The word scooter refers to a motorcycle that has a step through frame where its rider sits without having to straddle any part of the engine.
Another difference between the scooter and the motorcycle is the wheel size. Motorcycles have large wheels and average scooters have wheels that are between 8 and 14 inches in diameter. In scooters the engine is usually located underneath the seat and they use a continuously variable transmission that transfers the power to the rear wheel.
The first scooters were Vespa’s and these models originated in Italy. These scooters had a manual transmission with a gear shift and clutch built into the handlebars. This can still be found in some of the retro model scooters that are available today.
Scooters always include a front leg shield and a flat floorboard where the rider’s feet are placed. Storage space is normally located under the seat although in some scooters it can be built into the front leg shield.
Scooters use smaller sized engines and these can range from between 30cc and 250cc. Scooters under 49cc are classified as mopeds. Some of the most common manufacturers of scooters are Honda and Yamaha.
In recent years there has been a trend to introduce large scooters. These scooters have engines that are from 250cc to 650cc and include models such as the Honda Fusion and the Yamaha Aprilia. These more power scooters also have fully automatic transmission systems, which is preferrable amongst a lot of people.
In many countries around the world and especially in Europe and Asia, scooters are a very popular means of urban transport. This is mainly due to their size, weight, and the ease of parking and avoiding city traffic. Scooters are also very economical to run and maintain especially with the rising cost of fuel today.