What is a Scooter?
A scooter is a small, two-wheeled vehicle. It utilizes an automotive engine to run. So, generally, the manufacturers install a petrol engine for this purpose. Earlier, they offered a Two-Stroke/Spark Ignition (SI) engine for scooters. Nowadays, they use a Four-Stroke/Spark Ignition (SI) engine for powering them because of emission control. However, battery-powered electric scooters with artificial intelligence are now getting popular in the world.
Generally, the manufacturers divide the two-wheeled vehicles into two main categories. They are – the Scooters and Mopeds. There is another sub-category that is the Scooterettes. However, many fall into these two main categories according to their application and usage.
Italian brands Vespa and Lambretta first made them popular in the world. Generally, most of the scooters around in the developing countries have varying sizes and prices to suit the local market. Furthermore, the scooters or mopeds are the ones which people use for daily commuting of a very short distance ranging from 5 km to 50 km or so.
Hence, the manufacturers offer smaller engine capacities for these bikes. Thus, the entry-level scooters and mopeds are those with engine capacities of about 100cc and power output upto 10bhp. However, some premium scooters or mopeds offer engine sizes between 100cc – 200 cc that delivers more power.
Characteristics of a Scooter:
Often, the scooters have a simple design/shape and manufacturing process. So, technically, they are economical to make and buy than the sports-bikes and cruisers. The scooters have moderate mileage and maintenance. Primarily, their focus is on the ride comfort and convenience. Some manufacturers provide special features to improve the performance and fuel economy.
For e.g. Honda provides the Honda Eco Technology, Suzuki provides Suzuki Eco Performance to improve the fuel economy. So, some of these scooters deliver an average of upto 60 Km/L as claimed by the respective manufacturer. They also have inexpensive and durable spare parts. Hence, they do not have many trivial issues to deal with.
Advantages of a Scooter:
Most of the scooters are affordable to buy and use. They provide an economical personal transportation solution to users. Hence, they are more popular in the developing countries such as India, China, and South Asian countries. Some motorbikes are considered as scooters depending upon the amount of power and torque they produce. Most of the scooters use an automatic transmission or a Continuous Variable Transmission or CVT.
For example, Hero Pleasure, Honda Activa, and TVS Wego are scooters. The Aprilia and Vespa which have a 150cc engine also fall in the premium scooter segment. Generally, the premium scooters have higher power & torque, trendy colors, and sporty design/style. According to Honda, the 110 cc Honda Navi is neither a scooter nor a motorcycle. It is a bit of both. So, it may be called a scooterette.
To summarize, the scooters carry out the day-to-day city commute without any hassles. They can also negotiate the stop-and-go traffic quite well because of the short wheelbase & turning circle diameter and compact size. They also offer a good amount of comfort and convenience. So, they are ideal mainly for the intra-city travel. Some premium scooters offer better suspension, safety, and other features. So, they are costly. Thus, more upmarket features the scooter gets; it sells for a higher price.
Disadvantages of a Scooter:
However, the scooters are not ideal for long-distance riding because of the limited safety, inadequate suspension, and braking ability. Hence, most people use them only within the city areas for the day-to-day commute.
Hero Motocorp & TVS Motor from India and Honda, Yamaha, Vespa & Aprilia are some of the popular manufacturers of the scooters in the world.
Watch the making of a Scooter:
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