If you haven't seen our new Buyer's Guide you are missing out on some great info on over 120 scooters that are available in the US right now. May people have said that the intro to our Guide is helpful, so I'll reprint some of the info from the introduction. Remember, you should put as much thought into buying a scooter as you do a car. Do you research and find the right one for you. :)
Finding the right scooter to fill your needs
There are many considerations when buying a scooter, the two biggest are usage and your budget. There is a big difference in the type of scooter based on typical use: in the neighborhood, cross-town, inter-town travel, or even weekend warrior activities such as day trips or jaunts into the country.
Below is a list of common displacements, typical top speeds with some notes.
50cc: 30-40 mph Useful for around the neighborhood, small errands on residential streets. Not recommended for passengers.
125cc: 45-60 mph Cross-town, casual weekend excursions, light passengers on flat terrain for short distances.
150cc: 55-65 mph Acceptable for inter-town travel, good for weekend trips not involving extended high-speed periods. Suitable for a passenger.
200cc: 70-80 mph Great for inter-town travel, and weekend trips. Suitable for most freeways. Does well with passenger on hills.
400cc or higher: 80-100 mph Long-distance touring, designed with passenger in mind.
Going with the flow of traffic is very important. You shouldn't feel as if you are holding up traffic or that you just can't get to where you are going in a timely fashion. Other considerations include fit for your body type, cost of ownership,
Don't forget about how a bike feels beneath you. You should be able to touch the ground and feel in control of the scooter's weight. Some scooters get better gas mileage than others. If gas mileage is of utmost importance, a smaller displacement scooter will sip gas, yet all scooters get far better gas mileage than even most hybrid cars. Keep all of these considerations in mind so that you can find the that scooter that is right for you.