The story of the motorised scooter seems steeped in practicality. You can tell a scooter from a motorbike by its ‘step-through’ architecture – meaning you can literally step through the scooter rather than straddle it like a bike.
The scooter has had around 100 years to implant itself into the psyche of European and Asian cultures, thriving in busy, crowded metropolises. Iconic scooter designs such as the Vespa can be found in countless films and has been a recognized part of popular culture since establishing themselves in the 40s and 50s.
The Vespa is still produced today (in Italy and elsewhere under license) and shipped throughout the world, as well as creating a following of restorers and collectors.
Although the scooter has long been a part of Asian daily life, in Australia it has taken a little longer to catch on in a mainstream sense.
However, the vintage collector and new scooter sales markets have boomed in the last ten years or so, with companies such as Gasoline Scooters offering everything from scooter sales to maintenance and even fashion accessories – it seems almost a cult-like obsession for some.
“Just about everyone wants to get on two wheels, it’s just the fact that they don’t know how,” says Gasoline Director Jason Leppa.
“Scooters have been a passion of mine since I was young. I love two-wheels and the way I feel when I’m riding.”
Jason puts the resurgence of these quirky modes of transport down to their “retro and classic look” as well as the obvious savings in maintenance and fuel. He explains that while motorbikes can offer more power, the scooter is more maneuverable, lighter, easier to park, cheaper to register, as well as being “good for short people and great for girls that want to get started on two wheels”.
“Motorcycles can be daunting so the Scooter becomes a friendly invitation to the two wheel way of life… You have to love scooters to own one and enjoy it."
Gasoline Australia offers links to other ‘scooter community’ links as well as news and info on their classic and modern designs.
Pictured above and below: the LML Modern Classic Scooter – Star 2