What is a scooter? Basically, scooters are smaller lightweight versions of regular motorcycles. The defining feature that distinguishes the scooter from the motorcycle is that the rider can pass their legs through the center of the bike and then rest their feet on top of somewhat of a platform. They generally offer less power than a traditional motorcycle does, which limits the speed a rider can travel. To compensate for this, scooters burn much less fuel, which results in some great gas mileage. Mopeds are similar to scooters in that the rider can pass their legs through the center of the bike, but they differ from scooters in that they have pedals for the rider to rest their feet on as opposed to a platform. Mopeds can also be pedaled much like bicycles are.
Scooters have been around since the early 1900s and are wildly popular all over the world. They aren't nearly as popular in the United States as they are in many developing countries, but they certainly offer value to riders in each country in which they are ridden. Again, because of their good gas mileage, they're sought after. Another perk of riding one of these types of bikes is that they can fit pretty much anywhere, which is perfect for weaving through traffic on busy city streets as well as storing it someplace when not in use. They're excellent forms of transportation and are very lightweight and versatile. Another plus for buying a scooter is the low cost of ownership.
If you've heard of Vespa or Piaggio, then you've most likely heard of or have seen scooters. These are two of the largest scooter makers in the world and the companies have building these things for decades. They even now build fully electric scooters for the environmentally conscious. Other popular scooter and moped manufacturers are Aprilia, BMW, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki, which build both gasoline and electric models that are able to be driven on the highways as well as city streets.
The question is, which should you buy, a scooter or a traditional motorcycle? The answer to this question depends of what kind of riding you plan on doing. If you're going to need to travel long distances, definitely purchase a motorcycle. If you plan on staying close to home or buzzing around the city, then you may want to consider buying a scooter or moped. Just remember, scooters are limited in their speeds and electric versions are limited in their range, so be sure to read up on any model you are interested in buying. Also, if you don't like or don't know how to shift gears and use a clutch, you may want to invest in a scooter because most models don't have either of these things.