Practice Safe Scootin’?
Scooterists need gear too
Falling off a motorcycle at 60 km/hr hurts just as much as falling off of a scooter at the same speed. Dress for the fall, not the ride. This includes looking for armored jackets and footwear that offers proper foot and ankle protection. I have a friend who looked great riding in front of me on her purple Vespa LX-150, until she fell off and broke her foot!
Practice safe scootin’.
Pic courtesy of Mondo Lulu
If you can’t be heard, be seen
Scooters are generally quieter than most motorcycles. There are some performance exhaust pipes available which may increase the volume of sound your scooter produces and give you marginal power gains. When buying gear, look for bright coloured jackets or vests to maximize your visibility. You’ll need to be the strong, silent, and seen type.
Scooters need helmets
In most of North America, scooters require DOT approved helmets by law. Proper fit is most important. Heads are shaped differently, and helmets are designed for different shapes and sizes. Don’t rush to buy whatever’s available or what the dealer or seller is throwing in to the deal. Was that a “no-brainer”? Remember to protect your eyes with a visor, riding goggles, or sunglasses designed specifically for riding (they keep the bugs/dust from getting around the frame and into your eyes).
How fast you can stop is as important as how fast you can go
For inside Toronto, I’d recommend nothing less than a 50cc two-stroke. The two-stroke engine will produce more power and torque than a 50cc four-stroke engine, but both will have difficulty keeping up with traffic on steep hills. Ashley has managed to push a 50cc Derbi Atlantis from Toronto to places like Wasaga Beach and Hamilton and back. A larger displacement engine would help you to maintain acceleration and power on inclines and when riding with a passenger. Few people place enough emphasis on finding a bike with disk brakes front and rear, like the KYMCO Frost 200i for example. Some vintage Vespa and Lambretta scooters are beautiful, but many have drum brakes front and rear. They work well, but there’s a reason more expensive rides come with more disk brakes. We’ve got a full comparison of drum brakes vs. disk brakes here!
Just because it isn’t a motorcycle doesn’t mean it won’t get you into trouble if you’re reckless. For even more riding advice visit the Motorcycle Safety Tips page.