Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Scooter Commuter? Drivers starting to park their gas guzzling SUVs


Yes it's true, with oil at record prices and gasoline too, commuters are starting to actively seek alternatives. With Detroit way behind the curve in offering affordable and practical fuel efficient vehicles (at least until plugin hybrids begin to hit production lines in late 2010, ala Chevy Volt), consumers are beginning to wake up to an almost forgotten source of urban transportation, the venerable scooter.

Not long ago, riding a scooter might be considered passe but in the midst of $3-4 gas, not so much. With the influx of incredibly affordable (but questionable quality in lots of cases) Chinese scooters flooding the Internet, all scooters are becoming more and more affordable. A model that supports speeds in excess of 60mph and gets upwards of 70-80mpg can be had for as little as $2000 these days.

For those who might be considering parking the SUV and looking for a scooter, here are some tips on what to look for.

  • You will probably want at least a 125cc engine. Scooters with 50cc or less don't require a motorcycle license, but are limited to 30mph by law. For speeds in excess of 55-60mph you will want at least a 150cc engine.

  • Buy locally if at all possible. Scooters are for the most part reliable, but they do break and you will benefit from having a local service shop that knows how to repair and service your scooter.

  • If it looks to good to be true, it probably is. There are 150cc Chinese made scooters going for $800-$1500 online. Beware, lots of these are junk. There are some quality Chinese brands however and you should definitely stick with these if you are buying Chinese (Q-Link is perhaps one of the best of the Chinese scooter manufacturers and their Pegasus 150 is one of the best values on the market)

Here are a few articles to support the rapid growth of scooter sales of late:

  • Gas Prices Spur Motor Scooter Sales - WCAX News, Burlington, VT

  • Scooters Help Relieve Pain at the Pump - CBS4 Denver, CO

  • High Gas Prices Driving Up Scooter Sales In Texas - CBS11TV, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

  • Fighting high fuel prices on two wheels - Lethbridge Herald, Alberta, Canada

  • Gas prices fuel motorcycle resurgence - The Daily Journal, Cumberland County, NJ

  • Charlotte scooter sales skyrocket with rising gas prices - WCNC, Charlotte, NC

  • Scooter Sale Skyrocketing with Gas Prices - NBC Augusta, GA

  • Gas prices drive scooter sales - Citizen-Times, Asheville, NC

  • Scooter Sales Up Dramatically - WLBT, Jackson, MS

  • Gas Prices Forcing People to Get Rid of SUVs - WCTV, Tallahassee, FL

  • Scooter Sales Soar Along with Gas Prices - WGHP Fox, Greensboro, NC

  • As gas prices soar, so do scooter sales - News 14, Greensboro, NC

  • Fuel prices drive scooter sales, The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, NC

  • Gas prices boost scooter sales, KARE 11, Minneapolis, MN

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