Save Money on GAS by Riding a Scooter!!

Me on my new SYM Symba scooter.
Symba Scooter – Similar to Joy Rides Metro 

Why buy a scooter?

I like to save money where I can, and I’m betting you do too. The other day I was going over my monthly budget and I realized there was one expense that was literally sucking me dry … my car.

With gas prices on the rise again, I am easily putting a few hundred dollars of gas into my car every month. Now, don’t get me wrong … I love my car and I don’t plan on selling it. However, for a lot of my commuting (to and from work, the grocery store, friends houses, ect), I really don’t need to be taking an entire car … I just need something that will get me from point A to B and back again.

Back in my college days I rode a motorcycle and I know just how fuel efficient motorcycles can be ($9 for 350 miles … oh yeah!). But for inner-city and neighborhood driving I don’t really need a vehicle that can top out at over 3 times the speed limit.   And if I have to go father than the city … well then that’s what a car is for.

So, I started researching scooters and I’m going to share with you here everything that I found about the advantages of commuting on a scooter. As you can see from the picture … I ended up getting one :) I’ll go into more details about the specific scooter I bought later.

Cut back on the time you spend at the gas pump.
Cut back on the time you spend at the gas pump.

Save Money

“You may be laughing … but I’m getting 150 miles per gallon.”

Scooters use to be thought of as “dorky” or “un-cool” compared to motorcycles. However, times are changing. In an ever increasing eco-friendly society, efficiency and a small carbon footprint are where its at. And for fast, reliable transportation, you can’t get any better than a scooter. For the price of a cup of coffee you could commute to work every day for a week. So next time you’re at the gas station and you laugh at the person filling their scooter … take a look at what they paid to fill up. You won’t be laughing anymore.

My scooter has a 1.08 gallon tank and, in my first week of riding, I rode over 150 miles and only bought $4 worth of gas. That’s it. With the inexpensive price of scooters (New between $1000 and $3000 for a good city commuter), almost non-existent insurance prices (under $20 a month for full coverage) and the huge savings you’ll be reaping on gas prices … making some of your commuting into a two-wheeled venture is going to save the average person thousands of dollars a year.

But why not just buy a motorcycle? Aren’t they just as good (and way cooler)?

It depends on what you are using your motorcycle/scooter for. Normally motorcycles don’t get as good of MPG as a scooter … sometimes even less than half. However, you can more easily go on freeways with a motorcycle – so if your commute requires a freeway, then a motorcycle is better than nothing.

However, on most city streets you’ll never be going faster than 35mph … so all the power of a motorcycle is unused. Plus, motorcycles are heavier and harder to maneuver at slower speeds than a scooter.  If your commute is on roads that don’t exceed 50mph … then a 100cc scooter will be more than enough power, easier to handle, less expensive, and get better gas mileage than a motorcycle.

Bottom line – if you want to save money commuting – buy a scooter.

There are a wide variety of scooters available.
There are a wide variety of scooters available.

Easy and Fun!

Also, unlike motorcycles, most scooters have automatic transmissions and smaller engines. This means the average person can hop on a scooter and ride it without issues! On a larger bike (most motorcycles have 500+cc engines) its easy for a new rider to crank the throttle a bit much, throw themselves from the bike, and end up with a large repair bill. On a 100cc-150cc scooter you’ll never encounter this problem. Its smooth automatic transmission means you don’t have to worry about a clutch or stalling the bike either.

Scooters are also very agile, which is great for maneuvering in and around city traffic. Parking downtown becomes a joy, as you can fit a scooter just about anywhere. 5 or 6 scooters can fit in a single parking space along the curb, or in the nooks and odd spaces you could never get a car into. Look around next time you’re in the city and you’ll start to see some very creative and efficient parking places for scooters :)

There is a wide variety of scooters to choose from available on Joy Rides – similar to models made by all the Popular brands like Vespa, Piaggio, SYM, and Kymco come is multiple designs from the classic Symba to the futuristic MP3 three-wheeled series. Little 49cc bikes, which top out at 35mph, are great for getting around the neighborhood and don’t even require a motorcycle endorsement in most states. However, above 100cc you’ll most likely need to be endorsed on your license.

But the best part about riding a scooter is … ITS FUN!!!!

Hearing the wind, smelling the air, zipping along on a nimble little scooter … what an amazing feeling! Getting together with other people and riding in a pack is one of the most exhilarating experiences. Riding a scooter or motorcycle turns your everyday commute into an enjoyable adventure … each and every time :)

Before You Ride … Become Safe – Safety First

Many people are put off from riding a scooter or motorcycle because they view it as more dangerous … and they are correct. Riding a two-wheeled vehicle has a lot of risks. But most of those risks, if you are aware of them, can be avoided.

Riding a scooter / motorcycle requires a different way of thinking and a more specific level of awareness than a car. Just on their own – a motorcycle is just as safe as a car and, in many situations, even safer. Its agility, low weight, and control means that avoiding problematic situations is much easier – if you’re looking for them. So ….

TAKE A MOTORCYCLE SAFETY COURSE!

These courses are designed to teach you how to think while riding a motorcycle or scooter. They instruct you on how to overcome situations that send less educated riders to the hospital. They show you what type of gear you MUST wear every time you ride and why. You’ll learn how to scan the road, plan exit routes, safely navigate traffic, and how to have proper awareness while riding.

Most importantly, they’ll teach you how to read and avoid the most dangerous thing on the road … unaware car drivers.

The most dangerous thing about riding a scooter or motorcycle is that the majority of car drivers aren’t use to seeing you. I’ve literally been riding along and have had a person, about to enter my lane of traffic, look right at me, then look the other way, then look back and proceed to pull right into my path. The reason for this is simple … he was looking to see if there was a car in his way and his brain just simply didn’t register the scooter in plain view. This happens all the time.

But if you are looking and aware that car drivers are, for the most part, idiots … then you can avoid this situation. Slow down, let the car pass, don’t be aggressive, and you’ll be fine.

And the best part is … as more people begin to ride motorcycles and scooters, the safer it’ll become!  Car drivers will get use to looking for and recognizing scooters/motorcycles.

However, until that time, it is our job as riders to be aware. So take a course, learn the rules and tricks, and then get out there and have fun riding!

I bought my scooter at Vespa Portland
I bought my scooter at in Portland

Go Buy A Scooter!

I hope this article has helped you in your decision on weather or not to buy a scooter. I know its one of the best decisions I’ve made. I save a ton of money and have a blast cruising around town on my little scooter. Hopefully you’ll join me soon!

Joy Rides has a wonderful selection, great staff, and can answer just about any question you have regarding scooters. I had one of the best buying experiences I’ve ever had while purchasing my scooter from them – and I’m sure you’ll have the same!

Ways to save fuel and increase mileage!

 We love riding motorcycles or bikes in the streets and in the city outskirts.  Most of them love driving fast in motorbikes such as sports bikes.  But one concern that blocks us from reaching the top speed is the bike mileage.  Many see the mileage specs before buying a motorbike and later worry about their bike giving less mileage than specified.  So,here are some tips for you to increase the mileage and save the bike fuel and hence have a great comfortable open air drive on your motorbikes.

