Stand-Up Nation with Greg Giraldo

Scooter (stand-up)

A stand-up scooter is a small scooter designed to have the rider primarily in the standing position. These scooters are generally designed with a large “deck” in the center on which the operator may stand. Gas powered stand-up scooters use a small utility engine (often designed for use in industrial power equipment) attached to the rear of the scooter.

Disambiguation from Scooter (motorcycle)

A stand-up scooter differs from more common sit-down scooters in many ways.

Less power. The engine displacement of gas scooters range from 23-62cc. Because of this, the top speed is generally limited to somewhere between 15 and 30 mph. Electrical stand-up scooters generally reach a maximum of 15 to 25 mph.

The first production scooter, the “Sport,” was released by Go-ped in 1985. Since then, the industry has exploded with the creation of many new brands and technologies.

Technological advancements

  • 1985: Go-Ped introduces the first production stand-up scooter, the "Sport."
  • May 2001: Go-Ped introduces the first full suspension stand-up electric scooter, the "Hoverboard."
  • 2004: Evo Powerboards introduces the first scooter with a two-speed transmission, the "2x."

Technologies

Wheels and tires. There are two general categories of tires on which stand-up scooters travel--hard tires and air tires. Hard tires are generally six inches in diameter and constructed of a hard-plastic insert surrounded by a solid rubber tire. Air tires are most often 10 inches in diameter. They are constructed of a steel or aluminum split rim, an inner tube and rubber tire. Other, less common wheel and tire types include 8 inch and 13 inch air tires.

Transmissions. The most simplistic drive mechanism of stand-up scooters is the "spindle" drive. This drive mechanism puts an extension of the engine's output shaft, the spindle, in direct contact with the rear tire of the scooter. In order to function correctly, the tire must have a clean, dry surface which the spindle will be able to effectively interact with. Scooters with this type of direct transmission can be pull started with the rear wheel off of the ground or "bump" started by forcefully pushing the scooter with the rear tire in contact with the ground.

Simple chain reduction drives are also used to transfer energy to the rear wheel from the engine. These generally incorporate a type of centrifugal clutch to allow the engine to idle independently. The chain drive is generally more efficient and predictable in all conditions than the spindle drive.

Belt reduction drives use the combination of wide flat "cog" belts and pulleys to transfer power to the rear wheel. Like chain drives, belt drives include a centrifugal clutch. As opposed to chain drives, belt drives require less maintenance and no lubrication. Belt drives are also more susceptible to breakage in off-road conditions.

Suspension. The suspension systems of stand-up scooters range from simplistic spring based fork systems to the complicated, dampened cam-link and C.I.D.L.I suspension mechanisms.

Notable Manufacturers

The most influential manufacturers to appear in the stand-up scooter industry are Goped, Evo Powerboards and BladeZ. They are notable because of the technologies they brought forth to the industry and amount of influence they had on the design and use of scooters.

Go-Ped. Go-Ped is a scooter manufacturing company created by Patmont Motor Werks inc. The first Go-Ped prototype was produced in 1985 and an example is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Unlike most other manufacturers, Go-Ped is still in business and their line still includes a total of eighteen models: two electric scooters, ten gas scooters, three gas karts, and three push scooters.

Evo Powerboards. Evo is a scooter manufacturing company created by Puzey Design, a company responsible for many exotic forms of transportation. Evo is famous for introducing the first geared transmission for a stand-up scooter, the Evo Two-Speed transmission. At the height of their production, Evo maintained 4 high performance scooters. Currently, only the Evo "2" is available. Various internal sources have pointed toward new production runs in the second quarter of 2008.

BladeZ Scooters. BladeZ is a manufacturing company which sold scooters based on early Puzey Design and were famous for cruiser-style belt drive scooters. Tanaka Power Equipment and Big Boy Scooters also sold nearly identical Puzey Design scooters. In the summer of 2007, BladeZ ceased production of scooters and sold their production rights in order to focus on personal fitness and mobility equipment.

See also

References

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