Riding a scooter can be lots of fun. Here are five pointers for choosing the right one.
Unless you’re planning to ride with a passenger, a basic 50cc scooter will suffice. Just keep in mind your height and weight when selecting a model – it must be a secure and comfortable fit. Pay special attention to the seat height and configuration where you can straddle the seat with both feet flat on the ground.
A brand-new 50cc scooter costs about $3,000, although some models can command as much as $10,000. Second-hand units tend to sell for $1,500 to $2,500.
For electric scooters – you’ll be a minimum of $3000 – the top speed varies between 50 and 70 km for most models, with a charge time between five to seven hours.
Budget $100 a year for service and maintenance (oil changes, brakes, air filter, spark plugs) and it will cost you about $250 to replace both tires as necessary. Finally, be sure to budget for safety gear (a helmet and protective clothing) and accessories like a carrier bag.
A road test is essential whether you buy new or used. If you buy a new model, check the warranty, which usually varies from one to three years. If you plan to buy a used scooter, it’s imperative to check its condition. You can inspect it yourself or have the job professionally done. Every feature must be scrutinized meticulously: the motor, suspension, brake pads and tires.
Rules for operating a scooter
To operate a scooter in Ontario, you must be at least 16 years old and hold a Class 6D driver’s licence. Unless your scooter is classified as a medical device, you need to register it with the province.
You must wear a helmet that complies with current manufacturing standards. If you are not yet 16, you cannot take passengers. The maximum speed allowed is 70 kilometres per hour. Technically, a scooter cannot go faster than that.
While you are not required by law to take out civil-liability insurance, this coverage is strongly recommended. It covers any material and physical damage that a road accident for which you are responsible could cause to others. And by opting for extra protection, you can cover your scooter against vandalism, damage or theft. Contact your insurer to see what your options are and get the right coverage for your vehicle.