How to Ride a scooter may look like a lot of fun as you see people whizz by you on the streets with the wind in their hair. In reality, riding a scooter requires some skill, the skill of riding a bicycle. Those who know how to ride a bike know that when you finally master the two-wheeled contraption, you won’t ever forget how. The same goes for a scooter, all it takes for a lot of people is to utilize their biking skills.
But let’s go into more detail about the ins and outs of how to ride a scooter.
It might have been a while since you’ve swung your leg over a bicycle seat and pushed off into the distance. Although you never really forget how to ride a bike, you may be a bit rusty at first.
Take the scooter to a large and open space, like a parking lot. Remember that it has to be somewhere without any traffic. You don’t want to endanger the lives of those around you and yourself.
Some countries require you to have a scooter license to drive a scooter, while some just need a driver’s license. Make sure you have the proper documentation before you set foot on one of these vehicles.
Remember to start slow, but not too slow because contrary to popular belief, going faster is easier and gives you more balance. The scooter will be easier to control because wobbling will be at a minimum.
Much like riding a bicycle and driving a car, there are safety precautions for a scooter as well. You will need a helmet, for starters. A full-face helmet is preferable, as it will give your noggin the all-around protection you need. It should fit snugly around your skull and shouldn’t swing around too much when you move your head.
Motorcycle gloves, elbow and shin pads, etc are not necessary and are totally up to personal preference. If you aren’t riding at high speeds, you should be fine. Scooters are not meant to be as fast as motorcycles, so cruising at 60mph will suffice.
The Type of Scooter
The bigger the scooter the heavier it is, of course, so we recommend a larger one for better balance (but not too large).
Try for a 100 to 125cc scooter for your first ride.
To also give yourself an easier time, try to opt for an automatic option. Automatic scooters are “twist and go”, meaning you just pull (or twist) the throttle back to move forward.
A manual scooter is more difficult to ride and requires gear changes. You can find the gearshift at either your left handle or as a foot lever.
How to Ride
Keep at least one foot on the ground before you twist and go. Don’t twist too far back as you’ll go raring forward and probably lose your balance. Once you’re going and have some balance, you can lift your legs up off the ground and twist the throttle to increase your speed.
To stop, the breaks are similar to that of a bicycle. All you need to do is to pull back the breaks and your scooter will slow to a stop. Once it starts to slow down, you can get ready to put one or both legs down on the ground and lean the weight of the bike on your legs so you don’t fall over.
For practice, try to start your bike and ride down a straight path and stop, going further and further each time. Once you have mastered that, you can start on the turns, which aren’t that much different.
If you do feel yourself starting to tip or lose balance, try to set your leg on the ground first. If you are unable to do that, and you’re going at a slower speed, just simply let go of the bike and jump or step off.
That’s the brilliant thing about a scooter, there are no doors and windows, giving ample room to escape. But it’s a double-edged sword because having no protection means more severe injuries in the face of an accident.
Slow and steady does it for first-timers. Try to wear long clothes (and thicker if the weather permits) for your first ride. They can protect you from minor bumps and scrapes.
The exhaust pipe is piping hot (pun intended), especially for the first couple of hours after the ride. A lot of people forget and accidentally burn their calves. It’s extremely painful so this is a good tip to keep in mind.
The type of ground you initially practice on is also important. Paved sidewalks and asphalt are smoother and the scooter cruises more easily on this surface. Sand, gravel, and grass are bumpy so it’s easy to lose your center.
One more thing to remember is wherever the head goes the body follows. This means wherever you turn the head of the scooter is whichever direction you will go.
Some people get nervous when riding a scooter or driving a car when they see something coming towards them. Their first instinct is to step on the gas pedal, or in the case of a scooter, turn the throttle all the way down. If you get nervous, the first thing to do is let go or pull on the breaks.
Safety should always be your number one concern when traveling in any vehicle. Remember to always wear a helmet. That is the number 1 safety gear and is probably mandated by the local government.
Make sure all the proper documents are in order i.e. your driver’s license. Be a responsible driver and never drink and drive. For those that don’t know, you either have a hook under the dash of the scooter to hold your bags or you can store the helmet and other belongings under the seat of the scooter.
Going for a spin on a scooter can be exhilarating, as long as the proper precautions are taken.