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SCOOT; suits; TREVOR WALLS finds plenty to smile about on scootabouts.

Whizz kids who get a buzz out of buzzing about could do worse than check out a couple of offerings from Yamaha.

A recent play on a brace of scooters in traffic-clogged streets had the smile-ometer swinging in the right direction.

The 50cc commuter- scooters in question were the Neo's and its big brother, the Aerox.

At pounds 1409 on the road, the Neo's was familiar territory - a very practical two-stroke with all the convenience of electric starter, light weight, luggage capacity, Scrooge-like fuel consumption and a great little commuting machine.

For a first taste of two wheels, it is ideal for 16-year-olds getting to grips with biking or for ladies of a certain age who want something to shoot around on locally without the hassle of parking a car.

With a chunky set of tyres, well-cushioned suspension and brakes that can stop you on a sixpence, it's a safe, reliable form of transport.

Ally that to the simplicity of automatic gearbox and bicycle-style brakes and you have something that a seven-year-old wouldn't take long to master.

The down - or up - side is that you certainly won't get booked for speeding. It will cruise along at a stately 30mph, but where it scores is that you won't be stuck in long queues of traffic.

This style of bike is getting ever more refined yet, as Carrick Motorcycles head honcho Russ Manson says, the selling price now is more or less the same as it was when they first hit the market about 10 years ago.

Not a bad deal that, for sleek, practical transport that will hardly break the bank.

And so, to the zappier Aerox - at pounds 2009 on the road.

Radical was obviously word of the week in the design department. The aggressive styling of this tall scoot-about give sit looks that spell business - though not if you're 16 and a learner, as it will be restricted to 30mph.

Quite right, too. Though there's still lots of fun to be had even at sedate speeds.

Brakes are phenomenal. You can charge up to junctions, confident that the chunky, low-profile tyres and disc brakes front and rear will bring you up sharper than a butcher's knife.

The layout is similar to that of the Neo's, apart from the manual choke, digital instruments and a wacky exhaust pipe that looks like an angel's trumpet.

But for those with a full licence who fancy some fun, fun, fun - the de-restricted Aerox is the biz. Those 50ccs can sling it along at 55mph - and it gets there surprisingly quickly.

It can be made even more demonic if you're of a mind ... with add-onsof a big bore kit, modifications to carb and exhaust and an option to up the gearing, to make it even quicker off the mark and improve top speed.

This flexible approach makes the Aerox enjoyable for biking experts and novices alike.

They're great for learning on and magic for buzzing about in heavy traffic that would have your big beastie of a superbike all of a tizzy.

This mode of two-wheel transport is getting better and better as the tiddly engines become ever more efficient.

Reliable, economical, convenient, snazzy and just pure fun, it's a branch of biking that can only grow.

Scooters courtesy Carrick Motorcycles, Edinburgh
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Walls, Trevor
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 26, 1998
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