Scooters (also called motor scooters to avoid confusion with kick scooters) are a type of motorcycle with a step-through frame and a platform for the rider's foot. Some of the earliest motorcycles have a scooter component, including those identified as pre-1914 scooters. During the World War, scooters continued to be developed in the West.
The worldwide popularity of scooters began with the introduction of Vespa and Lambretta after World War II. These scooters were intended to provide economical personal transportation (50-250 cc or 3.1-15.3 ccin). The original layout is still widely used in this application. Maxi scooters with 250-850cc (15-52cc) engines are developed for the western market.
Scooters are popular for personal transport. One reason is that it is affordable, easy to use and convenient to park and store. The license requirements for scooters are simpler and cheaper than cars in most regions of the world, and insurance is usually cheaper.
The scooter-like character began to develop in the 1900s motorcycle design. In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller produced the first bike available for purchase. Their motorcycles had a step-through frame with a fuel tank attached to the down tube, a parallel two-cylinder engine mounted low to the frame, and a cylinder attached along the frame . It was water cooled and the radiator was built on top of the rear fender. It was first mass produced, provided a two-wheeled vehicle, and was initially powered primarily by the engine rather than the foot pedal. The top speed was 40 km / h (25 mph). The rear wheels, like the steam locomotive drive wheels, were driven directly by the rod from the piston. Only a few hundred such bicycles have been built, and the high prices and technical difficulties have made the venture a financial failure for Wolfmüller and his financial supporter Hildebrandt.
In France, Autofoul Yule was introduced in 1902. It was basically a step-through motorcycle with an armchair instead of the traditional saddle. Production continued until 1922.
The US Department of Transportation defines the scooter as a platform for the operator's foot or defines the footrest as an integrated motorcycle and employs a step-through architecture.
The classic scooter design features a step-through frame and flat floorboard for the rider's foot. This design is possible because most scooter engines and drive systems are mounted under the rear axle or seat. While most modern scooters can swing on the rear wheels, most vintage scooters and some new retro models are equipped with axle-mounted engines. Modern scooters, which began in the late 1980's, generally use a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and the old ones use a manual transmission and incorporate gear shifting and clutch control into the left handlebar.
Scooters usually have a front leg shield and a body that hides all or most of the body. There is often an integrated storage space either under the seat, in the front leg shield, or both. Scooters have different engine displacements and configurations, from 50cc single cylinder engines to 850cc double cylinder models.
Traditionally, scooter wheels are smaller than traditional motorcycle wheels, made of pressed steel or cast aluminum alloy, easily bolted, and often interchangeable between the front and rear. Some scooters have spare wheels. Many modern scooters use a traditional front fork with the front axle fixed at each end.