If you think of quicker and easier navigation in the ever-busy urban roads every day, riding a two-wheeler is definitely a smarter choice than getting stuck inside a four-wheeler. As soon as you make up your mind to set yourself free on a two-wheel, the tough choice you need to make on a motorcycle vs a scooter.
Wait! So these two are DIFFERENT?
Yes. Fundamentally, these two are different.
The question is, HOW?
How much of a difference are there between the two?
Why should you choose one over another?
HANG ON! if you are here to find some good reasons to buy a motorcycle or a scooter, you are in the right place. We will be discussing everything you need to know for motorcycle vs a scooter. That-too, from the very BASICS.
By the end of this article, you will be getting a clear idea about how these two types of two-wheelers differ and which one should you buy based on your needs.
Without further ado, Let’s Go!
What is Motorcycle?
A motorcycle is a two-wheeled commuter that dates back to 1900. There are different brands of motorcycles with engine capacity ranging from 50 CC to 1000 CC and above.
A motorcycle is designed with a throttle to accelerate and a clutch to separate the engine from the transmission system that makes the rear wheel rotate. The engine is placed between the wheels inside a metal frame.
A fuel tank is placed right above the engine. The rider sits between the rear wheel portion and the fuel tank.
A motorcycle has two different braking systems, a front-wheel brake that can be controlled with a brake handle placed before the throttle, and a rear-wheel brake that can be controlled with a foot paddle that is placed in front of a stand where your feet rest just behind the front wheel.
To start the engine, you need to kick the kick-starter to ignite the spark plug, hence start the engine. This can also be done by an engine switch, as well.
To move it, you need to let loose the clutch lever and twist the throttle. This way, in conjunction with gear position the motorcycle will move forward.
A motorcycle is typically designed for commuting in urban areas and moving faster on highways. Powerful engines are used to generate the force required for them to move at high speeds.
What is Scooter?
A scooter is another two-wheeled vehicle that also dates back to 1900. Nearly everyone has heard of the popular scooter brand name – VESPA.
A scooter is typically a smaller wheeled two-wheeler with a throttle system that moves the vehicle on the go. These vehicles usually offer an automatic transmission, unlike motorcycles. The rider doesn’t have to worry about gear shifting. Simply twist the throttle and move on.
There are also two brake systems in a scooter: The front one and the rear one.
The fuel tank of a scooter is interestingly placed under the seat, near the rear suspension. In most cases, you need to pull up the seat to refuel it.
The engine of a scooter is not meant to be a powerful one. The engine power may range from 50 CC to 300 CC generally, although some premium and special edition scooters may reach up to 800 CC and more. Not sure if they are considered a scooter anymore.
Still, the design of a scooter is more of a regular urban commuter than a racing beast.
Most modern scooters usually come with a kick-starter as well as a starter switch, to start the engine. And there might or might not be a dedicated switch to stop the engine, if not then the engine has to be stopped using the keys.
OKAY! “Done with the introductions.”
Now let’s jump into the pros and cons of both vehicles. To pick a side in the classic debate of motorcycle vs scooter, let’s start with the motorcycle.
Pros of a Motorcycle:
For those of you who love SPEED, a motorcycle can sound synonymous with it. Given the stronger and more powerful engine that ranges from 50’cc to 1000’cc, speed is the only flagship trait that separates motorcycles from any other vehicle.
You can speed up to 200 mph or more depending on the road you are riding on. If you are riding on highways, it will be pretty hard for you to control your temptations to fly.
Even if you are commuting on narrow urban roads, the distinct speed of the motorcycle will be there for you. Beating traffic, or sliding through the columns of cars, a quick acceleration can buy you more time.
Longer Travel Options
Traveling a long distance on a two-wheeler may be tiresome and hard to enjoy. YET, if you are left with a choice to decide on which two-wheeler you would want to ride for the long-distance travel, a motorcycle has to be the ultimate choice.
WHY? The nature of the motorcycle pushes it forward for being the number one contender. The fuel efficiency, the better control option, the larger wheels, the heavier body, everything you need to secure a long-distance trip – a motorcycle is the only option.
It is true that most of the new riders have an unrealistic fear of the gear shifting issues of a motorcycle. WE CAN FEEL IT. Shifting the gear of a bike to get it going smooth is a challenging task indeed.
On the flip side of the coin, manual shifting of gear is actually increases your control over the vehicle. If you have the option to change the gear according to the curve, height, and narrowness of a road, it will definitely give you a better riding experience.
It will allow you to have greater command over your bike. It’s like the movie Avatar; you get to sync with your horse (here, your motorcycle) with your mind. However, the way you want your motorcycle to behave, it will behave accordingly.
A manual gear shifting system also reduces fuel consumption, resulting in better fuel efficiency.
In most cases, motorcycle wheels are larger than that of scooters. A larger wheel gives you better stability over your bike. With two large wheels spinning, the gyroscopic effect generated from it gives the motorcycle the desired stability.
Regular 12-inch wheels that come with scooters fail to provide such stability due to their smaller size. If you are planning to commute at an average speed of 80mph, chances are very low that a scooter will give you good stability.
