Two Stroke Terror.

One kick, two kicks, three. 

What was once a quiet space in downtown Vancouver all of a sudden buzzes to life with the sound of what could easily be mistaken for one billion bees. Miniscule displacement engines warm up as the distinct smell (and sight) of two stroke exhaust begins to fill the plaza, and as quickly as we came, we’re gone. 

Why do we love Scooters?

Because Gentsuki (pronounced ‘gent-ski’) scooters and licenses have been a staple of Japanese culture for many decades. Accessible, simple and the perfect option for affordable mobility on Japan’s densely traffic-riddled streets, has made scooting synonymous with the culture. But beyond being seen as a useful tool for getting around, scooter ownership has provided many with the opportunity to experience freedom, rebellion and even take their first step into the tuning world by offering owners the chance to express themselves in how they personalize their two stroke terrors. 

The style has become iconic as in recent years the Japanese scooter modifying that was kept niche and secluded in the eighties and nineties has become accessible to those of us living in North America. California and Vancouver have become hotspots for scooter enthusiasts and because of the simplicity and low barrier to entry, scooter modifying has become a popular outlet for enthusiasts. 

Bright paint, stickers, aero, suspension deletes and custom made exhausts have become the staples of scooter modifying, and as most of the owners local to us come from the car community, working on a scooter is a fever dream of simplicity when compared to the cost, knowledge and time required to put together a project car. 

Keith Measures, a stylish car enthusiast, scoot pioneer and all around okay guy, explained his love for scooters like this:

“When I first started scooting, I was all about trying to replicate the old Gentsuki scooter styles in Japan. My goal was to have something to go hand in hand with my cars. Now my passion for scooting has somewhat morphed into its own thing. The reason I love scooting is the silliness and the irony. It’s such a comedy to make a scoot look fast, low, sleak, aerodynamic as if it is some sort of performance machine. Anyone who gets to see us riding on the street acting like goons on these silly machines is definitely in on the joke.”

Vancouver has provided us with an awesome playground for scooter shenanigans and we intend to continue to enjoy pestering locals with our two stroke terrors to the fullest extent we can. Thankfully for the most part people cheer us on, smile and laugh as we go by; because if you can’t smile and laugh at some adults engaging in midnight two stroke shenanigans, that’s honestly kinda sad. 

So if you ever see us, smile and wave. You’ll hear us coming. 


Published by Alexander Turnbull

Automotive photojournalist, traveller, blogger, and meme enthusiast. Enjoy car life.