MotorScooterShopper.com - The Motor Scooter Buying Guide 50cc -
Information, Resources, and Tips to Help You Buy the Right Motor Scooter
Honda is a manufacturing giant with the undisputable title of history's all-time scooter sales leader. From the Aeros, Leads and
Sprees of the past to the Elites, Metropolitans and Ruckus today, it's easy to see the overwhelming volume (and diversity) of
Honda scooters produced over the last 50 years.
After a brief stint manufacturing all-steel, "classic"-style scooters in the 1950s, Honda stopped producing scooters altogether
by the mid-1960s to focus on the less expensive Cub series. Honda eventually re-enter the scooter fray in 1980, exporting hugely
to the rest of the world while setting up factories abroad — including one in Italy, smack in the main competition's backyard.
The 80's also saw the release of many classic Honda scooter commercials, featuring 80's celebrities such as NFL SuperBowl Quarterback
Jim McMahon, the pop rock group Devo, and singers Grace Jones and Adam Ant.
Honda's re-entry into the scooter market produced what is now affectionately known as the "modern scooter." So what exactly makes one
scooter classic and another modern? The most obvious difference is in the construction and styling. Bodywork with contemporary,
sharper-angled shaping replaced the roundish, all-steel aprons of the classic models. And fully automatic transmissions were opted
for over the manually shifted gearboxes of the older design.
All in all, these new scooters were lighter weight, less expensive to produce, vastly more fuel-efficient and virtually effortless to
ride. Even the most novice of pilots could master the simple, twist-the-throttle-and-go operation in no time.
Today, the last of Honda's inaugural batch of "modern" scooters can be found in the ozone-friendlier four-stroke Elite 80. If
you fancy more of a Euro-style, classic scooter, there's always the Metropolitan. And for those seeking the ultimate minimalist form of
expression, look to the Ruckus.