Tips for increasing the bike mileage..

*For 4 stroke engines,switch on the bikes with the chokes and self start and then leave the bike without acceleration for 10-15 secs so that the oil has the time to flow through the engine and has enough circulation to run the bike

*Don’t put the choke for a too long time as it may fill the engine with fuel

*Don’t over accelerate your bike as soon as you start the bike

*Switch off your bikes during a long wait or a traffic signal

*Remove the parts that are not useful for such as saree guard,bike box and some extra fittings

*Change and check the oil regularly as recommended by your service technician

*Check your tyre air pressure every month.Low filled tyres can give a tremendous decrease in mileage and high filled tyres than the limit can give a high mileage but reduces the stability and so an optimum pressure yields best results

*Don’t suddenly drop from higher gears to lower gears as it may lead to a much higher rpm and decrease in bike fuel efficiency

*Shift gears at correct rpm and avoid over riding at particular gear

*Usually,always riding in higher gears give better mileage

*Don’t change the gears and brake often in Cities as it may tire the engine

*Service the bike regularly as given in your bike manual

*Use the brakes,clutch and the throttle judiciously for optimum mileage

*Don’t use the clutch when accelerating

*Check the batteries,chain slackness,Correct petrol amount and the brakes

*And finally check the bike tire grips and change the tire even before it seems to be worn out

Good luck with these tips, I hope they work for you and you will pass them along to your friends and other scooter, motorcycle, and trike riders in the motorsport community.

Upgrading the performance of your gas scooter

Scooter Performance Upgrades & Tuning Parts

As a scooter owner, weather it’s a 49cc / 50cc Gas Scooter, a 150cc Gas Scooter, a 200cc Imported scooter, a 250cc or 300cc commuting Freeway legal scooter, or any other type of scooter / moped or even a Trike, you have a fiduciary duty to become familiar with all the parts of your vehicle so you know how to maintain it properly as well as modify it accordingly!

The following is a list of parts and engine components that are very typical of most imported scooters, and scooter drive-train parts of most OEM Gas scooters for sale. 

Brake Diagram Blown
Brake Diagram Blown
250cc Exhaust
250cc Exhaust
Air Filter
Carburetor Diagram
Big Bore Kit
Performance Kit
Performance CDI
GY6 Engine
GY6 Engine

Scooter Performance Kits

If you are looking for a little more performance from your scooter or moped you might have considered adding some performance upgrade parts for your GY6 Engine.  Depending on your scooter size, there are specific scooter parts you can indulge in.  What I am going to cover is a small list of GY6 parts that can help boost performance, some which are difficult and some which are easy. Of course, you can never expect any one upgrade to somehow turn your 50cc scooter into a Batman bike.  It just won’t happen! Be realistic with your expectations for a performance scooter.

GY6 Performance Upgrades

-         Performance Air Filter – Pros are that this gives you unrestricted air flow.

-         Performance exhaust – A high quality stainless steel performance pipe will increase power at the low end and also give you some more power at the top end.  With the can less restricted and the header pipe a much wider diameter than the stock pipe, it will also give you a nice deep throaty sounding bike.

-         Clutch Rollers – Depending on the type of riding you do there are two different upgrades that might suite changing the rollers.  A heavy clutch roller kit or a light clutch roller kit is the options.  This will determine where the gears grab. The sizes are 5.5 grams for acceleration or 7-8.5 grams for top speed.

-         Jet Kit – Increases amount of fuel running through the main jet hole and controls how well the scooter will run when the throttle is most of the way open.  Jetting your carburetor can be tricky but usually a slightly running the mixture slightly rich is the best for performance.

-         Airbox for the Carburetor – With more gas flowing through the Jet Kit, you will need to also have more air flow for the proper air-gas mixture.

-         Big Bore Kit – The pros on the big bore kit is that it gives you more power. The cons are that it reduces the engines life.  As well, with scooters and mopeds, you cannot just install a big bore kit without also doing a few more gy6 swaps and parts upgrades.  To do a big bore installation you will need to also include the above performance upgrades with it.

-         NGK Iridium Spark Plug (if not already equipped) – The iridium spark plug is a great upgrade because of the more consistent and hotter spark.  These spark plugs are also more likely to have better durability and last longer.

-         (Some of the SAGA Scooters are very easy to upgrade but we don’t recommend until you are comfortable and have the approval from the manufacturers or have spoken to the service tech that has been approved to not void your scooter warranty.)

-         Performance CDI – A performance CDI (computerized direct injection) for your GY6 is unrestricted which will allow for your motor to reach optimum rpm.

-         High Output Coil – A performance coil will give your GY6 motor an enhanced spark, for better startup.

Always be careful on the roads, and practice responsible riding!

Regular Scooter Maintenance Information

Scooter Maintenance Repair Parts

The scooter parts shown below are typical of what you see on most imported scooters.   They are common parts that need to be considered for replacement each time you do a tuneup or every thousand miles or so at the most.   because a scooter’s engine is small, and the parts are smaller then auto parts, they need to be maintained and replaced more often to retain optimum performance and safety of your gas scooter.

Scooter Belt
Scooter Belt
Scooter Brake Pad
Scooter Brake Pad
Scooter Brake Rotor
Scooter Brake Rotor
Scooter Muffler
Scooter Muffler
Carburetor and Jetting
Carburetor and Jetting
Scooter Cables
Scooter Cables

Regular Scooter Maintenance Tips

Here is a small list of regular scooter maintenance tips that should be kept up by the owner and if not taken to a scooter or motorcycle mechanic.  Scooters and mopeds should be taken to a motorcycle mechanic instead of a automotive vehicle mechanic because they are more likely to have all the necessary tools at hand and also be more familiar with the working parts, even if they don’t commonly work on the owners particular scooter manufacturer very frequently.  Most motorcycle shop mechanics should have a fairly good understanding of the parts involved.

To maintain your scooter and get the most longevity out of it requires regular maintenance. This is by no means a comprehensive scooter maintenance guide, just a quick reference. The below list mostly refers to gas scooter maintenance but some of these parts will also need to be check in the electric scooters. Aside from the GY6 engine, here is the list of other notable scooter parts to have inspected and serviced, replaced, tightened or topped up.

-         Spark Plug – When you ride the spark plug can build up carbon build up which will need to be cleaned out or replaced.

-         Air Filter – The air filter keeps dirt and impurities out of the intake and carburetor. They should be cleaned every 1000km and replaced every 5000 km.  Consult your manual or you technician.

-         Fuel Filter – Removes any impurities remaining in the fuel for better combustion.

-         Belt – As your belt wears out you will lose top speed. It will either need replacing or your belt will be fine.

-         Clutch and Rollers – As rollers wear they will start to square and you lose top speed.  It will also affect your take off on acceleration.

-         Oil Change – After the initial break in of the scooter, an oil change can be done with synthetic oil or with your regular 10w-40 (most common for scooters).  Oil change should be done every 2000 km.

-         Differential oil change – Change this when it is dirty or top up when low.

-         Throttle Freeplay – The throttle needs a little free movement so that when you turn corners, the scooter doesn’t accelerate and you end up doing a wheelie. (oops!).  Most freeplay is limited to 1/8 inch movement on scooters.

