Is It Time For An American Scooter Confederation?

The Australian website,, reports on an association of scooter importers that will represent manufacturers and dealers in an effort to “assist riders to avoid potential pitfalls”. This seems aimed directly at upstart importers of lower quality scooters brought in by the container load for fly-by-night organizations. The Australian Scooter Federation boasts membership from many top flight manufacturers including the marques of the Piaggio group, Honda, Yamaha and Kymco. The article states that the ASF members will conform to a ‘code of conduct’ to ensure high quality and dealer support. Is it time for such an organization in the U.S.A? I think so. I recall a little sticker on the gas tank of many an Allstate scooter that suggested there once was. Discuss.

6 thoughts on “Is It Time For An American Scooter Confederation?”

  1. I know that “American Motor Scooter Association” sticker is on the front of nearly every Lambretta i’ve seen from 1962-1965 ish. Never seen it on a Vespa, though.

    Do you think the average consumer that’s buying a Zing Zang 50 for $800 at Pep Boys would even be aware of the fact there’s an organization like this, or that he should care that his scooter brand isn’t on the list of approved vendors?

  2. It’s surely on all the Vespa Allstate VNBs I’ve ever seen.

    Would it matter? It may. It’s true that a fool and his money are soon parted. Though knowing that and giving into that status quo is a lazy approach. People love to use the BBB and that system is fairly cryptic and not all that informative. A group like this could do more as a joint effort than all their hapless efforts combined. As stated it’s a group of manufacturers that have a vested stake in the market. Every disappointed junk scooter customer is firstly, a lost customer of theirs and second a possible future customer lost after being turned off on scooters and two-wheels in general. The AMA is fairly worthless when it comes to commercial influence (and of dubious effectiveness otherwise when related to non-liter bike issues). It’s up to the people that profit to do something. I’d lay the idea for such an organization at the feet of dealers and manufacturer product reps that work the road and see the industry in the trenches. It could also be a motivating factor for seemingly legitimate new importers like Baron scooters to put the rubber to the road and live up to a ‘code of conduct’ and have a universal standard badge of legitimacy to prove it.

  3. But te Asians are repopping everthing else … what’s to stop them from slapping an “approved” sticker on all the bikes they import and sell

    Why, just the other day I saw a plastic scooter that looked a lot like an Adly automatic that some hooligan had hastily applied a “Lambretta” sticker to.

    I wonder how many poor suckers he’ll dupe with that one?


  4. That’s the idea. The vendor could be verified by the organization even if they hung out an “approved” shingle. I’d hope it would extend beyond a sticker.

  5. Along with an association, there’d need to be a PR/marketing campaign. Remember “Look for the Union Label”? Something like that could probably go far in raising awareness of the idea that a scooter is not a *toy* but a motor vehicle.

    I dunno, I get asked about scooters a lot, and my answer is always to approach buying a scooter the same way you’d buy a car. A familiar (maybe a better word is established) brand name, backed up by a franchised dealer/service network; ask to see the service/parts department, and if there ain’t one, go somewhere else.

    This would seem to be obvious, but it’s so damn depressing how many people have no clue whatsoever.

  6. It’s exactly that mindset of it being a toy. I’m in a small college and vacation destination town that has great riding year round. Students and employees alike view a scooter purchase as being a one step improvement over a bicycle, not as a serious motor vehicle. They’re so cavalier about it.

    They don’t want to spend money and they don’t want proper safety equipment. Because they honestly believe they don’t need to do so. I do what I can when asked but once they walk away from me, some other idiot tells them they’re safe without a helmet and they have some cheap scooter that runs so I’m just being paranoid.

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