What is the best motor scooter for adults? They’re cheap. They’re nimble. They’re relatively low-maintenance. (Most) everyone thinks they’re adorable, rather than a menace. Scooters may not have the gravitas of automobiles and motorcycles, but there’s no better way to get to the post office, the grocery store and the bagel shop in less than 20 minutes. Here are five I’m looking forward to testing this year; some are all-new, some are tried-and-true. We present to you, the top Cool motor scooters for adults and the best motor scooters for adults 2020 picks below!
best motor scooters for adults 2020
Cool motor scooters for adults
2020 Piaggio Beverly 350 Tourer $6,599
Piaggio’s “Beverly” line isn’t new, but their flagship 350 Tourer is. It’s one of the best-looking new scoots available, with its sporty smoked windshield, spacious 36-litre top box and a host of options. It’s also got some major relative “oomph” with its 30-horsepower, 333 cc engine and 16/14 tires and includes the hella mod PIAGGIO MIA connectivity system, through which you can connect your smartphone to the vehicle via Bluetooth.Most Popular In: Cars & Bikes
Using the App, you can thus record and display a rich set of information about the trip and the operating status of the vehicle on your mobile device. Available colors are plentiful and you get a seat with a double lining and comet silver finishes which also extend to the passenger foot boards. Black wheel rims with diamond edge and new black plates add to the stealth factor.
The standard equipment is plentiful, with an ABS braking system and ASR traction control system and a remote control for opening the seat at a distance. You can also find your Beverly by flashing the indicators (‘bike finder’ function, optional). The storage compartment in the leg shield houses a practical USB port. Also on deck are a Cyclops Headlight, LCD Display, USB Charging Port, Remote-Control, Seat Lock, and more.
2020 Vespa Primavera 50 MRSP $4,199
No, it’s got nothing to do with pasta sauce. The Primavera 50 is a smart-looking little peanut, its 50cc engine powered by a 4.1 horsepower four-stroke engine with a top speed of about 40 MPH. That means you’ll be staying off the highways for the most part, but you’ll tool around your city or neighborhood like a champ, and mileage is an excellent 80 MPG. You can also ride this 50cc machine without a motorcycle endorsement in 16 states.
The Primavera 50 comes with 12-inch, cast-aluminum rims that roll with five paired spokes. Coil-over shocks support both your front end and back, and braking’s accomplished via a 140 mm drum-type brake at the rear and a hydraulic caliper that chomps down on a 200 mm disc at the front. ABS comes with. Also new for this year are a “fly” windscreen, espresso brown seat, new LED headlight and a new hinged fork design – the first new and improved Vespa fork design since 1977.
2020 Vespa Elettrica MSRP: $7,499
You didn’t think we’d neglect electric scooters, did ya? This handsome devil is the electric version of Vespa’s Primavera about, motivating with a lithium-ion battery and a 4kW motor “guaranteed” to achieve 62 miles on a single charge, though we’ll have to put that to the test on the practically vertical hills of Seattle in March. The Electtrica is also packed with the latest in electronics with its remote key, LED surround lights, USB charger, Ride-by-Wire, and two riding modes for you to choose from. And – what’s this? Reverse! HFS.
What’s impressive, too, is the 4.3 inch color TFT digital dashboard providing riding parameters and offering “journey statistics” for those interested in such things. The Vespa Mia system , too, allows for connectivity between vehicle and smartphone – at last! – so you don’t need to pull over and look at your phone to see where the next turn is. The app also saves the parameters and last position of the vehicle, so there isn’t any “Dude, where’s my scooter?”
It’s a mere 4 hours for a full recharge, but you also benefit from motorsport tech known as KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) that recharges the battery while decelerating. It’s also infinitely customizable, with seven color options and seat trims. You can also get a special Bluetooth Jet helmet.