The larger the wheel, the better the stability – as simple as that.
Often, if not regularly, a riding needs to ride the vehicle on highways. Whether it is to cover a long distance to reach another city or to commute within a larger city, highways are bound to be ruled by motorcycles.
The heavier the body, manual gear control, and faster speed allow a motorcycle to compete with multiple types of larger vehicles on the highway. It is nearly impossible to ride safely on a highway if you fail to keep up with the speed of other vehicles.
Body Built Quality
The body of a motorcycle is something every motorcyclist is proud of. Leave aside the smashing masculine look –that’s obvious. What makes a motorcycle body a better one is the fusion of stronger plastic and metal equipment.
To allow the motorcycle to throw itself like a bullet out of a gun, a heavier and stronger body is a must. That’s what motorcycles are about. The metal frame, along with the durable, strong plastic, provides the motorcycle aerodynamic advantages over other two-wheelers.
AS A RESULT, a motorcycle can move faster, can perform a cornering more efficiently, and above all, allow optimum balance.
A Motorcycle is a ‘Motorcycle’
HELL YEAH! Honestly speaking, a motorcycle is a better choice just because it’s a motorcycle. The dashing, raw, and fearless look of a motorcycle are enough to attract men who love freedom.
From movies to real-life stunts, a motorcycle has been a symbol of aggressiveness, passion, adventure, daredevil, and most importantly – manliness.
No racing is racing without a high-speed motorcycle. No traveling is fun, if not ridden by a cool-looking motorcycle that provides comfort at the same time.
That nasty speed, which is enough to boil up the blood in men, don’t allow another two-wheeler’s a chance to compete.
SO, YES. A motorcycle IS a MOTORCYCLE.
Cons of a Motorcycle:
On average, a motorcycle costs more than a scooter. Due to the powerful engine, durable body, better-built quality, a motorcycle may cost you around $5000 to $10000.
This price is huge, considering the average purchase power and the yearly income of general people. Some premium bikes may even cross the $15000 mark. You can even get a four-wheeler car at the same price as some motorcycles.
That means you have to have your pocket heavy if you want to have a motorcycle.
It is also related to the price of the motorcycle. The more expensive the motorcycle, the more expensive will it get to insure it.
It is analogous to cars; you need to count more money as insurance expenses for cars than for motorcycles. Similarly, motorcycles with a good amount of horsepower will have you charged more as insurance costs.
So, if you compare the insurance cost of a motorcycle vs a scooter, a motorcycle may end up really costly.
OH BOY! Who can argue on this? The internet is flooded with safety issues related to motorcycles. From east to west, all around the world, the motorcycle is the single most vehicle that has a notorious track record of accidents.
Due to its boundless speed, the imbalance caused by as little as a skid on tires can initiate deadly accidents. Most accidents that are related to motorcycles have some similar patterns. Skidding tires, uncontrollable speed, face-to-face collision with larger vehicles, sudden imbalance, etc. are some of the most common forms of reasons that cause motorcycle accidents.
A study on motorcycle vs scooter safety statistics at the Queensland University of Technology shows that motorcycles are three times more accident-prone than scooters. This indicates that the motorcycle vs scooter accident statistics is something that you don’t need a figure to assume. Still, the study mentions that 3.4% of the reported motorcycle crash was fatal, while it is only 1% in the case of scooters and moped.
Unless you are riding some top-notch premium motorcycle, you are among most of the average bikers who may pose a complaint of discomfort riding a motorcycle.
Even if the average designed commuter and sports motorcycles are great performers, these can have a hard time passing the minimum grade of comfort.
The seating arrangement of motorcycles doesn’t seem it’s meant to be of longer riding. If you are riding for an hour or so, it is evident that you will have the urge to stop by and stretch a bit.
The narrower seats on different sports bikes have made it even worse. The rider of these motorcycles expects little or no comfort from the seats, let alone the pillions.
Planning to go shopping or visit the grocers? Consider taking anything but a motorcycle while going out. A motorcycle would be the last vehicle that allows you to carry stuff.
Where cars and other types of two-wheelers have more or less room for different items to put in, motorcycle designers don’t seem to take this idea into consideration.
NEVERTHELESS, you can still carry some bags that have strings attached on top. Just hang it from the hooks that you can install externally.
Except for that, it is not possible at all to have any more storage capacity on your motorcycle. This is really frustrating as being a daily commuter; it has almost zero possibility that you will be carrying anything while on your way home or on your way to work.
Gear Issues in Traffic
The manual gear is actually a benefit for the overall better control of the motorcycle, but this can cause some serious problems as well.
When you are moving through traffic in larger cities, it is almost difficult to keep the same gear all the time. You have to change the gear every 5 seconds. The constant shifting of gears may cause technical problems in your gear shifting system.
MOREOVER, due to this incessant shifting of gears, fuel consumption can get higher, and the overall performance of the motorcycle can reduce significantly.
Pros of a Scooter:
Twist and Go
The best part of riding a scooter is its automated transmission system. MEANING, you don’t have to put your brain into extra duty to combine clutch and throttle perfectly. There is no clutch and no manual gear.
