50cc Scooters - A Buyers Guide
So you've just turned 16 got your CBT and now your ready to get on your first bike? Or perhaps you just need a cheaper mode of transport for getting to work? Whatever the reason might be, this buyer's guide to picking up a scooter will help you to make the choice that's right for you!
Should I buy used? The second hand scooter market over the last few years has fallen somewhat. After the boom in the late nineties and early naughties most of those machines have sadly gone to the scrap yard in the sky, are gathering dust in a garage or are on their last legs after years of teenager abuse. But there are bargains out there still to be found.
The older scooters will more than likely be two-strokes, which gives them an advantage straight away. That engine just suits smaller 50cc machines. If you can find a decent example of one with not to higher mileage, something like the iconic Peugeot Speedfight 2 or a Piaggio Zip, then I'd run the second hand checks on it. If it clears the checks I'd say buy it! As long as the price is right.
I would say for a decent second hand scoot you should be paying around £500-£1000. Once you're over this you may as well be buying a new bike.
Top Tip: Be wary of bikes on the internet, always go and see the bike before buying!
Should I buy new? New scooters can be very reasonably priced and do a great job for you. Some manufacturers still do a two-stroke but on the whole it's generally fours now.
The first thing you need to think about is your budget. Once you know what you're willing to spend you can then see what's on offer to you. Prices can range from £1000-£3000, or higher for bigger capacity machines. Remember you should account for other costs and fit these into your budget. Helmet, jacket, waterproofs, gloves, insurance etc. These will all add up.
Make sure you do your research. Check manufactures websites and target scooters you want to see. Then take yourself down to your local dealership and have a look. Make sure you have a sit on the scooter; you want to feel comfortable on it. Ask about reliability and economy. Make sure you're going to have backup from your dealer, if they haven't got a workshop, how are they going to fix your bike if it breaks down?
Most scooters also have space for storage, such as room for your helmet under the seat. These vary in size, check your new helmet fits under there!
Top Tip: Be wary of Chinese Scooters. They may seem cheap but there's a reason for that, the parts fail. They are improving all the time but I would check online for reviews by people of the particular make and model you are thinking of buying just to be sure.
I hope that's helped with things to watch out for when searching for a scooter. Here are a number of links to manufacturers so you can get an idea of what's about.
Peugeot: Good reliable brand - www.peugeotscooters.co.uk
Kymco: Growing Taiwanese brand, great range - www.kymco.co.uk
Piaggio: Solid scooter brand - www.piaggio-scooters.co.uk
Honda: Big H has recently brought back the Vision - www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/scooters
Yamaha: A small but strong range - www.yamaha-motor.eu/uk/products/scooters
Aprilla: Good looking bikes, watch the reliability! - uk.aprilia.com/en-GB/Models/29720/Scooters
Insurance: MCE Insurance do deals catered solely for scooters, check it out - www.mceinsurance.com/scooter-insurance
28.11.12 - Big Ed