Saturday, March 15, 2008

Do Motorcycle Riders Hate Scooters?

Vectrix scooterI was reading this forum post from a scooter rider, complaining that she's being disrespected by motorcycle riders while riding down the road...

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I get the impression that many people riding motorcycles in my neighborhood (socal) cannot respect the right of my 250cc scooter to share space with them.

Am I right? and if I'm right, why? Or is it possible that I am doing something unknowingly to provoke people?
Here's a link to her full post...

She goes on to specify that on a busy street, during her commute to and from work, she often splits lanes and rides past many other motorcycles. Once in awhile a motorcycle will refuse to move over to let her by. She thinks that these riders are refusing to let her by, just because she's on a scooter.

I have a couple of thoughts on this.

For one, on a busy street, where motorcycles and scooters are splitting lanes, most motorcycle riders are focusing on the cars and trucks. They're not concerned about a scooter rider "showing them up" on skills. If a motorcycle rider is not moving over to let her pass, it's because they are not looking in their mirrors, or they're not comfortable with the situation. It has nothing to do with ego, as she suggests.

Second, there are some scooter riders out there who seem to have a chip on their shoulders when it comes to motorcycle riders. They seem to think that motorcycle riders look down at them. As a result, this segment of scooter riders are looking for any tiny bit of evidence to justify their ire. It's too bad that they harbor this anger while trying to enjoy a ride.

While I've heard some motorcycle riders make jokes about scooters, I haven't met one that took these jokes to heart. I don't know of a motorcycle rider that believes that scooter riders are not taking the same risks that motorcycle riders take when they hit the road. Scooters these days are capable of hitting triple-digit speeds, and have engine displacements as much as 800cc now. If anything the lighter scooter feels the bumps more severely than the heavier motorcycle.

If there is a motorcycle rider who is truly concerned about his ego, that ego is not limited to motorcycles. He'll have the same ego trip with his car, boat, bicycle, or whatever.

The fact is that scooter riders have a greater concern with cagers. Any scooter rider with a chip on their shoulder against motorcycles, should watch out for cars instead.


  1. I had a chooper rider pull up to me look at me. Then he keeped pulling in front of me and spiting at me.

    I find sports bike riders are more respectful and give you a friendly nod :)

  2. you need the same motorcycle endorsement to ride a scooter on the road,as with any motorcycle,I am a scooter rider and don't care what people think I am not walking

  3. As a serious scooterist, I have experienced the hate from bikers, but I also understand the frustration. So many college kids riding scooters in t-shirts and flipflops would make me dislike scooters too. I wish that bikers would learn that, like sport bike assholes, there are scooter assholes and there are serious scooterists,

  4. Umm, this is really true to some extent since in India, with scooters being replaced by motorcyclists, scooterists are sought as old school...

  5. I know I'm late here, but maybe someone who needs to hear this will.

    I'm a biker with over 40 years of experience, AND I HATE SCOOTERS!

    They are just so different from traditional motorcycles that I just cannot make myself enjoy riding them, or even looking at them for that matter. They are butt ugly for one thing. And for another, boats and bulldozers have flat floors, motorcycles are supposed to have PEGS, on either side of an engine, for RIDING BOOTS to rest on, not sandals for goodness' sake. Also, scooters have twitchy handling characteristics and no gas tank to squeeze with your knees in the event of a sudden near upset. The result of all this to a true biker with real riding skills is a constant sensation of dread over the certainness of being bucked completely off the unsafe thing should the need for a sudden, life saving change of direction appear in front of him.

    And don't for a second think it you will never need to avoid an accident. Without a shred of doubt, clamping a tank with my knees and hanging on for dear life through some very drastic directional maneuvers have saved my butt from crashing spectacularly and possibly dying SEVERAL times throughout the decades. I have ridden at least 300,000 miles on 100+ different motorcycles in over 25 states from Florida to Oregon, and Texas to Montana, about a quarter of all that in some sort of dirt or gravel. During these travels I have successfully missed by inches sudden and unexpected impacts with dogs, deer, antelope, wild horses, other bikers, pedestrians, drunk and distracted cagers, livestock, 18 wheelers, a hawk in flight carrying a rabbit, a truck tire that exploded in my face at 70 MPH, a ladder on the interstate, and other large debris in the road - even a bucket of potatoes thrown off an embankment at me by a drunk idiot! If you ride long enough it will all happen to you too.

    You name it and I have probably used my knees clamped on a tank to stay on a bike and avoid it without being bucked off and crashing. During these evasive maneuvers I have been suddenly forced through ditches, over curbs, into fields, through woods and hedges, straight towards parked cars, over steep embankments, into fences (barbed wire and chain link), between street signs, into creeks - again, you name it and I have suddenly been forced to deal with it on a motorcycle. And though I have been hospitalized more than once, I am still here. But I am certain I would have died 10 times had I been on some darned step through scooter with those toy sized tires and low slung suspension.

    Regardless, I never said I hate those who ride scooters, because I don't. But I do somewhat RESENT them. Since 1968 I have cruised, camped, commuted, worked, ran errands, dated, vacationed, attended funerals, raced, performed tricks, etc, etc - all on traditional motorcycles of every shape, size and purpose. And now, suddenly, if I wanted a new 70 - 125cc street legal grocery getter I would HAVE to buy a damned scooter. And it is purely because of all you people who buy them that they continue to ram them down everyone's throat, even to the point of ceasing development and manufacture of safer, more versatile, superior handling motorcycles.

    SO, would you gaytards PLEASE stop buying these silly things and let the motorcycle world return to normal?!?!

    There. I feel better. Now get over it.

    1. Are you shittin me,i rode motorcycles for 40 years and only switched to a scooter after 3 knee surgerys,i've had as many near death experiances as anybody on the road,but because I can ony ride a scooter now, your a bigger man than me...Please

    2. My scooter handles fine find it more capable then alot of bikes. Been riding since I was 5 now 45 and ride anything on two wheels. Maybe you just need more confidence maybe some rider training.

    3. Comrade you have serious issues. I've had 14 motorcycles and scooters in my 57 years on earth, and I love my 300cc scooter. I get waves from some motorcyclists and some ignore me. I don't hate them. :)

  6. To all the scooter haters...have you ever thought that folks ride a step-through because they have no choice. I rode many bikes way back starting with an old "72" Honda CB750/4. I few years back I was in a car accident. I had a hip replacement and still have a messed up back. There is just no way I could straddle or ride a normal bike. I missed being on two wheels so badly that I bought myself a 650 Maxi Burgman. And I've toured all over the country in comfort. So there are many many (two wheel lovers) scooterists out there that due to mobility and heath issues have no choice but to ride a scooter. Ever though they (and me) would much rather ride a bike. Cheers

  7. Only in America most of the world depends on low cost scooters for their livelihood. So it is most likely that the person who built your motorcycle rides a scooter. To all scooter haters you should be grateful for scooters or you could not afford a motorcycle.

  8. I've riden both motorcycles and scooters and I felt much safer on a scooter and was able to rider further without feeling too anxious. I've dropped and damaged every motorcycle I've riden, but I've never dropped a scooter! I do prefer the look of motorcycles but I'm just not comfortable with them and I'd rather not make myself uncomfortable just for the sake of looking cooler. Scooters are for me.


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)