So, you have decided to own a scooter, congratulations!
Scooters are fun, they are stylish, they come in different shapes and colors, some have retro looks, some look modern and futuristic, each of them has its own character. No matter which one you pick, at the end of the day, they are all environmentally friendly and a cheap alternative to a car, especially with today’s rising gas prices.
Do you know how to ride? If not, don’t worry, operating a motor scooter is easy, operating it safely is NOT.
Compared to a car, a scooter operation requires more skill and coordination. You have to keep an eye out for cars all the time. You need to make sure you remain visible to the drivers and anticipate what might happen at all times. For example, you need to anticipate that drivers making left turns may not see you and be prepared to make defensive maneuvers. Many crashes occur from other motorists not seeing the scooter and turning into its path. You need to be cautious when riding in bad weather conditions, on slippery surfaces and when encountering obstacles. Ejection from the scooter is the most common injury path. There are no airbags and seat belts to protect you, when you are ejected, be ready to hit the ground. So, it is very important to wear protective gear, such as a helmet and protective clothing at all times. For more information, please read about the anatomy of a motorcycle crash at the NHTSA website.
In many states, you are not required to obtain a motorcycle license in order to operate scooters up to 50cc. You can easily find out about the requirements of your state through your regional DMV’s website.
If you are not required to get a motorcycle license, the best way to learn is to attend MSF’s half day Introduction to Scooters (IS) class, the alternate way is to have someone teach you. If you don’t know anyone who can teach you, you can attend a training course offered by another provider.
This is a repost of the article “…where to start” posted on 02/22/2011 under our Technicalities section.