To keep things simple – motor scooters normally come in three engine sizes – 50cc, 150cc and 250cc. Whilst it is possible to get hold of 125 and 250 plus cc, the basic sizes are the first three mentioned. In a nutshell, the size of the engine determines how fast your scooter can go. When you’re choosing a scooter to buy, think about how fast you need to go, and this will determine which engine size you choose.
- 50cc – These scooters tend to have a max speed of between 35-40 miles per hour depending on rider weight. For urban commutes, where you won’t be on roads faster than 40 mph, a 50cc will give you the best fuel economy.
- 150cc – These will take you a bit faster, at between 50 and 60 miles per hour. If you plan on travelling on faster roads at all, a 150cc will suit your needs better than a 50cc. For most riders, a 150cc fits the bill adequately and with approximately 70mpg, it’s kind on the wallet too.
- 250cc – With a top speed of 75 miles per hour, this is the best option for those needing to travel on the motorway. Heavier riders may also prefer an engine with a bit more oomph. The only downside is that the mpg drops to around 60 with the 250cc.
Which model should you choose:
Now you’ve got a better idea of the speed of each engine size, you’ll know which models to concentrate on in your search. You’ll also want to consider factors like your style, which also means how you drive and not just your favourite colour.
For the majority of enthusiasts, only the Italian Vespa will suffice. For the iconic style and continental flair, the Mod history and associated culture – most choose a Vespa. For better fuel economy and a lower price tag, many manufacturers now produce scooters in the Italian retro style in all engine sizes. Important questions you need to ask include: Would you rather go faster or save on fuel? With fuel prices on the rise again, you might well decide that economy beats speed in a sensible world. You’ll also want to factor in maintenance and servicing at a scooter and classic motorcycle repairs specialist.
If you’re looking at a 250cc engine size, you’ll also need to factor in your driving style. When you choose a bigger engine, you can have it timed to produce different levels of performance. For example, with a single rider, a racing model could reach speeds of 85mph but struggle to pull away from a standing start with a passenger on it. A touring model can easily pull away with 2 people on it but only has a maximum speed of 75mph with a lone rider. Some scooters will also come with a whole range of mod cons, from mp3 players to anti-lock brakes which will also affect the price tag.
When shopping for your next scooter, consider the following points:
- Carefully choose the engine size to suit the speed you want and the fuel mileage you desire.
- Pick an engine size that will reflect your personal driving style and habits.