Here are answers
to questions which people frequently ask us.
Click on the question to get to the answer.
Hopefully we've included questions in which you
WHAT EXACTLY IS A SCOOTER?
The word "scooter"
is confusing because it is used for several
There are scooters for kids which might have a
small electric motor (top speed 10mph) or might
be entirely foot-powered (you know - you stand
on it and push it along with your foot.) These
"sidewalk scooters" can be either "stand-up" or
"sit-down" scooters. These are wonderful toys
for kids but not what we offer.
Then there are
"mobility scooters" which you'll see advertised
on late night TV. This is a terrific aid for a
handicapped person but is not our business.
Some people call their motorcycles "scooters",
especially Harleys. This is sort of a "pet" name
for their beloved machine and adds a bit more
confusion to the mix.
What we offer are high quality vehicles for
adults to ride on the street. Our scooters are
made by the best scooter companies in the world
- Vespa Piaggio, Lambretta, Kymco, Genuine, Hyosung -
which have excellent US distributors and provide
excellent warranties. These scooters have top
speeds from 35 mph to interstate speeds,
depending on the model. Most have fully
By the way, to add to the confusion, you'll hear
people using the words "Vespa" or "moped" to
refer to scooters. For "Vespa", see the next
question. In New Mexico a moped is legally a
vehicle which his less than 50 cc engine size,
has an automatic transmission, and does not
exceed 30 mph. We sell some scooters which are
legally mopeds. Most of the ones we sell are
bigger than a moped and fall under different
WHAT IS A "VESPA"?
You'll hear people
using the word "Vespa" as a generic word to
refer to scooters. Vespa is a brand name like
Chevrolet or Toyota. Americans actually invented
the scooter - one of the earliest being Cushman.
During World War II Americans dropped Cushman
scooters into Italy for the use of the soldiers
there. The Italians were quite taken with the
little, fuel efficient things and Mr Piaggio
used this model to invent the Vespa (from
Italian for wasp). Another classic Italian brand
was Lambretta. Vespa and Lambretta competed
strenuously for years. Vespas have been made and
improved ever since. During the 60's a lot of us
rode Vespas and Lambrettas, an all steel scooter
which had a 2-stroke engine and manual shift.
Please visit our Vespa page.
HOW FAST DO THESE SCOOTERS GO?
The scooters we
sell range from top speeds of 30 mph to 90 mph
depending on the model.
The ones which
have an engine size of 49cc come from the
factory restricted to 30 mph. This is because
most states have laws that make a scooter less
than 50cc legally a "moped" which can't go
faster than 30 mph. In New Mexico, a moped does
not need to be registered and does not require a
motorcycle endorsement on your license. All
these scooters can be de-restricted so they can
go 35 to 40 mph and we're happy to perform that
service for you. Most of the 49cc scooters we
sell have 2-stroke engines because a 2-stroke is
a good bit quicker than a comparable 4-stroke
(which is what's in your car). 2-stroke engines
generally do not get quite as good gas mileage
as 4-strokes of the same size.
Mid size scooters
are between 125 to 150cc. This is the size that
meets most people's needs. They will top out at
55 or 60 mph and with the 200cc engine, it will
cruise on the interstate topping out at 70 to 90
SORT OF GAS MILEAGE DO THEY GET?
They all get great gas mileage! The gas mileage
depends on the size of the scooter's engine. The
49cc scooters generally get about 90 mpg. Most
of the 49cc scooters we sell have 2-stroke
engines because a 2-stroke is a good bit quicker
than a comparable 4-stroke (which is what's in
your car). 2-stroke engines generally do not get
quite as good gas mileage as 4-strokes of the
same size. So a 4-stroke 49cc scooter will get
even better mileage (but go slower).
The mid size
scooters (125 - 150cc) get from 80 - 90 mpg
depending on the model.
All the scooters get way better gas mileage than
an average car. And take much less of the
earth's precious resources to produce.
STILL HAVE TO MIX OIL WITH THE GAS?
