I am a tall man with a white beard I've grown for a long time and usually wear a rock shirt and jeans. Most people find the fact that I go around on an electric scooter funny, to say the least.
Truth be told, my motorcycle scooter saves my day every day. It does not need massive maintenance, did not cost a lot of money and starts fresh every morning. You can go around swerving cars during rush hour and park it virtually anywhere. In sum, I am very proud of my scooter habits and thought I should write an article to tell you about them. Perhaps, you can take these great habits as well and together we can make scooter life cool. Although I do it daily, I am still feeling a little awkward, so I want to come clean and tell you all the wonders of it.
I'm also going to throw in the data of an amazing accessory I found little time ago and blew my mind. Are you ready for a great two-wheel, small engine, colourful experience? Let’s do it!
From the times of Vespas after the Second World War, scooters have taken a million different shapes. It is, in fact, one of the most colourful and varied bike models in the market right now. That is definitely one of the things I like the most about scooters, they are, above all, fun. You can get one of the massive BMW state of the art ones or a colourful Vespa or even something smaller. I think that for the purpose of moving around in city limits, scooters are the best two-wheelers after bicycles. For medium-distances commuters like me, a scooter is, indeed, the best means of transport.
So, these are the bikes that I think are the best for the task. Let´s get started.
At 50cc, these scooters are the closer you get to a bicycle. In fact, if you are starting in the two-wheel culture, a scooter is a great way in. You can always go from that to a 150cc and continue to go up until a 3,000cc Triumph. The good thing is getting used to the freedom you feel being on this kind of bike. That sensation is the same you will have all your life once you are haunted by the motorcycle culture. Then you can say “it all started with a 50cc motorcycle scooter”!
Well, my discovery of this great bike was by complete chance. I was watching one of these Discovery Channel programs called “The best 50 bikes of all times”. It went through some jaw-dropping classics I was drooling all over the screen until it got to the first position. It was the Honda Cub 50. I couldn´t believe it. They put the motorcycle to all kinds of tragic, abusive events. First, the host changes the engine oil for some greasy, frying oil from a fast-food chain. The bike keeps going. Second, he loads it with 4 times its weight and the bike keeps going. Finally and as a final destructive measure, they drop it 22 meters into the ground. They kick it and it starts. Here´s the video about all that; it´s not HD but it is super fun to watch.
All this was to tell you that after that I bought my eldest daughter one, she got it in bright yellow and it still is a beautiful bike. She did some things to it like crashing it several times, forgetting it at the campus and lending it to strangers. The bike survived all that and is still going strong. She is the proud owner of a Yamaha VMAX now and won´t touch the Cub 50 which turned into my toy bike. I ride it regularly for grocery shopping or simply touring around town. It is lightweight, very responsive and you can get parts anywhere. As a summary, I can say that I don´t agree it is the best bike in the world, but there´s no beating it in its category.
Honda sold 100 million bikes of the model in sixty years. That should tell you a thing or two about just how good it is.
Speaking about beating it in the small scooter motorcycle category, the Yamaha Neo’s 4 is an amazing bike. It is also only 50cc but it feels like a piece of high-tech in your hands. For starters, the body is really stylish and beautiful. Second, the blue LCD display is much more modern than the Cub´s round speedometer. Finally, I love the way it rides and the dual front lights that illuminate streets at night.
I guess that if the video from the Honda Cub 50 did not convince you of getting one of those beautiful retro machines, this could also be a great choice.
For those of us who even in the city like to feel the adrenaline of speed, there are also some bigger scooters at hand. The difference between a 50cc and a 150cc scooter motorcycle is like riding a 650cc or 1000cc on the open road. It is just that extra oomph that makes it more like a bike and less like a bicycle.
First, they are great for commuting medium distances. For example, if you have to go for 20 kilometres before reaching your job, these bikes are great. Second, they are amazing for running errands and taking people. If you ride any bike that is 50cc (other than the Cub) being two people, it gets a little difficult to make it up the hill. On the other hand, with a 150cc you can swerve cars while going up the hill with no problems. Finally, they have the body and weight of a full bike, and many come in the semi-automatic configuration. This could be a great entry door for buying fully-manual bigger bikes in the near future.
In sum, going from the 50cc is a great primary school, the 150cc motorcycle scooter is high-school and a manual motorcycle is a college. Whether you make it to college or not, it is your choice; just focus on having fun those early years.
Let me tell you a little story about this kind of motorcycle scooter. I was on my South East Asia recent trip to a place called Bagan, in a country called Myanmar. This is quite a holy city and has over 2,000 temples scattered in a not-so-vast terrain. The best way to do it is on a two-wheeler. I was with the kids and the wife and they couldn´t ride a regular bike. Not that they don´t know how they just legally couldn´t. The solution was to rent these electric bikes that don’t need any actual permits. What can I say? I fell in love with the thing. Electric motorcycle scooters are completely silent, don´t need any gas to function and ride great. Between a 50cc regular motorcycle scooter and an electric one, I would choose the electric a million times.