-         Valve adjustment – Engine pistons need to stay in the correct timing for optimal performance and fuel efficiency.

-         Carburetor Adjustment – Air/Gas mixture and idle is measured and adjusted for proper performance.

-         Carburetor Servicing – The carb is completely disassembled and rebuilt to check all the jetting and main holes.

-         Ignition Timing – Serviced only if the cam shaft needs adjustment.

-         Compression Test – Make sure your combustion is good. Check when the scooter has a hard time starting and poor performance.

-         Tire pressure – This one is fairly easy for you to manage alone.  Tire pressure should be stated in your manual, but most need to be around 200kpa to 225kpa ( from 29psi to 32 psi)

-         Brake adjustment – During scooter repairs, the mechanic will usually check for safety items like your brake fluid, and alignment of brakes.  However, it is always a good idea to ask them if they need replacing and if there is any noticeable wear and tear.

Scooter Maintenance Cost

Scooter maintenance cost will vary from each manufacturer. Like vehicles, the more expensive brand name scooters will also cost more to repair and maintain.  Taiwanese and Chinese scooters will be less expensive.

Gas Scooter Buyers Guide – Just the facts!

GAS Motor Scooters: Fact File

The motor scooter’s popularity as a mode of transport is a global phenomenon. Already motor scooters are a ubiquitous sight on the streets of continental Europe and Asia, and with today’s skyrocketing gas prices, more and more North Americans are looking to cash in by investing in a motor scooter in place of a gas-guzzling car or truck (according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, motor scooter sales have more than doubled in the US since 2000.) In this article I will describe which type of scooter and engine size will suit your needs, who is eligible to drive a motor scooter, plus I will be revealing some top motor scooter brands on the market and doing a guide for those looking to purchase a used motor scooter.

Are Motor Scooters Legal?

One of the most commonly asked questions is whether gas motor scooters are legal for taking on to the roads. Unfortunately the answer is not simple. Firstly, the question of legality differs from state-to-state in the US. For example, Pennsylvania recently warned motor scooter customers that many scooter models are not equipped for legal use on public roads, and cannot be legally used on sidewalks either, while further stating that those scooter models which can be used, are actually terms as “motorcycles”, and as such require vehicle registration and a motorcyclist’s license. Secondly, motor scooters have limited speed capacities (see “Engine Size” below) and as such are unsuitable for roads with a high speed limit, such as highways. It is important to check the laws on motor scooters in your area before making a purchase, or you may be stuck with using your scooter only on private property.

Age & Drivers License

In most states of the USA you will need a special Motorcycle License to drive any type of motor scooter with an engine size higher than 50cc. The good side of this for young people is that in many states you don’t need a license at all to legally drive a smaller motor scooter that is 50cc or under (see “Engine Size Vs. Performance” below.) This makes motor scooters the perfect, indeed the only, choice for young people who have not yet reached their state’s legal driving age.

Scooter Insurance

Motor scooters are a great way to save money on insurance. According to a recent report from the news station MSNBC, Bret Bolton – a former truck driver from Texas – cut his insurance bill by more than 70% when he changed to using a motor scooter. He said: “my old truck got about 19 miles to the gallon. Insurance ran $100 a month, plus tags. I now pay under $100 a year for insurance, I get over 90 miles per gallon. I sold the truck last year.” Obviously other variables such as age, location and engine size will affect the price of insurance as well, but there is no doubt that insuring a motor scooter is far cheaper than insuring a conventional vehicle.

Engine Size

Apart from choosing whether to opt for a gas or electric motor scooter (see “Gas Versus Electric” below) the first major consideration when purchasing a motor scooter should be its engine size, which is calculated in cubic centimeters (cc). The size of your engine affects the power and speed your motor scooter and it often has legal implications too – for example, with a 49cc motor scooter you might not need a driver’s license, but with a 150cc motor scooter it is likely that you will.

Here is a rough speed and performance guide for standard motor scooter engine sizes:

49-50cc Gas Scooters

Motor scooters with an engine size of 49cc or 50cc have an average speed around 20-39mph, and in many cases are prohibited by law from traveling on highways and public roads.

150cc Gas Scooters

The 100cc scooter can average a speed of around 30-40mph, with a maximum speed usually around 60mph. Note that in some states scooters with an engine size higher than 50cc are often legally classified as motorcycles and require registration and licenses.

250-300cc Gas Scooter

Motor scooters with an engine power of 150cc or more are getting into the motorcycle terrain in terms of power and speed. With a 150cc motorcycle you may be able to reach up to 70-100mph, and in some cases even higher.

Gas Versus Electric

The other major choice to consider when buying a motor scooter is whether you go for a gas or electric powered vehicle. Here are some of the basic arguments for choosing both sides:

Electric Scooter

  • Is usually cheaper to buy than a gas motor scooter
  • Designed to go short distance
  • Usually has a low top speed of around 20-25mph
  • Needs recharged on average every 4-8 hours (or every 30 miles traveled)
  • May not be suitable for certain roads and highways
  • Certain models might not require a drivers license or registration
  • Is environmentally friendly

Gas Scooter

  • Is usually more expensive to buy than an electric motor scooter
  • Is more powerful than an electric motor scooter
  • Usually has a higher top speed than an electric motor scooter
  • Needs refueling with gas
  • May not be suitable for certain roads and highways
  • Certain models might not require a drivers license or registration
  • Is environmentally unfriendly

The choice between a gas or electric motor scooter really depends on how you want to use it. Most electric motor scooters need a frequent recharge every 30 miles or so, and few travel faster than 20-25mph. If that is not enough for you then you need to go with the increased power and speed of a gas motor scooter. However if you only want to travel a regular short-distance commute between two points, with an average speed around 25mph, an electric motor scooter is a cheaper, easier choice, that is also friendly towards the environment.

Motor Scooters For Sale – Top 3 National Brands on the Market

Vespa S, LX and GTS Range

Engine Size: 50cc–300cc Gas Engine

Price: From around $3500 for the S50 or LS50, to $7000 for the GTS 300 and 300 Super

Vespa is a vintage Italian brand of motor scooter which has recently been reintroduced in North America with great success. The Vespa S, LX and GTS ranges are hardy, reliable scooters which offer the full range of designs, speeds and engine sizes, from 50cc up to 300cc. The only downside of Vespa scooters is their mid-range cost, which does not suit everyone.

Honda 2012 Ruckus and 2012 Metropolitan

Engine Size: 49cc gas Engine

Price: Around $2,500-$3,200

Honda, of course, need no introduction. They are the Japanese manufacturers famed for quality craftsmanship, which thankfully translates into their motor scooter range as well. The 49cc 2009 Ruckus and 2009 Metropolitan models are solid and dependable, with their only main difference being in their appearance. The 2009 Ruckus and 2009 Metropolitan are more affordable than the Vespa range and equally reliable.

Other National Brands and Manufacturers – comparable to OEM Joy Ride scooters
Other respected and reliable motor scooter manufacturers include:

  • Aprilia
  • Bajaj
  • Genuine
  • Kymco
  • Piaggio
  • Suzuki
  • Yamaha

How To Make Your Scooter GO FASTER!

