Motor Scooters - Have Fun While Saving Gas
By Walter F. Kern
I never thought too much about motor scooters. I did play around with a motor scooter when I was a kid and thought I might buy it but more important things got in the way -- my first car. I wrote about my early days with a motor scooter in an article, Cushman Motor Scooters , that traced the evolution of the Cushman motor scooter until its demise.
Well, as current gasoline prices continue to head higher and higher, lots of folks are starting to think about motor scooters to save money.
The motorcycle manufacturers have been taking note too and now provide more and more motor scooters along with their motorcycles. We see news articles about motor scooters too. Here's an article, " Motor scooters Gain in Popularity ," from the Associated Press, that discusses motor scooter growth.
The motorcycle magazines are even giving road tests of motor scooters. The November, 2005 issue of Rider Magazine has a "Mega Scooter Shootout" comparing six modern motor scooters of at least 400cc engine size. They point out that many Americans are taking another look at motor scooters, especially ones that offer higher performance than the small scooters you may be used to renting on island vacations.
As I ride the Polar Bear Grand Tour each year, I see more and more motor scooters making the winter runs. If I asked people last year why they were riding motor scooters, they might have given me one of the following reasons:
This year, I think I would get some of the same answers plus I'd begin hearing that gasoline is too expensive and that they're also using their motor scooters to do short trips instead of taking out the SUV.
Whatever the reasons, we are seeing more motor scooters on the road and many of these new riders are not traditional motorcyclists.
We've had quite a growth in motorcycling in the past decade. Now with more people entering the 2-wheel world as motor scooter riders, we may get even more growth as people gravitate to larger machines and also buy motorcycles to go along with their motor scooters. That means more Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) classes, more demand for riding apparel, and more chances for accidents on the road as motorists have to get used to watching out for motor scooters too.
I'm seeing a few motorcycle forum members also talking about their scooters. Sometimes scooter riders are reluctant to openly discuss their machines on a motorcycle forum as many riders don't consider motor scooters as equal to motorcycles. But many people have both motorcycles and motor scooters and enjoy them both.
Even some MSF classes are being conducted only for motor scooter riders and MSF instructors are becoming ScooterCoaches.
You may also be interested in viewing our Motor Scooter Picture Gallery . If you already have a motor scooter, consider sending in a picture and description of it for this gallery.
For a list of all motor scooter resources on this site, check out my Motor Scooters subject.
Also, my popular article, 10 Ways to Be Safe on a Motorcycle , still applies for motor scooters.
I recently wrote a tongue-in-cheek article entitled, Borrow a Bike , that touted the use of motor scooters as a possible Federal Economic Stimulus Plan. Rising gas prices may just make this April Fools story more fact than fiction.
Since motor scooters are so much fun, I expect to see more and more on the roads. Maybe I'll see you on one too.