The CO2 emissions that traffic sends to the atmosphere are dangerously pollutant. Most of them come from combustion engines … well, combusting. Those fumes cause diseases worldwide and electrically-powered vehicles are the answer.
This is the second type of pollution that traffic generates: noise pollution. I just couldn´t believe how quiet electric motorcycle scooters actually are. Although I love the noise of my Harley when I start it and push the throttle, I know it is not for everybody.
Electric vehicles are more expensive upfront. They can cost you way more than a regular combustion-engine machine but if you plan to keep it, it is cheaper in the long run. First, because they consume no regular fuel. Second because they need virtually no maintenance. You see there´s only one moving piece so friction and maintenance get a drastic reduction to almost zero. Finally, they don´t need any extras like oil changes and air filters.
Believe it or not, the torque generated by an electric engine is immediate and super strong. Opening the throttle on one of these usually results in instant power pushing you forward like a rocket.
Electric bikes are lighter and also smaller than regular bikes. This allows you, the rider, to get into different places at will and also be more agile.
Well, after noting down all these pros about electric motorcycle scooters there´s only one thing to say: try them out. They still haven´t come up with a big model to match my touring chopper, but when they do I´ll be in a serious problem. The future sure looks green and electric for riders.
Finally, we came to a category that I love. I can´t deny I am an eighties son and accessorizing back then was the thing. You just bought stuff and then accessorize it until it became your own. This goes for pants, jackets (oh boy, I still keep them despite my children bullying) and of course, your ride. I have been accessorizing motorcycles since then and learned a thing or two.
Let me share with you two of my favourite accessories.
I´m a fan of panniers. In fact, I am a fan of backpack panniers which are convertible panniers you can wear on your shoulders. A great thing about most automatic scooter motorcycles is that they have some storage room under the seat. Sometimes, that is not enough and you need something more with a key lock: cases for that are great.
The pros of panniers are plenty. First, they are very easy to detach from the bike with dual hooks. Second, you can simply take it with you wherever you go. Finally, they are less expensive than cases and great for transporting precious goods in padded sleeves. With a backpack pannier, you can say goodbye to the unpleasant “circle of sweat” for carrying your backpack on your back on a sunny day.
The pros of cases are safety and that you don´t have to remove them from the bike if you don´t want to. Most of the cases you can get nowadays offer a locking feature. You can just lock your belongings there and leave the motorcycle scooter parked at the door of your job.
In the beginning, I said I was going to tell you about an accessory that was great. This is amazing for those of us who use our motorcycle scooters in the city but also for bigger bikes. I recommend you look for the company as well, they have other amazing gadgets that can help you ride safer.
The Vigo Smart Track is a tracking device for your motorcycle that works on three different signals. Actually, by purchasing it you get a SIM card for free. It is a GPS, Bluetooth and mobile antenna-run device that is impossible to jam by robbers. You can do a DIY installation with it because everything you need comes included.
Second, in line is the fact that it offers real-time GPS information about where is your bike. You can open the app on your phone at any time and find exactly where your bike is. It does this without draining your bike´s battery because it uses your bike´s internal dynamo to charge its internal battery. This internal battery can last up to three months anyway.
The third is the fact that the same GPS creates a scoring system to make you a better rider. I love the way it generates a healthy competition with yourself and you just want to top your scores by riding better.
Finally, the SOS system allows you to designate a contact of your phonebook to call in case of an emergency. First, it will attempt to contact you and make you touch the screen. If you don´t, it will call your emergency contact with the exact location where you are. Calling an emergency on time can literally save your life.
Besides the Vigo Smart Track, you can also install the Smart Turn System to your scooter. It’s a gadget, that cancels your turn signals automatically when you finish a curve or change lanes. This is a perfect gadget for the city rides if you happen to sometimes forget to cancel the turn signals on your own.
The SBM is also an essential gadget and perfect for heavy traffic. When you slow down due to engine braking or downshifting, it engages your brake light and let’s other traffic participants know, that you are getting slower.
If you’d like to check if these amazing motorcycle gadgets are compatible with your motorcycle scooter, you can just fill in the form and find out 🙂
Motorcycle scooters, to begin with, are a great way to move around in the city. They are also amazing to teach your children to ride a motorcycle and perhaps the entry gate for a lifestyle. You can get yourself an indestructible 50cc Honda Cub or a Yamaha Neo´s 4 or even an electric motorcycle scooter. Any of these options will make you happy and take you wherever you want on time every time. Although I ride many bikes, there is always room in my garage for a fun motorcycle scooter.
What about you? Have you been to one? Ever ridden an electric motorcycle? Let us know in the comments and share this with your friends. Let´s remove the bad name of motorcycle scooters from the collective subconscious and enjoy them!