  1. There are many ways to make your scooter run faster than 45km/h (most of cheap scooters from Asia are limited to this speed). You don’t have to spend all your money buying new cylinders, pistons and cranks just to run a little bit faster. Just grab your toolkit and this instruction. Everything is very simple :)
  2. Remove the restrictors that may be located in the muffler, or drill holes in them. Also cut off the small pipe that extends out the side but doesn’t hook into anything (It will give you extra horsepower in low range of RPM.
  3. Replace the main jet in carburetor with a larger one- More fuel + more air= more power. Be careful, after replacing the main jet, you’ll have to set carburetor by turning mixture screw (probably you’ll have to turn it left, so scooter won’t choke with too much fuel). It’s good to replace the original air filter with a bigger one (cone filter will fit perfectly).
  4. Remove the transmission cover and remove the revolution limiter and either buy an unlimited one or don’t buy one at all (if you don’t care about a little hole at the bottom of transmission cover). if there’s a limiter on your scooter, it must be removed or you’ll never get any faster even if you do everything else like change intake flow, belt, rollers,
  5. Rollers- If you buy lighter rollers, you’ll get better acceleration but worse v-max. Heavy rollers will give you better v-max, but worse acceleration. There’s no golden medium, you have to try with a different weights.
  6. Replace the spark plug with an iridium V-Notch spark plug just to make bigger spark and to burn fuel faster.
  7. It’s good to change engine oil to fully synthetic and to change transmission fluid before tuning your moped.
  8. Be Fucking Care full riding a modified scooter – it will void your warranty!

The Comprehensive 2013 Gas Motor Scooter Buying Guide

Admittedly, buying a Gas Motor Scooter or Moped can be a confusing process if you don’t know much about them to begin with. Add to the mix the many different manufacturers, models, and types and it can be an ordeal. When starting your search for a scooter, to keep it from being one of the most frustrating processes you’ve ever been through, I recommend calling 1-877-300-8707 and speaking to Wayne, who will give you great advice on the matter and help get you into the perfect scooter to suit your needs.    I’ve found that reviews for scooters are few and far between – it’s nothing like buying a car. It is hard to find any kind of information on certain scooters and prices vary so much. And it doesn’t help that most scooters sound alike.

All most people know is that they want a 150cc scooter that is either retro or modern looking (not lame) that could drive on the interstate, highway or freeway legally.   It also had to be reliable, comfortable, and get good gas mileage. I want to help you find the right scooter for you using what I’ve learned. Real scooters from 50cc up to 250cc plus.

Advantages Of Owning A Motor Scooter

Motor scooters are a popular choice to get around town these days and one of the major reasons is their ease of use. Although they are very similar to motorcycles, they are much lighter and the engine is actually located above the rear axle, near the rear wheel in scooters. Scooters also have a step-through frame which allows the rider the place their feet directly on it instead of pedals.   This keeps your legs and feet much safer from obstructions in the roadway and obstacles in your path of travel while riding.   Basically, it puts a shield in front of your legs so they do not get smashed if you brush up against something or visa-versa.

Another advantage of scooters is their low cost. Of course the price will vary depending on a few factors such as a Brand name (such as a Vespa) verses Non-Branded such as a high quality Chinese import such as those sold on Joy Rides.    Another variable is the engine size – the greater the engine displacement (cc’s) – the higher the price.   And of course the extra accessories or features you want – luggage boxes, alarm, windshield, ABS… etc.   The cheapest scooters range from under $700 to $1,500 plus for new models.    I do not advise purchasing a used scooter.   EVER.

The gas mileage of scooters is very impressive and is one of the biggest advantages of owning a scooter. The average Automobile gets between 30 to 40 miles per gallon and a hybrid can get 50 plus miles per gallon, but that still pales in comparison to scooters where the average is 60+ mpg, all the way up to 120 mpg. Their amazing fuel efficiency is the why they are selling so well right now.

As an alternate form of transportation, scooters are increasing in popularity every year and it doesn’t seem its going to stop anytime soon. Scooters are street legal just about everywhere and with a model that has a big enough engine (125cc+) you can travel the highways easily. And if you have motor scooter insurance and license, you can go just about anywhere.

Common Scooter Sizes

250cc – 300cc Scooter

If you’re considering buying a 250cc scooter for the first time, you should know there are tons of great manufacturers to choose from as well as hundreds of different styles, models, and colors. You can’t deny that a scooter is a great choice when it comes to alternative transportation options. With their great mileage per gallon and the increasing price of gas, a scooter is a great choice for those on a limited budget. One of the great things about a scooter with a 250cc – 300cc engine is that they can be as fast as motorcycles with as good or better overall handling capabilities. With an accessory line-up with features including multi-passenger carrying capabilities, liquid-cooled four-stroke engines, front windshields, automatic transmissions, and side mirrors, its hard to not find something you’re bound to like about motor scooters.

The 250cc – 300cc scooters class is the perfect choice for individuals who wish to use them for everyday use, and need to commute, and get on the freeway. They are very similar to motorcycles at that engine size with speeds of over 80 mph and 90 mpg or more. These scooters easily can go on interstates and freeways and traverse urban and rural areas alike. If you’re worried about fuel efficiency or the environment, a 250cc scooter is a great alternative to a hybrid car, and gets around 60mpg on average.
Joy Rides offers several models of this type of scooter, and are all just as high quality as the major brands but far better priced.

The picture below is a Yamaha Majesty 250cc Scooter, It is one of the more popular of its size and style, and will cost you around $8,500 plus all sorts of tax and licencing fees.    You will notice it has striking similarity to the Joy Rides Intergalactic 300cc, the Joy Rides Commet 300cc and the Joy Rides Discovery 300cc.   However, the Joy Rides scooter is most compatible with is the Electra 260cc.

Yamaha Majesty 250cc Scooter

When shopping for a gas motor scooter you’ll want to select a models with the best durability and performance for the price. The good news, or bad news depending on how you look at it, is that there are many scooter manufactures to choose from. The following are some of the top manufactures and their best 250cc scooters.

One of the great scooters that Vespa manufactures is the new GTS 250 but expect a sharp increase in price – this baby retails for over $6,000. With 70 mpg, this scooter has great fuel efficiency without sacrificing power or performance. This beauty features a liquid cooled 4 stroke engine with electronic fuel injection for better performance. This sturdy sleek-looking scooter comes standard with a luggage rack and under seat storage.

The GTV 250 shares many qualities of the GTS 250 including its great performance but is strikingly different in design. This scooter goes back to Vespa’s roots with a very retro style reminiscent of their old 1950′s models. Staying true to the retro design, this scooter features a leather split saddle seat which is quite comfortable for either rider. This scooter is sure to be a classic and will cost you $7,000.

A middle of the line 250cc scooter, the Kymco Grandvista 250 is powerful and sleek and feautures a four stroke water cooled engine like most of this scooters on this list. This motor scooter has some great cushioned seats to make riding your favorite scooter even more enjoyable. Sharing many qualities of the Vespa GTS, you can expect to pay a very reasonable price of about $4,400 for this beauty compared to the $6,000 for the GTS. The only difference is that the Kymco Grandvista 250cc scooter lacks fuel injection.

