Looking to get an electric or gas scooter, moped, or vespa?

Hi, I am a poor college student looking to get an electric or gas scooter, moped, or vespa because I can't afford gas for my truck. I have no knowledge on any of these since my family has never owned one. If anyone could give me a brief overview of the differences and what I should purchase it would be very helpful and I would love you forever. Thanks!

8 Answers

  • Dimo J
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Electric vehicles cost more in replacement batteries than gas for a faster gas powered vehicle. Get electric if you want to be "Green" -- not for economy.

    A Moped, MOtorized PEDalbike, tops out at 20-30 mph. Not safe for city streets.

    A 50cc scooter will top out at 35 or so. Again, not safe on city streets with 40+ mph cars.

    125-150cc motorbikes/scooters will handle surface streets.

    250cc+ motorbikes/scooters will handle freeways.

    Italian, Japanese, and American manufacturers have good reputations for reliability. Others may be cheaper, but cheap is not economical when it breaks. Check carefully where something is made, The Schwinn name was sold and the bikes are cheap unreliable Chinese junk. Piaggio (Vespa) has been making scooters longer than anyone else in the business. The 150 Fly is interesting.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Electric will bring you grief. Affordable battery technology is not there yet.

    You are economically safest with a Honda, Genuine, or Yamaha. If you are just buzzing around town, the Honda Ruckus is a best choice. There is a plenthora of aftermarket parts for it because it is so popular. You can sometimes practically steal them on ebay sometimes.

    There are website forums just for the Ruckus. Battlescooter has lots of upgrades. You can lower the seat, stretch the frame, add footpegs, crash bars, racks, bigger engine, etc. The scoot is great off the floor, but if you want to trick it out later, the possibilities are incredible.

    The Yamaha Zuma 50, and 125 are great bikes.

    The Genuine 110 Rattler is getting great reviews. Genuine is an American company, producing high quality scoots.

    Vespa costs too much for what it is. Its good, but costs too much. Sort of like buying a BMW when all you needed was a Toyota.

    Look at the Honda, Yamaha, and Genuine scoots. They won't let you down.

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  • 1 decade ago

    OK, lets keep it simple.

    There are many good companies, Sym, Vespa, Piaggo, Genuine, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha.


    Buy a used Honda. Honda has dealerships everywhere. You can always get it serviced. All Hondas are good.

    In most cases, a 50cc does not require a motorcycle license. They go 35 mph. Fine for everything except highways.

    As a new rider, you have no business on a hwy right now anyway. So get a 50 cc.

    I have an '86 Honda elite that runs like a top.

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  • 1 decade ago

    One point missing in your otherwise excellent question.

    What is your budget for a bike?

    For example I picked up a 2002 Kawasaki KLR 650 about three years ago for $3,000. Last summer when gas reached over $4 a gallon I rode bike every day possible. 55 to 58 mpg. Tons of accessories. The KLR is very reliable and very easy to work on.

    More info can be had on the Adventure Rider forum and website. Be certain to watch the slide show.

    Good Luck

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  • justme
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    That is too general of a description. It encompasses too many rides that aren't necessarily even related. There are very few true "mopeds" available today and the ones I know of are not practical for every day transportation unless you are a decent do-it-yourself tinkerer. Most electric rides are woefully under powered or have questionable range. Better electrics are on the horizon, but just aren't there yet in my opinion. Any quality electric you choose today will be obsolete in a few short years. So... I say gas is the way to go.

    The best advice I can give you is avoid Chinese junk. Even if they seem like a good deal at the time of purchase, there will be no replacement parts in 2 years and no dealer support from day 1. Very few reputable repair shops will even take them in for repairs because of the hassles involved in obtaining parts. A busted machine in the shed that can't be fixed isn't worth whatever cheap price you paid for it. Even owners who love their's will tell you that they are forced to do all repair, parts sourcing, and maintenance themselves.

    Some scooters from Tiawan (Kymco for one) are good for the price IF there is a dependable dealer nearby. Check this out thoroughly if you decide to take this option. Even so, the support is never quite up to Japanese or European standards with parts becoming obsolete much faster.

    European scooters (Vespa, etc), are are excellent products, but dealers are sometimes scarce and parts, though usually available, take longer to get on average than Japanese counterparts. They are more expensive feature for feature than their Japanese competition too and are no more dependable IMO.

    Japanese gas bikes and scooters from the "Big 4" (Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki) are always a great choice from a quality/parts/support aspect with a slight edge to Honda in my opinion. You can even order Japanese parts online from dozens of dependable places and have them shipped straight to your door. Warehouses inside the US are already bulging with spare parts ready for shipment. 20 years from now, parts for any Japanese cycle will most likely still be available in a week or less. There is no way to beat the Japanese for support at this time.

    Avoid the urge to get a tiny (50cc) engine unless you plan to only ride it in residential settings with speed limits of 30 and less without big hills. The little ones will tempt with unbelievable MPG figures, but those will only happen when creeping around at 20 MPH. Some can go about 40 MPH, but that is only under full throttle which isn't good for fuel efficiency or engine life. Few, if any, will actually "cruise" anywhere close to those speeds. Hilly terrain will also be a challenge. Cars will push you along and show you no respect anywhere you go. A 100 - 200cc engine will be much better (and safer) if there are any busy streets or hills in your area. They'll get good mileage and still keep right up with the flow in city traffic on any terrain without too much of a strain. Most will even do some minor highway duty if you ever need it.

    Whatever you decide to get, make certain you can get support locally if you need it. Nothing is worse than walking while parts are on backorder for a month or your bike is in another state being worked on because that is where the only dealer was located.

    Right now I happen to like this one from Yamaha the best:


    And remember - you'll get what you pay for. If money is tight, a good, well used "has been" is better than a brand new "never was" every time.

    Hope this helps. Good Luck!

    Source(s): Been getting around on motorcycles and scooters for 37 years. Currently own 3 Japanese motorcycles (50cc, 100cc, & 650cc) and a 42cc Taiwanese gas scooter.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you're riding just city traffic, and short distances... then go with a 49/50cc scoot. If you need to go longer distance and 50-55 mph then shoot for a 150 cc scoot.

    There are a lot of good bargins on the net for scoots in the price range of 650 - 1000 bucks.

    Just type in 150cc scooter in your browser.

    Source(s): Been riding scoots for 6 years. 149cc and 49cc. They'll pay for themseves in 4-5 months of riding.
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  • 1 decade ago

    do not get an electric... vespas are very popluar...but they are chinese and pretty much all chinese made products are junk so im not to sure about those..Sticking with a jap. brand is your best bet, honda, yamaha, suzuki. I own a 1982 honda passport, it does 50mph and gets 100mpg...cant beat that. You can find em for anywhere from $400 to $1000 and their engines are just about bulletproof. there are more parts for that thing than honda civics. dratv.com hondatrailbikes.com and many more websites that have performance parts like big bore kits for only $100. Good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Try looking into the honda Ruckus. theyre cheap and easy to maintain, and have like an infinite number of mods like the civic. My neighbor has one, and its very fun! Just asking; why dont you sell your truck? maybe you can get a used civic or corolla as an exchange?

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