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 Italy. 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 gas prices 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. Click here to watch a fun and very well-done video of the current scooter action in Portland, Oregon.

[Source: King 5 via 2Stroke Buzz]

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