Again, you will see a striking resemblance between this $4,400 scooter and all 4 of the Joy Ride Comparable Scooters for a price of around $2,700 delivered to your front door.

150cc Scooters

Scooters have been around for decades now and have been steadily gaining popularity as an alternative vehicle to get around town and with some of the larger engines, use as a main form of transportation. One of the main reasons they have been so popular is their great MPG. When the gas prices took a huge hike upwards not that long ago many people were considering buying a scooter just to save money on gas .   I recommend the Joy Rides Phantom 150cc scooter that is a great middle of the line scooter that is fairly cheap without sacrificing too much power or performance.

If you live in an urban area a 150cc motor scooter can be a great choice since they are capable of interstate and freeway travel. They share many of the advantages of a 125cc scooter, but with a little more power and the same great fuel efficiency that all scooters have. There are several of them that can reach speeds of over 80 mph without much modification.

Moped scooters are a great way to help the environment and people who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint should consider a 150cc scooter. Low carbon emissions and great fuel efficiency means less pollution than other vehicles, in fact certain scooters have less than 20% of a cars emissions. If you enjoy having the wind in your face and sun at your back while saving a chunk of change you should consider getting a motor scooter.

Choosing The Right 150cc Motor Scooter For You

A new ‘Branded’ 150cc scooter generally goes for between $2,900 and $6,000 or more. Pretty inexpensive if you think about it. I mean just compare that to how much a brand new motorcycle or car will cost you.With all the different brands and companies that sell scooters it can be hard to find the right one for you. Well from my experience shopping around looking for scooters and riding them I can recommend a few for you.

Honda Dylan 150
Honda Dylan 150

The Honda Dylan 150cc scooter a great scooter.   It has a great modern design with some high tech angles, enticing metallic paint, and multifaceted lights. Put simply it looks like a futuristic version of a scooter. Fortunately looks are not what the Dylan 150 is all about – its no slouch on speed or control either. Its 13″ wheels provide great traction and maneuverability, allowing you to lean into turns and have it hold steady. Also if you use the interstate or freeway often then this scooter will do the job quite well.   It will cost you round $2,800 because its a Honda.   Joy rides sells very similar models in style and performance to the 150cc Dylan.   They are the; Express for $988; The Downtown for $1,029; The Boulevard for $1,129; The Uptown for $1,347; and The Grand Prix for $1,349.    You will save twice as much by purchasing any of these models with out sacrificing any style or quality over a Honda, and you get these online, deviled to your door for these prices!

Other very similar models in performance, but NOT in price to the aforementioned 150cc Joy Ride Models are :

The SYM VS 150cc features a four stroke engine that is significantly more powerful and perky than most 125cc bikes. It has getup and go function that is great for the freeway provided you avoid the fast lane. It’s 12″ wheels and suspension absorb most bumps to provide for a reasonably comfortable ride. The scooter also has quite large brake pads for a motor scooter of it’s size. This scooter also features great under the seat storage capable of storing a full helmet.

The Vespa LX 150cc handles surprisingly well and has plenty of storage just like the VS – you can easily fit a full face helmet under the seat and it also has a front lockable glove box. The single cylinder, 2 valve, four stroke engine pumps out a little over 11 hp, reasonable but not incredible but it does have enough power to transverse the interstate just fine. The design is a modern twist on the Vespa classic design with just enough of a hint at their roots. The 11″ wheel base is slightly smaller than most but that’s nothing to hold against the LX 150 as it still handles quite well and its sturdy construction gives you a feeling of comfort and safety.

Fast 50cc Scooters

Scooters can be a great way to get around town without spending a ton on gas. 50cc scooters are popular because they are not only fuel efficient but also the largest scooters that you can drive without a special license in most areas. In fact sales are almost ten times higher than just 10 years ago. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well that’s great and all but what about speed? Aren’t scooters really slow?” Well some can be but there are many fast 50cc scooters available as well.

Factory bone stock scooters can only go about 35-50 miles an hour max without any modifications. So you won’t be able to drive down highways or interstates and it can be difficult to keep up with the faster traffic. The good news though is that with some slight modifications (variator derestriction, cdi box, and roller weights) you can increase your scooters speed to around 60-65 miles per hour. The fastest 50cc scooter that you can reasonably modify with some additional parts like a pipe and some other inexpensive materials would bring it close to 66-70 miles per hour. The world record for the fastest 50cc scooter in existence is 102.5 mph but it was with heavy modifications that a normal rider wouldn’t have access to or even want.

How To Mod Your 50cc Scooter To Go Faster

Modded 50cc Scooter  Peugeot Speedfight
Modded 50cc Scooter Peugeot Speedfight

Any scooter on the market can be modified to go faster – how much faster depends on a few different factors. The first thing you need to find out is if your scooter is two stroke or four stroke. Most new scooters are four stroke. Two stroke engines are slightly easier to modify for greater power and speed but a four stroke can be modified as well, it’s just a bit more complicated. Basically what you have to do is to improve the air and exhaust flow as well as the flow of gasoline.

Many 50cc scooters are restricted, or limited, on how fast they can go by a restrictor in the carburetor or exhaust. By removing this restrictor (usually a washer or restrictor pipe in the exhaust neck) you should see noticeable increases in speed and power. Be forewarned though, any modifications of your motor scooter will void all your warranties. In some cases it may be illegal to ride these de-restricted motor scooters so check out your local laws before following through with anything.

Common performance kits will also void warranty for you as well as cause some other problems if you take your modifications too far. Your engine may be less trustworthy and your brakes and/or suspension systems might not be enough to support the newly modded 50cc scooter. 50cc scooters were not built for such high speeds so making sure you have a quality brand scooter like a Vespa will help.

If your not handy with modding your scooter you can always go to a garage and see if they will help. Some may even de-restrict it for you if it is legal where you live.

The Benefits Of Owning a 50cc Scooter

The FY50QT-8 Scooter
Typical 50cc imported Chinese scooter.

The price of a 50cc scooter is one of its biggest advantages. Most are in the price range of a $1,000 to $5,000 which is vastly cheaper than even the cheapest car you can find. Of course scooters can’t carry multiple passengers like other vehicles and offer little storage room. Most scooters can only hold in the range of 240-260 pounds but that is generally enough for most individuals. Consumer Reports recently tested several different scooters, and according to them the Vespa LX 50cc is the best bang for your buck at only $3,500 – base model price.   A bit to overpriced when you take the available Joy Ride 50cc scooter options into consideration… almost all for under $1000!    No compromise in quality or style… just savings all around!

Another great advantage is that scooters are great on gas mileage. A typical 50cc scooter gets anywhere from 70 miles per gallon (MPG) to over 120 mpg. This makes scooters the perfect vehicles for short to medium distances especially with the increasingly higher gas prices. People in Europe and most other eastern countries already realize that scooters and more specifically 50cc scooters, are a highly economical way of getting around, especially in the town or city.

In addition to all the amazing advantages that a 50cc moped scooter posses, they also don’t cost much to maintain. If you consider how much would spend on average repairing another vehicle over its lifetime, you would be surprised by the amount. This is a great selling point since most people don’t have a lot of extra money to throw away.
If you want to learn more about how scooters work and how to choose a scooter that works for you and your situation.

