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October 15, 2010 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
The look of motorcycling is largely defined by leather ? most of it in cringe-worthy designs that are long on protection and short on style, especially for women. Indeed, "motorcycle fashion" is something of an oxymoron. There are motorcycles, and there is fashion, but rarely do the twain meet. Scooters? That's another story. Rooted in European design, the small number of designers devoted to scooter wear do a far better job of equalizing form and function, merging crash-worthy materials into styles that allow riders to step off their rides and into a restaurant without looking like they've been in a race.
September 10, 2010 | By Daina Beth Solomon, Los Angeles Times
Varoom! There goes another candy-colored streamlined Vespa zooming through downtown Los Angeles — this one in a tangerine hue. Oh, and there's one in cherry red. And pastel blue. Did you see the mint-green one with the white daisy decals buzz by? Since it opened last November on the border between Little Tokyo and the Arts District, Vespa of Los Angeles has encouraged downtown residents to travel the city by scooter — and in style. The Vespa, which was originally manufactured in 1946 and means "wasp" in Italian, is an iconic European style symbol, seen all over the streets of major cities such as Paris and Milan.
July 6, 2009 | Susan Carpenter
Customers who walk into some California Best Buy stores for a cellphone might walk out with an electric vehicle. At least that's the thinking behind a test being conducted by the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer. In May, the Richfield, Minn., company quietly began selling electric bicycles, scooters and Segways at 21 of its West Coast stores, 12 of them in California.
June 1, 2009 | Roy M. Wallack
Forget the axiom "no pain, no gain." Whether you're school-age or middle-aged, fitness can be fun. When you mate wheels and a unique take on forward motion, as do the four innovative products reviewed below, the good times roll for all. -- Roy M. Wallack Stepper on wheels Pumgo Scooter: Three-wheel scooter propelled with stair-stepper-like pedals. Likes: It works! Fun, unique and fairly fast, with no learning curve or balance issues.
December 5, 2008 | Susan Carpenter, Carpenter is a Times staff writer.
The 28th annual International Motorcycle Show, rolling into the Long Beach Convention Center today, caters to the crowd that wants its bikes bigger, better and faster. But, in a nod to changing times, there's a new feature this year: a scooter pavilion. The three-day event is putting a focus on riders who want to commute on two wheels -- new and returning riders who couldn't care less about the flash and power that have dominated the industry for the past decade.
October 8, 2008 | Stuart Pfeifer, Times Staff Writer
For a man who spent 19 years locked up for a murder he says he didn't commit, DeWayne McKinney emerged from prison a man at peace. He wasn't angry or bitter. On weekends, he spoke at churches about the faith that carried him through those lost years. He appeared at anti-death penalty conferences and told his story.
September 23, 2008 | Susan Carpenter, Times Staff Writer
Owning a chromed or custom Harley-Davidson is "not about transportation, it's about an experience," says the company's chief executive, James L. Ziemer. That's clear to even the most average of non-motorcycling Joes, who, on any given day, are likely to see T-shirts, leathers, window decals, cigarette lighters, bandannas and other paraphernalia emblazoned with the company's trademark bar and shield. But there's one Harley-Davidson Motor Co. item that hasn't been selling as well in the U.S.
June 1, 2008 | Susan Spano
If you're planning to visit Rome before you die, it pays to prepare for the experience. Here are 10 books and movies to help you understand what you see in the Roman Forum, at the Vatican and on the Piazza Navona. -- Susan Spano 1. "The Agony and the Ecstasy" (1961, by Irving Stone, and turned into a 1965 film starring Charlton Heston) is about the epic trials and tribulations of Michelangelo dealing with his patron Pope Julius II and painting the Sistine Chapel.
May 9, 2008 | Alana Semuels, Times Staff Writer
When food and gasoline prices started climbing, Thomas Franklin started putting one foot in front of the other and -- the horror -- often walked where he needed to go. "My friends ask me what's wrong with me," said the 29-year-old talent agency scout, who recently sold his Ford Escape and bought a Vespa scooter. Franklin relies on the scooter, public transit and his own two feet to get around town and estimates that he is saving about $70 a week by not driving to work in Los Angeles from his home in Van Nuys.
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