Scooter Terms

Here is a list of handy terms and their meanings so you will feel more hip around other scooterists. If there is a term that is not on the list, send it to us and we will post it. Also read Group Riding 101

Twist and Go: The Stepless Automatic Transmission "CVT." A very smooth, progressive gear-shifting, automatic scooter.

Shifty: A scooter with a manual transmission, either 3 or 4 speed.

Mods - "Modernists": 1960's scooter culture concerned with fashion; clean lines; and pop music, primarily soul, SKA, and R&B. Rivals of "rockers."

Rockers: A subculture that started in the United Kingdom in the 1950s among motorcycle riding youths, caused by post World War II rationing and the evolution of the working class youth. Heavily influenced by American culture and cinema. Rivals of "mods."

Chinese scooter: A gas scooter made in mainland China, often a clone of a Taiwanese or Japanese scooter, or "inspired" by the design of an Italian scooter. "Chinese scooter" is often used as a derogatory term towards any scooter that isn't Italian or vintage. One scooter made in China will often be distributed by literally hundreds of companies under different names. Beware of Chinese scooters, as dealer networks are nonexistent, meaning warranty repairs are next to impossible, along with very limited parts availability. Many new scooterists are tempted to purchase these scooters because of their low entry costs, but many quickly regret it and are stuck with a scooter with a poor resale value.

Moped: A two-wheeled vehicle based on the design of a bicycle. Limited to 49cc's with back-up pedal power; it can be ridden like a bicycle. "Moped" is often used as an insult by ignorant motorcycle owners to any motor scooter.

Maxi-Scooter: A larger gas scooter ranging in size from 250 and 900cc's. Designed more for comfort at higher speeds and long rides with the sacrifice of style.

2-stroke: A motor type, most commonly found in vintage scooters. This style motor produces more power per cc than 4-stroke motors. 2-stroke motors, however, are generally more harmful towards the environment and because of this, have started to be outlawed in California. Most of these motors have no oil-injection system, and have to be "pre-mixed", meaning that riders must add 2% of the gasoline volume added in 2-stroke oil.

4-stroke: A more modern type of motor found in most scooters (is very dependable, runs much cleaner than 2 strokes, and is more quiet ).

Electric Scooter: A scooter with an electric motor. Runs ultra clean and cheap, but with a very limited range.

Gas Scooter: A vintage or modern scooter, powered by a gasoline burning motor.