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Will Gas Prices Spark a Scooter Revival?

cabanza

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Gas is over $4.00 a gallon in all 50 states and prices keep going up. The recession of the late 2000s early 2010s created an influx in scooter sales. Will the thunder strike twice?
 

SandRdr

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Depends on how long the high gas prices persists.

I'm saying yes surge in scooter sales
 

Shinyribs

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I'd have a scooter or something if I lived in town. I'm stuck with needing to run a work truck up and down highways everyday though.

But when you can pick up rowdy little FZ/MT 07's for $4-5k and knock down 55-60 mpg while still ripping wheelies, the jump to a scooter is still a bit far for me.

Hell, my XR 400 got 65-67 mpg running down the road on woods gearing and knobbys with it's tongue hanging out of it's mouth.

How much better mileage are scooters getting vs smaller/midsized bikes these days?
 

SandRdr

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I'd have a scooter or something if I lived in town. I'm stuck with needing to run a work truck up and down highways everyday though.

But when you can pick up rowdy little FZ/MT 07's for $4-5k and knock down 55-60 mpg while still ripping wheelies, the jump to a scooter is still a bit far for me.

Hell, my XR 400 got 65-67 mpg running down the road on woods gearing and knobbys with it's tongue hanging out of it's mouth.

How much better mileage are scooters getting vs smaller/midsized bikes these days?
I had similar thoughts until I bought my first scooter. It's all about utility for me. The scooter will carry a couple weeks of groceries and a 12pack while getting 70ish mpg. With an adequate rider, keep up with most bikes. First scooter is 500cc however so ymmv.
 

Shinyribs

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I had similar thoughts until I bought my first scooter. It's all about utility for me. The scooter will carry a couple weeks of groceries and a 12pack while getting 70ish mpg. With an adequate rider, keep up with most bikes. First scooter is 500cc however so ymmv.
I hear that. I'm 6'2" and not sure about fitting on one. Utility is definitely a priority that had me looking at NC750's at once point.

Luggage makes a toy useful.
 

SandRdr

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I have bikes with luggage. Scooters are different. Lower cg make them feel much lighter, the step through and ample frontal protection are a welcome addition. Makes 15mi trek to town enjoyable!
 

Shinyribs

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I have bikes with luggage. Scooters are different. Lower cg make them feel much lighter, the step through and ample frontal protection are a welcome addition. Makes 15mi trek to town enjoyable!
IMG_20220521_101559700_HDR.jpg

Luggage is a must. Unfortunately, so are wheelies for me 😁 One day I hope to mature past childish adrenaline rushes and find that zen spot that more responsible riders enjoy. I'm not joking. I'm a power junky and I know it 😕 But stuff like that Yamaha 150 Max, or whatever it's called, just looks cool as hell. I really want to try something like that out.
 

kz1000st

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I've been watching online scooter sites for years. After Covid hit many scooters went out of stock. Former availability of 14 to 20 models of 50cc dropped to three or four available. It's pretty much that way now. It's like 2008 all over again.
 

klaviator

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Try finding a scooter right now. Most models are out of stock. I don't know if that's due to high demand or supply issues.
 

klaviator

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I'd have a scooter or something if I lived in town. I'm stuck with needing to run a work truck up and down highways everyday though.

But when you can pick up rowdy little FZ/MT 07's for $4-5k and knock down 55-60 mpg while still ripping wheelies, the jump to a scooter is still a bit far for me.

Hell, my XR 400 got 65-67 mpg running down the road on woods gearing and knobbys with it's tongue hanging out of it's mouth.

How much better mileage are scooters getting vs smaller/midsized bikes these days?
That depends on the scooter. My 2012 Yamaha Majesty 400 will comfortably carry 2 at highway speeds. Riding solo I normally get 60 MPG. My 2018 Kymco Like 150i is one of the most fun around town bikes I have owned and gets anywhere from 70 to 100 MPG depending on the speeds I ride at. It tops out at around 60MPH. A new Yamaha Xmax (300cc) will easily run highway speeds and will get over 90MPG if ridden easy. Scooters like the Honda PCX are known to easily get 100+ MPG.

