If you are looking to purchase a scooter for the specific purpose of commuting, you’ll find 3 scooters here based on the length and style of your commute: urban, short-distance commuting, hilly or speed limits in the commute around 45 miles per hour, and then a longer commute that might include highway speeds where comfort and safety come into play.
To determine the best scooters and mopeds specifically for commuting, I assessed the price, storage capacity (built-in or expansion), and reliability factors. The best motor scooters for commuting are:
- Urban, 30mph Commutes: Piaggio Liberty 50cc
- Hilly or 45 mph Commutes: Piaggio Liberty 150cc
- Long or 55+ mph Commutes: Suzuki Burgman 200cc
Why Commute Via Scooter?
If you stumbled upon this post unsure why anyone would commute on a scooter, you don’t know what you’re missing!
Let me help you with the feeling that a scooter gives you. Do you run? Cycle? Ride in a car with the windows down & the music blaring? Hopefully, you said yes, and that feeling is similar. Even with gear on, there is something magical about scooting on a nice day.
Now imagine if you can capture that feeling on your way to work. If you can imagine this, then you can imagine how relaxed you will be when you clock in for the day.
If that doesn’t sell you on scooter commuting, the cost savings should be understandable. I outline some scooter cost savings in this article about the benefits of scooters, but let me leave this overarching point here.
I spent $30,000 on a small SUV deemed the family car. I spent $3,199 on my Genuine Buddy Kick. Don’t get me started on my insurance, maintenance, and fuel costs….-Renee
I can’t forget about parking!. If parking is a premium where you work, then the size and agility of a scooter will come in handy.
As I was scooting into work this morning, I had one of those ‘I’m-glad-I’m-on-a-scooter-moments. Scooters are not common on my commute, but there was an intersection that ended up blocked by cars when the light turned green for the road I was on. Car-driving folks started honking. I was in a position to easily navigate around the cars with my little scooter. The cars were backed up, but I had moved on. Small and agile. As I carried on, it was a moment I wish I had been wearing a GoPro for.
Of course, if your broader question is why ride a scooter at all, check out this post that outlines 10 Practical Benefits of Riding a Scooter to dive deeper into the cost savings and more.
Details on How the Best Scooters for Commuting was Determined
I’ve been commuting for quite some time, and I can tell you there are some super annoying things day in and day out that I did not know about when I decided to buy a scooter specifically for commuting. At the time, I was a bit terrified of riding on 2 wheels, so know that I went into the experience shopping specifically for a commuting scooter for the cost savings.
One of those things I have run into is helmet storage. Neither scooter that I own can accommodate a full-face helmet in the underseat storage compartment! My Genuine Buddy Kick has a knob to hang it on that is secure as it is latched through the underseat comparment. I have access to a parking garage sometimes, but otherwise, I have to tote the helmet into the office or have a wet helmet when I come out from a day of work. Yes, there are other options like a top box, but I think a scooter used daily should come from the factory ready for your use (to some degree). All of the scooter recommendations for commuting can fit a full-face helmet in the underseat storage compartment.
I’m a mom, so I find that there are periods where I am toting a kid around as part of my commute. I don’t throw a kid on my scooter, so what this means is that there are weeks that I find myself not riding at times. Scooters don’t like to be ignored, but those that have a carburetor like it a bit less. All of the scooters I recommend have electronic fuel injection to take this component off of your mind if you find yourself using another means of transportation for a period (like because of weather). Check out this guide to
how long a scooter can sit for periods of time if you would like more details on idle scooters.
None of the scooters I am recommending are the cheapest in their class, but my recommendations are a good value within the class based on the features that will work best for commuting.
Best 50cc Moped for Commuting (Urban, Shorter Distance Commute)
Scooters best suited for urban and shorter distance commuting is assuming that your speed needs can be capped around the 30 miles per hour range. This means a 50cc scooter will meet your transportation needs.
The best scooter for commuting in the 50cc category the Piaggio Liberty 50.
- One of the top-rated brands (#1 in my list of top brands)
- Underseat storage compartment can accommodate a full-face helmet
- Reaches up to 40 miles per hour – doesn’t come restricted
- A ‘glove compartment’ they call a rear shield storage box to toss items in as you twist & go
- Largest wheels in the class for stability yet still compact
- Electronic fuel injection
- Not the cheapest but middle of the pack for a scooter in this range with the electronic fuel injection
- 24-month warranty
Check out this quick walk around of the Piaggio Liberty 50. It’s sharp and also offered in navy blue and white. There is also a black version with a tan seat.
If your commute is in very hilly terrain or you want to be in the 45 miles per hour range as your max, then skip on down to the next category.
Best 150cc Scooter for Commuting (Hilly or 45 mph Commutes)
The Piaggio Liberty 150cc is the best scooter for commuting in the next class up. This was not intentional, but this scooter can’t be beaten in terms of value to features for commuting.
All of the features that made the 50cc version a winner for urban commuting makes this one a winner, too, but it has more oomph. The extra engine size also accommodates a passenger if you need to tote someone else around, too, from time to time. However, the extra passenger’s helmet will not squeeze into the underseat storage box. Only 1 will fit.
Check out this video from a Vespa/Piaggio dealer. He’s fan of the Piaggio Liberty 150cc, too! This is a full run-down in comparison to the 50cc video above and is 27 minutes.
Best 200cc+ Scooter for Commuting (Highway Speeds or Long Commutes)
For a scooter of this size, you are looking for comfort and safety for either the length of the commute or the speed your commute requires. The best scooter to meet these commuting needs is the Suzuki Burgman 200.
Once you reach the 200cc+ sized scooter, their similarities in features have a lot of overlap. It’s rarer to NOT have ABS, electronic fuel injection, and liquid cooling for these scoots. Their sizes are very similar, and the miles per gallon are in line with their engine size.
However, the Suzuki scooters set themselves apart as they feel luxurious to ride, have tons of storage, and are priced well compared to others in the class.
- Burgman 200 has an MSRP of $4,999
- Can accommodate TWO full-faced helmets in the underseat storage compartment or your helmet plus your lunch kit, workout bag, or laptop all with a light to illuminate the big storage area
- Comes with a windshield
- Lumbar support for ride comfort
- An additional storage area in the front
- Key security feature that requires a properly coded key to open
Here’s a quick walk-around (<1 min) of the Suzuki Burgman 200.
The only thing I don’t love about the Suzuki scooter for commuting is the warranty is only 12 months. However, it’s a reliable scooter in the top 3 of the scooter brands I recommend.
Suzuki also offers the Burgman in a 400cc option. It’s also a great scooter that I rank as the best highway scooter, but it is like a bit overkill just for a commute (with a much steeper price tag at $8,299).
Closing Thoughts on the Best Scooter for Commuting
I know that choosing a scooter is very personal, but I hope this gives you a running start for shopping for the best commuting scooter for you. They are economical, and I loved to find that I enjoy riding them, too. Yup. I bought a scooter for the cost savings only, and I learned how fun they are down the road.
If you still aren’t sure what scooters will work for you, check out my Scooter Buying Guide. Each of the features are explained at a high level, and towards the bottom, you’ll find a link to a spreadsheet that lays each scooter out for a quick comparison against the other scooters competing for your attention.