When many of us think of a scooter, we imagine young tourists cruising down narrow, cobblestone roads in Europe, buzzing around from shop to shop. But, scooters can be a fun ride for a lot of us.
If you’ve decided to get a two-wheeler, it’s important to know the difference between motorcycles and scooters. While the two are very similar, there are some significant differences.
There are a myriad of different scooter styles, enough to satisfy the needs and wants of almost any consumer. When shopping for your new scooter, you may be surprised by what is available.
First is how they are powered. There are gasoline and electric choices. Both work well if you choose the model best suited for your needs.
Electric scooters are relatively new by comparison, but they’ve been improving to the point that they often rival the gas powered models. Electric motors are quieter and cheaper to operate. They also have a lower negative impact on the environment.
Gasoline engines will typically be faster than electric. Gas powered scooters are usually more durable as well. Since they are a little heavier and can travel at higher speeds, they are usually a little better built.
The differences don’t stop there, though. You can get a basic, stripped down version, or a loaded touring bike complete with storage space, more comfortable seating, and room for a passenger. There are the classic, two-wheeled scooters, and three-wheeled models. You can even get some that are fully enclosed with a windshield and a roof!
Even the high-end, touring style scooters are generally cheaper than the average motorcycle. With their smaller engines and electric options, they are cheaper to operate as well.
You may be able to forego some of the safety equipment required for motorcycle operation. You probably won’t need leather clothing or boots traveling at lower speeds, and while it is still recommended, not all states require the use of a helmet when riding a scooter.
All states do require scooter insurance, but since they are usually ridden far fewer miles and in less risky situations, the cost is usually quite low. Be sure to check your state’s insurance requirements when buying a new scooter.
Determining how practical a scooter will depend on how you plan to use it. If you want to ride fast, or even on the highway, a motorcycle may be a better choice. Some states ban the use of scooters on the highway.
If speed is not a factor, there are some advantages.
Economical – Scooters get great gas mileage; better than most cars and even some motorcycles.
Easy – Most scooters have automatic transmissions, making the much easier to ride than a bike with a clutch and a shifter.
Environment – Smaller size makes scooters very maneuverable and easy to park, even in the tightest spaces.
Scooters are generally very safe vehicles due to their lower speeds and ease of operation. However, due to their small size, they are often “lost in the crowd”, so to speak. Use extreme caution changing lanes, turning corners, navigating parking lots, and try to avoid other motorist’s blind spots.
Scooters can be a very economical means of transportation and a lot of fun to ride! Check them out and find a scooter that’s right for you.