Looking for the best scooter brand? It’s more than picking out just any ride—it’s about selecting a partner for your adventures and daily commutes. I’ll help you strike the perfect balance between style, performance, and most importantly – reliability!
We’ll cover timeless, classic mopeds with vintage charm to cutting-edge, modern scooters. Let’s dive into the legacies of brands that have been with us for decades and the innovations of new players that are redefining urban mobility.
Whether you’re looking for the luxury of smooth rides or looking to save a buck, let’s find a moped brand that works with your life.
But also know that each of these scooter manufacturer’s offer a variety of models. Each model has unique features. If you find yourself unsure of what to look for you’ll also want to check out this article on choosing a scooter.
Now let’s dive into the world of scooters & mopeds to find the perfect match for you!
- Vespa: Timeless Among Scooter Brands
- Genuine Scooter Company: America’s Scooter Sweetheart
- Suzuki Cycles: Engineering Excellence on Two Wheels
- Lance Powersports: Versatility on a Budget
- Kymco: Sporty Meets Value
- Honda: A Global Favorite (for a reason)
- Yamaha: Consistently Dependable
- BMW: Luxury on Two Wheels
- SYM Scooters: Surprising Performance, Unassuming Price
- What’s the Best Scooter Brand for YOU!
Vespa: Timeless Among Scooter Brands
Iconic Design Meets Modern Innovation
Vespa scooters and mopeds are the original, iconic scooter, & their history stretches over seven decades. Created by the Piaggio Group, they have continued to make scooters that still have that iconic, classic styling we expect while improving fuel efficiency, functionality and more over the years. With over 70 years of producing scooters, there is a solid market for vintage models and plenty of Vespa-specific scooter clubs abound.
Many people not familiar with scooters aren’t even aware that Vespa is a brand. They just see the iconic styling common to Vespas as the term for ALL scooters that have a similar design. I was one of those people before I fell in love with scooters, so I get it!
Models That Define Vespa
Each Vespa Tells a Story
From the Primavera’s youthful spirit to the GTS Super’s sporty vibe, there is a model for every rider. The brand stands out for its unwavering quality and the iconic, rounded design that has become a cultural staple regardless of model. Vespa’s model range includes the following with the engine size also noted:
- Primavera (50cc & 150cc)
- Sprint (50cc & 150cc)
- GTS (300cc)
- Elettrica (electric)
You might see different versions of these models, but they’re mostly aesthetic differences. For example, the Primavera Picnic is the Primavera moped in a popular color with a Vespa-branded picnic basket & blanket. On the other hand, the GTS SuperTech indicates some Bluetooth functionality.
Embracing the electric technology, Vespa introduced the Elettrica. It is a mostly silent, zero-emission ride with the Vespa style.
Why Choose Vespa?
Choosing a Vespa is choosing history and quality. You’ll find the unibody, metal design to be one of the smoothest options on the road making for enjoyable journeys!
Here are some key features you’ll find across the Vespa line-up & what makes Vespa one of the best moped brands
- Steel frame
- LED lighting
- Remote to unlock under-seat storage box
- Bike Finder (all) & Bluetooth (SuperTech models)
- ABS on all scooters at the 150cc engine size & higher
- 12″ wheels as a balance between agility and stability
- 24-month warranty
- The vintage market means parts may be easier to get your hands on as your scooter ages
- Not speed restricted unless you choose one that is
Vespa scooters are one of the most expensive brands available, so you’ll want to read on for more of the best motor scooter brands if you’re not looking to buy the spend Vespa $$. You might also be interested in specific Vespa alternatives for some model-specific recommendations if you just can’t ignore the classic Vespa style.
So the Piaggio Group manufactures Vespa scooters, but as far as what is sold in the US, they also sell Piaggio-labeled scooters, as well. Internationally, the Piaggio Group has 7 different scooter brands.
