Almost everyone around the world is familiar with different types of scooters. Many people use to ride them regularly and several others are looking to buy one.
- What are scooters?
- Brief History
- Types of scooters
- Types of Scooters – Final Word
What are scooters?
Scooters are vehicles with a step-through type frame, including a platform for feet.
They usually have two wheels, but several three-wheel scooters are also available in the market.
You can buy various types of scooters for every age group, not only for commuting but also for some great outdoor fun.
Scooters offer several advantaged over four-wheel vehicles.
They are relatively cheaper, usually more portable, have low operation and maintenance costs, and offer a higher fun factor.
The history of scooters extends to more than a century. The first-ever commercially available fuel motorcycle, having a design similar to a scooter, was manufactured by Hildebrand & Wolfmüller in Germany in 1894.
Later on, these vehicles have passed through many phases of evolution.
In the United States, the industry took off with the manufacturing of Autoped from 2015 to 2021 by a New York-based company of the same name.
From 1919 onward, the industry started grooming rapidly, and several manufacturers came into the market, especially in Europe.
A few companies from the early era include ABC Motors, Kenilworth, and Unibus.
The products made by these firms did grab the intention of the public, but they were lackluster in many areas. The engines were unreliable back then, and therefore, using them to undertake long journeys was not yet possible.
From 1936 to 1968, several brands, including E. Foster Salisbury, The Cushman Company, and Harley-Davidson Motor Company introduced next-generation scooters in the US with enhanced performance and better construction.
In this period, the industry expanded to Asia, and manufacturers like Fuji and Mitsubishi started production in Japan.
From 1968 to date, manufacturing companies increased exponentially all over the world. There are numerous brands everywhere on the globe, making innovative products. The one that became the most popular was Italian Vespa.
Hybrid and fully electric machines also arrived in the market in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
The demand increased exponentially over the 70’s decade, and so did the new brands. Many of them, including Yamaha, Suzuki, and Honda, launched innovative models, which were more energy efficient.
After the year 2000, micromobility electric scooters and hoverboards (self-balancing scooters) grabbed the attention of many riders. These vehicles are not only economical but also offer good portability.
Types of scooters
Scooters can be as simple as a kid’s toy and as advanced as a full-fledged vehicle for daily commuting.
Modern scooters are of various kinds and can be categorized on a number of bases. Each type has its characteristics, pluses and minuses, and price range.
So let us discuss a few kinds of scooters around.
1. Based on the power source
There are four types based on this criterion.
i. Fuel scooters
It is the most common type, which includes gas scooters and petrol scooters.
A regular combustion engine is provided with them where heat energy generated by fuel eventually converts into kinetic energy.
They are similar to fuel motorcycles, except for the step-through frame. A common example is a Vespa scooter.
Such vehicles have a larger frame and higher top speed. That is why they are not meant for kids and are suitable only for teens and adults.
Besides, they are not foldable and need some space for parking.
These scooters carry a more powerful engine and can be used on almost all types of tracks. No matter you have to climb slopes or commute on rough and uneven terrain, you won’t face any problem.
These commuters are highly suitable for long-distance traveling.
They usually cost much higher than other types of scooters.
ii. Hybrid Scooters
Like any other hybrid vehicle, these kinds of scooters use a combination of fuel and electric power to make the system more energy-efficient.
The electric motor produces more torque, hence more power, whereas the fuel engine ensures a higher speed. Switching between these two sources after certain intervals assures enhanced performance.
Such scooters are relatively new to the market and not in use as much as other types worldwide.
iii. Electric Scooters
Also known as motorized scooters, these types of scooters use rechargeable DC batteries to power up the electric motor.
The battery needs recharging when fully drained. It needs replacement after it ends up its useful life.
Batteries with different capacities are installed with different types of electric scooters. So the range on a single charge varies from model to model.
The mileage is not dependent on battery size only. It can also vary with engine power, track conditions, and weight of the rider, etc.
Generally, electric scooters are feasible for shorter distance journeys as compared to fuel scooters.
Contrary to fuel-based vehicles, e-scooters can accommodate riders with much broader age groups. They are available for kids, teens as well as adults.
Many e-scooters look similar to fuel scooters. But in the 21st century, portable small-framed scooters with a limited range and speed have been introduced. These are known as micro-mobility scooters. More on that later.
iv. Kick scooters
Also known as push scooters or sometimes stunt scooters, these devices do not include any motor or combustion engine.
The rider needs to apply foot power to push the ground behind, and resultantly the scooter moves forward.
These types of scooters are considered kids’ toys most of the time. But there are many such products designed for teens and adults for short commuting.
Kick scooters can be two or three-wheelers. The former type is meant for grown-up kids and adults, while the later is ideal for very young children and toddlers.
They have small lightweight frames, usually made of steel or aluminum. Wheels are also smaller, mostly with a diameter of 4 to 8 inches. The foldable design makes portability much easy for users.
There are a variety of kick scooters available in the market at a reasonable price. They are not only one of the best gifts for kids but also short traveling vehicles for grown-ups.
2. Based on the purpose of use
Scooters can be divided into the following two types considering this criterion.
i. Conventional scooters
This category includes large framed scooters, both fuel-based and electric. A famous example is Vespa.
These types of scooters can run at higher speeds and are feasible for long traveling.
Such vehicles are most common all over the world.
ii. Micro mobility scooters
These are modern electric scooters with a comparatively smaller frame.
They are usually used for short travels as they have a limited speed and battery timing.
Entry-level and mid-range scooters generally have a top speed of around 10 to 25 mph and a maximum range of 20 to 40 miles. However, high-end models can run as fast as conventional scooters (up to 80 mph) and provide a mileage of around 80 miles.
Due to suitability for shorter rides only, these machines do not come with a seat and have a stand-up deck. But a few models include a seat, and you can install it manually with some of them.
Many such scooters are available at a price lower than traditional vehicles. You can choose a decent e-scooter of the entry-level and mid-range category for under $1000.
3. Based on the balancing mechanism
There are two types based on how to balance the scooter.
i. Manual-balancing scooters
All traditional electric and fueled scooters, that use a handlebar for balancing fall under this category.
The riders need to maintain the center of gravity and use the handle to balance these vehicles.
ii. Self-balancing scooters
These types of scooters are an innovation of the modern era.
They are electric type and have two motorized wheels, each on either side of the deck. There are balancing sensors and a gyroscope installed underneath the frame.
The rider has to stand on the deck, and lean back and forth to accelerate and slow down. Turns can be taken by tilting the pad in the required direction.
Examples include electric hoverboards and Segway scooters.
The difference between these two is that a hoverboard does not include a handlebar, while Segway does.
These are low-speed vehicles and are used for outdoor recreation and short-distance commutations.
You can buy a high-quality hoverboard for under $500, whereas a Segway is somewhat more costly.
Types of Scooters – Final Word
Like any other vehicle, there is a large variety of scooters around. From very conventional to state-of-the-art, you will have every option while visiting marketing or an online store.
All kinds of scooters have their own merits and demerits. What matters most finalizing the product is your purpose of use and, of course, how much you can spend.
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Salman Ali is basically an engineer. He got a keen interest in outdoor recreation vehicles during his professional life, which led him to be a passionate writer on this subject. He has been in this field for around three years and founded his website Outdoor Champs in 2020. More about Salman