About the 125cc Scooter – Considerations.

Motor scooters come in all different shapes and sizes and literally hundreds of companies and brands have different 125cc scooters for sale. Mopeds and scooters can be either electric or gas powered. Styles, colors, sizes, and prices will vary model by model and company but some things remain constant such as their great mileage per gallon. Motor scooters are a great alternative to fuel efficient cars unless you need that extra passenger space.

Even though many 125cc scooters are capable of freeway travel and are able to get up to over 80 mph, some are not.    Scooters with less power, such as 50cc scooters can’t travel on the interstate which is a big advantage 150cc scooters almost entirely – but our attitude is, if you’re going to buy a 125cc scooter, and have to get a motorcycle license anyway, then buy a 150cc scooter!

As Moped scooters for sale in the US are becoming more popular all the time with the rising cost of gas and people looking to reduce their carbon footprint. With such high fuel efficiency and low carbon emissions, scooters are a great alternative to getting around that doesn’t pollute quite as much as other forms of transportation. I mean with the wind in your face and the sun shining on your back, what more can you ask for from a vehicle that can avoid traffic jams and save tons on gasoline while also helping the environment?

As I’ve mentioned several times now, the coolest way to get around now a days is turning to mopeds and scooters. This is clearly seen with their increasing sales month by month and year over year of scooters for sale.   Why not join them and at least check out your options.

How Much Do 125cc Scooters Cost?

Vespa S 125cc
Vespa S 125cc
The average cost of a new 125cc scooter (gas or electric) is anywhere from $1,300 to over $4,000. This is nothing compared to how much a new fuel efficient hybrid car will cost you. Also consider how much money you’ll save on gas over time. You never know when gas prices will go up again. That is one of the best reasons to buy a motor scooter right there. There are of course numerous other reasons to buy a scooter 125cc.  But even more reasons to buy a 150cc scooter… the first being the price!    Most 150cc’s get almost the same MPG as a 125, but just not as much power and acceleration.   and in many cases, 125cc’s cost more then 150cc.   Certtinaly thats the case here.   Take a look at some of the 125′s and then look at whats JOY RIDES has in the 150cc scooter class… and the price!

Yamaha 125cc Scooters

Yamaha Vino Classic 125cc
Yamaha Vino Classic 125cc
Right now Yamaha has two new 125cc scooters for sale. The first of which is the Yamaha Vino Classic. The vino classic is an extra durable and efficient retro design with a four stroke engine which delivers more torque. This 125cc motor scooter has an easy electric start and kick start option as well as a rear wheel locking device and tamper proof ignition.
The second is the all new 2009 Zuma 125 from Yamaha. This new innovation includes great shocks, wide sturdy wheels, and large cushioned seat for extra comfort even on unpaved or uneven roads. It has great fuel efficiency like all Yamaha’s and this model includes a fuel-injected four stroke engine. Both of these bikes will set you back a measly $3,000 – or get a similar Joy Rider for under a grand!

Vespa 125cc Scooters

The new Vespa S 125 has a clean minimalist design reminiscent of classics such as the 50 Special and the Vespa Primavera. To highlight the new suspension, it has been downsized and the new stylish chrome trim on the mudguard gives it a sleeker look. It tops out at around 60mph stock and will set you back approximately $3,200.  Or you can get a similar Joy Rider for under a grand!
2009 Genuine Buddy 125cc
2009 Genuine Buddy 125cc

Genuine Scooters

The 2009 Genuine Buddy features a 125cc 4-stroke gas engine and is a high performance scooter in the Genuine lineup, featuring an upgraded suspension as well as brakes and accessories. The buddy gets 90 mpg depending on rider weight and road conditions. This scooter will set you back at least $2,700.
There are of course hundreds of other 125cc scooters but that’s far too many to mention here and anyway I only wanted to point out the few that I like. If you shop around and find the best price for your motor scooter then before you know it, you’ll be saving yourself tons of cash. I mean if its your money, why should you give it to the oil companies when you could just buy and drive a 125cc scooter.

Again… these are excellent Scooters and Mopeds… But when it comes to price, you can’t beat the quality, Value and Price of the similar and comparable 150cc, and 50cc scooters available at Joy Rides for far less then the Branded ones… because you are not buying a Brand Name… Just a Great Deal!

Top 10 Tips for New Scooter, Moped & Motorcycle Riders

Top 10 Tips for New Scooter, Moped & Motorcycle Riders

You got to admit that there is some “cool” factor about riding a bike. But have you seen a rider make a newbie mistake? It’s quite amusing to watch someone donning all the latest gear in a brand new bike just to crash or drop from a standstill. Most newbie blunders are wacky but some are just outright dangerous. Below are some useful tips for new riders:

1. Browse through your manual

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the basics. Read your owner’s manual, you will find it useful and you can learn a thing or two about your bike so you wouldn’t look quite like a greenhorn. What’s the capacity of your gas tank? Where is the fuse panel located? How do keep your bike in tip-top shape? All these and a lot more can be answered if you read up.

2.    Relax and enjoy the ride

Breathe in breathe out! Relax, think of your bike as if it’s on auto pilot. You chose to ride for the pleasure of it and not to stress yourself. The dumbest thing that you can do is to tense your hands, arms and shoulders as you ride. It might help if you do some stretching before you pull away from the curb.

3.   Get used to your bike

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the basics clutch lever. Squeeze the clutch out slowly and gently, when you feel that your motorcycle is beginning to creep into the friction zone, then you know that you are in gear. Repeat the procedure until you have a perfect feel of your ride.

4.    Keep your air in check

Keep in mind that correct tire pressure is crucial to your bike’s optimum performance. Correct tire pressure would give you a smoother ride, longer tire life and a better gas mileage. Also, remember that you are running on two wheels and you are not carrying a spare so you better make sure that your tires are in tip-top shape.

5.    Track your oil

Some motorcycles let you use a dipstick, just like in a car, while others are engineered with a sight plug window which lets you peek into your engine. Regularly checking your oil is the single most important maintenance task that you should never neglect.

6.    Lights out always

You must get into the habit of checking your lights after parking your ride. Never leave your motorcycle with the key switch in the park position because this will keep the parking lights on. What you get in return is an empty battery. This is a common blooper because the park position is typically next to the lock position in the ignition switch.

7.    How much farther can your ride go?

If you are not used to long walks, then you better monitor how much gas is in your tank and how much more you can roll with your bike. Most bikes are equipped with a fuel gauge so make it a habit to reset your trip meter whenever you fill your tank. This practice may come in handy especially when you are heading down a highway where gas stations are few and several miles apart.

8.    Cry for help

Don’t pretend to be wise, never ride over your head trying to keep up with more experienced riders. Whenever you’re in trouble or you have a feeling that something is wrong, then speak up and ask for assistance. It won’t make you less of a man and it’s a way to learn as you gain more riding experience.

9.    Go side by side on stop signs

As a rule of thumb, it is generally advised for you to pull up as you are about to approach a stop sign when you are riding with a fellow motorcyclist. Then you can proceed side by side together. This practice will prevent other motorists from splitting you up.

