If you are thinking about getting a two-wheeled vehicle to gain extra urban mobility and you are looking for information on what top-rated scooters have to offer, you can get more info here. The truth is that cities are permanently getting more crowded and people are looking for easier and more cost-effective solutions to move around.
However, the idea of getting onto a vehicle that stands on only two wheels can be rather scary for someone who has never experienced this before. If you add the perspective of having to shift gears in order to ride, while at the same time controlling the clutch, this sounds like something you may never want to try doing.
If that’s what is going on in your mind, then you will be relieved to find out that scooters are a bit different in terms of transmission, which means that they are a very good fit for someone who is less experienced but wants to give two-wheeled vehicles a try.
Most modern scooters are equipped with an automatic transmission, but the word “automatic” doesn’t mean exactly what you would expect if you are used to driving a car. Traditional vehicles with automatic transmissions (cars are, of course, the main reference point) include gearboxes. However, things are different when it comes to scooters.
These handy devices come with something that is called a CVT. The three letters stand for continuously variable transmission, and this piece of machinery has different inner workings, compared to gear-based automatic transmissions. For those who are still worried about shifting gears, rest assured, it will not be the case if you decide to try such a scooter out.
Are automatic scooters easy to ride?
Besides offering benefits such as reduced costs and less time spent in traffic, you might also wonder whether automatic scooters are easy to ride. While the answer is “Yes”, you should keep in mind that anything that stands on only two wheels comes with a new set of challenges for those who are not used to the experience.
Public streets can add to the overall stress since traffic tends to get intense especially during rush hours. One of the things you can do if you are new to riding a scooter is to take it out for rides on your route to work – but do this during weekends or off days. This will help you get used to the streets and the route itself.
This way, once you join the real traffic, you can focus on the other drivers, without worrying that you also need to figure out which way you have to go. Weather conditions can be stressful as well if we’re talking about extreme temperatures or rain. Given all of these potential obstacles that could come your way, eliminating the need to shift gears probably sounds like a very good idea.
What is a CVT transmission and how does it work?
As we’ve already mentioned, unlike traditional automatic transmission systems, the CVT doesn’t involve gears in order to work. Instead, it includes two pulleys of variable dimensions that are connected through either a belt or a chain. One of the ends is linked to the engine, while the other (you guessed right) is connected to the wheels.
The belt works by taking power from the engine and delivering it to the wheels in order to set them in motion. Moreover, the pulleys are mobile, which means that they can move according to the motion they need to ensure. As they come closer to one another, the belt rides higher, thus making the diameters of the pulleys larger, and the other way around.
Given that the belt has a fixed length, when you use the throttle to go faster, the centrifugal force narrows the input sheave, thus forcing the belt to become what would be a large “gear”. This affects the diameters of the output “gear”, making it spin faster, and thus enabling the scooter to gain more speed.
In terms of the experience you have when riding such a scooter, it might feel a bit odd at first, especially for those who are used to riding motorcycles. Given that the transmission works differently than a traditional one, these scooters don’t rely on the motor’s RPM in order to adjust the speed, whether we’re talking about increasing or decreasing it.
The result is that, as you twist the throttle, the vehicle’s sound remains the same, but its speed increases. For those who are used to hearing the engine grow louder during acceleration, this might feel like there’s something wrong with the scooter. Some inexperienced riders tend to think that the scooter is underpowered, while others might consider this to be a power issue.
However, you can rest assured that everything is working as it should, and the CVT does exactly what it’s supposed to do.
A little bit about performance expectations
Scooters are not built for speed, but they are built for efficiency. They provide a reliable solution to move around, but if you like riding at high speeds (which is not necessarily something that you should constantly do, especially within cities), then you might be a little bit disappointed.
However, the rather low maximum speed is, in fact, a great thing when it comes to safety. For new riders, the limited power allows them to feel in control and more confident, as they learn and adapt to their new vehicle. All the experienced riders out there know that these two things can significantly improve a beginner’s overall experience.
Moreover, scooters are also cost-effective solutions, or at least they should be. Therefore, if you choose to purchase such a vehicle, you should operate it within its limits. If you do this, you’ll be able to enjoy using it for a long time without worrying about additional maintenance costs.
Scooters with manual transmission
Some of you might be curious whether scooters with manual transmission are or ever have been produced. The truth is that, if there are any at all, there are so few that you probably won’t encounter one anytime soon. If you do see a scooter that features a manual transmission, chances are it is a vintage model.
These vehicles grew less popular once automatic transmission ones came into play because they are more difficult to handle and they require more maintenance than newer versions. According to experts in this field, scooters with manual transmission also tend to be heavier than their automatic counterparts.
Therefore, even from an efficiency point of view, the automatic version is the winner of this battle. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try a manual transmission scooter if you have the chance. You might find the experience thrilling, even if you might be a bit embarrassed if you won’t be able to get it to work right away.
For those who are truly passionate about driving, trying out all types of vehicles is fun, so there’s definitely something to experience there. On the other hand, from a functionality and performance point of view, if you want an effective solution to easily move around, then you should take a closer look at the highest-rated scooter models on the market.