Picture a scooter in your mind and you are probably thinking of a small-engine bike, with a small set of scooter tires and a step-through design. If you have ever been to some of the areas of Europe or Asia where scooters are everywhere, you will have a very clear picture.
Scooters trace back to France in 1902. In the U.S., Cushman and Salsbury created two wheelers similar to scooters. Cushman's rugged scooters were used by the United States military during World War II
Modern scooters have a range of engine displacements from under 50cc to over 799cc. Legal definitions of scooters vary; the U.S. Department of Transportation defines scooters separately from motorcycles to regulate compliance.
The Vespa quickly popularized motor scooters in Italy after World War II. Using aircraft design and materials, it eliminated the belt drive by mounting the engine on the axle. Italy needed an economical machine to transport the masses. The Vespa was born.
In the 1980s, newer versions of scooters become popular in Japan and other areas of Asia. New trends towards dirt-bike scooters are just beginning and may spark a completely new fad.
The classic styling of the Vespa remains the most popular and most copied scooter design. Almost all manufacturers now carry both a retro model and a sport model to satisfy fashions among enthusiasts, as well as people looking for an economical mode of transportation. The selection of tires is equally impressive: whitewalls, colored tires, tires for all conditions and surfaces.
Perform routine maintenance checks and learn to recognize early warning signs of pending mechanical failure. Your owner's manual will contain information about checking the tires for proper inflation and watching for unusual or excessive wearing of tread.
Check your tire pressure frequently. There is no better piece of advice than this. If your tire pressure is too low your tires will overheat -- especially at high speeds -- and greatly increase the chance of tire failure.
The best time to check tire pressure is when the tires are cold. Your tires can generate an enormous amount of heat -- especially at highway speeds. Remember, when you test the tire pressure it will be higher after driving for a while.
Inspecting you scooter’s tires for cracks, uneven tread, gashes, blisters, bumps, dry rot, or other signs of damage or uneven wear. It is easy to take your scooter for granted. However, all that is between you and the road are two little scooter tires. Check the tires every time you ride. This is not overkill considering how much you trust those two little tires.
Wear protective clothing and equipment. Your helmet is all that protects you from a head injury and could save your life one day. It's not just crash protection, but rocks, dust, and large insects flying in your face can be a safety hazard, or even an unwelcome meal.
Wear a motorcycle jacket that is designed to protect you, get yourself some gloves, sturdy footwear that covers your ankle and maybe even riding pants or chaps. I have been a motorcycle enthusiast for years and seen some terrible injuries, even from tumbles at supposedly safe speeds.
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