Scooters first became popular in war-torn Europe after the first few world-wide spats broke loose and conspired to ruin the economies of a great many countries, not the least of which was
. The boot-shaped nation responded by embracing small, economical scooters, especially the wasp-like two-stroke Vespa. From there, it didn't take long for the scooter craze to pick up steam as subsequent models gained more power, more gears and, therefore, more top-speed and acceleration. By the sixties, the little Italian scooters were ready for American roads and the population here snatched them up in droves. Things got a bit out of whack as
made small cars so much more useful than the two-wheelers, but all things two-wheeled are picking back up as of late, with many scooter manufacturers reporting double-digit sales increases across the board.
Despite the high sales figures of new models, older Vespas and Lambrettas are regaining much of their lost popularity as well.
to watch a fun and very well-done video of the current scooter action in Portland, Oregon.