General Question

EmpressPixie's avatar

What do I need to know when considering a scooter as a mode of transportation?

Asked by EmpressPixie (14721points) July 13th, 2009

Do I need special insurance? A motorcycle license? Nothing at all? Does it vary by state? Main brands? Where do I even start if I’m musing this over?

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11 Answers

aprilsimnel's avatar

You’re in New York State, yes? There are rules for mopeds. They do require an operator to have a driver’s license, they must be registered and insured and you must wear a helmet. That’s what I know off the top of my head.snerk.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I’m in Pittsburgh. It has a lot of hills. I hate hills.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Additional detail: Can you attach a basket to them for groceries?

andrew's avatar

You don’t need a motorcycle license (at least in every state I’ve lived in).

You can try renting a scooter and see how it works.

You can also take an MSF scooter course, which will take a few days and will teach you a bunch about them, but might be a bit spendy.

robmandu's avatar

Keep in mind the obvious. While “greener”, mopeds are definitely not “safer”.

In SC, they’ve found that as the number of moped operators on the road increases, so does the death toll.

Deepness's avatar

You need to consider getting wet when it rains.

jamielynn2328's avatar

My sister had a scooter and we are in NY. You do have to have it registered and insured. You also have to be careful because if they are battery operated, it won’t go too far without running out of juice. She once ran out of power while on a huge bridge and it was really dangerous.

jpr5's avatar

scooter is probably not the most specific designation to be asking about.. The line between what requires licensing is generally based on engine power, typically above and below 50cc (and “scooter” engine power can range far above that).

True for most states: things at & above 50cc require special training and/or licensing, things below don’t. Though even with <50cc, getting training on how to handle yourself in traffic is always a Good Thing (someone mentioned MSF, which I’ve done and recommend as well). 50cc also tends to be the line drawn for what you’re allowed to take on to highways. In most cases, under-powered scooters are not allowed on highways over concerns of causing obstructions to higher-speed traffic.

For protective gear, most states (if not all?) require helmets.. but not much else. Don’t skimp on this purchase—it’s your best insurance against bad days! However, if you intend to drive in heavily trafficked areas (like cities or highways), you should also buy a jacket to protect yourself. I’d pass on the cordura/nylon stuff; they may do well against weather and are more “breathable”, but anyone who’s ever been “down” knows that the material holds up for about two seconds against asphalt, before it grinds/melts away to bare skin. Stick with leather, and not the soft, plushy kind.

Brands – eh. I’m a motorcycle-type person, but I’ve seen a lot of new-ish brands that look pretty or import styles from another country. They look nice, but just keep in mind that all mechanical things break down, and the more common they are, the cheaper they are to service and fix, the less money they cost initially and over time.

Insurance laws vary state to state. 15 years ago in FL you didn’t need insurance for a <50cc scooter. I think you might need it in San Francisco, but I’m not really sure. If I took a guess, I’d say it’s probably usually based on engine displacement (like licensing).

kapuerajam's avatar

If you get a moped,I’ve herd Tomos tend to “disappear”

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It depends on the engine size as to whether or not you need a license. Some Vespas, for example, can be driven on the expressway. The smaller ones that don’t require a license often require you to have a pennant flag on the back. Depending on the type, you can either put a basket on the back, or some have a hook in the front to attach either a bicycle pannier or grocery bags between your feet. They do require insurance.

Odysseus's avatar

They have no reverse gear.

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