Piaggio scooters are not as expensive compared to similarly featured scooters can be to its competing scooters, and all of the Piaggio scooters are more in the sporty camp instead of the classic Italian style. I mean, have you seen the 3-wheeled trike scooter (MP3)?!
Genuine Scooter Company: America’s Scooter Sweetheart
Bucking the trend with American flair, the Genuine Scooter Company has made a name for itself for reliability, style, spirited performance and a great price point.
Genuine Scooter Company is based out of Chicago, Illinois, with scooters manufactured outside the US. Long story short, what began as a scooter parts operation moved into moped manufacturing back in 2002 with the popular Stella.
Genuine Scooters are affordable, dependable, have a broad selection of scooters (and colors) and are solidly maintainable.
Mopeds with Personality
Each model from Genuine brings something special to the table in colors that grab attention, making it one of the most popular scooter brands:
- Buddy: Perhaps their most recognizable scooter, the Buddy is zippy, fuel-efficient, and comes in an array of cheerful colors. It’s available in 50cc and 125cc versions, making it suitable for beginners and seasoned commuters alike.
- Buddy Kick: This one has the Vespa vibes but on a smaller scale, and it is not quite the same as the Buddy. The Kick has the 4-stroke, electronic fuel injection with a different vibe in the 125cc engine.
- Stella: Genuine’s nod to the vintage lover. This manual scooter offers a retro experience with the convenience of modern reliability.
- Hooligan: As the name suggests, this 170cc machine is designed for those who want a little more adventure and power from their ride.
- Venture: Focusing on comfort and capacity, the Venture caters to those looking for an urban utility vehicle, equipped with a 50cc engine ideal for inner-city navigation.
- Urbano: One of the latest models introduced, and it reminds me of a larger Buddy Kick but with a 50cc or 170cc engine.
Why Choose Genuine?
Choosing a Genuine scooter means enjoying a blend of fun and practicality. Not only do you get a machine that’s easy to ride and maintain, and the Genuine community is known for its enthusiasm. Here are some of the perks of going Genuine:
- 2-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty: Peace of mind comes standard with a comprehensive warranty policy.
- Roadside Assistance: New owners enjoy one year of free roadside assistance—a testament to Genuine’s commitment to customer care.
- Variety of Models: Whether it’s the fun ride for errands you’re after or a bit of off-road fun, there’s a Genuine moped for you.
- Affordability: You’ll find Genuine scooters to be budget-friendly without compromising on quality.
The Genuine Scooter Company represents a savvy choice for those looking to enjoy the scooter lifestyle without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned enthusiast, their lineup promises a dependable, fun-filled riding experience that echoes the joy of scooting.
If I could wave a magic wand & make the Genuine Scooter Company an even better brand would be if they could solve for the timeless looks they offer but with a larger motor. If you want to go over that 200cc engine size for comfortable 60+mph, Genuine doesn’t offer a solution.
Genuine Scooter Company is one of the best moped brands – especially if you’re looking to enjoy the lifestyle without breaking the bank. They offer dependable, fun-filled rides in colors that turn heads. I swear the fun colors add to your safety AND the fun factor!
Suzuki Cycles: Engineering Excellence on Two Wheels
Precision & Performance
You won’t find classic Italian styling, ruggedness, or a big selection with what Suzuki offers. However, you will find the most luxury-feeling scooter on the market.
Currently, the Burgman 200 and Burgman 400 are the only scooters they offer, so you won’t find any 50cc mopeds with Suzuki. What they offer is what is called maxi scooters (<–More on maxi scooters here).
The Burgman scooters have an excellent rating for highway riding for comfort and for its storage, and I rate the Burgman 400 as the best scooter for highway riding.
Why Choose Suzuki?
Suzuki scooters are a nod to their motorcycle heritage—solid build quality, reliable engines, and a focus on rider satisfaction. Here’s why Suzuki might be the best scooter brand for you:
- Superior Comfort: These seats are designed for your next long-ride + backrests for a partner in crime.
