A scooter is a fuel-efficient way to get around local areas without breaking the bank in terms of fuel costs. They are powered by either petrol or electricity, depending on the model. Some of these models are legal to drive on motorways, but there are smaller scooters that are only meant for use on private drives and private property. Where you are going to ride a scooter does not change the need to make sure that your trip is a safe one. It is vital to ensure that it is safe to ride your scooter before each trip.
There is a lot more to making sure that it is safe to ride your scooter than just deciding that it is time to go. First, you need appropriate licensing to drive the scooter. You should also be mentally and physically ready for the trip. The scooter has to be ready to go, the weather has to be conducive, and traffic should be at a level that is safe enough for the ride. You also need to wear the appropriate safety gear to be protected during your trip.
Possess the Appropriate Licensing to Ride Your Scooter
The type of licence and other paperwork necessary depends on the type of motorbike you have as well as the local regulations in your area. For most scooters, you need registration documents, a number or L-plate, an MOT, and a tax disc. You may also need a provisional moped licence and a Compulsory Basic Training certificate. All of these items can be bulky to carry, especially when you include the applicable insurance documentation. Carrying all these documents can be a little easier if you get a special passport-style carrier that you can keep under the seat of the scooter, in your pocket, or in a travel bag.
Having all these items close at hand can save you a lot of time and trouble later on down the road. While going over the bike, make sure that nothing is expired.
Ensure You Are Healthy and Alert
This may seem unnecessary, but being healthy and alert is essential when riding a mode of transportation as vulnerable as a scooter. You need to be able to react properly to anything that happens on the motorways or anywhere that you choose to drive. If you are not feeling well, it is better to postpone the trip on the scooter, as you may not be able to react to hazards on the motorway.
It is also important to make sure you have eaten something and are well hydrated. A protein-based snack is ideal since it helps you to stay energised throughout your ride. Water, juice, or a sport drink are great beverage choices. Caffeinated beverages should be avoided, as you may suffer an energy dip when the caffeine wears off.
Wear Appropriate Safety Gear
Wearing appropriate safety gear while riding a scooter is vital to ensuring that the trip is executed safely. Without this gear, one could suffer serious injuries during the ride in the event of an accident or a mishap. The safety gear you need depends upon the location in which you are riding as well as the local regulations and your personal preferences. At a minimum, you should wear a helmet when riding the scooter so that the head is protected throughout.
Many helmets come with bug guards and face shields to keep bugs and other debris out of the mouth, eyes, and face. Some of these shields are tinted slightly to protect eyes from the sun's rays. These are ideal if you are riding on a day that is very sunny. Other safety items you can consider wearing include all-weather boots, wind-resistant suits, shin guards, and driving gloves. These items are especially important for riding the scooter in an area that has dirt drives or unpaved motorways.
Ensure the Scooter is Tuned and Safe
Never embark on a journey on a scooter that is not tuned and motorway-ready. The owner's manual for the scooter can provide most of the information you need to make sure the scooter is ready to ride. Make sure that the scooter is fully charged if it is electric. If it is petrol powered, make sure that the tank is full, or that it has enough petrol to get you to the petrol station.
Check the tyre inflation to make sure that neither tyre is flat. The tyre should move freely when the handlebars are manoeuvred to ensure you can steer properly while driving. Check the brakes and the brake cables to make sure they are in good working order, as you may have to stop suddenly during the drive. The kickstand should be in good repair, as you need to use it to prop up the scooter when you come to a stop. Make sure the scooter's turn signals and lights work properly to alert other drivers of your movements as you drive. The mirrors and windshield should be clean and not cracked or chipped to allow you to see properly.
Check the Weather for the Area
A portable weather station is a great tool to help you determine if taking the scooter out is a good idea. Riding a scooter during a thunderstorm is very dangerous, as lightning can strike, and you do not have any protection from the elements on a scooter. Water on the motorways can also make it much more dangerous to ride a scooter since other vehicles may not be able to stop as quickly as normal. You also experience an increase in stopping distance under these conditions.
Steering and manoeuvring a scooter may be very difficult when the wind is gusty or strong. These are times when it is best to leave the scooter at home in favour of a sturdier vehicle. The same thing is true for snow or icy conditions, when the scooter may slip and slide. Larger vehicles may also slip on the slick motorways, so extreme caution must be taken in these types of conditions. Ideally, you should only ride your scooter in nice weather, as that is truly the safest option.
Check Traffic on the Applicable Roads
While it is possible to ride your scooter on a motorway during times with heavy traffic, it really is not safe. If possible, check the traffic report on a handheld GPS device before leaving home. If the time you are leaving is not negotiable, you may be able to find an alternate route to help you stay safe. You can even place the handheld device in a bum bag or somewhere you can access it easily so that you can get directions at any point during your trip. This is helpful if you plan on taking the scooter for a drive in an area where you have never travelled before.
How to Purchase Scooters and Safety Equipment on eBay
When you need a scooter or items to help you stay safe on your scooter, eBay is a great place to find these items. You can refine the search results to find sellers close to your specific location, so you can get what you need a lot faster than usual. You can also sort the results according to price, so you discover something within your budget. Other filters include colour, features, and a host of other options to ensure you are getting items that meet your needs. For safety equipment, you can sort by size to make sure you get the items that fit you.
If you need items to maintain your scooter, such as an air compressor to air up the tyres, you can find these items on eBay Motors. If the items you need are made specifically for your scooter, such as a battery, you can refine the search to reflect that. For example, if you need a battery charger for your scooter, you can refine the search to include only chargers that meet the minimum requirements. No matter what your needs, take the time to verify the seller's background, and only work with sellers in good standing.
Deciding when it is safe to ride a scooter is a decision only you can make. If you have any doubts about leaving home on the scooter, it is probably better to use an alternative mode of transportation, or wait until the questionable factors have been corrected altogether. There is never an appropriate time to ride your scooter without wearing appropriate safety equipment, since it is always unsafe to ride without, at the very least, having a helmet on. It is not safe to ride a scooter in inclement weather or if the scooter is not in tip-top shape. You also have to make sure that you are mentally and physically ready to handle the responsibility of operating a motorised vehicle.
Scooters are the smaller vehicles on the motorway, so extreme caution is vital when driving them. You and the scooter must be ready and able to react to anything that happens while you are driving. Double checking the scooter and making sure you are prepared can go a long way towards ensuring that you and other motorists around you stay safe.