat storage, as the fuel tank is also located under the saddle. Power is delivered through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission with one manual and two automatic drive modes, while combined ABS brakes provide stopping power. German magazine Scooter und Sport tested the Integra and reported a 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) time of 5.6 seconds on the way to a measured top speed of 166.9 km/h or 103.7 mph (175 km/h or 109 mph indicated).The Integra was updated for the 2014 model year with engine capacity increased to 745cc.

Human Friendly Transmission

The Human Friendly Transmission is the marketing name of a proprietary continuously variable transmission (CVT) made by Honda for its motorcycles, including the Honda DN-01 and EVO6 concept motorcycle.

The electronically controlled automatic transmission system is unlike more familiar belt-driven CVT systems used on scooters, nor does it have a torque converter, typical of automotive applications. Instead it is a hydrostatic drive that employs a variable displacement axial piston pump with a variable-angle swashplate. Prior to the DN-01, this type of system had not been used in road-going consumer motor vehicles, though it is familiar in industrial applications and heavy equipment such as forklifts and the US Air Force's MJ-1 bomb lift truck, in use since the 1950s. Honda has also dabbled in this technology since the 1950s. It appeared on their 2001 FourTrax Rubicon 4-wheel, off-road ATV.

The electronic controls allow the motorcycle to be operated in three modes: Drive, Sport and Manual. In Drive and Sport, it functions much like a CVT scooter, with infinitely variable gearing upshifted and downshifted automatically for what the system determines to be optimal performance. Unlike a scooter, engine braking is always available when decelerating. The difference between Drive and Sport modes is that Drive is optimized for economy while Sport is more responsive. In Manual mode, the transmission operates in one of six discrete gears chosen by the rider by pushing a plus/minus button on the left handlebar. It feels much like a normal motorcycle, including hitting the rev limiter at the top of each gear, but the electronic control unit (ECU) prevents upshifting and downshifting too soon. In all modes, it automatically returns to the lowest gear when stopped. It is also possible to switch into neutral while stopped, unlike a scooter.

List of motorcycles of the 1890s

List of motorcycles of the 1890s aka motorrad (DE) sometimes motor cycle or moto cycle

List of motorized trikes

List of motorized trikes is a list of motorized tricycles also called trikes, and are sometimes considered cars. Three main configurations are motorized bicycle with side-car, two wheels in rear one in front, and two in front one in the rear (aka reverse trike). However, language and definitions vary.

One of the most successful trikes of its day was the De Dion-Bouton tricycle; from 1897 until the start of the 20th century about 15,000 copies were sold and was overall the most popular motor vehicle in Europe. Trikes have caused tautological confusion and simply defied typical two and four-wheel classifications, especially in the 21st century. Regardless, many popular motorcycles and/or automobiles had three wheels.

Motor Z

Motor Z is a Brazilian motor scooter maker, building electric motorcycles with Chinese parts.

Outline of vehicles

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to vehicles:

Vehicle – non-living means of transportation. Vehicles are most often human-made, although some other means of transportation which are not made by humans can also be called vehicles; examples include icebergs and floating tree trunks.

Private transport

Private transport (as opposed to public transport) is the personal or individual use of transportation vehicles which are not available for use by the general public, where essentially the user can decide freely on the time and route of transit ('choice rider' vs. 'captive rider'), using vehicles such as: private car, company car, bicycle, dicycle, self-balancing scooter, motorcycle, scooter, aircraft, boat, snowmobile, carriage, horse, etc., or recreational equipment such as roller skates, inline skates, sailboat, sailplane, etc. Private transport is in contrast to public transport, and commercial non-public transport (whose means of transport are, for example, excursion riverboats, tourist cable cars, resort ski lifts). While private transportation may be used alongside nearly all modes of public transportation, private railroad cars are rare (e.g. royal train). Unlike many forms of public transportation, which may be government subsidized or operated by privately owned commercial organizations for mass or general public use, the entire cost of private transportation is born directly or indirectly by the individual user.

Private transportation includes both non-motorized methods of private transit (pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, etc.) and all forms of self-propelled transport vehicles.

Non-scheduled transit vehicles, taxicabs and rickshaws, which are rented or hired in the short-term on-demand with driver, belong, even if the user can freely decide on the time and route of transit, to the special forms of 'public transport'.

Private transport is the dominant form of transportation in most of the world. In the United States, for example, 86.2% of passenger miles are by passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and trucks.

Suzuki Gemma

The Suzuki Gemma is a motor scooter introduced as a concept motorcycle at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2007, and commercially available in Japan beginning in 2008. It is not a step-through frame design like most scooters; instead, there is a cargo compartment ahead of the operator and between the operator's legs.The 250 cc single-cylinder gasoline engine is shared with the Suzuki Burgman 250 scooter.

Ugur Group Companies

Ugur Group Companies (Turkish: Uğur Şirketler Grubu) is a Turkish group of manufacturing companies.The company was founded when Ugur Cooling started ice cream machine production in Nazilli in 1954. Today, the company produces a range of equipment including deep freezers to bottled water coolers, motorcycles, scooters and cosmetics, with the company operating Europe's second biggest refrigeration plant in Nazilli. The company operates in 142 countries under six brands.The company presently has a total 310,000 square metres (3,300,000 sq ft) of manufacturing area and 2,500 employees.


An underbone is a motorcycle that uses structural tube framing with an overlay of plastic or non-structural body panels and contrasts with monocoque or unibody designs where pressed steel serves both as the vehicle's structure and bodywork.

Outside Asia, the term underbone is commonly misunderstood to refer to any lightweight motorcycle that uses the construction type, known colloquially as step-throughs, mopeds or scooters.

An underbone cycle may share its fuel tank position and tube framing, along with fitted bodywork and splash guards with a scooter while the wheel size, engine position, and power transmission are like those of conventional motorcycles.

Unlike motor scooters, underbones are mostly popular in Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia, Middle East, Taiwan, China and North Korea, in Latin America, as well as in some parts of Eastern Europe, Greece and Russia.

Znen C Artemis

The Znen C Artemis is a 4-stroke twist and go scooter from Znen Motors, which comes in either 50cc (model number ZN50QT-E), 125cc (model number ZN125T-E) or 150cc models (model number ZN150T-E). This Scooter is made in Zhejiang China by Znen Motors and is shipped abroad where it is rebadged in various countries. It has European EEC and American EPA, DOT certifications. The design is very similar to the much older Honda Joker.

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