In California, any scooter with 150cc of displacement or more is legally classified as a “motorcycle” and all motorcycles are freeway legal (see California vehicle code section 400). Any scooter with less than 150cc of displacement is not freeway legal, therefore, even though you still need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter in this class.
At Vespa Motorsport, we have a variety of scooters that have 150cc or more of displacement, many freeway legal scooters in other words. However, just because a 150cc scooter is freeway legal does not mean it would be wise to ride one on the freeway, so while the law is one thing smart practice is another.
In truth, most 150cc scooters are too small for serious freeway riding for the following reasons:
- 150s must be driven constantly at full-throttle (high rpm) to compete with freeway traffic.
- They are air-cooled, not water cooled, which greatly increases motor wear at high rpm.
- They are lighter than a scooter that is better designed for the freeway.
For these reasons, we recommend a scooter in the 300cc class or more for serious freeway riding, including the following models: GTS 300 Super, GTS 300, GTV 300, GTS 300 Super Special Edition, Piaggio BV350, MP3. (links to freeway class bikes). You’ll have less to worry about and you’ll be comfortable if you do decide to take your bike on the freeway. Your scooter will thank you too.
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