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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 tradition.

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.

Razor Scooter
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
Shanghai, Taiwan. 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 fender.

Go Ped
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 Go-Ped.

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.

Scooter design
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.

Common injuries
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:

  • Cuts

  • Abrasions

  • Bone fractures , particularly of the wrist

  • Head injuries.

Head injuries
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 cent.

Safety equipment
The essential safety equipment for riding a scooter includes:

  • Bicycle helmet

  • Wrist guards

  • Elbow guards

  • Knee guards.

    Bicycle helmets Helmets became compulsory safety equipment for bicyclists in 1990. Helmets have resulted in a 70 per cent decrease in the number of cyclists injured or killed by head injury. Helmets are made of foam - similar to the foam used for portable coolers like Eskies - that absorbs the impact of a fall or blow. Look for the Australian Standards Mark when choosing a bicycle helmet. The different types of helmet include: Micro shell - the foam is covered in thin plastic Hard shell - the foam is covered in hard plastic.

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 eyebrows.

  • 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 deteriorate.

  • 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 vulnerable joints.

    Road safety
    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 their scooter.

  • 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.

  • Make sure your child is visible to drivers by dressing them in brightly colored clothes. Warn your child of the potential dangers.




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