Is riding a scooter any safer than operating a motorcycle, or just as dangerous? Will he need a special license and insurance? Above all, how can he choose a scooter that will reduce his chances of being in an accident?
What Are the Differences in Licensing a Motorcycle vs. a Scooter in Missouri?
All riders must have a Class M motorcycle license (or a driver’s license with the M endorsement) in order to operate a motorcycle or motor-tricycle on Missouri roads. They must also register the bike with the Missouri Department of Revenue. However, whether you need a license to ride a scooter in Missouri will depend on the size of the scooter’s engine, or cc displacement.
The rules for scooters and motorized bicycles depend on engine displacement because they dictate how fast the vehicle can go. Under Missouri law, any two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicle with an automatic transmission, with a cylinder capacity less than 50 cubic centimeters, and that has a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour may be classified as a scooter or moped. In order to operate these vehicles, you will only need a valid driver’s license; no motorcycle endorsement is legally required.
Are There Safety Differences Between Motorcycles and Scooters?
Motorcyclists often suffer serious injuries when they are involved in accidents because they are traveling just as fast as cars, but are far less protected. In addition to speed, motorcycle safety issues can cause serious and fatal crashes—such as reckless maneuvers, lane splitting, loss of control, or vision issues caused by bad weather.
Scooters have a few safety advantages over motorcycles. First, they cannot travel as quickly and cannot go on highways or roads where they cannot meet minimum speeds. They are also lighter and have automatic transmissions, so there is no need to shift gears. In many cases, they are easier to control and maneuver around obstacles and are easier to mount and dismount. Lastly, many scooters place the rider’s legs in front of him rather than on either side of the bike, making it less likely that the rider will suffer the loss of a limb after a serious accident.
No matter which scooter you choose, you should absolutely take a safety instruction course before hitting the road and use his helmet for every trip. To get more tips on safety, local motorcycle events, and choosing the right bike, download James Roswold’s free guide, The KC Biker Bible.