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Thursday, September 28, 2023

True American Classic Scooters: Pioneering Designs and Icons

American-MADE - Motor scooters, a unique blend of motorcycle and kick scooter features, have a distinct charm that sets them apart in the world of two-wheeled transportation. With a comfortable seat, a flat floorboard, and compact wheels, they offer a convenient and efficient way to navigate city streets and open roads alike. 
What new marvel of creativity did they (in pictured 1948 Salsbury Model 85 scooters) bring to the world that just now is really getting some use? (Picture from: SouthbayRiders)
In the United States, the Department of Transportation classifies a scooter as a motorcycle that incorporates a platform for the operator's feet or integrated footrests, combined with a step-through architecture. Let's delve into the fascinating history of motor scooters, including their development in America and the iconic models that graced the streets

The Evolution of Scooter Design
Scooter-like traits began to emerge in motorcycle designs as early as the 1900s in Europe. Surprisingly, America also had its share of scooter production during the period from 1936 to 1965. Here, we explore some of the remarkable scooters that were manufactured in the United States during this time.

1. Salsbury Scooters: Pioneering Excellence
The first wave of American scooters kicked off with the establishment of Salsbury Manufacturing in 1936 in sunny California. This visionary venture was founded by two Englishmen, E. Foster Salsbury and Austin Elmore. Together, they set out to revolutionize scooter design.
1938 Salsbury Motor Glide de Luxe. (Picture from: Pinterest)
Their creation featured a seat integrated into the upper body frame, with the engine thoughtfully shielded by the body. Notably, they introduced the Countinously Variable Transmission (CVT) drive system, a groundbreaking innovation of its time.
1948 Salsbury Model 85. (Picture from: SouthbayRiders)
In 1938, Salsbury Manufacturing began producing scooters, with the Salisbury Model 85 quickly becoming the benchmark for other scooter manufacturers, including Powell, Moto-Scoot, Cushman, Rock-Ola even Piaggio and others. But unfortunately the scooter manufacturer stopped production in 1948.

2. Cushman Motor Works: The Auto Glide Triumph
Another prominent player in the American scooter scene was Cushman Motor Works, known for crafting the Auto Glide scooter. Initially, the company was primarily involved in designing and manufacturing various vehicle machinery.
1947 Cushman Auto Glide Model 52. (Picture from: ModernVespa)
In their early days, Cushman attempted to offer their scooter engine to Salisbury Motor Glide, but faced rejection. Undeterred, Cushman embarked on developing and producing their scooter design.
1947 Cushman Auto Glide Model 52. (Picture from: Pinterest)
They proudly touted their Auto Glide products as more fuel-efficient than the Motor Glide, introducing cutting-edge technology of the era—a centrifugal clutch, akin to modern-day motorcycles, and far superior to the Cut model found in the Motor Glide.
1943 Cushman Airborne Military. (Picture from: MotorBikeSearcEngine)
Cushman's Auto Glide gained substantial traction when it entered the  U.S. military market. They developed a military version of the scooter that could be air-dropped from military cargo planes using parachutes. This remarkable model, labeled as the Cushman Airborne, proved to be a game-changer during World War II in Europe, showcasing exceptional agility and battlefield prowess.
1956 Cushman Husky Scooter. (Picture from: MotorBikeSearcEngine)
The European success of the Cushman Airborne served as a wellspring of inspiration for Italian manufacturers Innocenti and Piaggio. Elements of this design found their way into the initial designs of Lambretta and Vespa scooters. In the end, Vespa emerged as the most iconic and beloved scooter globally, a status it maintains to this day.
1960 Cushman Super Eagle. (Picture from: MotorBikeSearcEngine)
In addition to that, Cushman was notable for producing a variety of motor vehicles throughout the 1950s and 1960s, including the Cushman Super Eagle, Cushman Scooter Husky, Cushman Pacemaker, and several others. However, Cushman officially ceased production of their scooter products in 1965.

3. Harley-Davidson's Topper: An Elegant Offering
Harley-Davidson, a legendary name in the motorcycle industry, also dabbled in the scooter market by introducing the Harley Davidson Topper. Drawing inspiration from the DKW RT 125 model, the Topper offered a unique take on the scooter concept. However, it failed to gain significant traction in both American and European markets and was produced for a relatively brief period, from 1960 to 1965. (Jump to the Topper).
1960 Harley-Davidson Topper. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
In conclusion, the history of motor scooters in America is a captivating journey filled with innovation, unique designs, and the occasional military triumph. From the pioneering efforts of Salsbury Manufacturing and Cushman Motor Works to the brief foray of Harley-Davidson, these scooters have left an indelible mark on the world of two-wheeled transportation. While the American scooter scene may have evolved and changed over the years, the charm and nostalgia associated with these distinctive vehicles continue to captivate enthusiasts worldwide.
Kept spur your adrenaline on the power of two-wheeled monster and stay alive with the true safety riding. May God will forgive Your sins and so does the cops...... *** [EKA [17042015] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WIKIPEDIA | MOTORBIKESEARCHENGINE | SOUTHBAYRIDERS | MODERNVESPA | BRINGATRAILER ]
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