Tips for Buying Some Sweet Scooter Wheels
So you got yourself a scooter, eh? Awesome!
Scooters are quickly becoming an attractive and especially amazing economical alternative to the cars, trucks and heavy-duty motorcycles on the road today, and most states don’t require a special riding/driving license if the engine is less than 50 ccs. Score!
Recently, scooters have become particularly alluring for college students, generally because they are fairly inexpensive to purchase (including the registration and maintenance costs of upkeep), especially when compared to motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles, etc. Not to mention that riding a scooter for your quick, local errands (or just for fun!) is so much cheaper when it comes to filling up that tank every 100 or so miles. Yeah. Scoot scoot!
Scooters are a category of their own – and so are all their parts. Scooter wheels are not motorcycle tires or bicycle tires. In this buyers guide, we’ll let you in on the essentials you need to know when it comes to buying wheels for your special member of the two-wheel family. TMS Parts provides all the best types of scooter wheels and serves as a valuable resource when looking for the right scooter parts for your needs, budget, and style.
Know Your Scooter Wheels
Before you go on a buying spree, you’re going to need to know what kind of scooter wheels you’re looking for. Start by finding out what kind of front and rear wheels are currently on your bike. Generally, scooter wheels range from ten to sixteen inches in height and come in varying lengths, widths and other assembly types.
Where can you find out what kind of wheels you need for your scooter? Other than the manual or handbook that presumably came with your scooter, everything else you’ll need to know about your wheels can almost always be found printed on the physical tires themselves.
Not sure what the numbers mean? Check out the Type Size Calculator to help you understand tires and codes better. Once you know all the info about your wheels, you’re ready for the next step!
Finding the Right Scooter Wheels
Okay, so now that you’ve determined what size wheels you need for both the front and rear on your scooter, and it’s time to think about the style you want for your ride. But first, it’s important to explain the distinction between the two different types of scooter wheels; radials (more modern, for faster scooters) and bias-ply (most popular and old-school but still effective!) tires.
Radial wheels tend to provide better a lighter, more high-speed performance – so if you have a more modern, high-powered scooter, pay attention, these might be best for you. However, it’s good to know beforehand that radial tires are better equipped for motorcycles. They are typically more firm, which helps in allowing that high-speed, as well as a longer tread life. Scooters, however, aren’t exactly known for being speed machines, so be sure to know what your scooter can handle before purchasing radials.
Bias-ply wheels are most likely what you want for your scooter because they’re built for that easy-ridin’ feel. These tires have a better ability to absorb the shock from bumps, potholes, etc. because most scooters ride on local roads. These scooter wheels are made of layers of rubber weaved together in a criss-cross pattern, making them both comfortable to ride on and excellent when handling heavier loads.
Maintaining Your Scooter Wheels
Just like you would for any other vehicle – keeping up with the maintenance is crucial for both riding safely and for protecting all parts of your scooter. In fact, if you’re riding any kind of two-wheeler (you better have a helmet, first of all!) on the road, keep in mind you are at that much more of a risk.
That being said – following Motorcycle Safety Foundation official advice is a smart call – and for a complete checklist of the expectations when inspecting your scooter or moped, read here. Essentially, try and do a quick inspection whenever you get ready to ride, but especially if you haven’t used your scooter for a while.
Periodical, Do-It-Yourself Scooter Wheel Check-Ups
- Always check the general tire pressure and condition of your wheels before each ride
- Check the tread wear on your wheels (FYI: most newer scooter and moped wheels will have a tread indicator telling you when the tread is too low (that’s your cue for new tires for your bike), but if your scooter doesn’t have tread wear indicators, just use a proper tread gauge.)
- Keep your tires properly inflated
- Check the brakes
Time to Hit the Road! Scoot! Scoot!
Keep in mind, even if you aren’t riding your scooter all that often, these checks and maintenance inspections are just as important as would be for any other vehicle on the road.
Remember – ride safely and always wear a helmet and any other necessary protective gear. And don’t forget the best part – have a blast!