Scooter Vs Motorcycle – What Are the Differences?

Scooters and motorcycles may look very similar, and it’s common to call one the other by mistake. These two-wheeled vehicles, though, have a lot of differences. Scooter vs motorcycle – what are the differences?

A scooter engine can range in size from 50cc to 250cc. A 50cc scooter can go up to 40 mph, and a 250cc scooter can go up to 75 mph. Most scooters have automatic transmission. A motorcycle engine can range in size from 150cc to 1500cc. Motorcycles can go anywhere from 80mph to 110mph. Most motorcycles have manual transmission.

Read on to learn more about the difference between a motorcycle and a scooter and their pros and cons.

Scooter Vs Motorcycle

scooter vs. motorcycle

More and more people are turning to use scooters or motorcycles for various reasons like reducing fuel costs, faster navigation in traffic, or just for the enjoyment of riding one. Are you looking at buying one? Let’s have a close comparison of the two.

The main differences between a motorcycle and a scooter are as follows:

Engine50cc to 250cc150cc to 1500cc
Top Speedup to 75mphup to 110mph
TransmissionMost have an automatic transmissionMost have a manual transmission
PriceLess expensiveMore expensive

Other Differences Between a Scooter and a Motorcycle

Here are some other differences between a scooter and a motorcycle:

1. Scooters Are Very Fuel-efficient

Scooters are very fuel-efficient vehicles as some models can average 132mpg compared to a motorcycle that can average 44mpg. The newer motorcycles can average 85mpg.

2. Most Motorcycles Have Manual Transition

Most motorcycles have a manual transition, so learning to ride one can be more difficult than learning to ride a scooter with an automatic transmission.

3. Motorcycles Are Larger

Since motorcycles are larger than scooters, it follows that their gas tanks are bigger than scooters. This means you can refuel less often with a motorcycle.

4. Motorcycles Have a Wheelbase Longer than a Scooter

Motorcycles have a wheelbase that’s longer than a scooter, and their tires are bigger, so they’re easier to control and are more stable when running at high speeds. It is for these reasons also that make motorcycles more suitable for riding on rugged terrain.

5. Scooters Have an Under-the-seat Compartment

Scooters usually have an under-the-seat compartment for storage, while motorcycles have very little room for storage.

6. Step-through Design for Scooters

To ride a motorcycle, you’ll need to lift a leg over the seat, while most scooters have a step-through design.

7. Cost

Scooters are much less expensive than motorcycles. A scooter costs anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand (some luxury scooters have a price tag of $10,000). A motorcycle costs anywhere from $3,000 to $300,000.

Scooters – Pros and Cons

scooter versus motorcycle


1. Easy to Ride

Scooters are usually designed to be low to the ground. They come with a step-through design, so you don’t need to lift a leg over the seat to ride it. They are also light vehicles because they have a low center of gravity.

2. Great Gas Mileage

Many scooters get at least 100mpg. For this reason, scooters are great for short trips that don’t require you to be on the freeway. Imagine how much you can save on fuel!

3. Inexpensive

A basic, brand-new scooter usually costs less than $1000. A second-hand scooter will cost even less. However, some scooters can be quite luxurious. There are hybrid scooters, and these can cost more than $10,000. But, if you’re looking for a basic, no-frills scooter, they’re often easy on the pocket.

4. Good Maneuverability

A scooter lets you drive through traffic and park easily because of its maneuverability.

5. Budget-friendly Maintenance Costs

Scooter parts, including tires, are way cheaper than car or motorcycle parts. A scooter’s tires will also last longer than that of a car or motorcycle.

6. Affordable Insurance Coverage

Insurance for your scooter will be very affordable at around $100-150 annually, which is so much less than car insurance.


1. Not Recommended for Highway Travel

It isn’t recommended to ride scooters on the freeway if it’s below 300cc. Depending on the State, most laws prohibit anything less than 150cc from being on the freeway. However, scooters are a good option for running on local roads.

2. Lack of Stability

Most scooters have small wheels, and this gives them less stability when they’re running fast. You’ll feel the instability even more so when you’re driving on bumpy roads.

3. You’ll Need to Invest in a Lot of Protective Riding Gear

Another big difference between a scooter versus motorcycle is the amount of gear you should wear. Statistics have shown that scooters and motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. Of course, before you get on a scooter or motorcycle, you need to know and practice safe riding rules. This means you’ll need to spend on a lot of protective riding gear.

How Fast Does a 50cc Scooter Go

Motorcycle – Pros and Cons

scooter vs motorcycle


1. Good Gas Mileage

Motorcycles have a gas mileage of 40-60mpg, a lot more than you get from a car, and so you can save on gasoline money.

2. They Last for a Long Time

Motorcycles are very durable vehicles. Many people think that motorcycles don’t last, but it’s very much the opposite. Motorcycles can last for quite a while, even longer than cars. Of course, it’s important to maintain them and keep them running in good conditions all the time. When you do this, you’ll be surprised at just how long they can last.  

3. Easy to Fix and Maintain

Motorcycles are much more uncomplicated than they seem. They have fundamental engines, and it’s easy to fix them yourself. Parts can also be replaced with the help of research and YouTube videos.