2020 Italjet Dragster
You may remember the original Dragster, built between 1998 and 2003. This one’s updated, brilliantly so judging from the photos, with Italjet’s signature independent steering system (ISS) a 125cc engine making 15HP, as well as a CVT transmission and belt drive. A single front swingarm sits atop a 12-inch wheel, with 13 inches at the back. ABS, of course. And it only weighs around 230 pounds. Exact prices and availability are difficult to come by, and it’ll be a limited edition, but you can expect to spend around $5,550 US dollars, not horrible, especially for what you get.
With its naked steel trellis frame with aluminum diecast plates, its Pirelli Diablo tires, its front-mounted radiator and forkless front suspension, Italjet’s Dragster is a must-have for those who want to scoot in style, cause a ruckus, and stop for photos. There’s more, much more, but it’s the only mass-produced scooter with all the above accoutrements and is a hands-down contender for “Best Looking Scooter of 2020.”
2020 Honda PCX 150 $3,699
The PCX 150 is one of my favorites because, like a good diner, it’s neither overly trendy nor flashy (unless you get it in red, like above) nor anything but a solid, affordable unit that does what a scooter is supposed to do – zip you here and there and back. (Read my review of the 2019 PCX 150 here.) The unit did get a makeover in 2013 with a more powerful engine and a bigger fuel tank along with various design tweaks to make it more sporty, and it’s all here this year. You’ve also got a 12-volt charging socket, more under-seat storage, new LED lighting and LCD instrumentation, a handy helmet hook for in-store dashes in safe neighborhoods (Not the Bronx.) There’s also a small storage space in the front that’s handy for holding gloves, a small amount of groceries or similar.
Powerwise, there’s a 149CC, liquid cooled, 4-stroke, 80 degree engine making around 13 horsepower and 10.3 lb-ft of torque. It is not the wildest, most on-the-edge unit available, but it never gave me a moment’s trouble and its price is lower than more a few scooters of its kind.
WHAT SCOOTER SHOULD I BUY?
The focus of this site has always been to help scooterists find the best machine. This entire site is designed to be a comprehensive resource on every scooter from all the main manufacturers, but it still can be difficult to get started. This article will help you do just that by asking some of the key questions.
What displacement is right?
To get started, ask yourself what sort of power or engine size you’re after. Small scooters (50cc) will be good for 30-50mph, which means around town use only unless you’re crazy. There aren’t many scooters between 50cc and 125cc, which is where the mid sized scooter market starts (125-170cc). Mid-sized scooters add enough power to hang with traffic on backroads and slower highways (i.e. 50-70mph), but you have to move up to 250cc+ to be fully capable of cruising on highways with 60-70mph speed limits.
Opting for a bigger motor certainly adds power, but it also means a machine that is more expensive to buy, insure, maintain and fill with gas. Bigger scooters are also a bit more of handful for smaller riders looking for something light and nimble. So carefully consider what size of scooter meets your realistic needs, and then ask yourself if such a scooter also meets your budget. The challenge is might be finding the right balance between what’s practical economically and what gets you excited. Opting for a scooter that is impractically too small in a bid to save money often ends with dissatisfaction, while selecting a bigger machine than you need ends up being a costly lesson.
Why are you buying?
Consider what your main motivation is. If you’re buying because you’re a scooter enthusiast looking for a blast on two wheels then you probably already have a favorite brand and you’re not reading this article, so if you are reading this then maybe you’re buying a scooter for practical reasons.
The danger if you are buying a scooter to save money is to wrongly assume all scooters are economical and then purchase some attractive machine which might end up costing more to operate than you planned. I did just that when my wife and I purchased two mid sized scooters – a Vespa LX150 and a Yamaha BWS 125. We figured it would be a fun and cheap way to travel but once we actually got the scooters I realized that our combined gas usage was the same as just taking our car, plus any money saved by diverting wear and tear off the car was lost because we were spending an extra $70 per month on insurance for the scooters plus they were depreciating. Our car only cost us $2500 a few years earlier and the total depreciation on these two scooters by the time we sold was over $3500.
