Scooter Engine Size

49cc Scooters Aren't the Only Choice

Learn about scooter engine size here, from 49cc scooters to much larger engines.

Scooter commuters ride all engine sizes from 49cc motor scooter to 250cc scooter and more
Scooter commuters ride all engine sizes...

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49cc scooters may be the traditional engine size, but they make much bigger scooter engines these days!

No worries... it's not as complicated as it sounds!

Most people have at least a passing familiarity with the old-school Vespa or Lambretta scooters. Perhaps you saw them motoring around the narrow, twisting, and hilly streets in Greece on your vacation. Or you might have rented one to scoot around at a cruise port stop Bermuda...

Whatever your experience, the scooters that probably come first to mind, the kind you might have seen on vacation, most likely had a small engine size... such as 49cc scooters or even 50cc motor scooter engine size.

Bigger Engines Are Common These Days...

Scooter engine size varies from 49cc to more than 650cc

However, a more common engine size for today's street legal scooters is 125cc to 150cc. Even the 250cc scooter is fairly common.

And then there are what's known as maxi-scooters, which have scooter engines more similar in size to the motorcycles you're used to seeing on the road.

Their engines might be 500cc or even as large as 800cc. Wow! Now that's power... more than I need or want, but to each his own.

Understanding What Engine Size Means

OK... so it's starting to make a little more sense, but what do all these numbers (49cc, 125cc, etc.) really mean? Well...

The numbers refer to what is known technically as "engine piston displacement". That means how much room (volume) an engine piston displaces in the atmosphere. So, for instance a 49cc engine takes up 49cc or space, or 49 cubic centimeters (that's a metric measurement, for my US visitors!).

In choosing the engine size that is right for you, you'll want to look at such issues as:

  • How fast will you need to travel on your scooter?
  • How far will you be traveling?
  • Is fast acceleration important to you?
  • What kind of "look" do you want for your scooter?
  • How big are you?

There are probably other factors as well, but that will get you started!

Now, let's take a closer look at specific engine sizes and what they might mean for you...

In Summary...

So, before you buy your scooter, make sure you've considered which scooter engine size is most right for you and how you'll be using your scooter.

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