10.   Stand up and balance your ride.

Always make sure that your kickstand is down and completely engaged when you park and leave your motorcycle. Here is the trick: from the left side of the bike, grab the left-hand grip with your left hand. Next, with your right hand, poke around the bike along the lower edge of the seat, and hold on to something solid with your right hand. Lower the kickstand with your right foot until you feel it hit the ground. To make sure that the kickstand is fully engaged, push on the notch on the side of the kickstand with your toe until it meets resistance. Steady the bike with your left hand and step down hard on the kickstand while lifting the bike straight up with your right hand.

The IDEAL Entry Level 50cc Scooter

Getting to work in big crowded cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angles, or Seattle… or Atlanta to name a few, can be a real drag in a car. In most of them you just get snarled up in endless traffic so that it can take hours to get anywhere.    And that’s if you live in the states.   Iin London for example, you have to pay a small fortune to drive into the center of town. Between the congestion charge and parking fees it can cost you well over $1,500 a month just to bring your car into the city before you’ve even filled up the gas tank, bought a car or paid for insurance.   It is not so bad in the states, but parking fees vs. parking tickets are a relative fortune nowadays in metropolitan centers.

One solution is to commute to work on a moped or scooter and for many people there is nothing easier and cheaper than a 50cc Scooter-Moped. This will tell you why and how to go about it.

The advantages of Scooter Commuting to Work

Riding any sort of motorcycle to work every day is not always a breeze. I mean, sure, it is fun but on cold wet days even the most committed biker asks themselves why they bother. The biggest reasons for me are freedom and speed. Freedom first. In NY, when I lived there, it used to take me 45 minutes a day to get to work using the subway. It wasn’t just the time wasted on the rails and stations that got to me, but the sense of being one of many cattle. You get jammed in at rush hour. There was never a seat so I would be standing with my nose in someone else’s armpit and their nose in mine and then, out of the blue, the train would stop between stations and the driver would tell you there is a delay. And there you are, stuck in a hot sweaty mass of armpits with strangers and no place to sit for as long as it takes for the train ahead to get fixed or whatever the problem is. I hated that feeling of being powerless and trapped.

On my scooter I could usually predict with great accuracy just how long it would take. I would not be stuck on someone else’s schedule or delayed by causes that are not under my control.

The other big advantage of riding to work is speed. In truth I didn’t shave that much time, perhaps 10 or 15 minutes each way, compared with the subway. But I had certainty and I was a whole lot faster than I would be driving by car. The reason is that with a scooter you are not trapped by traffic. in most states, it is legal to “filter” along the sides of slow moving traffic, as long as you do not exceed a certain speed over the slower traffic.   Sharing lanes is legal in most states, and the safety margin is usually 10-20 miles per hour faster then the traffic you are passing.   That way while everyone else is stuck in a huge traffic jam, the scooter, moped and motorcycles could all zoom along and keep making good time.

Mopeds are Cheap to Buy and Run

The other great advantage is cost. Running a small scooter is really cheap. I used a Chinese 150cc scooter but for reasons I will get into later I recommend that people starting out go for a 50cc scooter instead.    My 150cc scooter used to take about half a gallon of gas a week. That is hardly anything for a daily round trip of just a little less than 30 miles.   It isn’t a huge distance by any means, but the scooter felt like it ran on hardly anything. And remember this is stop start driving. Keeping it on the road didn’t cost too much either. I took mine in for regular services, partly because I wanted to keep a clean service record should I want to sell the bike, but half of those services are just oil changes that I could have done myself in about 15 minutes.   It was a waste of money really, and after the second time, i just began doing it on my own.

Insurance is also pretty cheap unless you are 16 and a novice rider.  Scooters like these are also really cheap to buy. A little 50cc Scooter or 150cc Scooter brand new will run you between $700 to $1,500.   Because the price is so inexpensive, I strongly  recommend beginners only buy a new scooter, rather then taking a chance on a used one with a few years on it and a few miles on the clock.     The last thing you need is to have it breaking down while you are just getting the hang of it.

These new Chinese or Japanese made imported scooters are also pretty robust and can keep going strong forever. There are also loads of them on the road so there are always plenty of places that work on them.    If you buy new, as I did, they don’t cost nearly anything like what a car would cost. I reckon that to have used public transport to get to work in NYC would have cost me about $1,500 a year, whereas the running costs on my bike were $200, so the bike paid for itself after just a first year or owning it.

The fuel economy you would get from most 50cc mopeds would be even better so the payback would probably be even quicker, especially when you consider that 50cc scooters are a bit cheaper to buy than 150cc.

Why a 50cc Scooter is Better than a 150 cc Scooter

I know that this is a controversial statement and I’m contradicting what I myself did in recommending a 50cc, but for most people this is probably the better choice. The main reason is that is the states if you have a drivers license for a car then you do not need a special motorcycle license for a scooter with a piston displacement of less then 50cc.    This is why all manufacturers of the “50cc” scooter make sure that it is actually a little bit less, usually 49 +/- .5cc on record.   So basically, you can already ride on without going out of your way and standing in long DMV lines and taking a Motorcycle driving course and examination.    If you want to go for something bigger, even something as puny as a 125cc, then you have to pass all the riders tests and these can be a real pain… but afterwards you can now ride a motorcycle of any size as you would have an M class license.

Now if you want to ride a bigger bike, or want to ride with a passenger then you won’t be happy with a 50cc moped or 50cc scooter.   In Europe and England, just to carry a passenger you’ll have to go and take a special riders exam.   In the states, that is not yet necessary for now.    But for the vast majority of people who already know how to drive a car and just want a quick and cheap way of getting to work, then there is a 50cc is quite adequate. The biggest disadvantage is its lack of power and a lot of riders will talk about how you need available power to get out of trouble. That is true, but in truth if you are riding in a big and crowded city then you won’t get to use your extra power anyway. Nor will you need it. The cars you want to stay away from will be stuck in the traffic while you zoom past them anyhow. If that is all you want to do a 50cc will be more than adequate. If, on the other hand, you really want to get into scooteting you may as well learn to ride properly and get a good sized bike that will give you many years of pleasure after you get the hang of it, and better wreck a cheap bike then a nice new expensive one.

An ideal beginner’s moped

The Honda Vision 50

Popular 50cc Mopeds for Beginners

If you’re starting out you have a really wide range of choices available to you.

One of the most popular 50cc mopeds on the market is the Gemini 50cc Scooter  This is a really good looking bike with great lines. Its main selling point is its great styling with its all plastic light weight body and modern look. Its handling is pretty easy too and it also is pretty easy to wheel around when you need to park in tight spaces. It offers some storage space under the seat. The downside of this bike, in comparison with some other models, is that its wheels are really small. That leads to a bit of a bumpy ride.

Another great option is the Tuscan 50cc Scooter. This makes an excellent beginners’ scooter for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is a good deal cheaper than say a comparable Vespa. If you want the stylish, cool, retro look of a Vespa you have to be prepared to pay for it or you can get a 50cc Cosmopolitan Scooter here and pay much less!

