What is a Scooter or Maxi-Scooter

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Diversion:
Here is what was posted on the net:

Scooter (motorcycle)

A scooter is a motorcycle with step-through frame and a platform for the operator's feet. Elements of scooter design have been present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and motorcycles identifiable as scooters have been made from 1914 or earlier. Scooter development continued in Europe and the United States between the World Wars.

The global popularity of scooters dates from the post-World War II introductions of the Vespa and the Lambretta. These post-war scooters were intended to provide low-power personal transportation (engines from 50 to 250 cc). The original layout is still widely used in this application. Maxi-scooters, with engines from 250 to 800 cc have been developed for Western markets.

Scooters are popular for personal transport, partly based on their low cost of purchase and operation and on benefits that include convenience in parking and storage. Licensing requirements for scooters are easier and less expensive than those for cars in most parts of the world, and insurance is generally cheaper.

Description

A motor scooter is a motorcycle similar to a kick scoote with a seat, a floorboard, and small or low wheels. 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.

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. Most vintage scooters and some newer retro models have axle-mounted engines with a manual transmission and the gear shift and clutch controls built into the left handlebar. Most newer scooters use a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

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. Most scooters have small engines, 50 cc to 400 cc with a single cylinder, although maxi-scooters might have twin cylinder 400 to 800 cc engines.

Traditionally, scooter wheels are made of pressed steel, bolt on easily, and are often interchangeable between front and rear. In some cases, a spare may be carried - in the early days, with post-war rubber and poorly surfaced roads, this delivered a substantial marketing advantage. The bigger wheels of underbones are more like those of conventional motorcycles, being larger, spoked, non-interchangeable and, being axle-mounted, are considered rather more difficult and dirty to replace than scooter wheels.

Japanese Scooters and "maxi-scooters"

In the 1980s new versions of scooters began to be released and become popular, especially in Japan and far-east Asia. This style of scooters began to reflect that of larger, sporty, higher-performance motorcycles of the time and the trend has continued till now. With the release of the Honda Ruckus, new trends towards dirt-bike scooters are just beginning. In 1988, Honda introduced a large, touring scooter design, the 250 cc Helix (also called Spazio, Fusion or CN250). Although it was bulky to handle at low speeds and was derisively called a "Barcalounger on wheels", it was designed for riding long distances in comfort. Now nearly all major scooter manufacturers produce such models, called "maxi", "GT" or "touring" scooters. The largest scooter made is now the 840 cc Gilera GP 800, a 75 CV (55 kW; 74 hp) scooter capable of reaching 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds.

The classic styling of the Vespa never lost its popularity, and remains the most-popular and most-imitated scooter design. Almost all manufacturers now carry both a classic/retro model and a sporty/modern model.

Maxi-scooter

A maxi-scooter or touring scooter is a large scooter, with engines ranging in size from 250 cc (Honda CN250) up to the latest 839 cc machine (the Gilera GP 800), and using larger frames than the normal sized scooters.

The trend toward maxi-scooters began in 1986 when Honda introduced the CN250 Helix / Fusion / Spazio. A few years later, Suzuki launched the Burgman 650 and 400 models. Honda (600 cc), Piaggio, Yamaha, Aprilia, Kymco (700 cc) and others have also introduced scooters with engine displacements ranging from 400 to 850 cc. Honda's PS250 (also known as Big Ruckus) defies common scooter classification because its step-through is high and it 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. This is exemplified by the Aprilia NA 850 Mana automatic-transmission motorcycle that provides built-in storage for a full-face helmet.

Popularity

In many parts of the world, such as Asia and Europe, motor scooters are a popular form of urban transportation due to their low cost and easy driving position. In fact, in many nations in Asia, scooter sales growth outpaces automobile sales growth. For many people, a motor scooter is the family vehicle until sufficient funds to purchase an automobile are amassed. In crowded cities, scooters can be preferred over automobiles regardless of cost due to parking, storage, and traffic issues.

In Taiwan, road infrastructure have 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. 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.

johnp:
That was a good read, thanks.

Norm:
Yep, very good. Thank you!

whstmoke:
just dont send your wife for a maxi scooter.

dib:
Quote

Honda's PS250 (also known as Big Ruckus) defies common scooter classification because its step-through is high and it features a motorcycle-like exoskeleton instead of bodywork.

 :2tu:

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