MOTORCYCLE OR SCOOTER: THE SELECTION CRITERIA
You want a two-wheeler but you are still hesitating between motorcycle and scooter? Of course, each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Until a few years ago, scooters were known to be reserved for women and the disabled: you can get that idea out of your mind. Today scooters have made enormous progress, both in terms of safety and driving pleasure, and are tending to get closer and closer to traditional motorcycles.
Several criteria should be taken into account if you are unsure between a scooter and a motorcycle: the first is your use. Will you only use your machine for daily home-to-work trips? Or do you plan to go for a walk with the weekend? Will you only drive on paved roads or also on steep, off-road roads?
If you have a paddle core, we strongly advise against the scooter, which is really designed for mainly urban use. It is ideal for this use: thanks to its small size, ease of use, comfort and storage space, the scooter is recommended for daily and urban use. On the other hand, the bike is more versatile: it varies according to the type of bike you choose, but generally speaking, while the scooter is comfortable in town, the bike is more intended for "leisure" use, on small roads or off the beaten track.
Riding a scooter also requires very little method (no gear to pass, brakes identical to those of a bicycle) while the bike requires a little more practice and learning. The scooter is also more pleasant to use over short distances. For long journeys, the motorcycle is preferable: the driving position is not at all the same on both types of machines. Finally, one criterion whose importance should not be overlooked is style: although some scooters look a lot like motorcycles (see for example the Honda X-ADV), some will prefer the design of one over the other.
|Advantages||- Practice in the city
- Easier to drive
- More storage space
- Comfort and equipment (apron, windshield, heated handles)
- Weather protection
|- Driving pleasure
- Style, look
- More suitable for the duo (GT)
|Disavantages||- Less performance
- More fragile in case of a fall
- Strong wind grip at high speed
- Not at all suitable for off-road use
- Purchase cost often higher
|- More difficult to handle
- Often less pleasant in the city
- Comfort (except on GT)
- Push-to-crime (especially for sportswomen)
- Maintenance cost
Obviously, the ideal is, if you have the opportunity, to try both and see for yourself which one you feel most comfortable with. The bike is attractive for its versatility and riding pleasure, while the scooter is more practical and adapted to the city.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MOTORCYCLESThe term "motorcycle" covers a very wide range of machines: road, built for the track, built for stony roads, made for long rides in pairs or hybrids, there are a very large number of motorcycles available on the market, each with its own specific features. However, they can be grouped into different categories:
A versatile motorcycle by excellence, roadsters are excellent motorcycles suitable for all uses. If you don't know what to choose or if you're new to the world of two-wheelers, the roadster is ideal. The Yamaha MT-07 is one of the most popular and appreciated roadsters by riders: the proof is that it is even used by many motorcycle schools in France.
With a fairly upright and comfortable driving position, a rather attractive price and being at ease in both urban and rural areas, the roadsters are easy to handle.
They are also appreciated by experienced pilots for their sportsmanship and efficiency, especially on small mountain roads where they express their full potential. On the other hand, it is not really designed for intensive use, over long distances or at high speed: roadsters do not have a fairing, the wind grip is quite high and comfort is no longer really ensured.
If you are a speed addict and are looking for (very) high acceleration pushes, you should turn to a sports car. Not recommended for beginner pilots, they often offer quite exceptional performance.
The Kawasaki Ninja H2 or the Ducati Panigale V4, for example, both exceed 200 horsepower and weigh about 200 kilos. Yes, you have read correctly, these motorcycles have a weight/power ratio equal to or sometimes even greater than 1: no car can achieve a ratio.
Such machines certainly have astounding performances, they are not to be put in everyone's hands. It is on the track that they really reveal their full potential.
Trails motorcycles are "hybrid" motorcycles, capable of driving both on asphalt and on land. The Trails fashion arrived in the 70s and 80s with the endurance races taking place in Africa. Since then, they have always been praised by many pilots for their great versatility.
However, they are uncomfortable in the city and their high seat height and weight make them less manoeuvrable than other motorcycles.
Roads and Grand Tourism
Designed and adapted for long journeys and long road rides, these motorcycles make comfort their watchword. The pilot, thanks to a very upright driving position, sees his back and legs preserved. The passenger is not to be outdone and often has a saddle and wide handles. It is easy for these road liners to carry a large quantity of luggage: they can accommodate a plethora of accessories and equipment.
Ideal for driving on major roads and highways, they have a fairly large tank and a range of several hundred kilometers.
For Grand Touring (GT), the Honda Goldwing is the benchmark. 6-cylinder flat engine, comfortable upholstery and designed for the ergonomics of the pilot and his passenger, equipped with an airbag... Heavy and unwieldy, especially in town, its price is also equal to the services it offers.
Customs and coffee-racer
If modernity is not your cup of tea, you will surely find your happiness in this category. Bobbers, scramblers, coffee-racers, customs... all terms that refer to motorcycles with a neo-retro style, often characterized by a rather "cool" driving position and that do not really encourage speed. These motorcycles are ideal for cruising, like the Harley-Davidson and the famous biker clubs.
Cross and Enduro
If your hobby is off-road riding or crossing, turn to a cross country bike or enduro. These motorcycles will allow you to create the path if it doesn't exist: they really go everywhere. With their low weight and soft damping, they are fearless.
Most cross country motorcycles are not approved for road use, so their use is exclusively reserved for private land intended for this purpose. If you still want to be able to use it on the road, there is the category of enduros: they are cross motorcycles equipped with everything you need to be able to travel in the city without worries: headlights, license plates...
CONCLUSIONNo matter what your choice is: scooter, sports bike, trail, roadster, road... each one having its own use, advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you and you alone to decide where to turn, taking into account all the information mentioned above.
One last tip: don't forget to check your insurance rates, some two-wheelers are much more expensive to insure than others (sports cars and some scooters in particular).
Now that you have all the cards in hand, all you have to do is get started. When you buy one of these machines, you can say goodbye to traffic jams and hello to pleasure and freedom: you now belong to the wonderful world of motorcyclists.
TO GO FURTHER IN THE CHOICE OF YOUR BIKE....
By type of use
The use you make of your two-wheelers is an essential criterion to take into account....
Motorcycles are also classified by type of licence: there are several types of motorcycle licences, each giving access to different categories of power...
Important options for your bike
There are a number of essential options and equipment on a two-wheeler. For example, ABS plays a key role in your safety...
Where can I buy my bike?
There are several ways to buy a motorcycle, new or used. For a new motorcycle, the easiest way is to go to a dealer or a garage...