Take a tip from the third world: $4 gas is scooter time

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For under $2,000, you can buy a brand-new vehicle that will get 100 mpg, and can be parked almost anywhere. With gas at $4 and heading up, perhaps it's time we took another look at the world's answer to cheap transportation, the scooter.

I'm not suggesting the old-style two-stroke, high polluting pieces of crap, but modern, high-quality machines from manufacturers such as Honda.

For example, check out the--

Honda Metropolitan, $1,899. Honda matches classic scooter styling with a 49 cc. four stroke liquid-cooled engine for a ride capable of carrying you 100 miles or so on a gallon of petrol. Talk about cutting down the cost of transportation.

Yamaha Vino, $1,949. This scoot features a comparable engine to the Honda, and gets around 110 mpg. It too has classic European styling and Yamaha quality.

Vespa still has plenty of dogs in this hunt, including the Piaggio Fly50, a 50 cc. four-stroke selling for $1,849. It also captures the scooter cache with handsome styling.

Of course, scooters have limitations, primarily weather. Riding them in traffic takes some practice and skill, and taking a motorcycle training course from the Motorcycle Safety Institute would greatly improve your skills. But with gas going nowhere but up, a little two-wheeled fun might help keep your budget from running out of gas.

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