Driving a Motorscooter

 

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The Simplest Possible Vehicle

Motorscooters
Motorscooters

Unlike earlier motorscooters of the fifties and sixties, the modern twist-and-go motorscooter really requires no practice to operate beyond road sense, and an understanding of the balance required for a two-wheeled vehicle. After grasping the handlebars for steering, there are only two controls for handling the vehicle: brakes (one brake handle in either hand) and throttle (the rotating right handle). Nothing else. No pedals, no clutch, no gearshift, nothing.

Of course there are also the console controls for things like turn-signals (required in some states but not others), horn, lights, and electric starter. One more control is the shut-off, a kill switch for stopping the engine in an emergency. In the unlikely even that your throttle becomes stuck on, this is a life saver. It is worth your time to practice on all of the controls for a while without looking. All of these console controls are labeled with icons that are fairly understandable.

It does take some time to become really comfortable with the way the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) works (See stepless transmissions), but it's really very intuitive.

The modern scooter is easier to ride than a bicycle (no pedaling and no shifting) but uses exactly the same motor skills for braking. The only new feature to learn is the right-hand handlebar grip throttle pull toward you to accelerate and the opposite to slow down.

For many, the days of bicycle riding are long past and banking and cornering may require some relearning and practice, particularly at the higher speeds of a motorscooter. Always be very careful to watch for slippery surfaces. Banking, which can be done safely at reasonably high speed on clean dry roads, can easily land one on the ground if the wheel hits a patch of oil, a bit of sand or gravel, or dry leaves or pine needles. See motorscooter safety.

We strongly recommend reading the Motorcycle Safety Foundation scooter safety manual: Your Scooter.

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