First time around

It’s not hard to explain the swell of enthusiasm for scooters after the Second World War. Small wheels meant less weight and also left more room for bodywork giving some weather protection, and there could even be a modicum of luggage capacity. Of those factors, only the chance of keeping one’s clothes cleaner and dryer goes part way towards explaining the similar surge of popularity after the First World War, a time when small wheels were surely the last thing most riders wanted on largely unmade road surfaces strewn with nails from horses’ hooves.

Looking back you can’t imagine why manufacturers even tried their hand at the genre, but try they did, and predictably they all came unstuck in just a couple of years. With few sales in proportion to those of true motorcycles, and reflecting a fleeting fashion, survivors of the type are rare, so the opportunity to compare and contrast four different versions at Sammy Miller’s museum was not a chance to be missed. And if nothing else, the quartet demonstrates some original thinking.

Read more in the March issue of TCM – on sale now!