I’ve had a lot of fun lately creating scooter videos in which I talk about law and life in Tallahassee for my YouTube channel. People often ask me how and why did I get started riding around on scooter, and don’t I really want to be riding a motorcycle.
I got into scooters from bicycling. I love the sense of freedom and connection with the environment I experience riding my bicycle or scooter. I get to be in the environment rather than enclosed in a metal box on 4 wheels. I get an unobstructed view of the world around me and I get to feel the air and smell the scents of the places along my journey.
Why ride a scooter rather than a motorcycle? Here is a list of why I prefer a scooter rather than a motorcycle:
- Storage/carrying capacity – Most motorcycles come with little, if any, storage. My scooter has a large lockable storage compartment under the seat, it has a sort of glove-box compartment in the front beneath the handlebars, and I’ve added a top-box to the rear where I can carry my laptop and books. I even have a place where I can hang a grocery bag.
- Non-conformity – The concept that riding a motorcycle is non-conformist rebellion is as mystery to me. I perceive motorcycle culture has highly conformist with lots of leather, black paint, and chrome. Scooter culture, by contrast, is quirky and unique. Scooters tend to be more colorful and scooter riders incorporate a wide range of colors and styles in their clothing.
- Gas Mileage – Scooter engines tend to be smaller than motorcycle engines. My scooter has a 278 cc engine, which is quite large for a scooter, but small for a motorcycle. Most scooter engines are under 175ccs. Consequently, scooters get incredible gas mileage, often in excess of 100 miles per gallon. Compare that with a large Harley Davidson Cruiser which gets worse gas mileage than my car.
- Weight – My scooter, which is a larger than normal scooter and is considered a touring scooter, is quite lightweight at about 300 pounds. This means it’s easy for me to maneuver, to push around, and to hold up when stopped. Compare this with 800+ pound weight of a touring motorcycle such as a Honda Goldwing.
- Sound – A lot of motorcycle riders like the loud rumble of their engines. I admit, I’m not averse to the sound of a finely tuned power-engine, but I enjoy the quiet purr of my scooter, especially on long trips. My scooter doesn’t roar even at top speed. It just purrs along with a quiet confidence that I really enjoy and is less fatiguing than a constant roar.
For me, a scooter is the right choice. I can appreciate the beauty of a traditional motorcycle and I certainly don’t take issue with motorcyclists, but those bikes don’t draw my attention the way a simple Vespa Scooter does.