Scooter Buying Guide

If skyrocketing fuel prices have you weighing the pros and cons of mass transportation, don’t purchase that bus pass just yet. Scooters are quickly becoming a common site on city streets as a smart alternative to gas guzzling SUVs. A scooter is stylish, gets 70 – 100 miles to the gallon and is eco-friendly to boot, but where do you start? Most people can’t afford to throw away $2000- $3000 so research as you would if you were purchasing a car. Unlike buying a car, you probably won’t have limitless first hand experiences from friends and family to learn from, but if you do your homework buying a scooter can be economically and environmentally rewarding and just plain fun.

Getting started. 

Where will you be driving your scooter? Will you be mostly on side roads that don’t exceed 40 mph? Or will you be using your scooter on a highway and maybe need a little extra oomph to keep up with traffic? Interstate and highway use will require larger engine sizes to be both legal and safe.

Will you want to carry a passenger? What is the anticipated maximum driver and passenger weight? Some scooters are single passenger while others can carry two. Keep in mind that a 50cc may very well be able to carry more than a 125cc so read the specifications for the scooters you’re considering very carefully.

How much cargo will you need to carry? If the trunk under the seat typical on most scooters isn’t enough, a cargo rack becomes a necessary addition. Make sure the scooter you’re researching can accommodate an add-on rack or top box. We offer specially made scooter saddlebags as an option for more storage capacity.

Narrowing it down.

Which scooter should I buy? Only you know this. Buy a scooter that suits your needs. We have several stylish models – some better suited for your needs than others. Ask yourself these questions: If you’re using it for commuting to work, is the seat comfortable enough for the trip? Do your feet comfortably reach the ground? Can you physically handle the weight and easily maneuver the scooter forward and back while seated? Ultimately, buy something that makes you feel good!

I’ve found some cheap scooters online and available for mail order. Are these ok? There are a lot of cheap places online to buy scooters, but remember- you get what you pay for. Unless you’re a mechanic and can expertly service your machine it’s wise to steer away from online scooter merchants. In addition, incorrectly assembling your scooter usually results in your warranty being voided. It’s not going to be easy to get spare parts or maintenance by emailing the company overseas where you bought your scooter. Lots of new scooter owners buy the cheapest scooter they can find online, then find later they need more power, cargo, passenger room, etc. and trade in their relatively new machine for something bigger. Then you end up spending more money than you would have if you bought from a local dealer to begin with. Another advantage of doing business with a reliable dealer is the possibility of finding a good used scooter at the dealership if you’re still not convinced you want to spend the money on a brand new one.

You’ve found the scooter of your dreams – now what?

Seriously think about taking a Motorcycle Training Course even if your state doesn’t require it. People in cars are not always looking out for you and any tips or extra training you can get will serve you well.

Protection equipment is a must. A helmet may or may not be required by your state, but should be a given. You’ll also want to look at getting gloves, eye protection and an armored riding jacket.

Get insurance. It may be required in your state, but if it isn’t – get it anyway. A decent insurance policy will only run about $100 a year – definitely worth the price considering potential theft, vandalism and accidents.

Protect your investment

Scooter alarms, disc locks, cable locks, and covers are all ways you can protect your scooter from theft. We recommend using one or multiple ways to secure your scoot. If a thief sees anything that will keep him from making a quick get-away, he’ll probably pass it by.

Anything Else?

HAVE FUN and BE CAREFUL. Get involved in your local scooter scene. Check online for local scooter clubs. No other vehicle is such an extension of its owner’s personality – trick it out and make it your own! Last, but not least, don’t be afraid – chances are you’ll be the first one in your circle to take the plunge and buy one, but after they see you fill up for $3, you probably won’t be the last.

Happy Scooting!

Charlotte Scooter Shop
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