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Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Vintage Vibes and Harley Power: Exploring the Vetter Torpedo Scooter

Unique BIG SCOOTER - When we delve into the world of scooters during their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, it becomes evident that motorcycle manufacturers worldwide ventured into crafting these nifty two-wheeled wonders. The United States, known as the birthplace of the Cushman scooter, which served as inspiration for Italian designer Corradino D'Ascanio's creation of the iconic Vespa scooter for Piaggio in 1946, has a rich history with numerous two-wheeled vehicle manufacturers that continue to thrive. 
2004 Vetter Torpedo, a unique Harley Davidson Sportster-engined scooter created by one of the most legendary American motorcycle designers named Craig Vetter. (Picture from: BigDogAdventures)
Even renowned American motorcycle manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson, famous for its robust, large-displacement motorcycles, once ventured into the world of scooters from 1960-1965 by using only 165cc 2-stroke engine model, the Harley Davidson Topper.
2004 Vetter Torpedo is designed in a distinctive style and color that became a trend in the 1950s such as portholes, tailfin, ribbed bumpers, two-tones colors. (Picture from: MotorRoller-Info)
Today, we shine a spotlight on a unique American scooter designed by one of the most legendary motorcycle designers in America, Craig Vetter, featuring a Harley Davidson Sportster engine. This distinctive scooter, known as the Vetter Torpedo or Defiant, made its debut in 2004 after two years of meticulous development.
2004 Vetter Torpedo is designed in a distinctive style and color that became a trend in the 1950s such as portholes, tailfin, ribbed bumpers, two-tones colors. (Picture from: MotorRoller-Info)
According to CraigVetter.com, the concept of this unique scooter took root in 1977 with the aim of offering riders unmatched comfort and a design that harked back to the 1950s. This scooter sports iconic 1950s design elements such as portholes, tailfins, ribbed bumpers, and two-tone color schemes. It truly is a one-of-a-kind creation, like nothing seen before.

The frame of this distinctive scooter was expertly crafted by Sandy Kosman, while the remaining components were sourced from Harley-Davidson's spare parts catalog. Upon completion, the scooter boasts a generous wheelbase of over 2,000 mm and a dry weight of approximately 270 kg.
2004 Vetter Torpedo scooter fiberglass body shell with two-tones colors. (Picture from: MotorRoller-Info)
But what about the heart of this machine, the Harley Davidson Sportster engine? Where is it housed? The engine, boasting a displacement of around 1,638cc (100 cubic inches), is cleverly situated at the rear, nestled beneath the seat and fuel tank. This Sportster powerplant churns out an impressive 100 horsepower, coupled with a centrifugal clutch that promises an exhilarating riding experience.
2004 Vetter Torpedo scooter looked like underneath the fiberglass body shell, it utilized a lot of the Sportster's stock parts, including the fuel tank, which was re-located to a position behind the rider, just under the tail section. (Picture from: MotorRoller-Info)
Craig Vetter reflects on his creation, saying, "I played a significant role in the development of this motorcycle concept. Modern touring motorcycles today are undeniably sophisticated and comfortable, but they remain essentially unchanged from the design I envisioned in 1977! These contemporary touring machines are challenging to mount and dismount, requiring riders to clamber over a plethora of components. Frankly, it's surprising that we've tolerated this inconvenience for so long. The eye-catching red and cream paint, reminiscent of a '56 Chevrolet, stands out in a sea of black Harleys and skull-themed decorations. My presence on this scooter never struck fear into anyone."
2004 Vetter Torpedo scooter under the bright '56 Chev red and cream paint stood out among the black Harleys and death's head decorations. (Picture from: CraigVetter.com)
As reported by The Kneeslider, the scooter featured in the images is a prototype, illustrating the type of bodywork that can be installed on the Defiant. While this particular model lacks footpegs or a passenger strap, it is indeed capable of carrying a passenger. It's worth noting that Defiant does not currently offer bodywork for sale. Instead, it offers a kit that includes the frame compatible with all Sportster components, leaving the customization of the bodywork in your capable hands.
In summary, the Vetter Torpedo or Defiant is a remarkable and uniquely American scooter, designed with a nod to the aesthetics of the 1950s and powered by the robust Harley-Davidson Sportster engine. This exceptional creation showcases the ingenuity and passion of Craig Vetter, leaving an indelible mark on the world of scooters and redefining the riding experience.

Kept spur your adrenaline on the power of the two-wheeled monster and stay alive with the true safety riding. May God will forgive Your sins and so does the cops...... *** [EKA [03072020] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CRAIGVETTER.COM | MOTORSPORT.COM | BIGDOGADVENTURES | SCOOTERSOURCESPLACE | THENEWCAFERACERSOCIETY | THE KNEESLIDER | MOTORROLLER-INFO ]be accessed via your smart phone.
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