Motorcycle Or Scooter? What Are The Differences?

Want to know the difference between a motorcycle and scooter and which you should opt for?

Whether or not you decide to call it Mabel, Maude or Mildred it is important to consider what will be the best companion to start your motorcycling journey.

This can be dependent not only on your budget but also your age, licensing restrictions and the kind of riding you will likely do.


A scooter, otherwise known as a ‘twist and go’ is exactly that.

There is no manual gear or clutch and they are therefore regarded as easier to ride.

Small and light, scooters are ideal for town work and short jaunts. However, if you are using one as a learning stop-gap towards riding a bigger motorcycle then it might be worth thinking of starting with a smaller geared bike.

The majority of scooters have an engine size of around 50cc-125cc but can go up to anything as far as 800cc and have a range of massive styles.

Whether you want to hang outside your favourite fast food outlet with your race styled scooter or don your anorak and opt for a classic there will be a scooter out there for you.

Scooters have a platform where you can rest your feet (as well as your groceries) and some even come with a blanket to cover your legs from the elements.

There also tends to more room to place items under the seat than on a bike, though there are plenty of luggage accessories for geared bikes that balance out that problem.


Most 125cc motorcycles and scooters are able to be ridden once Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) has been completed.

Like scooters, 125cc motorbikes tend to be light and nimble but have the added complication of learning gears and clutch control. This will stand you in good stead if you decide to progress later to a bigger bike.

The riding position is different with feet on pegs at the side as opposed to in front and on a platform.

If the plan is to move on to bigger bikes then the use of balancing on the pegs will help with taking corners and general riding.

Both smaller bikes and scooters are cheap to run and insure but scooters tend to edge it.

If you decide to go for a bigger bike (licence permitting) then it will still be important to consider the sort of riding that you will be doing, your budget and riding experience.

It might feel great to jump astride your new race replica superbike but if it’s just for a ten mile, all-weather commute then is it such a good idea.

Often bikes that have an off-road style or a mid-weight 600cc sports tourer are more than manageable for town work and can hold their own on a social ride too.

There are also lots of 600cc motorbikes engineered for the new rider which are fantastic to ride but not too much of a handful.

Whatever you choose, ride safe and have fun.

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