They have good performance, are very comfortable and easy to learn to ride in a matter of days.   Once you become an expert on a 50cc scooter, you can then upgrade to a larger 150cc Scooter such as a 150cc Heritage Scooter or a 150cc Phantom Scooter.    These will give you better performance, acceleration and allow you more power to ride a passenger.

The E-Bay Guide to Scooters FOR DUMMIES

   What to know if you seriously want to buy a scooter on E-Bay!

First, Chinese mainland scooters:

Brand names mean nothing on E-bay.    There are dozens of Chinese factories churning out clones of clones and many wind up on eBay.   What really matter are the importers on record, and how long they have been doing business stateside reselling scooters.    Some names include: Linhai, Roketa, Bali, BMS and many others. Most of these scooters will use one of two OEM engines; the CF Moto engines which are Honda copies, and the Linhai engines which are Yamaha copies. These engines are mostly good, its the other stuff that is a little problematic.

I owned a Linhai-engined Burgman clone made by Xingyue. is that complex enough ? Anyway, if you buy a mainland Chinese scooter, it will most likely arrive in a shipping crate with shipping oil and anti freeze and a battery you will have to connect.  Its very important that you do the complete pre-delivery inspection yourself or take it to a motorcycle mechanic.   Most motorcycle places are very familiar with Chinese scooters and have a set fee for the per-oprating-inspection.    They know what to look for, and will always recommend you change ALL the fluids with quality brands, or they will tell you to expect a few problems down the road.   They will find every loose fastener, double tighten each lose wire to prevent electrical problems, and will also recommend you buy all new bulbs, and in some cases a new battery that will not go dead in a few months would also be a good recommendation.    These are nothing major, and its good practical advice.    Not that these things are necessary, but figure while you’re there, may as well spend the extra $60 bucks on new fluid, bulbs and battery to avoid potential problems in the next few months.     Many parts can be obtained from Roketa, countyimportparts.com and other similar sites.   There are a lot of parts sites, but not so many parts, as so many of them are easily interchangeable OEM parts.

Most of the worst scooters are sold by fly-by-night eBay sellers who don’t carry parts, will not honor any sort of warranty, and have ZERO customer service.   You’re just buying if from someones garage or storage warehouse, and not a bonafied or licensed dealer in most cases, and you may have trouble registering it, as the MSO paperwork and Title may not be correct.   BUYER BEWARE!

Last caution – many are not really DOT approved and therefore most insurance companies will NOT cover them  – or the DMV will not register them. Having said that, these scooters on ebay are only $400 to 1100 for a 50cc to 150cc unit which is fun to drive (45-55 mph max not 65 like advertised). The 50cc scooters will not attain street-worthy speeds. 35 mph max. You should buy 2, one for parts. Seriously.   If you are going to buy online to save a lot of money, ebay is not the place.   Buy one from a licensed dealer that will provide you with warranty and support such as Joy Rides.

Here is further advice: Before buying a scooter, call the ‘dealer’ and order 2 critical parts – example a drive belt and a front brake disc. Their non-response and inability to deliver critical parts (or any parts at all) should tell you all you need to know. If indeed they have the parts, then and only then Id consider giving them the order. There is no rush most scooters are listed over and over and over. They are not one-time ‘deals’ on ebay.

Also, I cant advise beyond the brands Ive mentioned here or the better brands sold here on Joy Rides, which is one of the much better sites I have come across online.   My advice there is to find out where its made and compare the pictures to other Chinese knockoff scooters.

Brand names are meaningless with most of the Chinese scooters, they will put a decal with whatever brand you want if you buy a container of them.    Joy Rides does a good job weeding out the worst vehicles to work with and only resells the more credible and established importers with good track records and service/support infrastructure – such as BMS, Roketa, Ice Bear, Joyner, Kandi, Kymco, Sym, SSR to name a few.

You wana know if an ‘XTREME FOO FOO SCOOTER MAJESTIC DIM SUM’ is a really good scooter brand.  Honestly… No, it is not. That’s why people pay $4500 for a genuine Yamaha, Suzuki or Honda in a dealership.   But if you want to get similar quality for a fraction of the cost, then buy it online from a company that has reference, and a good track record like Joy Ride Motors or similar companies that have been around for 8 to 10 years doing this.    That’s how you know they will be there for you when your scooter breaks down.

Many Chinese scooters are actually derivatives of other Chinese scooters.   Beware of a clone of a clone.    These are the bikes you’ll see sold by the container on Alibabba.com, that are then resold on ebay.   The Chinese knock-off of another Chinese scooter are the very cheapest ones online.. for $299 for a 50cc scooter!   Its pathetic that someone would risk their life on something so cheep.   Don’t get suckered in by the low prices.   It really is to good to be true.      There are 4 or 5 very large scooter factories in China  (Xingue and Geeley being the largest and soon a car exporter to US) and probably 200 knock offs.   If you call them, they’ll send you a shipping container of scooters, and off to eBay they go. No parts, no warranty, no technical support.

Next in rank are the Taiwanese and Korean scooters. SYM, Kymco etc which are very good scooters.This is also the source of many smaller Honda-Yamaha branded scooters like the Vino 125.   Kymcos are good units but tend to be a bit over priced in the United States. I’d compare features carefully and buy if it looks like a good deal financially.

Next, Italian scooters (Aprilia) etc. These are a mixed bag and the prices start to approach Japanese scooters. Real Vespas are very slick, expensive $5500-up – and all-metal. They rust fast in damp climes. Quality is otherwise pretty good but the engines are small for the money.  Example a 150cc Vespa is $5800 same as a 250cc  Suzuki.

Next up, the Yamaha and Honda Chinese./Taiwan-licensed scooters sold under house name like Vino, Metropolitan etc. These are good units with the advantage you can get parts. The Vino 125 is a pretty nice small scooter, 47 mph very high quality. However it is nearly $ 3000 out the door. the Zuma 125 is really excellent and will do 55 mph.

Next up, the larger Vespas/Piaggio, like the Granturismo etc. These are all right but not price and feature competitive with the following category..especially in storage, dependability, service ease etc.

Suzuki Burgman 400 and Yamaha Majesty 400 scooters. There are very nice units priced $6900 and up. Excellent machines, they rival many cycles for performance and reliability.

Next, Honda Scooters. These are pretty expensive $3500 and up but very reliable units. The PCX 150 is particularly good, then Suzuki and Yamaha 400′s at higher price point.

Finally, maxi-scooters – Suzuki Burgman 650, Honda Silver Wing 600 , BMW C650/600, and Yamaha Tmax 500. These are really excellent long distance tourers, great commuters, capable of over 100 mph and carry a lot. Expensive, but worth it. If you hunt around you can get one way below list price, but if you just walk cold into a dealer you will pay $ 9000 plus.

Final note: there are a few Vespa restorers selling on ebay, offering gorgeous sidecar Vespas from Indonesia or Viet Nam cheap. Somebody, please write a detailed review of these !  Their feedback is good but there must be a  few gotchas. Many scooter forums are warning about parts quality on these units.

The Bottom line is that you should buy from a licensed and bonded company that deals only in selling scooters and motor vehicles.   There is no savings… just problems when you buy from a non licensed seller of scooters on ebay.

Best of luck.