Buying a 50cc or 150cc Motor Scooter?
[Wait! Read This 5-Step Simple Guide]
Where to start and commonly asked questions:
Shouldn’t buying a scooter be fun and simple? Yes, it should be! We’ll explain here what you should be looking for when buying a motor scooter, aka a moped or gas-powered scooter. Read all the way through as you won’t want to miss any of these important points!
1. Price Point
Are you looking for an inexpensive economy motor scooter, under let’s say $1500? Maybe a mid-range scooter, between $1,500 and $3,000? Or perhaps a luxury scooter, over $3,000 (and yes all the way upwards of $10,000…Cha-Ching!).
That would be your first decision to make. Your budget! In my opinion there is no such thing as a cheap scooter though, as it will end up costing you way more in parts and repairs, lost work or school time, and are potentially unsafe to ride on the road with cars going over 40mph all around you! I mean I wouldn’t be caught dead (no pun intended) on a blow-out “wholesale” internet scooter for $699… no thank you! All of the reasons above cancel out the word “cheap” when referring to a motorized vehicle. The added expenses will bring you up to the price of a good quality economy scooter anyways. So you may feel like you’re getting a great deal upfront but in the long run it truly isn’t. You should consider buying a scooter somewhat of an investment, as you will be able to resell your scooter someday, right? With a super cheap scooter, it will probably be falling apart (if it even runs anymore) and you won’t get much for it if anything at all. A scooter in good condition will sell for about ½ the original price depending on age and mileage, etc. So please do yourself a favor and stay clear of those internet specials. Deal with a real local dealership, preferably one that is a scooter specialty shop who knows all about scooters and has good reviews. They will PDI your scooter (pre-delivery inspection) to make sure all the nuts and bolts and nooks and crannies are tight and secure and that the motor scooter you are about to ride all over town is safe and ready for you to ride.
2. 50cc (aka 49cc) or 150cc Scooter? Which is right for you?
The main factors when deciding on what cc to buy are- budget, licensing requirements, speed requirements and traveling distance.
A 50cc scooter, also called a 49cc scooter (same thing, they just rounded up) because the engine on a 50cc is truly a 49.6cc engine (cc stands for cubic centimeters, referring to the actual measurable size of the engine). Some say 49cc and some say 50cc. Tomato (Tuh-MAY-to) /Tomato (Tuh-MAH-toh). A 50cc scooter on average does 40mph, give or take. They are good for short distance rides, beach cruising, campus cruising, inner-town travel, etc. and in most states, you do not need a motorcycle license just a regular drivers license, and in some states you do not even need a driver’s license, but that’s rare. In some states you do not need to register your motor scooter or carry insurance on a 50cc either. On average a 50cc will also cost anywhere from $200-$600+ less than the same model in a 150cc.
A 150cc scooter, generally does 55+mph and can travel anywhere a small cc motorcycle would. In most states you will need a driver’s license and most likely a motorcycle license to drive anything over 50ccs on public roads, and you will most likely need to register and possibly insure your 150cc motor scooter as well. Costing a few hundred dollars (around $300) depending on your state fees. State laws are constantly changing and so we cannot determine exact rules for each of the 50 states. But in general, with some exceptions of course, these are the most common laws. Check with your local DMV or scooter shop as to your state’s exact laws regarding licensing, registration, and insurance for your motor scooter.
Now that you know the price range you’re in, and the cc you want to buy, here is a list of well-known reputable brands you can rely on (and ones to walk away from).
Quality Economy Scooters
The most popular economy price point scooters are Wolf Brand Scooters, starting at just $1,099 they are a steal of a deal (and no we’re not being partial here). These scooters have been made at the same top scooter factory for nearly a decade and are sold in the largest industry leading scooter shops across the nation, with an extremely low warranty claim rate, excellent online reviews, a two-year warranty and super low prices, these scooters can’t be beat! Talk about value! Check out College Magazine’s Top 10 Scooters for Campus Cruising… it’s no wonder, Wolf Brand Scooters were ranked #1! https://www.collegemagazine.com/top-10-scooters-for-campus-cruizin/
Wolf is a best-seller at top scooter shops in the nation, like New Scooters 4 Less in Gainesville, Florida (the scooter capital of the nation) NS4L raves that these scooters are so well priced, and so well built that they even use them in their rental fleets (and those rental scooters get beat on all day long).
Mid-Price Range Scooters
My all-time favorite mid-price range scooter is the Genuine Scooter. The Founder Philip McCaleb poured his heart and soul into creating a truly great scooter company (with a cult following may I say). With names like the Buddy, the Roughhouse and the Stella… who wouldn’t fall in love? These adorable scooters have a very low warranty claim rate, an excellent warranty to boot, and a fair price tag! The 50cc Buddy will cost you around $2,199.
