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Yamaha Aerox 50 Hurry And White

Most were either the old-school Vespa PX models for retro purists, or 50cc 'twist-'n'-go' models bound for the Traditionally, mere handfuls of scooters had trickled onto our roads each year. From 2002 to 2006, scooters recorded the sort of market growth more usually associated with killer bees. My return coincided with a profound change in Australia's automotive landscape.

I'd suggest that Australian drivers aren't so much annoyed by scooters, as frustrated with themselves. With under-seat storage, a 95km/h top speed and my imported, obnoxious Parisian scooter etiquette, I wouldn't be without it. I became so addicted to its convenience, economy and lane-carving quickness that I shipped it home with me in 2004. Even when I had a rental or press car soaking up Euros in the parking station, most of my trips around Paris still made more sense on the scooter.

For more than four years it was the only daily-use motor vehicle in our inner-urban household. In 2000, not long after arriving in the French capital, I was seduced by the squinty eyes and bright red bodywork of a year-old Yamaha Aerox 100 two-stroke. I know because I cut my scootering teeth while living in Paris.  In July 2007, an insurance company's controversial 'study' found that 33 percent of Australian drivers were "annoyed by the increased presence of scooters." While the motorcycle industry was quick to criticise the 'study' for its misleading questionnaire and media-generating motives, the story did highlight one thing: the self-righteous superiority of many Aussie car drivers when they're faced with a cheaper, more efficient alternative.

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