Road scooters, off road scooters, touring scooter—each type of scooter has a different purpose and that means each type is probably right for different people.
As mentioned on the types of scooters page, there are various ways to look at scooters... from engine and frame size to how they are powered to how and where you'll use them. This page will classify motor scooters by the purpose for which you intend to use them (at least most of the time).
Some people buy a scooter as a recreational outlet... they just want to have fun with it. That fun might include zipping around town, touring long distance, or even some off road type of fun.
Other people want one purely as a commuter vehicle, with goals of easier movement in traffic and cheaper gas costs. That's probably the most common reason these days for the growth in scooter owners.
Is one of these purposes ringing a bell with you?
Of course, there are other types of scooters for other purposes too, which we're really not getting into on this site, such as mobility scooters (the 3 to 4 wheel type that handicapped people use) or the Razor-type push scooter, which is more like a toy, though some high end models are actually used for commuting sometimes.
There are even scooters that look a lot like push scooters, but that have a seat... but are not street-legal. This site isn't about that type of scooter either.
But, for our purposes on this site, let's confine our discussion of scooter purposes to 3 areas:
We'll look at each type in turn...
This is a bit of a general term, but when most people think of road-worthy scooters, they think of something much larger than a moped type motor scooter. They're thinking of a motor scooter large enough to compete safely in traffic for road space with today's monster SUVs and pick up trucks.
You might also equate this type of scooter with the term, "street legal scooter". The laws governing what size scooter is considered street legal – or road ready – can vary by state, but basically the scooter has to be sturdy enough and powerful enough to keep up with the traffic on the types of roads it travels.
So, 49cc/50cc scooters might be road-worthy in the city or suburban settings because traffic seldom moves faster than 35 to 40 MPH in those locales and the small scooters are able to go that fast.
On the other hand, you'll need at least a 125 to 150cc and maybe even a 250cc scooter to get safely up to freeway speeds and to be considered a suitable road scooter for highway driving.
So, you need to think carefully about how you want to use the scooter you plan to buy...
In general, though, road-worthy scooters should have the following features:
As with road scoots, the term "off road scooters" may mean different things to different people. In searching the Web, I found that some people used the term off road to mean the push type scooter or even the mobility scooter.
Alternatively, an off road type of scooter can also be a gas scooter type equipped for rough terrain, with a heavy duty suspension system, knobby tires and powerful performance engines, for instance, the hugely popular Honda Ruckus.
I suspect most of the people who hit this site are looking more for a road scooter, rather than an off road vehicle, but if you truly are in search of off road adventures, then you'll need to do a bit more searching on the Web for the info you need. I'm just not that knowledgeable about them.
Again, this is a term with a couple of meanings. When I first started looking for information on this term, I had in mind a scooter you could use for a long trip, to travel on.
But, I found that when I started to research this term on the Web, most of the sites that came up in Google for "travel scooters" talked about folding, mobility-type scooters.
So, I think that what I had in mind was more a touring scooter... along the lines of today's maxi-scooters, with large (500cc or more) engines and comfy 2-passenger seating, suitable for long distance riding and driving.
Travel, or touring, scooters are powerful enough that you can carry a passenger without losing speed or performance in your scooter. Often, they'll even have an elevated, comfortable seat with a backrest for your partner.
Whichever scooter purpose, you decide upon – road scooters, off road scooters, or a touring scooter – be sure you look at other features as well, including price, engine size, and brand quality. Make an informed decision... before you buy a new scooter.
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