Today’s Motorcycle Scooters Are Nothing to Laugh At
Each time I mention to riders or non riders that I have a motorcycle scooter, a KYMCO 150cc Bet & Win, people smile or chuckle aloud in disbelief. I know they’re thinking… “how could this former European supersport 600 race competitor, track coaching instructor, 2-stroke jump loving off-road enthusiast ride a scooter?
Surprisingly many North Americans are not well-informed when it comes to the thrills of “scooter” riding. The scooter has come a long way since the first step through “Skootamoto” created in 1919, by British engineer Granville Bradshaw (even though the very first motorcycle was a step through; “step through” a scooter defining characteristic).
We live in an era where scooters are now high on performance, diverse in use, fun, affordable, “green” and easy to enjoy.
Scooter engine capacities range from 50cc to 500cc even 850cc. And KYMCO’S new 500cc Xciting (appropriately named!) even has ABS. Apparently latest terminology states anything above a 250cc is a “maxi-scooter”. I’m not certain I agree because my KYMCO 150cc will do 120 kph which is more than maximum speed limit in most North American cities.
There are scooters for touring, for the city, for performance and even for racing as shown in the video below.
A world that daily bestows upon us breakthroughs in technology; scooters have not been overlooked continuing to make leaps and bounds into our motorcycling cultures. Oh, what’s that you say? They’re not potent (macho) enough? Not cool enough? I suppose there’s that too–the stigma or better yet perception of being less of a rider if on a scooter—well, another old-fashioned measure. And consider if you are in Milan or Paris, you’ll be considered the hippest of hip on your scooter. If you own a scooter, you got “in”. And you should see how the likes of Valentino Rossi handles his scooter or Giancarlo Falappa who rode me all through one British Brands Hatch World Superbike (WSBK) paddock/pits (he’s aggressive!) parking outside Ducati Italy hospitality to enjoy lunch. Fun times!
I view my KYMCO Bet & Win scooter as a pleasurable add-on to my motorcycling wardrobe. My sportbike for the street or track, my off-road bike for the dirt/trails, my KYMCO for urban riding or even within the paddock on race days.
Perhaps we can liken this to our generally wide variety of shoe styles and types. For example, we’ve our runners for fitness, hiking boots for the outback, strappy sandals for the yacht, knee-high boot with a skirt and stilettos for the nightclub.
Motorcycling comes in so many pleasurable variations and a scooter (scoot: “to go suddenly and speedily; hurry) is an extended, must have (must do) form of this activity – motorcycling.
Riding a scooter doesn’t mean replacing a [typical] motorcycle and for millions it’s all they ever want.