Motor Scooters: Cargo and Storage Issues



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Cargo and Storage Issues

Hauling prodigious cargoes on a motorscooter is common
in many countries, but is somewhat more limited in the USA.

Even within the modest and conservative guidelines placed upon cargo hauling in US states, the motorscooter can be laden with vast quantities of freight without compromizing safety and stability. A full shopping load comes easily withing the intended weight capacity of a 150cc scooter whose pillion seat is designed for well over 100 lbs., even when driven by a scooterist of significant adipose rotundity.

Under-Seat Storage
Under-Seat Storage

Most Motor Scooters come with under-the-seat storage, some have a front glove box, and many may be fitted with a bolt-on trunk that also serves as a backrest for the passenger. The under-seat compartment and trunk are ostensibly capable of storing a helmet each, however, this is not true of full-face helmets which do not come close to fitting into either compartment.

It may be seem convenient to store helmets away in this way but it is actually a dreadful waste of space. Helmets may be safely cabled to the rack when the scooter is parked leaving valuable storage space for such essential items as an emergency Frisbee, maps, dictionaries, marmlade sandwiches and pickled onions.

Passenger helmet bungied on
Passenger helmet bungied on the pillion seat

While driving alone, a passenger helmet may be conveniently secured resting on the empty passenger seat -- simply bungeed on if one is expecting to pick up a passenger (in which case it should be easily removable for the passenger to wear), or cable locked if the scooter is to be left parked. Simply setting the spare helmet on the pillion seat, cable-locked but unbungied, works just fine and the helment, though not really fastened in place is not inclined to go anywhere (of course the cable lock would prevent it from going far). This method is very convenient and in my 5+ years of scootering, has never been a problem.

Note that the presence of a spare helmet serves also as an invitation. It says: "I don't have a passenger but am prepared for one." See Dating And Scooter Culture.

Both helmets cabled on
Both helmets cabled on when parked

When parked, one simply passes the cable lock through both helmets. Attaching half and three-quarter helmets necessitates using the helmet strap to attach to, and passing the cable lock through the strap rings.

The motorscooter has also served as the foundation for a number of very economical, yet capacious cargo and passenger vehicles. See Scooter Inspired Vehicles, and Three-wheel scooters.

Many alternative ways can be found to haul cargo on a scooter and, though common in Thailand where this picture was taken, their legality in many U.S. states is questionable (but don't you love the concept?). This series of scooter pictures from Vietnam show them being used to haul everything. From five-person buss to haywain, the scooter is highly adaptable.

Scooter Parking
Storage up-front is only feasible when the headlight is not obscured

It is often more convenient to carry a bag to avoid having to pack and unpack scooter storage compartments during departure and arrival. Backpacks are commonly used by motorcyclists but have their limitations. The driver cannot comfortably wear a backpack if carrying a passenger (at least it is not comfortable for the passenger). The passenger may not wear more than a small pack if the scooter has a trunk attached. The backpack will probably not fit in the trunk and can only be attached to the top of the trunk if a rack or fasteners are attached (not normally standard equipment on scooter trunks, though they can be added).

Scooter Parking
A shoulder bag for cargo leaves room for passengers.

One very workable carry-on solution is the shoulder bag. Both driver and passenger can wear over-the-shoulder bags without difficulty. Some over-the-shoulder bags are quite as capacious as backpacks.

Sometimes the shoulder bag is for passengers.

Sometimes the shoulder bag is for passengers. Though in the illustration it appears that the strap is only over the left shoulder, this pack has a strap over both shoulders. Scarabers, mostly chiuaua, loves travelling like this though he is usually zipped in. See Pets on Scooters.

TGB Delivery

Some scooters are made specifically for delivering cargo. The TGB Delivery, for example has a large insulated trunk with an optional heated bag for pizza or other hot food deliveries.

Scooter Commuter
The Ice Cream Moped. See The Ice Cream Scooter

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