The first Vespa was produced in 1946 and became
an instant success. This early body design is
still largely produced; Vespa’s timeless design
is what has made it such a popularity around the
world. Many model variations have been produced
with small but noticeable differences. Engine
sizes have ranged from 50-200cc. Vespa is
designed and manufactured by the Piaggio Company
based out in Italy.
The Piaggio Company has been around much longer
than their famous scooter line. The company was
a distinguished innovator in the field of
transportation. Piaggio was founded in Genoa,
Italy in 1884 by 20-year-old Rinaldo Piaggio. He
started his business first with luxury ship
fitting. By the end of the century, Piaggio’s
company was producing rail carriages, luxury
coaches, truck bodies, engines and trains.
During the World War I, the company forged new
grounds by entering into the productiono
airplanes and seaplans. In 1917, Piaggio decided
to buy a new plant in Pisa. Four years later,
the company continued to take over a small plant
in Pontedera in the Tuscany region. The new
plant in Pontedera became the Piaggio’s center
for aeronautical production, rolling out
propellers, engines and complete aircraft parts.
With the onset t of World War II, Piaggio’s
Pontedera plant built the state-of-the-art P 108
four-engine aircraft. This was available in both
the passenger and bomber version. However, the
plant was later completely destroyed by Allied
bombers due to the plant’s military importance.
Rinaldo’s son, Enrico Piaggio, had taken over
the company after his father. He was concerned
about the disastrous state of the war-ravaged
roads and the Italian economy. As a result, he
turned the company’s focus toward meeting the
personal mobility needs of the Italian people.
Piaggio’s ingenious aeronautical engineer,
Corradino D’Ascanio, at the time designed,
constructed and flew the first modern
helicopter. With Piaggio’s new focus, he set out
to design a simple, sturdy and economical
vehicle that was both comfortable and elegant.
D’Ascanio couldn’t stand motorcycles and
subsequently came up with a revolutionary new
vehicle. Using the influence of the latest
aeronautical technology at the time, he
envisioned a vehicle that could be built on a
monocoque (this is French for "single shell") or
an all-steel body frame, which becomes a Vespa
The result was The Vespa - an aircraft-inspired
design that continues to be forward thinking and
unique among two-wheeled vehicles.
The first was introduced to the public in 1947 –
one year after the first Vespa. The rivalry
between the two models had led the two
manufacturers to come up with better and
increasingly innovative models. However,
Innocenti ran into a number of financial
difficulties and eventually had to stop
production of the Lambretta line in 1970.
The Razor scooter is a patented brand of
foldable scooters that were invented by the J.D.
Corporation. The J.D. Corporation also sells
aluminum bicycle parts and electric scooters in
The Razor Scooter took about five years to
design under the supervision of Gino Tsai, who
was the then 44-year-old Taiwanese president of
J.D. Corporation. Mr. Tsai was a mechanical
engineer and wanted an easy transportation to
get around his large factory in Taiwan. The
invention of the Razor scooter – by making
adjustments to already existing scooter designs
– served this purpose.
Razor scooters are made of airplane grade
aluminum; this is why they are pricier than
other push scooters on the market. The quality
of the aluminum makes the scooter durable yet
lightweight. Plus, the airplane grade aluminum
is tested to support 1,100-lb. load without
bending. Razor scooters are also equipped with
retro-colored polyurethane wheels with silent
bearing. There is a patented braking system on
every Razor scooter. The brakes are activated by
the rider placing his/her step on the rear
In 1985, Steve Patmont founded Patmont Motor
Werks, a family operated business, first run out
of the garage. Steve is also the inventor of the
Go-Ped motorized scooter. Patmont Motor Werks
was started as an assembly plant and
modification center for its only product, the
History of the Humble Scooter
The motor scooter was invented in 1946 by an
Italian aeronautical engineer, Carradino
D’Ascanio, who was given the brief to design
simple and affordable transportation for the
post-war nation of Italy.
D’Ascanio’s design remains more or less the same
to this day. An L-shaped monocoque frame allows
riders to sit naturally, with their feet on the
floorboards, as opposed to sitting astride as
with a motorcycle. A broad front fairing
protects the rider and passenger from dirt and
spray. The motor is located low and close to the
rear wheel for greater stability and
accessibility. The smaller wheels and shorter
wheelbase provide improved maneuverability
through narrow streets and congested traffic
Scooters and safety
The latest fad toy to hit Australia and other
Western countries is the scooter. This toy is
typically lightweight and may be motorized,
which means it can travel at fast speeds. Falls
and collisions with cars and pedestrians are
disturbingly common, with two out of three
injuries involving children less than 14 years
of age. A national safety standard for scooters
is currently being prepared. It is important for
parents to understand the dangers associated
with the use of scooters and to take steps to
protect their child from injury or death.
According to child safety experts, a scooter is
an inappropriate toy for any child under eight
years of age. Young children and those learning
to use the scooter are most at risk of injury.
Parents should supervise their child and ensure
that safety equipment (including safety helmet
and guards for the wrists, elbows and knees) is
used at all times.
Scooters have small wheels, around 10cm or so.
The braking system is not always reliable
because the brake can't grip enough surface area
on a small wheel. This, coupled with the low
clearance of scooters, means that losing control
is quite likely, particularly when riding over
rough surfaces such as cobblestones or large
cracks in the pavement. Cheaper scooters may
have dangerous design flaws, such as flimsy
folding mechanisms that may give way under
pressure, or sharp edges that increase the risk
of injury. Avoid cheaply made scooters and
choose a design that matches your child's
weight, motor skills and physical development.
Falls are the most common cause of injury for
Australian children riding scooters. Collisions
with cars and pedestrians have also been
reported. Common injuries include:
The brain doesn't fill the skull cavity
completely. It is suspended in a chemical soup
called cerebrospinal fluid, which nourishes the
brain and serves as a shock absorber. If a child
falls from a fast-moving scooter and hits a hard
surface, such as the road, the brain is thrown
against the inside of the skull. This causes
bruising and swelling of the delicate tissues.
Skull fractures and bleeding from sheared
vessels around and inside the brain are also
possible. Research suggests that safety helmets
reduce the risk of head injury by up to 90 per
The essential safety equipment for riding a
Helmet safety suggestions
Safety suggestions include:
Make sure the helmet fits the child's head
comfortably before buying it.
The helmet should sit just above the
A correctly fitted helmet can't be moved
around on the head, either forwards and
backwards or sideways.
The chinstrap must always be fastened firmly
and never twisted.
Impediments like ponytails and hair clips
should not be worn.
Always replace helmets after an impact or
accident, or if the materials split or
Clean the helmet according to the
manufacturer's instructions, as some
cleaning products may cause damage.
Wrist, elbow and knee guards
Wrist fractures are particularly common,
since falling children will instinctively
put out their hand or hands to save
themselves. Wrist, elbow and knee guards are
designed to bolster and protect these
Road safety suggestions include: Provide a
safe learning area while your child masters
riding the scooter.
Make sure your child wears their safety
equipment every time they ride their
scooter, even in the backyard.
Supervise your child when they are riding
Don't ever allow a young child to ride their
scooter near the road.
Don't allow an older child to ride their
scooter near the road until they are
proficient at riding.
Make sure your child understands and abides
by road rules.