Scooters have a certain appeal, and the more I chat with others about scooters I learn that the appeal is VERY different across those that love their motor scooter. Those that have found a love for riding get it, and I hope you find yourself feeling the rush of a ride one day, too!
People fall in love with scooters because of the sense of freedom, connection with the outdoors and other people, and they are a practical alternative to cars and traditional motorcycles.
Knowing why other people fell in love with riding a Vespa or other favorite scooter brand is an excellent way to start looking into riding yourself. I certainly have my reasons, but I took to asking other scooter enthusiasts, too.
Below is a deep dive on those reasons shared with me, and I hope you give riding a try for some of these reasons, too!
1. Riding Gives You a Feeling of Freedom
This is literally the first thing you’ll hear from any scooter or motorcycle rider. There is a sense of freedom that is very difficult to describe.
Hitting the open road in a car has a vibe. Now multiply that feeling by 10, and you’re close to what riding a scooter feels like.
Riding itself is different, and you’ll find those that ride tend to have a little bit of a streak to color outside the lines (in their own way). Then you layer in the open road and a beautiful day – it’s a special kind of magic!
This feeling is NOT a speed thing. Even if you’re riding a 50cc that doesn’t go very fast, you will still get this sense of freedom from riding. Read more here on how fast a 50cc can go.
Fast or slow – alone or with others – the feeling of freedom is a real thing that helps people fall in love with scooters!
2. Scooters Can Be More Convenient
This was a surprise perk of riding when I started. You have to wear gear to be safe, so how convenient can they be?
Have you ever ridden into a city & circled the block a bajillion times to find a parking spot? That’s why.
Scooters are much smaller than alternatives, so you can park them anywhere. Ok, I’m exaggerating. More on where you can park here, but you have a lot more flexibility.
Sometimes there is dedicated motorcycle parking like at the crowded tourist spot seen in the photo below.
Sometimes it is squeezing next to another scooter or motorcycle in a big ol’ parking spot.
Sometimes it looks like parking on a sidewalk (that doesn’t block pedestrians!). Now this one you’ll want to be careful with. It isn’t likely legal where you’re at.
I don’t have sidewalks around me big enough for this, but since it was shared with me, I share with you.
The point is, if you want prime parking spot to hang or just need to dart in somewhere, a scooter can be incredibly convenient for this.
3. Riding a Scooter Can Improve Your Mood
Think of a beautiful hike on a trail. Or if you’re a runner, think of that runner’s high.
Riding a scooter is another way to clear your mind and improve your mood.
I find this particularly true if I ride solo. There is something that just happens to your mood when you’re out and about lost in your own thoughts.
Of course, to be lost in your thoughts assumes you have some experience. It doesn’t mean you tune out the world. You just become more aware of your surroundings and how to navigate any riding hiccups in a way that lets you just be.
Now if you’re not used to riding, you’ll STILL find that riding a Vespa will lift your mood!
Once you’re literally rolling down the road, you’ll find a smile slowly form. You just have to get over any initial hesitation from just being a new experience altogether!
The same way a good run will shake out the cobwebs from your mind, you’ll find a quick ride around the block will give you similar vibes!
Click on the photo below.
4. Scooters Are Cheaper Than Cars
As I write this, gas is on the rise. I hope as you’re reading this, it has stabilized at a minimum. Either way, scooters simply use less gas than cars overall.
Car motors ARE more efficient. However, they are heavier with larger motors. In general, the larger the motor, the more fuel that is required to power it along.
So even though scooter engines are not as efficient as they likely could be, they use less gas. My Genuine Buddy Kick is advertised as being able to go 100+ miles per gallon (mpg). In reality I find it more like 94 mpg. That’s a lot of miles in a gallon!
I have a 300cc that is about 75 mpg, and the 550cc that has a daily commute gets about 60 mpg.
No matter how you slice it, you’ll see a savings even though scooters generally require a higher octane of gas than your car in the garage might.
ALSO, what gets overlooked oven is that the scooter itself costs a fraction of what a car does even after you factor in accessories to make a ride better and gear to make you safer. Oh. And insurance!
I made a video about how much money I’ve saved since buying a scooter you can check out below.
5. Motor Scooters are Easy to Operate
What makes a scooter different than a motorcycle? You can read more about that question here, but a huge piece of that is the fact that scooters are twist and go.
This means you twist one of the handles, and the scooter goes. Yes, there are manual transmissions on older models, but modern scooters do not require you to use a clutch.
The handlebar is pretty much the same functions across brands and models (ignoring some maxi scooter options). Speedometer, miles, bright headlight is on/off indicator, blinker indicator, it’s all pretty basic.
Below is a Genuine Buddy Kick left and right handle bar with each element labeled.
Turn the right handlebar grip (the throttle), and you’re on your way! Apply the brakes by squeezing (smoothly) both at the same rate.
While riding a scooter is easy, I still recommend taking a safety course like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation‘s Basic Rider course, though!
6. Another Way to Enjoy the Outdoors
No, riding a scooter is NOT the same as a hike through a beautiful park, but it’s not as far off as you may be thinking!
I know I’ve talked about how freeing the ride can be on one of those beautiful, blue-sky days. It’s glorious! Did you notice that when I describe those days, I’m describing the outside environment.
When you ride, you’re definitely outside! You’re enjoying whatever the day brings with minimal barriers between you and the awe-inspiring outdoors to explore.
Now I say minimal barriers, but please never ride without a helmet. I am a huge fan of wearing all gear all the time, and your gear does not change the feeling you get from being outside exploring the world in a different way than you normally might!
