What is a motorized scooter?

A motorized scooter is a two wheel, narrow scooter powered by an electric motor. Most motorized scooters are upright or standing scooters. A motorized scooter may instead have a combustion engine, like a moped or motorcycle. Under Colorado law, certain types of motorized scooters qualify as “low powered scooters” which are subject to different traffic laws than a moped or motorcycle. A personal injury incurred by an accident on a motorized scooter can result in serious injury. If you have been in an accident involving a motorized scooter in Denver, contact our Denver scooter accident lawyers for a free case review.

Types of motorized scooters

Motorized scooters include scooters with either an electric motor or a combustion engine. Although there is no specific definition of a motorized scooter, often clients and other people refer to the standing two wheel powered scooters as a motorized scooter. These include the electric scooters offered by Bird and Lime. Although most powered scooters only use two wheels, some models include three wheels with two in the front or back.

Mobility scooters are also a type of motorized scooter. These four wheel scooters typically have an electric motor and a seat. These are common in stores and other public areas to assist people with disabilities to maneuver in public places.

Some people consider a moped to be a form of motorized scooter. A moped, like a Vespa, is a two wheel vehicle powered by an electric motor or combustion engine. It has a seat as well. A moped is more like a motorcycle because they are designed for street use and riders sit down while operating. A moped also often has a larger motor or engine than a powered scooter. Unlike a motorcycle, a moped typically has the driver sit in a typical chair fashion with their legs in front, rather than straddled like a motorcycle. Also unlike a motorcycle, mopeds typically have smaller wheels.

Best electric scooters

Electric scooters come in a wide range of sizes, styles, motor power, battery charge and of course, cost. You can buy electric scooters at popular retailers like Amazon or Best Buy. The cost for a full size, adult electric scooter may run between $1000 and $2000 for popular models. There are also smaller models for children that typically have smaller motors and slower speeds.

The best electric scooters balance your needs versus cost. If you intend to ride your electric scooter short distances, a cheaper model with a smaller battery may be a more economical choice. On the other hand, if you intend to ride your scooter daily as your main source of transportation, the best powered scooter for your needs may be a more expensive model with a larger battery and faster speed.

Are motorized scooters worth it?

Electric scooters are a very economical form of transportation. Your electric scooter will pay for itself in 4-6 months in industrialized nations and in around a year and a half internationally on average thanks to fuel and transportation cost savings. Depending on where you live, you’ll save anywhere from $400 to $1200 annually.

Are powered scooters legal in Colorado?

Under Colorado law, powered scooters are legal to ride on most Colorado roadways. In 2019 Colorado reclassified electric scooters as “low powered scooters” subject to their own class of laws. Under these laws, powered scooters are subject to:

  • Three year registrations with the Colorado Department of Transportation
  • Liability insurance for the scooter owner
  • Prohibited from riding on interstate highways
  • Limited on sidewalks
  • Permitted on roads and bike lanes
  • Must follow all traffic and safety laws like other vehicles

Under the low powered scooter law, powered scooters include both combustion engine and electric motor scooters. There is a limit to the power capacity under this law. Any powered scooter with a larger engine or motor wattage is not a low powered scooter. These are classified as regular motor vehicles, like a moped. These vehicles may never ride on sidewalks or bike lanes. Despite these laws, there are many areas considered the best places to ride scooters in Denver, Colorado.

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