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Scooter Video

Scooter! The Ultimate Guide

by: Duke Video UK or Duke Video USA
DVD ($24.95 + S/H), 60 minutes

Scooters on webBikeWorld?  Well, why not?  Many webBikeWorld visitors have expressed an interest in scooters, especially now that gas prices are twice what they were only 6 months ago in the U.S.  Nothing like 70 MPG to generate some excitement!

The scooter market is growing in the U.S., with many cities seeing an increase in sales of both new and used scooters.  There’s also a growing vintage scooter subculture, with some very active local scooter clubs and shops that cater to the trend by providing restorations of vintage Lambrettas and Vespas.  And don’t forget the maxi-scooter faction, who ride the 200cc and up scoots, which are well suited for the wide open spaces that still make up most of American geography.

Although scooter sales are still only a fraction of overall motorcycle sales in the U.S., and scooter sales are, in turn, only a tiny fraction of U.S. automobile sales, scooters are definitely starting to get some mainstream notice.  So if you’d like to learn more about scooters, there’s probably no better place to start than with Duke Video’s recent DVD release, “Scooter!  The Ultimate Guide”.

Now let me caveat this by mentioning that the video is definitely focused on the mature and active UK scooter scene.  The history, the roads and yes, the accents are British through and through.  And some of the scooters shown, such as the interesting Peugeot models, are only available in Europe.  But this doesn’t matter one whit, in my opinion, because all of the information is still valuable for anyone new to the world of scooters.

The video is pleasant fun, with good quality and short sections to keep the viewer’s interest.  It starts out with a brief history of scooters, including a look at some of the original Italian Vespas and Lambrettas, with a description of how the scooter craze got started after World War II.

The middle sections of the video are not quite as successful, because there is slightly too much focus on modern Piaggio brands.  This may be because Piaggio is the largest scooter manufacturer in the world, and perhaps the Duke videographers could only get Piaggio’s agreement for filming.

There are some interesting scenes of the modern Piaggio factory in Pontadera, Italy, with workers turning out Vespas and other scooters.  There’s also a short but interesting tour of the Piaggio factory museum.

The video discusses the issues involved in choosing a scooter, complete with video of a selection of modern scooters of all sizes.  This will probably date the DVD in a couple of years’ time, but the information will still be valid.  There is almost no reference to the huge influx of scooters from Asia, which is an oversight.

A DVD wouldn’t be a DVD without some “extras”.  In this case, there’s a copy of a short film from the ’50’s, showing a Lambretta Club of Great Britain rally at the Isle of Man, including a 24 hour scooter enduro on the famous Tourist Trophy course.  Some video of trick scooter riding from that event complete the guide.

Scooter! The Ultimate Guide is a fun and interesting way to learn more about scooters and to see why so many people have been “bit by the bug”.  The next step is a visit to your local scooter store, because surely you’ll want to ride one after watching this video!

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