While I am working here and selling Honda Ruckus Parts and living in Southern California, I can't help but notice one thing. I have started to see more and more scooters on the road. It's not just Ruckus, Zuma, or their Chinese counterparts, but I have seen or have been asked about parts more and more for Vespas, C3s, and a multitude of other scooters. Not only that, but I have seen an increase in the output by manufacturers for scooter parts, not just Ruckus parts, and higher demand from the popular forums as well. There are reasons we are seeing this, one is very obvious, one is based on "science," while the other isn't as obvious or as impactful to the average person.
The obvious reason is the ever rising cost of fuel. While it does affect scooter riders, too, it doesn't take as big a hit in the wallet as it does the person driving a car every day to work. Many car drivers are looking towards lowering their fuel costs to keep the same level of living as they had prior to $4+ per gallon gas. On usually less than 2 gallons of gas, you can fuel a scooter for nearly a week of riding or more, depending on how you ride. I know many guys with GY6 swaps who have gone a couple of weeks of steady city riding without filling up again. While cars are getting more fuel efficient, they still have fuel tanks larger than 10 gallons. That $5 you spend on gas goes much further on your scooter than it does in a car.
Many look at the environmental impact a scooter has versus a car as a reason to switch. I'm personally one who doesn't like to debate "being green." I think it's a bunch of guys who want to pad their pockets with bad charts, but that's me. Actually, when it comes to exhaust emissions, a scooter does pollute more than most cars. It's viewed as green simply because it is very efficient, which a scooter is, but that's not making something "green." Well, it can make your wallet greener.
The less obvious reason, the one that doesn't impact the average person who has never ridden a scooter, is a mental factor. It's the enjoyment of riding a bike. "Nothing compares to a motorcycle for combining fun with saving money," said Tim Buche, 2011 Motorcycle Industry Council president and chief executive officer. "There's no more enjoyable way to get to work and get around, and rising fuel prices have given our customers yet another great reason to ride." Many average people don't know what it's like to ride a scooter. They remember riding their bicycles as children, but never equate that same fun to something that is motorized. They may even remember doing things to their bicycles to make them their own and don't thing that they can customize their Honda Ruckus with aftermarket Ruckus Parts.
They also don't realize the community they are about to join when they purchase their scooter. From the Honda Ruckus, to the Yamaha Zuma, to even the Chinese made replicas, you have a community of enthusiasts to gain knowledge and friendship on, provided you don't introduce yourself as a jerk. Enter the community with an open mind, willingness to learn, and slightly thick skin because you are a "noob." If they don't poke fun at you, they don't like you!