4. Beat the Traffic

Riding on a motorcycle lets you weave through traffic far more easily than when you’re driving a car. It also lets you quickly swing on side streets if you opt to take an alternate route with lighter traffic. Just imagine all the time you can save on your commute!

5. Can Improve Your Physical Health

A motorcycle is heavy! Just moving it while it’s in neutral requires physical strength. You need a fair bit of strength to rid and steer one. Studies also show that you increase your core strength when you drive a motorcycle.

6. You Can Join Rider Groups

So many people love riding their motorcycles that clubs were actually formed so that motorcycle lovers can ride together. These clubs can open doors for you to meet new people who can share their experiences, tips, and ideas on motorcycle riding.


1. They Can Be Dangerous

Let’s clarify this as it’s always been a debatable issue. Motorcycles are not dangerous machines, and there are always safe-riding practices that a motorcyclist should follow at all times. But, motorcycles can indeed be more vulnerable in certain conditions such as bad weather than cars.

Wet roads can cause motorcycle wheels to skid, making the driver lose control. It’s always best to take necessary precautions, follow safety protocols, and wear the right protective gear when you ride your motorcycle.

2. Limited Cargo Capacity

Motorcycles have almost no cargo space, no matter what model you have. You can attach saddlebags, but that still won’t allow you to store much. Same thing for passenger space. It only allows you to let one other passenger ride with you, and for long rides, it won’t be comfortable for both of you.

3. Unique Brake System

A motorcycle has a different braking system from that of a car. In a car, stepping on the brake pedal will automatically engage all four brakes. A motorcycle has front and rear brakes, and they need to be separately controlled. The front and rear brakes have different levers, and you need to know when to use each one and when to use both.

Again, scooter vs motorcycle – how are they different? A scooter engine can range from 50cc to 250cc and go from 40mph to 75mph. A motorcycle engine can range from 150cc to 1500cc and go from 80mph to 110mph. Most scooters have automatic transmission. Most motorcycles have manual transmission.

Scooter and Motorcycle Safety Tips

1. Wear the Proper Gear

I cannot stress the importance of wearing your safety gear every time you get on your motorcycle or scooter. It doesn’t matter if you’re only going to the nearest 7-11, 5 minutes away, or going to ride for an hour. You get no free pass for not wearing your safety gear. Yes, the gear may be hot, the helmet may be heavy, but you must never compromise safety.

2. Make It a Habit to Always Inspect Your Ride

Make it a habit to inspect your ride just before you head out. Check your tires, mirrors, and lights. This also covers having regular maintenance checks for your motorcycle. If you know that there is a problem with a part, never delay getting it fixed as it can lead to more problems later on.

3. Check the Weather Forecast

We mentioned earlier that certain weather conditions could make it more dangerous to be out on your bike. The road becomes extra dangerous for motorcyclists when it’s wet or icy. Your body will also be exposed to rain or ice. Figure in the possibility of lack of visibility when there’s fog. Always check the weather forecast before you head out.

4. Keep Your Eyes on the Road

On your bike, always keep your eyes on the road. This enables you to be alert for signs of sand or gravel or potholes, which can make your tires skid. Be cautious when you’re going into curves or turning corners.

5. Be Alert

Always be aware of your surroundings and your situation. Be alert. When you change lanes, look over your shoulder before you do so to make sure that everything is clear. When you’re signaling to other motorists, make sure that they know you are signaling and that they are paying attention to you.

6. Plan Ahead if You’ll Be Taking on a Passenger

Riding with a passenger can be fun. However, it is important to plan for the trip. Assume that your passenger does not have safety gear and so, if needed, provide the safety gear for them. It’s a good idea always to have extra helmets handy to lend them one when you need to take a passenger.

Make sure your passenger knows what to do, like where exactly to hold on, what to do when you turn corners, where to place their feet, and others. Your passenger needs to feel comfortable riding a motorcycle.

7. Relax Your Mind

When you ride your motorcycle, your state of mind should be relaxed. Never ride when you’re angry or sleepy because doing so can easily be a recipe for disaster. You need to be alert and in a good state of mind.

8. Stick to a Routine You Are Comfortable With

If you take a certain route regularly, stick to that route as you already are familiar with it. If you have a certain way of riding that feels comfortable. Your motorcycle should also be easy for you to handle – not too heavy and not too light. Remember, the more familiar you are with your route and your motorcycle, the easier it will be to follow safety practices and the more enjoyable the ride.

Conclusion: Motorcycle Vs Scooter

Nowadays, it isn’t easy to know if you see a scooter or a motorcycle. What with scooters being built with more power and larger in size.

A scooter engine can range in size from 50cc to 250cc. A 50cc scooter can go up to 40 mph, and a 250cc scooter can go up to 75 mph. Most scooters have automatic transmission. A motorcycle engine is more powerful and can range in size from 150cc to 1500cc.

Motorcycles can go faster than a scooter and are often allowed on the freeway. They can run from 80mph to 110mph. Most motorcycles have manual transmission.

Whether you’re riding a scooter or a motorcycle, it’s important to enjoy the ride and always follow the safety practices we mentioned above.

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