- Exceptional Storage: The storage you’ll find on a Burgman is unparalleled!
- Power for the Highway: Ride around town or get on the freeway – you’re solid either way.
My only words of warning here are that Suzuki does not offer a 24-month warranty and the price. Oh, that price! The only scooter that is more expensive than a Suzuki is the 3-wheeled Piaggio.
Lance Powersports: Versatility on a Budget
Affordable, Fun, AND Unique
Lance is a hidden gem in the scooter market, offering a plethora of options that won’t break the bank. You can get their top-tier 200i models: Cabo, Cali Classic, PCH, and Havana, all for under $3,000.
Notice those 4 model names? What is cool is that Lance has all 3 called the 200i that are 170cc. Then they have the same 3 in the 125cc. THEN they have 3 of the same in the 50cc range.
No matter what size engine you need and style you like, if you like their scooter they have a version ready for you.
Why Choose Lance?
Lance is one of the best motor scooter brands because they cater to a broad audience with the variety, value, and dealer-supported reliability.
- Consistent Model Variety: No matter your style or engine size preference, Lance has a scooter for you.
- 24-Month Warranty: I’m a huge fan of 2 year warranties as it shows the brand’s confidence in their scooters and eases the minds of new buyers, particularly if it’s a brand you might not be familiar with.
While Lance has a nice range of scooters to choose from, I’m personally a fan of electronic fuel injection, and only the 200i models have it. All of Lance’s scooters are 4-stroke. So plenty of looks and engine sizes, but I know plenty of die-hard 2-stroke fans looking for a 2-stroke moped that would not be a fan of Lance for this alone!
Kymco: Sporty Meets Value
Sleek, Feature-Rich AND Affordable
Kymco is definitely on the list of best scooter brands, and you may fall in love with the brand if you’re looking for more sporty looking scooters that leave the classic, Italian styling in the dust. The only model that is more classic is the Like 150i, but you tell me if it’s actually Vespa-esque. Not really!
Kymco scooters are a good value for the features they offer for their price point, and they are a good quality scooter.
Kymco scooters are more than just a mode of transportation; they’re a statement of style and efficiency:
- Sporty Design: Kymco’s lineup, while not classic Italian, brings a fresh and rugged look to the road.
- Top-Notch Features: Imagine getting electronic fuel injection and ABS brakes on both front and rear for a price that doesn’t pinch.
- Powerful Options: Their scooters climb up to nearly 300cc, providing robust options for a variety of riders.
Oh. And I can’t forget the price….
Kymco is a good moped brand, but did you know for $3,000 you can get electronic fuel injection, ABS brakes on the front AND rear? Did you know you can get up to almost 300cc in their line-up (X-Town)?
When you compare the other scooters in the ranges of what they offer, Kymco comes up significantly cheaper than competitors with the same features.
My only concern is that getting accessories and parts can be a pain, though. I’ve been able to get what I need through the dealer and a few online places depending on the model. I didn’t need much beyond accessories for the Like 150i, but those were a pain to get. I have needed parts for the Kymco AK550, and it’s the only scooter we’ve had to put in the shop a couple of times, one time up to 2 weeks waiting for parts.
Honda: A Global Favorite (for a reason)
Honda has a reputation for reliability no matter what they make and scooters are no exception! Honda makes one of the best moped brands. Their commitment to innovation, quality and value carries through to their scooter models.
Honda has been making scooters for the US market since the 1980s, and they have developed a loyal following through their scooters – particularly the Ruckus, Navi & Super Cub lately!
What I like about the Honda brand scooters is that they are quality scoots that offer features normally found in higher-end scooters, but they are in the middle of the pack in regards to pricing.
Take the Metropolitan 50 for example. It’s the cheapest 50cc scooter that has electronic fuel injection, AND it’s the cheapest scooter that also has liquid cooling (instead of forced air cooling).