In modern 2 stroke
scooters you do not need to premix the 2 cycle
oil with the gasoline. The scooter does it for
you automatically. All you need to do is pour
the 2T oil in the proper reservoir and then the
engine injects the right amount of oil at the
right time. Be sure to use high quality 2 stroke
oil which has been designed for motorcycles. It
makes a tremendous difference to the life of the
With some older model scooters, this is not the
case. The older the scooter the more likely it
is that you will have to pre-mix the oil and
gas. There are special cups available that
indicate how much oil to mix with a gallon or
half gallon of gasoline.
2 stroke (or 2 cycle) engines burn oil (special
2 stroke oil) and must have oil mixed with the
gas. This is the oil that lubricates the engine.
2 stroke engine demo.
4 stroke scooters are just like cars and do not
mix oil with the gas. Most of the scooters we
offer have 4-stroke engines. 4 stroke engine
DO THESE SCOOTERS COME WITH
You bet! All the
manufacturers whose products we sell provide
excellent warraties (either one year or two with
unlimited mileage) as well as parts
availability. It's important to keep your
warranty intact by having the scheduled services
performed at the suggested intervals.
DO I NEED INSURANCE?
say that for any motorized vehicle that goes
faster than 30mph or is over 49cc you DO need
insurance and registration. You cannot register
a vehicle without liability insurance. Most
larger insurance companies offer motorcycle
insurance. Shop around for scooter insurance
since the price can vary widely.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A
VINTAGE AND A MODERN SCOOTER?
Vintage scooters are scooters over 20 years old,
which in most cases have an all metal body and
manual transmission (clutch and gears) as well
as manual choke and gas control. These are old
Vespas and Lambrettas. They're cool and they're
are the wonderful brands scooters that have
become available in the American market in the
last 8 or 9 years. These generally have a CVT
automatic transmission and automatic everything.
Scooters have improved a lot in the last 10
years in terms of fuel efficiency, reliability,
performance and emissions. Of course we're
discussing quality scooters, not crummy ones
There is an exception to the previous paragraph
about modern scooters having automatic
transmissions: Stella! This lovely creature from
Genuine Scooter Co. is a manual shift, 4-stroke,
150cc, metal bodied vision of loveliness (see
above picture). And also see her at Centaur
Cycles & Scooters.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A
SCOOTER AND A MOTORCYCLE?
A motorcycle usually has an exposed engine
located midway between the front and rear wheel.
The engine’s power is delivered to the rear
wheel by a secondary driveline such as a chain
and sprockets, belt drive or a driveshaft. You
climb on to a motorcycle by swinging your right
leg over the back, straddling the machine. They
typically have standard transmissions which are
operated with a foot shift and hand clutch.
A motor scooter’s engine is mounted in front of
the rear wheel. It is connected directly to the
wheel so no secondary driveline is required. The
engine is concealed by the bodywork, much the
same as in a car. The most obvious difference is
that scooters have "step through" frames and you
sit on it more like a chair. Your feet rest on
the floor plate and your legs are protected
behind the front of the bodywork. Your clothes
tend to stay cleaner on a scooter than on a
motorcycle. In general, scooters have a lower
center of gravity and are easier to handle than
Scooters are generally much easier to ride and
maintain due to their many “user friendly”
features. The best example is the automatic CVT
transmission found on most modern scooter
designs which delivers seamless power to the
rear wheel at the twist of the right grip.
It’s hard to go beyond these few
generalizations. Scooters used to all come with
tiny wheels, but now some of them have wheels as
large as those commonly found on motorcycles.
Scooters used to be thought of as chiefly
around-town putt-putts. But now many models are
available with the power, suspension, brakes,
comfort and carrying capacity needed to cruise
effortlessly on interstate highways, even on
longer coast to coast journeys, and even with a
passenger! So motorcycles are not necessarily
bigger and faster than scooters, just different.
Take your pick and ride whatever you like the
DO YOU GUYS SELL USED SCOOTERS?
We are happy to
sell good quality used scooters or motorcycles
when we can get them. Usually they're gone
pretty soon after they arrive so if we have one
you want, don't hesitate too long. And if we
don't have what you want today, check back
because a wonderful used scooter or motorcycle
could show up unexpectedly any time.
ARE THESE THINGS MADE IN CHINA?
