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Beginner Scooter Tips

Beginner Scooter Tips

Driving gas scooters is a fun and economical alternative to traditional vehicles. While operating them seems easy enough, there are a plethora of rules, state laws, and other information new riders need to know before hopping onto their new scooter. If you’re new to driving scooters, here are some useful tips to consider as you learn to ride and master your scooter.

  1. Know Your State’s Scooter Laws: As with motorcycles, every state’s scooter laws will vary. It’s vital to not assume what these are, as getting pulled over and ticketed is the last thing you want. Legal age for licensure, motor size, and insurance requirements are all defined by your state for gas scooters. To find out what your state’s laws are, visit your local DMV website.

    Your scooter will also need to be registered with the DMV and annually inspected to ensure it’s safe to ride. In the future when lights burn out or your brakes need replacing, you must immediately address issues to prevent later ones from being created.

  2. MTS and Scooter School Will Make You A Better Driver: Safety courses aren’t required in every state, but you should still enroll in one if you want to get a head start on mastering your scooter. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is a respected not-for-profit organization that offers RETS (Rider Education and Training System) courses. It’s sponsored by Harley-Davidson, Indian Motorcycle, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and more. Their courses range from beginner to expert offerings. While many are centered on motorcyclists, MSF offers some scooter-specific classes as well. Courses available in your area can be found on MSF’s website. Enroll in the basic courses to begin building your rider knowledge. They also have a specialized course called Scooter School, which occurs over a half-day. If you aren’t able to find anything in your area, visit MSF’s Contact Us page for a complete listing of state motorcycle safety coordinators.

  3. Practice Before Using Public Roads: Before setting off on high traffic roads, we recommend that you take some time getting familiar with your scooter. Find an empty parking lot that has enough space for you to drive around in. You could also use a neighborhood road that doesn’t get much traffic. Practice braking, turning, controlling the handlebars, and speed control. Even just a few hours of practice will help you get a better feel for how your scooter operates. Once you feel ready, gradually progress to more densely populated roads. If the surrounding cars make you feel too anxious, it’s perfectly fine to return to practicing. The key to riding is feeling confident in your riding ability. One thing to remember is that scooters don’t go nearly as quickly as motorcycles and vehicles, so refrain from areas where scooters can be burdensome to rapid-pace drivers. If your scooter tops out at 40 mph and the speed limit on the interstate is 70, you could endanger yourself and others. Even if you’re defensively driving, others may not be.

  4. Look Where You Want to Go: You may already know this one, but it’s an important facet of driving. As you’re operating your scooter, try to not let your gaze fall to the left or right. Your body will naturally veer with the direction of your head, which could cause an accident if you aren’t paying attention. Stay attentive during your rides as a way to enforce defensive driving. Since you don’t have the protection that a traditional vehicle offers, you must become very defensive so as to ward personal error. Be sure to continuously check your mirrors, around your scooter, oncoming traffic, and the cars ahead of you.

  5. Don’t Forget Your Safety Gear! Even though scooters don’t have the power of motorcycles, there is still a great possibility of injury when driving any moving vehicle. Don’t climb aboard your scooter in flip-flops and a tank top. Accidents can happen at any time, even if you’re simply running out to the grocery store. At the very least, wear closed-toe shoes, long pants (armored if possible), a riding jacket, and leather gloves. These items will keep your body protected from road rash and cuts if you crash. You’ll also need a quality helmet, preferably a full-face one. While these can get a bit pricey, the cost of hospital bills from a head injury will be much more expensive! You’ll be glad you invested in your safety gear when disaster strikes, and you aren’t badly injured.

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