Scooter Q&A

It’s funny the reactions that you get when people find out that you are riding a scooter instead of driving a car. Reactions range from people asking questions of why you don’t have a car to being astounded and amazed on how smart of an idea it is to ride a scooter instead of a car. So I thought I would take the time to answer questions about why I ride a scooter instead of driving a car.

Why don’t you have a car?

I had a car not too long ago and the last time it broke down it was going to cost me more to fix it than it was worth. When I went to replace the car I could not find a reliable form of transportation that I could afford and the interest rates that I was offered were insane so I decided that for now I didn’t need to have a car and went with a scooter.

Why didn’t you get a motorcycle instead?

I did think about it for a bit or at least I thought about getting a larger scooter. Any scooter, moped or motorcycle with a 50cc or higher engine in Florida requires a motorcycle endorsement on your license. In order to get a motorcycle endorsement you must take a training class that takes multiple days. Both times that I was in need of a new vehicle since I got my first scooter I was under a time crunch and taking the class would not have given me enough time to be able to get the endorsement and get back on the road. So in short I didn’t have time so I got a 50cc scooter instead.

What do you do when it rains?

I get wet. I do have some rain gear that was donated by my lovely mother since she was worried about me riding in the rain and the cold, and I will put that on when I need to go and it is raining. Most of the time I try to wait it out a bit so it slows or stops before I hit the road since it does impair vision as well as gets you wet. The scooter grips remarkably well in the rain though so it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.

How do you stay warm?

So far I’ve been very lucky this winter and have not had to worry a whole lot about super cold weather. I may live in Florida but that doesn’t mean it never gets cold here, mind you not as cold as it gets some other places but when riding a scooter I think anyone will refer to 40 degrees or below as cold. In order to stay warm I generally try to layer up with multiple layers under my coat, scarf, gloves and now that I am wearing a full face helmet that helps a lot. I haven’t started wearing long underwear yet but I’ve heard that helps for the lower extremities as well as I’ve heard wearing panty hose but I also haven’t braved that option as well. Winter is almost over now so I’m not that worried about it this year.

What gas mileage do you get?

Most people ask this question more out of a budget concern rather than a being “green” ideal. Currently I am averaging about 98 mpg but that is just the start of the savings that you get when you are riding a 50cc scooter. In the state of Florida it is not required to have vehicle insurance on a 50cc scooter as long as you have health insurance which causes substantial savings as well. I was paying about $40-$50 a week in gas now less than $10 so that is $170 to $130 saving a month on top of insurance savings of about 110 a month. This on top of the low maintenance costs of the scooter they pay for themselves very quickly. As far as being green I know I am using much less fuel and oil than I was using in my vehicle and I’m sure that translates into a smaller carbon foot print as well but I don’t have any data that I can prove that with.

Aren’t you afraid to get hurt?

Yes I am, after my first accident it really showed me how important is it to wear a helmet. There is that strange moment when everything slows down and you remember everything that happened. My head bounced about 3 times against the road which is why I ended up upgrading to a full face helmet when I replaced the scooter. I have always been one to put my helmet on when going on a ride more than a mile long but now I even strap my helmet on when heading to the grocery store which I don’t even have to get on a road to get to. Accidents can happen anywhere to anyone so being ready for the worst case scenario is always the best bet. There is no way to guarantee that you will not be in an accident but keeping an eye on what is happening around you. For instance this morning I noticed the vehicle that was in front of me did not have working break lights so I kept a safe distance behind them and watched them like a hawk. Keeping an eye out on the vehicles that are looking to enter the road you are traveling is another great tip. Remember when you were in driver’s education and the instructor taught you to cover up, (place your hand over the horn to be ready to warn someone if they start to move) well I use that a lot now. Knowing your surroundings and having an escape plan is also very important such as knowing your outs at anytime. Not everyone is looking out for you when you only have 2 wheels so you have to look out for everyone else to keep you safe.

Is it fun?

It’s a blast, especially when you are heading out for a fun night on the town. I love to have my wife jump on the back and head out to dinner or over to a theme park for the day.

Is it hard to work on the scooter?

So far I the only thing I have not been able to do is to take the variator or the clutch off but be fair I haven’t needed to take that off yet as well. Basically in my tool arsenal the only thing that I am missing is an impact wrench. Everything else has been very accessible with a decent socket set that my beautiful wife got me for Christmas this year.

Well my friends those are some of the most often questions that I am asked frequently so I leave you today with one last question: Do you have any questions that you would like for me to answer or things you would like me to blog about? If so let me know.

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