Are all scooters the same? What aspects differentiate them?

It will soon be 80 years since the birth of scooters. Its origin is due to necessity. After World War II, Europe had to rebuild. The scooter represented the combination of the factors demanded by the society that would become the boomers: a cheap, light, clean vehicle that could be driven with any clothing, skirt included.

The car was a luxury that would take time to become available to everyone; On the other hand, the technology present in scooters already existed in the world of motorcycles, except for two of the distinctive factors of a scooter: the stamped sheet metal chassis and an engine that simultaneously acts as a swingarm.

According to the RAE, a scooter (or escúter) is a “motorcycle with small wheels and a flat floor” or a “light motorcycle.” It seems that in the RAE they do not have it very updated for 2024.

It is not our job to determine the definition of a scooter, but we will agree that A scooter is an eminently practical two-wheeled vehicle in which our feet rest in front of our hips and in which, at least the legs, enjoy protection from the elements by means of the shield that precedes them.. The practicality of the scooter lies in its carrying capacity and its comfort, apart from the fact that having two wheels determines its status as a door-to-door vehicle.

Are all scooters the same?  What aspects differentiate them in terms of the cycle part?

What types of scooter can we find?

There are numerous types of scooters, based on very diverse factors. The largest number of them are sold in Southeast Asia and they are what in Europe we call “large wheels”, that is, 16 inches.

Generally with smaller displacements (150, 125, 110, 100, 90 cc) and gear changes, they are sold in tens of millions of units per year and are a large part of the income statements of the big brands.

But they meet our updated definition in the previous paragraph, as do those sold here in Europe, where the panorama is also complex, but in a different way.

Are all scooters the same?  What aspects differentiate them in terms of the cycle part?

European legislation allows you to drive 4-stroke motorcycles up to 125 cc with a B car license. This implies that there is an almost infinite and very fragmented 125 cc market, and within 125 cc, scooters.

It accounts for the majority of sales and includes everything from the small economical proximity scooter with small wheels, such as the Yamaha N-Max or the Honda PCX, to the large GT, sports or 16-inch wheel scooters, which also have representatives. in Europe.

In all of them, the self-supporting chassis and tilting motor structure is repeated, as it is the simplest and lightest. The gears are left for 125 cc motorcycles. The scooters are all automatic. The maximum power allowed by legislation is 15 HP. In some of them, the flat ground still exists.

Are all scooters the same?  What aspects differentiate them in terms of the cycle part?

Above 125 cc, there are the same number of typologies, perhaps fewer exponents, but they require a motorcycle driving license. Almost all transmissions are automatic by variator. The average displacement, between 300 and 400 cc, represents a very important part of the sales pie, but not the top of the pyramid.

The large scooter segment has existed since the first generation of the Yamaha T-Max was launched in 1999, which, still complying with the definition we provide in this article, completely changed the concept of the engine and cycle part of a scooter, to give also room for great performance. And without losing the practicality and ease of use of a scooter.

Are all scooters the same?  What aspects differentiate them in terms of the cycle part?

At the end of the 90s of the 20th century, Yamaha had a very complete scooter, the Yamaha Majesty 250, with a proportionate, almost automobile appearance. The market was witnessing a demand for growth in displacement and power of scooters.

Yamaha's development department set out to create the ultimate city and suburban scooter, capable of traveling and at the same time, idling with exquisite finesse.

They soon realized that, to achieve results superior to the competition, they had to do something different, which meant breaking the rules and adopting technological solutions seen in motorcycling, but without the product losing the perception of a scooter.

Are all scooters the same?  What aspects differentiate them in terms of the cycle part?

To achieve smoothness, the single-cylinder grew to the twin-cylinder. By combining two engines from the Majesty 250, they made a parallel twin-cylinder engine, with three connecting rods (the false connecting rod served as a balancer) with a proverbial finesse of operation.

The cylinders were located horizontally. Instead of being part of the swingarm, they are placed lying down, in front of the rear wheel, inside a multi-tubular aluminum chassis. The rear suspension is located in the same place, next to the engine.

In this way, a centering of the motorcycle's masses (50/50) is achieved while the center of gravity is placed as low as possible for the sake of ease of maneuvering, in motion and when stationary. More displacement means more weight. That is why the fork is sized accordingly, with the inclusion of a double seatpost, a determining factor in the solidity of the front axle.

Are all scooters the same?  What aspects differentiate them in terms of the cycle part?

As an example, the Yamaha T-Max 560 that appears in the photos and in the video that accompanies this report. Contains motorcycle elements. Beyond the suspensions, it has a double disc brake with radial calipers and equipment that includes traction control, engine modes, Bluetooth connectivity, TFT screen (huge), electric adjustable screen, heated seat and grips, etc.

But what surprises the most about the Yamaha T-Max 560 is its behavior. It is capable of coming out very smoothly, at the tip of the gas, with an exquisite touch. You don't need to put your feet on the ground to ride at very low speeds. The feeling of control is total. But in the same way, if you push the gas hard, you will find yourself launching at speeds beyond what is legal in a very short time, but with the same feeling of control as going full throttle. At the traffic lights you will have no rival and in the mountain passes you can get the colors of more than one.

Are all scooters the same?  What aspects differentiate them in terms of the cycle part?

There are many scooters on the market with different features and prices, but they all agree that they are part of the solution to our congested cities and not part of the problem.

In some continents some triumph, in depending on which countries, others. There are cities in which one model sells more than another, but what is certain is that anywhere in the world, the T-Max watches everyone from the top. Nobody doubts that.

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