A motor scooter is a motorcycle similar to a kick scooter 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.
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 850 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.
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