How to Buy a New Motor Scooter that’s Perfect for you

A new motor scooter from Piaggio

If you want to buy a new motor scooter but are totally lost when it comes to what features and capabilities to look for then you’re not alone.  Although more and more Americans are buying motor scooters the general population really has no clue about how they work or what features to look for.  The fact is motor scooters are no longer relegated to the delivery guy dropping off your food, they are fantastic for local commuting and day to day riding around, not to mention they are a blast to ride.  Let’s look at some of the features you should be aware of when you’re looking to buy a new motor scooter.

Engine size – The most important consideration when you buy a new motor scooter

There are several standard size engines available in a motor scooter, from the small 49cc all the way up to motorcycle size 650cc engines.  They all have their advantage and disadvantage so it’s important to understand exactly how you intend to use the motor scooter even before you start looking at different models.  Below you’ll find a listing of the general sizes available, and how you should use them.  Keep in mind that this is only a recommendation.  If you live in a hilly area for example you should most certainly get an engine that’s one size larger.

  • 50cc – This is the smallest engine size out there it’s great for a single passenger of average weight on flat terrain.  You’ll get a max speed of about 35 mph.
  • 125cc – This is the next standard size up, again great for a single passenger with a top speed of about 65mph.  You’ll max out with a passenger at about 45 mph. I would consider this to be a good size for a single passenger to do a local daily commutes.
  • 150 to 200cc – One or two passenger commute, longer distance rides, much better over hilly areas.
  • 250cc – Great for just about everything you can throw at it.
  • 300cc+ these are known as maxi-scooters, they can do anything and go anywhere a traditional motorcycle can with the added benefit of tons of storage room and fantastic acceleration.

I would also say that if you’ll be merging into fast moving traffic you should get one size larger for better acceleration.

A downside of a larger motor scooter is the reduction in maneuverability.  At 600cc size the motor scooter will act more like a motorcycle then a nimble little scooter.

Once you decide on the engine size it’s time to decide on the manufacturer.  Although styling is indeed a personal choice it’s important to mention that since motor scooters are relatively new here in the United States service and spare parts are immensely easier with the big brands; Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, Vespa, Aprillia and Piaggio.  Avoid Chinese bikes like the plague since service and parts are virtually non-existent here

A Suzuki, at 650cc this is one sweet motor scooter

One feature that few mention buy is vitally important is the seat height.  It’s not unusual to see a seat height of over 29 inches on some models, even more if the engine is large.  If you’re under 5’ 8’ then look at this carefully since this can be a problem.

And finally there is onboard storage.  One of the great things about a motor scooter is it’s onboard storage.  When you’re looking to buy a new motor scooter consider the storage space available.  I have a Scarabeo 500, which has enough room under the seat to store my messenger bag AND an additional full helmet.

So there you have it, a list of the most important things to consider when you’re looking to buy a new motor scooter.  Remember, engine first, then seat height and finally storage and styling, if you stick to that you should be able to buy a new motor scooter that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Filed Under: Motorcycles and Scooters

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About the Author

Hi there!, My name is Norm. I am a college grad, a veteran, a pet owner and a family man. I started writing articles both to make a little extra money, and to share my knowledge with others. I currently work in the IT department of a major NY hospital.
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