What to Look for in a Street Legal Scooter

A classic street legal scooter from Vespa

If you’re looking to buy a street legal scooter, whether to commute to work or just ride around locally it’s important to get one that fits your needs perfectly.  Just like cars, the capabilities between one street legal scooter and another can vary immensely.  But, unlike cars most Americans have no clue as to what these features are or what they mean.  The great thing about street legal scooters is the amazing mileage they get and how easy they are to ride.  Read on to learn about what things to look for when you’re out to purchase a street legal scooter.

The most important consideration when looking to buy a street legal scooter is the engine size.  They generally range from 50cc all the way to 650cc.  The bigger the engine the better the top speed and the acceleration will improve.  The gas mileage will drop though.  Take a look at this list.

  • 50cc – the smallest available, good for a single passenger of average weight. Max speed of about 35mph.  Acceleration is not good at all.
  • 125cc – Single passenger at 65mph or two people at 45 mph. This is a good size for a single passenger to do a local commute since the acceleration and top speed are significantly better..
  • 150-200cc 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.

Keep in mind that if you’ll ride in hilly areas, or need to merge into fast moving traffic you should get an engine size that’s a bit larger than you think you’ll need.

An Aprillia Scarabeo 500, a big, powerful street legal scooter

In order to make it easier on yourself in terms of service and spare parts it’s important to stick to the large manufacturers when looking for a street legal scooter.  Look for Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Aprillia, Vespa and Piaggio and you’ll have a much easier time getting things like tires and even oil filters.  There are cheap Chinese motor scooters out there that are really inexpensive buy you’ll pay the price later when you need a spark plug or a filter.

And finally there is styling.  Normally I wouldn’t go into this, as this is more a personal taste kind of thing.  The important thing with styling is that the style often times dictates two things, the amount of storage space available and more importantly the seat height.  It’s not uncommon to see a street legal scooter with a seat height of over 29 inches.  This can be a real problem if you’re less than 5’ 9’, so read the specs carefully.

Consider the engine size first when shopping for a street legal scooter, then the seat height and finally storage space.  If you stick to those main points you should be able to get a street legal scooter that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Filed Under: Motorcycles and Scooters

Tags: ,

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.
Copy Protected by Tech Tips's CopyProtect Wordpress Blogs.