My favorite album cover of all time!
The conflict: I ran into an ethical problem a while back. I started realizing just how badly we fans of internal combustion engines have been damaging our chances (as a planet) of continuing to live and breathe. And most vintage scooters are surprisingly heavy polluters. Since most of them get great gas mileage, you would think they would have a light footprint, but the old two-stroke motor design creates vastly worse emissions than most modern vehicles. For example, my 1980 Vespa emits much more greenhouse gas per mile than a modern Cadillac Escalade or even the old Plymouth Road Runner I drove to high school. Old scooters are extremely bad for the environment.
A solution: Several years back, I came up with the (ahem) perfect solution. I put an electric motor into a vintage Vespa. And it came out great. Reliable, quick, reasonable range, and a blast to ride. But I did miscalculate a bit. It will run 28mph. And 28mph is not a realistic speed for getting around town where I live. It's too fast on a bicycle and way too slow for something that mixes with SUVs and such. (Also, my design work on the scooter left me without a place to park my size 12 feet while riding.)
So, I have two great Vespas in the garage, neither of which gets ridden much.
A dream solution: I mentioned Vespas, but I love most vintage scooters. For years I have kept my eye out for a good deal on a motorless Silver Pigeon or an Allstate Jetsweep/Cushman Road King because they both look like great electric conversion candidates - and so I could be cool like Bo Diddley. (See photo above.) Both of these scooters would provide more room for batteries and for access. And your second draft is usually a little better than your first, right?
A Silver Pigeon - so cool!
Check out the Cezeta!
May the electric wind scooterize your hair!