To put it simply, any scooter will save money if you’re buying it instead of a car. But if you’re buying a scooter in addition to your car then only a 50cc will really save enough money to be worthwhile. Even then you have to use it a decent amount. So the take away lesson here is that if you are buying a scooter for practical reasons then make sure it’ll really save money. To do that, you’ll want to think about which brands hold their resale value and what scooters cost the least to own and maintain. To answer that, start by mulling over the next question.
How long will you own it?
Purchase price is a big factor in any buying decision, but resale value is also important if you don’t plan on keeping it forever. The difference between the purchase price and the eventual resale price is what you really spent to own it.
Well known and highly regarded brands like Honda, Piaggio, Suzuki and Yamaha typically have very good resale value, so you can sell a scooter for over 50% of what you paid for it even after 5 years. Conversely, poorly known and lower quality brands like Chinese machines have very little resale value so the upfront price savings can be lost when you try to sell it. In between are brands like the Taiwanese (Kymco, Genuine, PGO, SYM) which depreciate at moderate rates. Vespa’s are another thing entirely, with depreciating typically quite slow except for the grand or so you lose when you roll it out of the showroom.
If you think you’re only going to own the scooter for a few years, stick with a trusted brand that will be easy to sell. Honda is the best in this regards, but Yamaha, Suzuki, Vespa, Piaggio and Aprilia sell pretty good as well. If you plan on owning it longer then a Taiwanese built machine (Kymco, Genuine, PGO, SYM) could be the right call because these brands make pretty good machines but they aren’t well known enough to have decent resale value. Over a time period of more than 5 years they can be cheaper in total cost.
Almost everyone would do well to stay away from Chinese scooters. They have no resale value yet they don’t last long enough to earn their purchase price. The only owners who can come out ahead with a Chinese machine are those who are willing to do quite a bit of wrenching if necessary. If you’re willing and eager to get your hands greasy and you can’t afford at least a Taiwan built machine, then a Chinese scooter will be an interesting experience if nothing else.
How old of a machine?See also
You might have seen some tempting 20 year old scooter on Craigslist for $200, which has you pondering where the optimal intersection is between age and price. Depreciation for scooters is typically about 50% in the first 5 years and then really slow after that. Even a machine from 1990 will probably fetch $500 if it’s running well, which is probably 50% of it’s new MSRP.
The lesson here is that you don’t save much money opting for scooters that are older than about 5-7 years. There are older scooters that are much cheaper, but these are typically not running or not running well, which is the real reason why the price is low. Consider that a 1995 Honda Dio typically sells for $800, while a 2007 Honda Ruckus goes for maybe $1000. Those extra $200 for a 11 year newer machine are very well spent.
So most people should look for machines that are somewhere between new and 7 years old depending on their budget. People with really small budgets and who are mechanically inclined can look for scooters that are non-running but supposedly ran well when they were parked 5-15 years ago. These machines are always a gamble, but the home mechanic can often get them running for under $200 so they’re a fun project if you buy them cheap and invest sparingly in them.
Making a short list
By now you should have narrowed down the engine size you’re after to a pretty small range and hopefully focused in on 1-3 manufacturers. The scooter market really isn’t that big, so if you also know roughly how old of a scooter you want to buy then you’re all set to go make a short list. If your list is 50cc scooters from Japanese brands sold from 2009 thru 2012 then you’re probably only looking at 4-5 machines.
So browse through the main pages for each brand your interested in to identify candidate models and then go read the individual pages for all the info. If you’re looking at 50cc then also consider if you want a 2-stroke or 4-stroke. Otherwise, if you’ve chosen your list based on practical criteria then now may be the right time to listen more to other side of your brain and select the machine that appeals to your passion. The scooter with the cool looks is probably going to make you happier than the one with 25% more storage. Buy the one you love and you won’t regret it.