Scooters deliver a sense of freedom and make the world a bit greener. Long a staple of European and Asian streets, these economical and parking-friendly rides are gaining users in India and America- especially women. According to the Motorcycle’s Industry Council Retail Sales Report, scooter sales in 2008 were up 41.5 percent compared to 2007.
Photo by Wasim Ahmad
“I use it to grocery shop, just about everything,” says Toni Guidice, 58, of Syracuse, N.Y. “I put very few miles on my car in the summer, and I save a lot on gas. I get 95 miles per gallon on the scooter.” Guidice has been a scooter devotee for the past two years.
She uses her burgundy Yamaha Vino almost non-stop from June to October and says she loves the freedom and how more people wave and smile at her as she rides past.
The scooter also helped her bounce back from a difficult breakup with her partner of over 20 years.
“It helped me get going. I think anyone going through a breakup needs to put the pieces of their life back together at their own pace and in their own way,” Guidice says, “It’s not something that I would have thought would have helped me; it just happened that way.”
If a pocket-friendly vehicle that offers an escape sounds good to you, check out these brands: Yamaha, Suzuki , Piaggio, Vespa and Aprilia for motorcycle styled scooters. But when looking to buy, talk to scooter owners first, and figure out if a two-wheeler is really for you. It’s about more than style and smiles. Engine size, scooter size, and storage space are also important considerations.
Visit your local dealer and talk to a sales representative. Scooters cost anywhere from $1,999 to $8,899 for new. Also, surf the web- especially eBay, Craigslist, and Yahoo Auctions for new scooters where scooters tend to be on the cheaper scale. Guidice bought her scooter for $900 from a friend. Finally, visit The DMV and click on your state for a motorcycle-safety class (some states require a motorcycle license) and don’t forget to add your new ride to your insurance.