Nope. We do not
sell any scooters manufactured or sold by a
Chinese company. We have tried scooters from
several supposedly reputable Chinese companies
only to be bitterly disappointed in their
quality, reliability and warranty. We continue
to watch Chinese scooters with great interest
but everything we hear is that they still are in
no way comparable to the high quality scooters
we sell. Like you, we're wary of China after all
the stories in the press about poisonous pet
food, toxic toothpaste, terrible toys, beastly
baby food, and sulphuic acid dry wall.
The scooters we sell are made by Italian, Taiwan
or Korean companies. We have found that Taiwan
has ethics similar to Japan - they stand behind
their products and are in business for the long
haul, not just to make a fast buck and leave
customers stranded. That said, Kymco and Piaggio
both own factories in mainland China and
manufacture their less expensive scooters there.
We were wary at first until we learned that
other dealers were satisfied with their quality.
We now offer these scooters and we and our
customers are pleased with their price and
Here are 2 articles about "quality" in China you
might want to read. These articles will give you
a good idea of why we are so very wary of Made
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH SCOOTER IS THE
RIGHT ONE FOR ME?
We'll do our best to help you determine the best
scooter for you. It will come down to a few
basic questions that you can think about when
you are shopping around.
1. How far do you intend to ride each day?
2. How fast do you need to go?
3. Do you intend to use this scooter as a daily
commuter or for fun on the weekend?
4. Are you going to carry a passenger?
5. What are your preferences regarding the
mechanical workings of the scooter? Are you the
kind of person who prefers an automatic
transmission so you can hop on and go? Or, do
you prefer to shift the scooter yourself, and
enjoy the process of turning the fuel on, and
using a manual choke?
1 & 2 & 3. If you're only going a mile or two on
city streets, a 49cc scooter may be the right
choice for you. They're less expensive, fairly
small and easy to handle and they beat the heck
out of taking the bus!
However if you need or want to ride on bigger
streets where cars are travelling at 50 mph,
you'll need a mid size scooter.
4. If you plan to take a passenger (please ride
your scooter for several months before doing so)
you'll want a scooter which can handle 2 people
at the speeds you need to attain.
We're always delighted to discuss all these
issues with you. We genuinely want you to be
satisfied with your scooter and to get the one
which you'll enjoy the most.
The scooter engine and body are original. We
replace the parts that need to be replaced on a
30+ year old scooter. Check out our Restoration
page for a complete list of parts replaced.
DO YOU PROVIDE A DISCOUNT IF I ORDER MORE THAN
Absolutely. Contact us and specify the amount of
bikes you want.
CAN I RIDE MY VESPA/LAMBRETTA IN MY COUNTRY?
In most countries, yes. Many scooters over 20 ages are exempt from many of the laws
concerning emissions. Of course you will need
proper registration for your local area.
IS THE PAPERWORK INCLUDED WITH THE BIKE?
Yes, all the necessary paperwork is included
with the bike. The paperwork is shipped out
after final payment has been received and the
scooter has been shipped.
ARE THE MOTORBIKES WORKING?
Absolutely. Almost like new.
WHERE CAN IN FIND PARTS FOR THE VESPA WHERE I
There are lots of resources on the internet. You
can start with Scooterhelp.com or Scomo.net & sip-scootershop.com
CAN I GET MY VESPA/LAMBRETTA IN ANY COLOR (OR
COLORS) I WANT?
DO YOU SHIP THE VESPA/LAMBRETTA MANUAL WITH IT?
Yes, we ship the Manual with the Vespa/Lambretta.
CAN THE VESPA/LAMBRETTA MAKE IT ON A LONG
There are many tales of people travelling along
coasts in England and America. Suffice to say,
yes, they can make it. But do remember this
wasn't meant for the kind of rigorous driving
that modern bikes are capable of.
DO YOU PROVIDE ANY KIND OF WARRANTY?
We provide a 12 month Warranty on all
parts. We do not, however, take responsibility
for damages occuring during the shipment or
missing/wrong delivery scooters- each
scooter is insured only when the customer buy
insurance and the buyer is responsible
for checking the scooter for wrong
delivery/missing/damages and filling
in the form before accepting the scooter from
carrier/forwarder and we will not be responsible
if the customer didn't do like we mention.
DO YOU PROVIDE ANY SUPPORT AFTER I HAVE RECEIVED
Absolutely. We typically respond within 24