For commuting I'll take a scooter over any motorcycle. Some of the mini motos like a Grom or Super cub get well over 100MPG but aren't nearly as practical for commuting IMO.

My KLX250 easily gets 70 MPG but is nearly useless as a commuter for me due to lack of storage. I like to be able to stash my helmet and gear on the bike and walk away. I may pick up 10 bags of groceries and need to be able to haul them home.
 

klaviator

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I hear that. I'm 6'2" and not sure about fitting on one. Utility is definitely a priority that had me looking at NC750's at once point.

Luggage makes a toy useful.
I'm 6-2. There are some scooters I don't fit on but there are plenty that I do. Vespa's in particular are very roomy. Someone who is 6-8 could probably easily fit on a Vespa GTS 300. If you have a long commute that involves highway riding then something like a NC750 would make sense, For around town I'd take a scooter over that NC in a heartbeat. Scooters are just way more fun around town.
 

klaviator

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Luggage is a must. Unfortunately, so are wheelies for me 😁 One day I hope to mature past childish adrenaline rushes and find that zen spot that more responsible riders enjoy. I'm not joking. I'm a power junky and I know it 😕 But stuff like that Yamaha 150 Max, or whatever it's called, just looks cool as hell. I really want to try something like that out.
I'm not a power junky but I am a curvaholic:ricky. Scooters can be a blast on twisty roads, the twistier the better.

thumbnail_20210914_090405 (2)-XL.jpg
 

klaviator

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At this time most of the scooters for sale in this country are still powered by gasoline engines. Electric scooters are available but are either very expensive or have limited performance and range or all three. The original question was would there be another surge in scooter sales with these high gas prices. I think that the big issue right now is the supply shortage. You can't have a big surge in sales if there is nothing to sell. The last time this happened scooter sales surged so they built and shipped a lot of scooter sales here just in time for sales to tank. Are they going to be willing to try that again?

In my opinion a big surge in sales won't happen because people just want to save money on gas. If it happens it will be because people who already ride figure out that they can save gas AND have a lot of fun on scooters. I know a number of long time riders who decided to give scooters a try and now they love them. So scooters could become the next big thing but it won't be just because of gas prices.

One part of the market that has been booming for a few years now, even before high gas prices, is the mini moto segment of the market. Riders, both new and experienced riders have been buying Groms, Monkey Bikes, Trail 125s, etc just because they are so much fun. I don't see that slowing down although the supply is limited. The mini motos are even more fuel efficient than scooters and for those who don't need a lot of carrying capacity or high speed capability, a mini moto makes a very economical commuter bike in addition to a fun toy.
 
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Rectaltronics

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Some of the observations and commentary are encouraging but it seems to me like most people are reluctant to give up their cars and trucks and that some may, influenced by gasoline prices, drift to scooters and bikes only temporarily.

Folks in the US just don't see them as the practical tools that they are.
 

ZoomerP

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In my opinion a big surge in sales won't happen because people just want to save money on gas.
I think that may depend on how high the price goes, and how long it stays there. $5/gal for a few months isn't great, but $7/gal for a year or more could be very persuasive, especially for people that could do many tasks on two wheels instead of four.

Higher fuel costs also makes spending a few thousand on a scooter more palatable when the savings over rumbling around in an F-250 can reach a break even point in months. What may start as a cost saving measure may accidentally lead to the discovery that riding is more fun, too.
 
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klaviator

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I think that may depend on how high the price goes, and how long it stays there. $5/gal for a few months isn't great, but $7/gal for a year or more could be very persuasive, especially for people that could do many tasks on two wheels instead of four.

Higher fuel costs also makes spending a few thousand on a scooter more palatable when the savings over rumbling around in an F-250 can reach a break even point in months. What may start as a cost saving measure may accidentally lead to the discovery that riding is more fun, too.
You may be right but no surge will happen unless the manufacturers send over enough scooters to allow that to happen. I've been looking for an ADV150 and I only found one dealer about 330 miles away that actually had one in stock and they wanted way over MSRP for it. The guy said it was the only one they would get this year. Another dealer had no idea when they would get another one and they had three deposits on ADV150s. A local dealer has 2 PCXs and they listed the price as nearly $1000 over the actual MSRP and that's before they add their normal high fees to that.
 

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