A scooter is a motorcycle with step-through frame and a platform for the operator's feet. Elements of scooter design have been present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and motorcycles identifiable as scooters have been made from 1914 or earlier. Scooter development continued in Europe and the United States between the World Wars.
The global popularity of scooters dates from the post-World War II introductions of the Vespa and the Lambretta. These scooters were intended to provide low-power personal transportation (engines from 50 to 250 cc or 3.1 to 15 cu in). The original layout is still widely used in this application. Maxi-scooters, with engines from 250 to 850 cc (15 to 52 cu in) have been developed for Western markets.
Scooters are popular for personal transport, partly due to being cheap to buy and operate and convenient to park and store. Licensing requirements for scooters are easier and cheaper than for cars in most parts of the world, and insurance is usually cheaper.