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April 20, 2012 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Sales of on-road motorcycles, which took a beating during the economic downturn, are finally revving up. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, sales of new motorcycles meant for road use and scooters were up 8.8% for the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year in part because of unseasonably warm weather and higher gas prices. Scooters alone got an especially big boost - 16.9% over last year. Sales of dual-purpose motorcycles, meant for on- and off-road riding, were up 12.7%.
March 15, 2012 | By Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times
Three members of a French parachute regiment were gunned down Thursday in a busy town center in southwestern France by an assassin on a scooter. It was the second drive-by shooting of French soldiers in less than a week, leading investigators to fear military personnel were being targeted. The three soldiers, all in uniforms, were standing by a bank ATM machine in the town of Montauban when the gunman opened fire shortly after 2 p.m. Two of the men, 24 and 26 years old, were killed instantly; the third, age 28, was in critical condition in a hospital Thursday night.
December 8, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter
BMW has been striving to reconcile its dueling images for years. Best known for its luxurious, sport-oriented cars, the German manufacturer's motorcycles are only beginning to shed their reputation as wheels for safety-conscious old men, thanks to exciting new bikes like the S 1000 RR and K 1600 LT. At this weekend's International Motorcycle Shows event in Long Beach, BMW is likely to confuse its image even further when its first scooters make...
November 17, 2011
EVENTS To go with its ongoing mod scooter exhibit, "Scooters: Size Doesn't Always Matter," the Petersen Automotive Museum celebrates the reissue of the Who's landmark 1973 album, "Quadrophenia," with a special listening party. View actual scooters from the golden age of mod while listening to the remastered rock opera, which was produced and overseen by Pete Townsend himself. Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 6-9 p.m. Thurs. $10. (323) 930-2277.
July 6, 2011
Not to Al Gore anybody's ox, but a lot of you Whole Foods hipsters think you're green because your Prius gets 50 mpg. My scooter gets 100. I just filled up my tank on the way to work. Total cost: $3.86, about the same price as a Starbucks grande Frappuccino but fueling an adrenaline buzz that will last a lot longer. Scooters, in fact, could save the world. You don't like the noise pollution from all those souped-up motorcycles tearing through L.A.? My scooter purrs like a kitten.
June 30, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Lindsey Miller has only been scootering for a month, but when she puts on her sparkly silver helmet and wheels her orange Genuine Buddy through the streets she's giddy with the rush of takeoff, the wind in her face, the freedom. "It's just fun," said Miller, a UCLA graduate student of urban planning who bought the motorized scooter in May because — like many others — she could get around more easily on it than on the bus and more cheaply than in a car. This year U.S. scooter sales have surged after a two-year slump.
March 4, 2011 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
Maria the goose, who became a media sensation last month when photographed flying alongside an Echo Park Lake visitor's motor scooter, turns out to be Mario the gander. Experts at the Los Angeles Zoo made that discovery after city officials arranged to have the graylag fowl relocated there to make way for a park renovation project, goose benefactor Dominic Ehrler said Thursday. The newly renamed Mario will remain in quarantine at the zoo for 30 days before being put on public display, Ehrler said.
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.
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