Short Appreciation of Jon Stevens’ Penguin handbook - ‘Scootering’ 1962

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Club member, Geoff Woodin, got in touch and sent me his review of Penguin’s 1962 book, ‘Scootering’. Despite the passing of 57 years, some points and tips in the book remain relevant and still apply today…

"Jon Stevens was the editor of Scooter World. This 263 page paperback has 18 chapters. I will pick out the content most interesting to me.

The opening chapter details the history of the scooter from 1919 to its first mass production by Piaggio in 1945. Chapters on scooter design and choosing a scooter follow. Next is a chapter on first costs and running costs, interesting, although not really applicable in 2019. Driving and the driving test is a most useful chapter. It gives advice on how to kick-start, and change gear properly, advice which appears absent from internet sources today. For example: there is a correct way of changing to a higher gear: accelerate briskly, then close the throttle. De-clutch. Operate the gear lever, release the clutch lever slowly, then accelerate. The correct way to change to a lower gear: de-clutch by pressing the clutch lever, accelerate briskly, then close the throttle. Quickly engage the next lower gear. Release the clutch lever, accelerate. You can take your time about changing to a higher gear, however you should get into the habit of changing briskly to a lower gear.

There are chapters on the social side of scootering, clothing and accessories and then eleven chapters on the engineering and maintenance of scooters (up to the time of publication) which I found riveting.

Occasional copies of this book come up on Ebay etc."

Geoff Woodin

Thanks Geoff ; )

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