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The Motorcycle License and California Law

Will I need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter in California?Yes. The size of the scooter does not make a difference. All scooters sold at Vespa Motorsport require a motorcycle license. Even 49cc/50cc scooters require an M1 motorcycle license. For more information, check out this longer article on the M1 license in California. 
First, you take a 25-question written test at the DMV. To prepare, the California Motorcycle License Handbook is available as a PDF (click here to download). After that, you can take a CHP-certified motorcycle safety course (optional) or take the DMV’s driving test. We recommend the safety course. Read this short article to see why.

Insurance is legally required to ride a scooter in California. Most of the major insurance companies offer insurance on scooters (call any major insurance company and ask about their motorcycle coverage). Click here to read more about Scooter insurance.

Any 150cc or larger scooter can legally be driven on California freeways. In truth, most 150cc scooters are too small for freeway driving in California, so for safe freeway driving, we recommend 300cc or more.

A DOT helmet is required to operate a scooter in California. We carry a large stock of helmets, click here to see our sections.

Vespa Motorsport will take care of all DMV titling and registration for the scooters we sell.

Riding a Scooter

At Vespa Motorsport, we sell scooters that will go 50 miles per hour and scooters that will go 100 miles per hour and we offer many many scooters in between. In other words, with the largest scooter showroom on the West Coast, we have a variety of bikes to fit a variety of needs. This is true as well for gas mileage: some of our scooters will get 90 mpg while the fastest, heaviest scooters we sell will still achieve around 60 mpg.

This is why many visitors to our shop come away convinced: the economics of a scooter make a lot of sense! (like to scooter-nomics post)

All the scooters sold at Vespa Motorsport are fully automatic. They have a twist-grip throttle and handlebar brakes just like a bicycle.

Unlike motorcycles, scooters are designed with practicality and ease-of-use in mind. As a result, they’re easy to drive for the novice and for the experienced rider. It is for this reason that people who have never ridden any kind of two-wheeled vehicle are often perfectly comfortable on a scooter. We always say that if you can ride a bicycle, you can ride the scooters we sell.

Sort of. Parking is a bit tricky, but usually anywhere you can park a car, you can also park a scooter. This article can maybe clear up some of the confusion.

Buying a Scooter

Scooters are practical and fun commuting machines! In fact, everyone can enjoy riding a scooter in California: our roads and our weather are certainly conducive to year-round riding. Actually, there are myriad reasons for riding a scooter. Visit our shop and see what everyone is raving about. You can also see what our customers have said.  Check us out on Yelp. 

We do allow test rides, but we require you have a motorcycle license and motorcycle insurance.

Yes. Financing is available on all new scooters at Vespa Motorsport. Applicants typically will need a strong credit score to qualify for financing and rates will range from 1.9% to 12.9% with financing terms from 6 months to 60 months, depending on manufacturer and scooter models. Check out our Financing 101 page or visit our showroom for more information and to fill out a financing application.

Warranty and Service

Many of our scooters have a 3,500 mile service interval, like a car, while some other models, such as the Piaggio BV350 have a 6,000 mile service interval. Service rates vary depending on the service requested and the model, but basic services can run from $50 to $150. Check out our service department for answers to this and other service-related questions. You can also schedule service for your scooter here.

The scooters offered at Vespa Motorsport are industry leaders for scooter warranty coverage in the United States.  Piaggio, Vespa, Kymco, and Genuine Scooters all come with a two year warranty that covers against manufacturer defects.
  • Piaggio and Vespa offer a fully transferable factory warranty for two years with no mileage-caps on 2014 and newer year models. This warranty includes complimentary roadside assistance for the first year of ownership. They also offer an extended warranty at an extra charge.
  • Genuine offers a full two-year no mileage-caps warranty on all years, but are non-transferable on used scooters. These warranties also include roadside service for the full term.
  • Kymco also offers a two-year warranty, where the first year covers the whole scooter, while the second year covers engine and electrical only.

In each case, the manufacturers we work with have been selected over the years by our staff and the owners at Vespa Motorsport for their solid, reputable products. In short, we don’t often have to perform warranty repairs. Nevertheless, in the event that something happens that is warranty covered, we expect our manufacturers to address issues efficiently and we hope to get our customers running again in no time. Read more on warranty coverage.

This is a good question, but unfortunately we can’t give an exact answer since it’s really subjective.  If you wanted to, you could keep it running forever, but just like a car, at some point it wouldn’t be cost effective.  Most of our customers average around 3,000 miles per year on their scooters, and this means it will require 10 full years just to get to 30,000 miles. We do have around a dozen people who have put over 40,000 miles on each scooter models that we sell and these scooters are all still running well, so we’re confident that they should last a long time. Even so, there’s too little data to be able to say definitively what the typical lifespan of a good quality scooter should be. Informally, we tend to expect the most of the bikes we sell to make it 50,000 miles. After that, we think they should keep going, but at that point a better question to ask is: are you getting the value out of it that you would like to see? Scooters are inexpensive to buy, to run, and maintain, so is it worth it in the long run? We definitely think so.

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