8 Best Street Scooters | March 2017

We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. These street legal scooters are perfect for zipping around town in an affordable and economical manner, without ever having to worry about finding a parking space. We've included models that don't require any special license (double check with your state's DMV), larger-engined options for those who need a bit more speed, as well as eco-friendly, electrically powered vehicles. Skip to the best street scooter on Amazon.
8 Best Street Scooters | March 2017

Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 8
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
If you want to race along at breakneck speeds, then the Jetson Lithium Ion Battery Powered is not the one for you. If you don't mind a slower, but more efficient and eco-friendly ride, then you ought to consider this gas-free option.
There aren't many models on the market that provide as much velocity for as little money as you get with the TaoTao ATM50-A1. Despite its modest 50ccs, it can reach speeds up to 35 mph on a good open stretch. It isn't the most mechanically dependable option, however.
The Icebear Gas Powered PMZ50-4 can climb grades as steep as 30 degrees, and it cruises at speeds of around 30 mph, even when carrying two adult riders. For the city dweller who needs to zip about town, this is a pretty good choice.
If balancing yourself on the road is at all a concern, the wide wheels on the E-Drift UH-ES296 Electric Fat Tire ought to give you some peace of mind. Not only do they make it easier to keep upright at slower speeds, they also come equipped with excellent brakes.
  • one-year battery warranty
  • minimalist frame
  • not the most comfortable option
Brand E-Drift
Model pending
Weight pending
In most states in America, the GigaByke Groove 48V 750W is street legal and requires no special driver's license. It will take you thirty-five miles on a single charge, and farther under pedal power. It's perfect for city use and short commutes.
  • bright led headlights
  • available in many colors
  • digital speedometer
Brand GigaByke
Model pending
Weight 150 pounds
The Dongfang MC-75K-150 comes with both a free tool kit and a two-month-long parts warranty, which is a blessing within a class of machines known for occasional failures early in their lifespans. It can easily reach up to 65 mph.
  • storage compartment
  • holds up to 330 lbs
  • single-cylinder engine
Model pending
Weight pending
The TaoTao Lancer-150 comes in one of a handful of color combinations to suit your personality. Its twin inverted front hydraulic suspension makes it easy to ride through town or the countryside, and the unit itself is simple to maintain.
  • efficient 149cc engine
  • wide rearview mirrors
  • fully automatic cvt transmission
Model Lancer-150
Weight pending
The Roketa 150cc MC-04 is a zippy little number that can reach speeds well in excess of 50 mph, so you're safe to ride on faster roads. It uses an automatic transmission system, so you can turn it on and go without worrying about gears.
  • one-and-a-half-gallon fuel tank
  • air cooled 4-stroke engine
  • front disc and rear drum brakes
Brand Roketa
Model Mc-04
Weight pending

A Bicycle With A Beating Heart

Go ahead and picture a bicycle. Got it? Good. Now, do you see how the back wheel is connected to the pedals in middle by that chain and those gears? That means work.

In order to get this thing to move, you have to provide the energy with your very own legs. And if you spend even a quarter of the amount of time the average American spends just sitting around, your legs might not be up to the task.

Fortunately, they went and strapped a motor to this thing, and now it moves under its own power.

The scooters we're looking at here today have relatively small motors attached to them, running no more than 149cc (that's the measurement of space where the combustion takes place) which makes them all, according to most states, not motorcycles.

That's a good news/bad news scenario: The good news is that you usually don't need any special training, licensing, or insurance to ride a motorized bike or scooter under 150cc. The bad news is that they can't push much past 55 mph, making them dangerous to take on the highway.

No Need To Tighten The Belt

So, that title is misleading if taken literally. Any drive system–belt or chain–will require an occasional tension adjustment. I mean the title metaphorically, in that the purchase of a scooter will actually save you money, a lot of it, in fact, even in the short run.

Let's just do the math: I drive a Honda Civic that gets me about 24 mpg. The car normally does better, but I live in one of the worst cities in the world for roadway traffic, so a lot of those gallons expire while I'm idling at a dead stop.

Also, I'm going to use $2.50 as the gas price because that makes the math easier.

My car has a 12 gallon tank, so it would cost $30 to fill it from completely empty. At 24 mpg, that's 288 miles for $30, or a little over $.10 per mile.

Now, the scooter at number one gets about 120 mpg. That translates to $.02 per mile.

The average American driver covers about 13,500 miles each year.

For me in my Civic, that's about $1,400 for the year. For you on your scooter, it's only $270. That's $1,130 in savings for year one, meaning that your scooter will pay for itself in gas miles alone in less than a year.

Add in the fact that your miles are easier (you can weave through traffic), that you have half as many tires to maintenance, that you can park almost anywhere for free, and that your insurance is cheaper, and you see what a good investment these things really are.

So, it's not about tightening your belt, so much as loosening–metaphorically speaking.

The Scooters Of Yore

The scooter as we know it was, in fact, predated by the motorcycle, but not by as many years as you might think.

The boom in scooter design, following on the heels of the motorcycle you see here from the very late 1800s, really came about after the first world war.

There were a few designs kicking around before then, but more and more manufacturers began to improve upon the design in the post-war period.

We probably think of scooters as a more recent development of the 20th century because the style we associate with them–that of the classic Italian Vespa–didn't get its patent until just after the second world war.

I don't know about you, but I'm noticing a pattern here. If, and I mean if we have a third world war, there's a good chance that the scooter industry will get quite a shake-up.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that. I like the current scooter designs well enough not to wish for any more global conflict.

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Last updated: 03/29/2017 | Authorship Information