It’s the middle of June, 2022, and fuel prices show no signs of slowing down. Now, if you already ride a motorbike of any kind on your daily commute, chances are good that you’re thanking your lucky stars right now. Although it may not make your grumbly feelings at the pump completely go away, it does at least take the sting out of things a little.
What if you’re a driver, though? The car market—both new and used—has been even crazier than the bike market. While there are more well-reviewed electric car options on the market in 2022 than there are electric motorcycle options, they don’t come cheap—even with available environmental incentives. Motorbikes usually require motorbike licenses in most jurisdictions. What’s a car driver to do?
Our friends at FortNine have an answer, and it’s one you probably saw coming: A handy, dandy, 50cc scooter. Now, F9 is a Canadian channel, so that factors into both licensing laws and scooter model availability. Since the Internet is a big place, and we don’t know where you’re reading this right now, we feel it’s only responsible to point out that both your local laws and what kinds of scooters are available in your market will vary widely. Keep that in mind if you decide to pursue this particular vehicular path.
The thing about 50cc scooters is, that nice, round “50” usually means it’s actually a 49cc machine—and therefore, complies with a whole bunch of licensing laws in multiple jurisdictions. You see, in an awful lot of places (including my own home state of Illinois), riding a moped or scooter that is 49cc or below on a regular driver’s license is totally fine. While it’s still powered by petroleum products, the comparative gas mileage is loads better than you’ll get out of any gas-powered car.
Some states (again, like Illinois) may have additional stipulations, such as that the 49cc vehicle in question must not require any gear changes. Here, it’s worth noting that modern 49cc scooters are typically all twist-n-go machines, which shift automatically by means of a belt-driven, continuously variable transmission, or CVT. (Some vintage scooters require shifting, but those usually aren’t what a random car driver looking for a cheaper means of transport is going to buy—at least, not until they become full-on scooter enthusiasts. Yes, this is a sneaky plot to create more die-hard scooter stans, brought to you by Big Scooter. Mwahahaha.)
The important thing to keep in mind is, 49cc scooters don’t really do highway speeds. If your regular commute involves surface streets, then you’ll be fine. There’s storage space under the seat for small items, or you could always add a backpack, top box, or simply bungee stuff to the pillion seat. Some scooters even have bag hooks so you have a bonus storage area (if you don’t take corners too fast, that is).
What About Electric Scooters?
In 2022, it’s true that there are currently far more electric scooter options available for sale around the world than motorcycles. Depending on where you’re reading this, you may have one (or more) great options there that fit within your budget, and can completely solve your fuel-price fluctuation woes. In that case, smaller batteries typically means smaller range, so take that into account when planning. You’ll also need to acclimatize yourself to adding one more thing to your plug-in rotation. However, since we’ve all done that with phones, laptops, smart watches, and other devices, you probably already have a big enough power strip.