Considered in some quarters as one of the best kept secrets on commuting in the Western hemisphere, scooters are a popular means of transport in a number of countries in the South East and Far East Asia. Scooters are indeed great tools for travel but are also fun. When compared to automobiles and motorcycles, scooters are cheap and in the case of mechanical problems, are easily repaired. One of their key advantages is their compact design and size that makes them portable and easy to park or store. The scooter is very easy to learn and some types of scooters do not require one to have a driving license in order to drive. They are portable, economical and come in many forms using different means of propulsion. Some are foot propelled, while others use gas or electric motors. Some scooters have two wheels while others have three wheels.
There are many scooter types and models to choose from. With the blossoming expertise and technology, there are many designs to pick from. The type of scooter one goes for depends on their budget and the purposes for which the scooter will be used. Nowadays unlike in years past, scooters are not only thought of as a play thing for children and teens out to have fun but are also ideal for adults looking for a convenient means of getting around at a fraction of the cost of an automobile.
Types of scooters
The following is a listing of the more widely known and used scooters. The categorization is not mutually exclusive. For instance, you can have a mobility scooter that is electricity powered.
Gas motor scooter – The gas powered scooter has one of the highest top speeds among all the different types of scooters. The engine size of the gas scooters available today range from 50cc to more than 250cc for the larger ones. The smaller size engines are popular with persons on a stringent budget. The gas powered scooter comes in manual or automatic transmission. Though it is gas propelled, it has an electric battery. Because of the power it packs when compared to other types of scooters, you need to have a driving license before you can drive one.
Electric motor scooter – The electric motor scooter is a good pointer towards the benefits to be accrued from electric powered automobiles of the future. An electric powered scooter is even more economical than a gas scooter especially when you consider the often rising and erratic cost of gas. But the electricity propelled scooted has another major benefit – it is environment friendly. Its carbon emission foot print is minuscule when compared to the gas motor scooter thus contributing towards lower reduced environmental pollution. The primary drawback of the electric scooter is its inability to go for long distances before requiring a recharge. The furthest a standard electric scooter can go on one battery charge is about 15 miles.
Mobility scooter – This is a scooter specifically designed for use by the physically challenged and by the aged. Their goal is to bolster not only mobility but physical balance as well. The scooter makes it easy for the elderly to get out of the house and explore the outside world, as opposed to being confined in the house. They are portable and are built with the understanding that the person using it will need to easily access the inside of a building, move comfortably on the sidewalk and board public transport. The mobility scooter is electric powered. They come in two wheels or the more stable four wheels. You do not need a license to drive a mobility scooter.
Folding scooter – This is probably the most popular scooter among children and teens. It is manually (or foot) operated. The rider uses his or her foot to push it until they have sufficient momentum. There is no motor. The folding scooter is the most portable of any scooter type and can be folded until it is the size of a suitcase before it is stored in a small compartment or locker. It is available in the two wheel and in the three wheel models. The frame of the scooter is made from aluminum or steel. Since no power is required to propel it other than physical exertion, it is (together with the skateboard scooter) the most economical scooter one can buy.
Utility scooter – This is the kind of scooter you will often see on the golf course, in factories, warehouses within large corporate complexes. It is used to carry considerably bulky cargo around a factory floor or warehouse. On the golf course, it is used to move both players and their golf kit around the course. Large corporate complexes may also use them to move persons around e.g. if the entry gate is a distance from the main office block.
Skateboard scooter – Like the folding scooter, the skateboard scooter is foot propelled. Like the name implies, it is a four-wheeled skating board that is combined with a scooter. It can be difficult to ride and requires practice and skill to do so. It is economical, portable and easy to store away.
In an age when fuel costs continue to wreck havoc on the economies of entire nations and punch a hole in the budgets of families, the scooter provides some welcome relief. They are cheap to buy and economical to run. In order to run a scooter, one needs just a small fraction of what they would otherwise spend to fill up a small car’s fuel tank. Even the more expensive scooters are still much cheaper to buy and maintain than a car. Scooters have a better safety record on the roads making their insurance premiums lower than for cars and motor cycles. With a scooter, the parking headache becomes almost non-existent. With parking lots in cities becoming ever more crowded, scooters can be parked legally in car spaces or bicycle spaces.