You’ll see in my fav gear collection that the gear I recommend allows you to protect yourself from the elements but also still enjoy the elements like by adding a mesh jacket to your collection (that still has abrasion resistance).
Yesterday I was riding to a not-so-pleasant doctor appointment. It’s the edge of spring here, and I rode off in my mesh jacket with the quilted liner in it. I was cold. But the realization still made me smile. I can embrace a little discomfort when riding more so than I would have elsewhere. It’s all part of the experience somehow!
The breeze across your skin. The beautiful sun overhead. The trees and other wonders passing by. Riding is a beautiful thing!
7. Scooters Have Physical Benefits!
You read that right! Scooters actually can help you be more active to some degree. No, it’s definitely not the equivalent of your local 5k race, though.
I recently had a newer rider email me about getting tired after their first long ride. They were surprised, but your body is essentially resisting wind as you ride along (particularly without a windshield).
While it is not an obvious force, holding your body upright for a period of time (especially when you’re not used to it) can be tiring. It’s essentially a non-stop core workout that includes your core and back.
Also, a lot of people find scooters later in life looking for a lighter than a motorcycle alternative. Even a small scooter is over 200 pounds! The 300cc I have is ~350 pounds. No, I’m not lifting a scooter, but moving them around is not like moving around a toddlers tricycle either.
Scooters don’t have a reverse, so find yourself on a slight incline pushing against it, and tell me you don’t feel it in your legs?!
Plus, hopefully you’re out and about riding – maybe for fun with some exploring – and generally that will have you riding instead of an alternative that might be more sedentary.
Oh and what about tinkering? I find myself in the garage (by choice) putting on a new accessory, waxing my scooter, or doing maintenance on it more than I would have originally guessed!
Now I know some people can pop a scooter on a center stand easy. I could on my Buddy Kick. Now the Vespa GTS & AK-550… those are another story. I have a technique, but it does still require a little power from me.
No, your doctor might not clear this as being the a heart pounding workout to keep you healthy, riding is an alternative to less active hobbies you might have!
8. Riding Can Be Super Social
You can certainly ride solo. I do this more than not because I use my scooter my primary way to just live life when I do not have a kid to transport with me.
However, you can also find plenty of groups to ride with. Here is a post if you want a starting point to find more scooter community online first.
I’m in the Houston area where scooters are definitely NOT the norm, but even we have a monthly ride in the Heights area hosted by the Scooter Battalion.
Riding might be a bit of a solo idea, but they make communication systems to chat with a group for a reason!
Even looking beyond meeting people at groups that share a love of riding scooters, you will meet a TON of people by simply riding.
People LOVE the look of a scooter. You will turn heads! You may also have people take a break in their day to talk to you.
The first time this happened, I rode my scooter to a random McDonald’s during a lunch break. I’m a fairly introverted female, and an older gentleman approached to ask if that was my scooter. I said it was, & BAM! I made a friend. He showed me the scooters ‘back home’ in his garage, and we had a great time chatting.
Little kids will beam when they see you. I get a kick out of honking when I see a kid’s eyes light up as I ride by.
So many opportunities to talk to others – that may or may not ride – have popped up simply by living my life and riding a scooter.
9. More Practical Than Traditional Motorcycles
Because you might not be clear – Scooters are a subset of motorcycles. However, there are not a ton of motorcycle riders that see a scooter pass & think they are a motorcycle.
I had a YouTube comment where one rider said that their scooter was a ‘comfy chair’ that goes 60+ mph after 4 decades of riding motorcycles!
They’re made to be comfortable and just plain practical.
Under the seat, you’ll find storage, and then there are a variety of racks to tote even more around.
Plus. Scooters are obviously MUCH smaller than motorcycles which just makes them easier to maneuver. No matter if you’re talking about moving your scooter around the garage or a parking lot, just being smaller & lighter makes them easier to do what needs to be done.
The size factor also makes them quite a bit more nimble. While that might be obvious when we’re talking about getting around a city on a 50cc, it still translates to being more nimble even on my 300cc in my suburban routes.
More on the scooter vs motorcycle conversation here
10. Scooters are Iconic
Have you seen Roman Holiday? Luca? Scooters have a reputation for being these carefree pieces to a beautiful movie.
There’s a reason. They are an icon to that lifestyle!
They are also an unofficial icon of Italian culture. Vespa scooters are the original scooter brand, and Vespa scooter remain an iconic Italian option.
More on the Vespa brand here
There are also other great scooter brands that capture that vibe, too.
You’ll find kids turning their heads, lighting up, and pointing as you pass by. Scooters are simply neat!
Those you pass get it. Those that ride get it.
Scooters are a gateway to fun! Even if you are thinking about riding a scooter to get to and from work, riding home after a long day is that much MORE fun by riding home on a scooter.
It goes back to that getting outdoors to be alone with your thoughts, riding can be a way to reset your day and transition to the next part of your day.
Exploring and looking for all the murals you can find.
Riding with your partner to find the best snow cones in your community.
Riding your scooter is a way to incorporate fun into even the mundane! Feel the rush. Feel the wind. Hear the wind. (But stay alert!)
More Helpful Information for Beginners
Choosing a Scooter for the First Time – Lots of information to help translate the options in front of you. Scroll to the end for a spreadsheet to help you choose, too!
Helmet Buying Guide – Please wear a helmet with a DOT certification! Sign up for the email newsletter & get a free guide on how to choose a helmet