Europeans have been zooming about on them for years, but in the UK there was always a bit of a stigma about scooters, generally being seen as something you ride when you’re 16 or 60+. But over the past few years, the European influence has been getting stronger and with the London congestion charge and the expense of running a car to and from work everyday, scooters are becoming a more and more viable alternative. There are some really good examples out at the moment, so we take a look at some of the best on the market, at prices to suit all pockets.
OK, the Honda SH125i may not be the most stylish scooter on our list, but it’s a Honda, and that means it’s really well made and will be really reliable. You also get a lot for your money too, with ABS brakes and a host of other features all for less than about £3k. This 125cc scooter is a real bargain, and you’ll continue saving money with its awesome 133 mpg.
You’ll only find this on the second-hand market now because they didn’t make that many of these scooters, though God knows why. It’s very appropriately named as it has a supercharger, which means although it is only 125cc, it has the performance of a 250cc scooter, and so that means speed! Definitely one to check out if you can find a good used example.
Direct Bikes DB5 0QT
A brand new scooter for £499? Yes, that’s right! OK, for that price, these Chinese made scooters aren’t going to be the best and most reliable scooters you’ll ever find. But if you’re looking for something just to scoot to work on in the summer or even just to have a play about with in the warm weather, it’s hard to beat these in terms of value for money.
Kymco K-Pipe 125
Can’t quite get over your fear of being seen riding a scooter? Well, why not take the first step and get the Kymco K-Pipe 125? Neither a scooter nor a motorbike, it looks more like the latter and is undeniably cool looking even though it only has a 125cc engine. Definitely worth a try if you’re still not sure about scooters.
BMW C1 125
We’re not too sure about this one. On the one hand, it looks kind of futuristic and space age and is undeniably safer in a crash than most other scooters. On the other hand, it risks looking like some kind of disability vehicle that an elderly woman would drive to go and get her hair done. It divides opinion so much; they should have called it the BMW Marmite. No longer in production, you’ll have to look on the second-hand market for an example.
A three wheeled scooter! Unconventional looks combined with Piaggio’s Italian flair marks this out as a real crowd pleaser. With two wheels at the front and one at the back, it is a scooter that is fairly easy to ride, if not a bit different to riding other types. Whilst it is not ‘uncrashable’, there is no denying that it is safer than most other scooters out there. More expensive than most of our other examples, it does still sell in good numbers thanks to its exciting and unusual design.
The Gilera DNA is more like a motorbike than a scooter but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re looking for a cheap second-hand runabout that is lots of fun, the Gilera DNA could be what you are looking for, as you can pick them up second-hand for a measly few hundred quid. Surprisingly quick for their 125cc engine, it’s a lot of fun to be had for a very small amount of cash. Sadly, however, this is no longer in production.
Available in both 125cc and 180cc versions, this classic scooter went out of production over 10 years ago but you can find lots of good examples still around. The Ducati of the scooter world, it’s a great looking sporty scooter that has the performance to match. It’s really worth searching the second-hand market for a good example of one of these, as there is a lot of fun to be had riding one.
2015 LML Auto 125 MK1
This is an exact replica of the traditional Italian Vespa scooter made to the very highest standards. With a four stroke engine and automatic gearbox, it has all the benefits of a modern scooter with all the style of a sixties classic. If you’ve ever seen Quadrophenia with Phil Daniels, it was a scooter like this that he rode. With a fuel consumption of 46km per litre, it will save you some serious money, as well as making you look uber-cool ‘round town.
Scomadi Turismo Leggera 125
Along with the Vespa, the Lambretta is the very epitome of sleek Italian retro chic style and was the favourite scooter of the mods in the 60s. Sadly, it went out of production in Europe for many years but recently it has been given a new lease of life by a company named Scomadi, who are now making these beautiful scooters again. These scooters are real head turners and whilst not the cheapest scooter you’ll ever see, they are worth every penny, as they simply look and drive fantastic.