The same goes for the PCX and ADV sporty-looking scooters. They are the only scooters in a 125-150cc sized engine that have a liquid-cooled motor. Plus they are the cheapest scooters that have CBS or ABS brakes for upgraded stopping power. Electronic fuel injection, larger wheels for added stability, a charging port, and a smart key on the ADV.
Honda’s scooters are built with a rider-first approach, combining longevity with advanced features:
- Quality: Honda’s mopeds have features typically on premium models, yet remain reasonably priced.
- Leading Technology: Electronic fuel injection and liquid cooling—a standout in the engine classes they make.
- Sporty and Reliable: All models have essential modern amenities you won’t normally find on scooters in the 50-150cc range.
My only hang-up is that Honda has the 12-month warranty. They offer a warranty, but it’s half of what many brands now offer.
Why Honda scooters are a best seller
Yamaha: Consistently Dependable
Yamaha seems to have their hands in a lot of industries. But do they make great scooters still?
Yamaha scooters are a good, quality brand that you can depend on with a broad dealer network wrapped up in their recreation options like 4-wheelers and jet skis. Even with a smaller scooter selection, they’ve got a solid fan base
Yamaha’s Current Models
- The Zuma: A 125cc rugged, reliable workhorse that’s all about pep and durability.
- The XMAX: The elusive 300cc big brother, offering a more substantial, highway-friendly ride.
Yamaha Scooter Buying Tip: Chat with your dealer to snag an XMAX—you’ll want to be first in line as it was tough for me to get my eyes on one much less my behind on one!
BMW: Luxury on Two Wheels
As a scooter newbie myself, I learn something new from readers and YouTube subscribers often. One of those conversations led me to even learn that BMW has scooters! **insert face palm 🤦♀️
This is not a brand I have personal experience with, but the scooter is BMW, marketed as luxury, and I’m sure it’s a great scooter. It has styling similar to the XMAX and will take you on any highway you want to encounter.
SYM Scooters: Surprising Performance, Unassuming Price
SYM is another brand of scooters I had never heard of before going down this rabbit hole. The acronym SYM is simply short for Sanyang Motor Company, and SYM Scooters, manufactured in Taiwan.
The scooter brand, SYM, was born out of a manufacturing partnership with Honda, shifted to Hyundai, and through all of this landed with their scooters in the US in the early 2000s. They also manufacture Lance scooters. Both are on this list for a reason with a lot of happy scooter riders enjoying their quality, reliable scooters from a global brand.
SYM scooters are offered in the US through Alliance PowerSports dealer network with a remarkable blend of performance and price.
SYM Moped Models
- MIO 50: A zippy and cheerful 50cc option that delivers fun in a compact package.
- Jet 4 Series: Approximately 200cc of energetic performance wrapped in a sporty facade.
- Fiddle 4 Series: A nod to retro charm with modern reliability, also around the 200cc mark.
- CityCom S 300i: A robust and ready-for-anything 300cc scooter tailored for the hustle of urban life.
Why Choose SYM?
SYM’s connection to brands like Honda and Hyundai isn’t just for show—talk about a combination of reliable engines and accessible luxury! Here’s what makes SYM a hidden gem among the top scooter brands:
- Understated Luxury: The comfort and ride quality punch above their weight class.
- Diverse Range: From the zippy MIO to the sturdy CityCom S, SYM’s scooters offer something for everyone, without demanding the price of other brands.
- Reliable and Assured: SYM scooters come with a 24 month warranty
Beware, though—while SYM scooters offer great value, they’re not as widespread as some other brands. This can mean a bit more legwork when hunting down parts or accessories, but as a global brand with more popularity outside the US, you should be able to get what you need.
What’s the Best Scooter Brand for YOU!
Scooter preferences are personal! Whether styling is your starting point or the brand is – I’m just happy to ‘chat’ here with a scooter enthusiast!
Still on the fence about what to buy? Check out the Scooter Buying Guide.
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