A few other mid-range brands include: Honda, Yamaha, Kymco & Piaggio
Luxury Brands (or Brand we should say).
Vespa- the king of scooters, the scooter OG, the Rolls Royce of scooters- ok enough horn tooting- here we go…
If you are not limited by budget, love classic Italian styling, and want to look like a movie star while scooting around, a Vespa may be in the cards for you! They even have an Armani branded Vespa costing over $10,000… so you can really take your unlimited spending to a whole new level! Or opt for a 50cc Primavera, around 4K. Downsides are only cost. Parts and repairs on a Vespa are the same as on an Audi or Mercedes. It just plain costs more!
Other Luxury Brands… there really are no others. Vespa wears the crown.
Cheap (not-so-cheap) Scooters:
Tao Toa, Peace Powersports, Ice-Bear (yes that’s a real name) and the endless array of under $900 gas powered motor scooters found on-line for a Blow Out Deal of Your Life (that you DO want to miss) are all Brands you’re better off walking away or clicking away from. Don’t do it. Just say NOOOOO. Get the few extra hundred dollars from Mom, from uncle Bob, from your neighbor Joe, from whoever you can and opt minimally for a quality economy scooter at just a few hundred dollars more! These are the brands that have earned Chinese scooters blogs and blogs, threads and threads and forums and forums of slanderous, insult ridden, angry claims against Chinese made scooters. No parts, no support, no nothing. You get what you pay for! And you sure will pay for getting one of these.
Get a product with a good warranty. That means they stand behind what they sell. No warranty means they don’t want to be financially responsible for your piece of shi*. A good warranty is minimally 1 Year on all parts, preferably 2, and labor coverage a huge bonus but will usually cost you more of course.
5. Buy Local (not on line)
With a motorized vehicle you will need to have regular maintenance work done, like an oil change, valve adjustment on the motor, a new belt, maybe a battery (if you like to let your scooter sit for long periods) and other normal wear and tear items like tires. If you buy on line and not locally, you don’t have recourse. What if you get the scooter shipped to you from an online website and it doesn’t work? Do you think they will pay to have it returned to them and ship you a new one? Or will you have to get it towed to a local shop and have it repaired? Probably the latter.
Good scooter shops, and that’s why I said to do your homework on where you decide to buy, will support the products they sell and honor the warranty work included with your purchase and be able to do maintenance work for you. It’s a MUST when buying a motor vehicle like a scooter. Some of us with scooters, using them as a second vehicle, like to let them sit around during the winter, or only use our scooters recreationally from time to time which will lead to a gummed-up carburetor or dead battery, flat tires, and other problems. You’ll need to be able to get it serviced and ready for riding. Finding the best local scooter shop will give you good recourse for all your scooting needs!
Hope you enjoyed this article!
The Wolf Team
Whete are these Scooters manufactured
See our blog post “What do I do if I’ve lost my scooter keys?” on our FAQs page- https://wolfbrandscooters.com/motor-scooter-faqs/
You have two options.
Buy a key blank from your local dealership and have a locksmith recut the key or buy a new key switch and lock set and have your local Wolf dealer install the new lock which will come with your new lock set.
It is always a good idea to buy extra blanks from your Wolf dealer when buying a scooter to have a few extras just in case. You’ll save money in the long run if you do happen to lose your keys.
what happens if I lost my keys to my 2016 wolf EX 150 scooter? hpw fo i replace them??
Hi Kenny please visit our FAQ page. There is an answer to that question there! 🙂
Awesome article, very descriptive and fun to read! Thank you!!!
The absence of a statement indicating the scooters are manufactured in the USA indicates they are not. Change my mind.
Responses not related to the topic will not be viewed.
Hi Thomas, most scooters are manufactured overseas, I’m not aware of any being made in the US. Hope you enjoyed the article!
IM LOOKING FOR A USED 150 CC SCHOOTER FOR MY SON FOR SCHOOL ON A PAYMENT PLAN WHERE CAN I APPLY,ALBERT PAGE 3866313761
Please visit our find a dealer page! Type in your zip code and call a dealer near you to see if they offer financing plans. Good luck 🙂
The word scooter is spelled incorrectly near end of this article
Thank you! I’ll get that corrected. Hope you enjoyed, please share! : )
How long can each scooter size be driven for before it needs to be recharged?