ALL YOU NEED TO DO is just sit on the scooter, start the engine, and twist the throttle to get it going. Pull the brake handle to brake, again twist the throttle to go. That’s how easy it is to ride a scooter.
It is very easy to learn to ride a scooter as there is no need of pulling the clutch on and off or shift gears according to speed. This makes scooters an obvious choice for females and older males. Moreover, many young men also prefer to get a scooter for their first vehicle because of its ease of use.
The problem with higher CC motorcycles is that it gives you a strong temptation of over-speeding in many cases. Given that the motorcycle is designed to enjoy a faster flavor, nonetheless, it can be deadly.
For a scooter, the risk is largely mitigated as the lighter and comparatively less powerful engine automatically disallows the vehicle to end up speeding over the natural limit.
The twist-and-go system, along with the automatic transmission, can limit the acceleration level making it safer to ride. Less Over-speed, less risk of life. What’s so hurry, anyway? Remember, haste makes waste.
Squeeze Through Traffic
The automated transmission puts a scooter in a better position over a motorcycle in heavy traffic. You don’t need to get frustrated over the constant gear shifting, which can damage the transmission system.
The transmission is automated hence it adjusts itself in any situation. For heavy traffic where you get to move inch by inch, the scooter can prove to be the easiest one to squeeze through.
The storage capacity of any average scooter is just a blessing. You get at least two very convenient spaces to store your stuff.
The compartment over the fuel tank under the seat is typically the largest space in a scooter. You can put a handy amount of your monthly groceries in it.
ALTERNATIVELY, you can use the area where you put your feet on. That, too, is a great space for anything to be kept temporarily. Attach a hook on it and you get to carry your packed stuff with ease.
The storage capacity is, by far, one of the most distinct comforts among all two-wheelers that a scooter can offer. It is a great feature for regular urban commuters.
As we discussed in the motorcycle cost segment, a motorcycle can cost comparatively much higher due to its build quality and parts. On the other hand, with a less powered engine, and less durable plastic body, and an automated gear shifting system, a scooter costs less.
You can purchase a scooter within the range of $1200 to $2500, which is significantly lower than any standard motorcycle.
For the entry-level two-wheeled vehicle riders, affordability might be a factor to be considered.
Well, some may argue that the automated transmission system does end up consuming more fuel, yet the overall fuel efficiency of a scooter is better than a motorcycle.
This is the reason why the less powerful engine requires less fuel to keep it going. Also, a lighter weight allows the scooter to move further with a minimum amount of fuel.
Safety is an issue that has been widely talked about by two-wheelers. It’s almost an accepted fact that you don’t talk about ‘safe riding’ when you are riding a two-wheeled vehicle.
STILL, if you are actually comparing a motorcycle to a scooter, the ultimate winner in the case of safety is the scooter. This is mostly because of The way you have to sit on it.
The way you sit on a motorcycle makes you glued to the vehicle and gives you less chance to jump off in case of an accident.
While a scooter offers plenty of rooms for you to jump off on the eleventh hour as its design allows you to move your feet freely on both sides.
Cons of a Scooter:
Light Weight and Plastic Body
It can be argued that even if the scooter is a safer option to commute on a two-wheeler, the fact that the scooter is built with a very weak plastic body to maintain lightweight, can end up brutally.
GOD FORBID, if you face any massive accident, chances are that you will not find the body of the scooter repairable at all.
Lack of Stability
While debating between motorcycle vs scooter handling, the stability may sound like a valid reason to overthrow scooters.
The 12-inch tires of a scooter do not offer a great amount of gyroscopic effect, hence causing less stability for the bike.
MOREOVER, the lighter weight of the scooter fails to stabilize it, in a scenario where the heavy wind is blowing directly towards it.
The aerodynamic performance of a scooter also tends to be poor, as the wind can easily tremble the entire body of a scooter.
Sometimes, speed is all you need. Most of the people chose a two-wheeler just to buy some extra time for their life, and that, too, with the help of speed.
In this case, a scooter can fail terribly as the entire system of a scooter, from the lighter body to the weaker engine, does not comply with the speed mantra.
While it is overall a good choice to go slow, but when the need for speed is there, you might not be satisfied with a scooter.
Motorcycle vs scooter which is better- for any two-wheeler enthusiast, it can prove to be a hard decision to make. Both have their unique benefits and drawbacks.
In some cases, a motorcycle may sound like the only option you can go for. For some others, a cozy-comfy scooter may sound more appealing.
Whether the rider is a male or a female, young or aged, new or experienced, commuter of fast mover – these are some of the very basic factors that play a vital role in deciding which vehicle to adopt.
These different demographic sections may find their unique solution in either of the two classic competitors.
As we have broken down the pros and cons of motorcycle vs scooter, probably by this time it’s easier for you to decide which one to buy.
Have you decided to get one? Which one is it? Let us know about your choice.
Tell us the reason behind your choice.
We will be glad to hear from you. We might update here your thought about a motorcycle vs a scooter.
Happy Moving on two-wheels!