Your first motor scooter needs to be right for you
Getting your fist scooter is a great idea these days, with gas prices hitting $5 a gallon seemingly every summer now. A motor scooter is easy to park, get's ridiculous mileage and is much easier to ride than a traditional motorcycle. Choosing your first scooter may be difficult as, even though they are popular in Europe, they are still mostly a mystery to the US market. I purchased my first scooter last year and I absolutely love it (that's mine on the left) I'm saving almost $30 a week on gas and parking so even with payments and insurance I'm saving money.
How much power should my first scooter have?
- 50cc - The smallest, for a single passenger on local streets, max speed of about 35-40 mph.
- 125cc - A single passenger at about 65mph, or two people at about 45 mph. This is good for a single passenger to commute locally.
- 150-200cc Great for two people, or one person on highways. Lots of power and can handle some hilly roads. Good for longer distances too.
- 300cc or more - These are known as maxi-scooters. You can do anything with these that a regular motorcycle can do. Great speed, power and acceleration. Lower mileage though.
In the end you need to get the engine size according to the most demanding riding you will do. If your commute is on local level roads, except for one stretch that is quite hilly, or even on the highway a 50cc is out of the question. Choose your first scooter based on the worst you'll have to contend with.
Don't make this mistake when getting your first scooter
Most people don't even think to check on this. A motor scooter, because the engine and transmission are under the seat thends to have a much higher seat height than a traditional motorcycle. Make sure you check that you can easily get your feet FLAT on the ground before you buy your first scooter. You'll appreciate this when you stop your first scooter over some oily patch, or in the rain.
Make sure your first scooter can fit additional bags
Some motor scooters are made to fit a top case or even side bags. If you'll be carrying stuff make sure your first scooter can fit these bags. After you have your first scooter for a while you'll want to use it for local shopping, having the bags will make that easier.
What companies should I consider getting my first scooter from?
Well, there are the big boys such as Vespa, Aprilia, Piaggio, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki and they all have wonderful choices for your first scooter. I would avoid mail/internet order from unknown companies. Buying your first scooter from them could turn out to be a nightmare.
If you're still confused here's a great article that may help you find which is the best street legal scooter for you.
Remember, chances are the area you live in requires a motorcycle license to ride a scooter. If you need help getting your license I highly recommend this course.