Hi Kenia, we don’t deal with electric vehicles, just gas, so I don’t have the answer for that. Try this link I found, they have a reasonable answer to your question here! https://www.doityourself.com/stry/recharging-an-electric-scooter-moped
Hi I bought a used 50cc Wolf RX50 Scooter for my granddaughter for her 16th birthday. She rides it to her little jobs she has. It was running fine for a few months but then started having problems not starting. I took it to a local scooter shop near me, they told me that the valves were out of adjustment was why it wouldn’t start. They adjusted the valves and she road it for a week and it stopped running again. The scooter shop told me that the scooter should only be driven no faster than 35mph. We live in a rural area and my granddaughter has to ride on county roads with speed limits at 55mph. She was running at 40mph. The scooter shop tells me that the scooter should not be driven that fast for extended period of time. She lives about 10 miles from her work. Is that correct that her Wolf RX50 scooter can not be driven faster than 35 mph?? I’m not sure what to tell her. Should she be riding a scooter with a larger engine???
I am sorry to hear about these troubles, and for my late reply. This comment somehow was missed, I am so very sorry. Sounds like she may need a larger scooters, however, this sounds like a technical issue though honestly, and you should bring it to another shop for a second evaluation. Could be as simple as the valves need adjustment or something like that. Please let us know how its going since it’s been a few months.
The Wolf Team
That was very helpful. I own a 50cc wolf 2014. I am looking for a service repair manual. Can I buy
A manual that the mechanics use?
Glad you liked the article! You can definitely obtain a users manual, however repair manuals are only available to certified mechanics at Wolf Dealerships. Let me know if you have any other questions I can help with!
I was given an Meiduo MD150T-4 in pink with 36 miles on it. It’s a 2012 and it’s in really nice shape! Is this a gift or is it a bane in my future existence?
LOL.. only time will tell my friend! Hope it’s great, stay safe, and keep us posted!
So the moped is proving its worth by saving me a ton on fuel! Been past the first gear oil and engine oil change and am working toward the second! Love the thing!
Nice article…very helpful Thanks !!
Thank you for taking the time to comment, glad you liked it!
I have had my Ex-150 for 2 years now and love it. So glad I bought a 150cc instead of a 50cc!
Glad you like your Wolf 150cc! Have fun, ride safe!
Great article …thank you.
I am actually looking at an ad that someone is selling their 2013 Vespa with only 1320 miles, for only $4, 300 obo.
Just nervous buying used.
I am not super up to date with Vespa prices to be honest. But 4k sounds like a lot for a 2013. Vespas are great scooters of course, but parts and labor are expensive. So consider that. For less than 4k you can get a brand new Genuine Scooter which are great and have great warrantys, etc. or consider one of our new Wolf scooters for around $1,100-$1,600. Our scooters also come with a great parts warranty and can’t be beat for the price. Really all depends on how much you want to spend 🙂
The Wolf Team
I have the wolf blaze 150. I’ve have run the dog crap out of this thing and it runs great I do regular oil and gear oil changes and keep up with all the maintenance. I have added a winshield and a trunk, has been one of the best investments I have made, love it great job WOLF.
Thank you SO much for your amazing feedback and comments. Keep up with the awesome job on keeping your scooter maintained and running well. Keep us posted : ) and have fun scooting!
Damn good article. Thinking of buying this one. Pretty good deal?
I know you don’t recommend online purchases, but they seem legit and even offer warranties.
What do you think?
So glad you liked the article 🙂
I know a lot of on-line companies SEEM legit. Its a risk however. Please see my article Cheap Scooters [4 Major Reasons NOT TO Buy a Cheap Scooter Online] under the blog tab.
I have thoroughly discussed why buying in a brick and mortar shop is less risky. But at the end of the day, do whatever works best for you! : ))) Good scootin’ to ya’ friend : )
Great article! Thank you for the information.
Are you familiar with the scooter brand Meiduo? I am looking at a 2014 Meiduo 150cc with 300 miles on it, any information/knowledge you have would be much appreciated.
Sorry we are not familiar with that brand.
I have a 150cc Wolf Rugby II. Mysteriously my speedometer cluster changed color to red! is this an indication of an issue, or are these LCD instrument clusters just color changeable?
If you are going 20-30mph, just cruising around beachside roads, does a 49cc or a 150cc handle differently?
Or if going at 25mph would one not be able to tell the difference of if they were driving a 49vs150cc?
First off I am very sorry for the extremely late reply. Due to COVID our blog hasn’t been manned, but we are getting back to that. I’m sure this reply is too late, but I wanted to apologize and also reply just in case.
Good question btw! If only going 20-30mph, a 50cc is a perfect scooter. Its a great cruise type of scoot. You would still feel a difference if you were doing 20-30 on a 50cc versus a 150cc though, becasue a 150cc will have more power and go in general as it has a bigger motor. But either would suffice! 🙂
The Wolf Team
I have rode a lot of different scooters. I have a Tao thunder. This makes the third time I have put a 100cc kit on it . 150 carb,stronger muffler and better clutch parts. It will most certainly do between 55 60. But with 10 inch wheels and most of the plastic falling apart it is time to do something different. Can someone send me a plan to modify the fifty’s (tao tao) frame to sit a150 engine. I have done all the work on this one so I believe it would be a great project. And also I could get to where my grandkids are safer.. I have a great great granddaughter now and I need to meet that beautiful little princess. Please help
Thank you so much for your question. I unfortunately highly recommend not adjusting the frame to suit a different cc engine. I would sell it as the 50cc it was built as, and get your self a nice 150cc, used or new. We do offer financing options on Wolfs and they are a very reasonable price for the quality. Hope you meet your Granddaughter soon, and stay safe! : )
The Wolf Team
How much are your motor scooters? Are they used or new?
Our motor scooters range from $1,099 and up depending on the year and where you purchase your scooter. Our scooters are new, but used ones are on the market as well.
Hope that helps!
The Wolf Team
What’s your opinion on Daix motorscooters?
Hello Joyce, So sorry for the late reply. Since COVID we havent been attending the blog much due to limited man power. I have never heard of them though. I am sorry I couldnt help. Hope you found what you were looking for already 🙂
The Wolf Team
Does a Wolf rx50 have a windshield accessory
Sorry for the late reply. We don’t make windshields at the time. Sorry about that! Hope all is well : )
The Wolf Team
Great article I feel you are honest company and googled about the company and owner, am pleased. Going to buy in a month. A black 50cc jet. Excited. However I live Sebring Florida have to by from Sarasota Florida. They going to charge me shipping, would you consider paying shipping costs. Thx wolf you won my short list.
Hi Harry, So sorry for the late reply, with COVID amidst us last year we werent attending the blog much. Sorry about that. If you purchased a Wolf, we hope you are loving it and having a great time. All the best!
The Wolf Team
There’s a 49.5 cc Sunny scooter for sale in my area. It’s a 2012 with 150 miles. They didn’t mention the brand. Sale price: $1,000.
Is this a good buy? Ill be going to look at it tomorrow. Please advise of too expensive?
I am very sorry to have not replied sooner. We have been extremely busy with COVID issues. I think that for a Sunny that old its very over priced. Im hoping you found a better deal. You can buy brand new Wolf scooters for just a few hundred more and we are defnitely a much higher grade of scooter than a Sunny.
Hope this reply finds you well.
The Wolf Team.
Hello I live in Georgia and have a 50cc people’s scooter.
My cousin was renting a 50cc Mio scooter
Are those sold any where close by
We only sell Wolf Brand Scooters, I am not familiar with the Mios. Sorry we couldnt help. Please search for a Wolf dealer near you on our dealer locator page and consider purchasing a high quality well built scooter by Wolf.
The Wolf Team
Scooters have small engines that do a lot for their size and need frequent maintenance. Valve adjustments, and frequent oil changes are the most critical to making them last. Also dont let your scooter sit for months on end with gas in it. Todays fuels with ethanol break down and clog up carberators in relatively short time.
Dont loose your keys. Dealers dont stock key blanks or cut replacement keys. You will have to order a Lock set and have them install it $50 or more. A Locksmith will charge $75 or more. Be smart and before you loose you Scooter Keys> You can buy key blanks $1.00 on ebay shipped 3 weeks from China and take it to a locksmith to cut for around $5 or less
Anyway, I have six different brand Scooters and my Wolf RX 50 is the best running and my most favorite. Girls wave to me and Cops dont pull me over on my Wolf Scooter
Would love to buy one of your scooters, especially the Islander, but can’t find any in or near San Luis Obispo CA. Any advice? Will you ship one to us?
Hi, what is the rider weight capacity? Also could it climb a dirt/rock hill that is (my best guess) a 10-15% grade and about 15 yards long?
Hi Karen, it’s really hard to say. I wouldn’t recommend that, and it would be at your own risk to try. They are built for flat road cruising 🙂
Hello. I started with an RX50 (now my daughters) and just bought a RUGBY II which I absolutely love so far. Does the ZHNG co consider this a motorcycle? It’s confusing here in MA.
Hi Robin, so glad to hear you guys are a Wolf family! I know what you mean, the MA laws are very hard to navigate. I think the best thing to do is call your local DMV and see what they require. Also visit our Laws by State post https://wolfbrandscooters.com/scooter-laws-state/ Sorry I don’t have the exact answer as MA seems to be a bit all over the place depending on who you talk to. Let us know what you find! : )
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