Motorcycle license to drive a scooter?
Does anyone know if I need to have a motorcycle license to drive a scooter on STT? It will be 150cc at most...
Nope -- no motorcycle endorsement needed for scooters, although you will definitely want some riding experience before you hop on one to tackle STT. In addition to suddenly having to drive on the left, the traffic (i.e., other drivers' decisions) and roads might not be quite like what you're used to, wherever you are from!
Here are the websites for the two places I know of that rent scooters on STT (and STJ), in case anyone is interested. I have no experience with renting from either place; just an FYI.
Now, a scooter is an interesting idea... maybe in addition to a car:
- put a little basket on the front or back
- good for short trips on (mostly) back roads
- great gas mileage
- inexpensive to buy
- might be cheap to maintain (maybe buy a new one every 2-3 years instead of major maintenance)
Motorcycles are rarely easy to maintain. My experience has been they require much more minor maintenance then any of the cars/suvs I have had and on island it was even worse. If your not handy, I would think twice. Getting a bike to a mechanic can be a real pain if you don't have a truck. If you do not have motorcycle driving exp I would try to get atleast 6 months worth stateside before you come here, especially for stt. 150cc is the smallest I would consider bringing. On stt you will need some power for the hills, and with bikes you really need to be able to drive offensively and I don't really think 150cc is going to do it.
I think we will see more and more scooters/motorcycles everywhere now, like in Europe. Obviously our roads aren't good for them, and we will never have separate lanes or anything sensible like that. But we could start to educate people in cars to be more respectful of bike riders, post signs reminding them to share the road, run an advertising campaign that this is how we can actually do something to cut gasoline consumption. The government could co-op a hugh campaign with a couple of bike companies and start a trend. The tourists would love it! We don't any drive too far. We could do it on a bike(motor) if we weren't scared to death!
when I arrived here I aked the tasxi driver about scooters,he said it's a very bad idea because he has lost many friends to car vs. scooter accidents. Judging from the way people drive here (stx) I could a scooter for short trips and perhaps trips that I don't have to climb hills,my car barlely makes it up some of them. Anyway, i love the idea of having a scooter to go the beach, store etc.
one more ?, can my daughter who is 13 use one legally?
NO!! Not on public roads.
Thanks for the info everyone! We will have a car in addition to the scooter - but I thought with gas prices that it make sense to have one scooter and one car vs. two cars...
I actually rented a scooter on STT about a year and a half ago, so I know those hills are no joke!
Yup, good points Betty... they definitely have their negative points. If more people had scooters maybe there would spring a more efficient service industry around them.
Juanita, wouldn't it be cool to see separate lanes on just some of the roads. I agree, that with high fuel costs, it might be time to revisit these ideas. I wonder how Europe, Asia, India, etc manage to make this work.
I think it's more a case of teaching the scooter riders to respect the car drivers than the other way around, the way I see them weaving in & out of lanes or riding in cars' blind spots.
Hmmm what about solar powered scooters? I have read about a model that goes 40 miles on a charge, neds a few hours of sitting with panels unfurled then ready to go for another 40 miles! 30mph top speed. Only problem is that its an extra $1500 or so, which would take a long time to pay off without buying gas, since the gas mileage is already great for a scooter. I really want to bring one down here. Anyone else seen one?
Yeah, Trade. I am constantly amazed at how trusting some bike riders are when it comes to cars. Like they just KNOW the car isn't going to swerve or something. Not just bikers. I see people walk out in front of cars all the time, just knowing the car is going to stop for them. Drives me crazy! But then, I am probably the only person in the VI that hates cars stopping to let me out. It really makes me nuts when there's NOBODY behind them. I've already gauged when I am going to pull out, and it messes me up, not to mention, if they would just go on by, it would be faster. I know, I know....it's nice, it's polite, etc. It's also dangerous. I am a fan of take my right of way and give you yours, with the exception being bumper to bumper traffic.
But, I'm off topic. That education program I suggested would obviously apply to the bikers too.
On STX, I don't know where we would put bike lanes, we barely have (or don't have) shoulders.
"...If more people had scooters maybe there would spring a more efficient service industry around them..."
HAHAHA!!! The islands are lousy with cars and no "efficient service industry" has sprung up around them. The USVI doesn't do "efficient service industry."
Cory, I saw a few links to solar powered scooters. One guy started with an EVT-4000e. This scooter is all electric, $2500, goes almost 35MPH (I'm guessing downhill), and can go about 50 miles on a charge. If there are enough trips that can be made on back roads, or they can widen some roads for bike lanes then this might be attractive.
At $2500/ea it might make sense to eventually have two, just to aid in troubleshooting problems for DIY maintenance (I'm theorizing that electric scooters might be easier to troubleshoot than gas). And, we might even be able to set up an online forum for repair of the little buggers.
If it does 35mph hour that means it does about 10 or 15 going up hill, basically a 50cc motor, which means you are putting yourself in the same risk as driving a bicycle on this island. People do not expect someone to be going that slow on these roads and going around a blind curve you will always run the risk of getting hurt. There are alot of stateside amenities that I think the islands will get, but bigger roads with passing lanes are not one of them. If you are going to ride a bicycle or a lower power scooter you are taking a big risk with your life. Think about the neighborhoods you live in or will have to drive though. Many people have big dogs without fences and believe me dogs love to chase motocycles. You will want more power. It rains here often as well making everything more slippery, potholes harder to see and gravel more dangerous.
OK so bikes are never a "safe" investment but be smart about what you invest in and make sure you're ready for it.
I hear you Betty... I agree that the roads are a major issue that just can't be overlooked. I'm not even sure that passing lanes solve the safety issue... I think you really need dedicated bike/scooter lanes. But, I'm not sure you need them on every road... do you? And, really you might only need them around curves. I'd love to see a study of what it'd take to make the islands "safe" for bikes/scooters.
Very good point about the dogs... at 10 MPH a scooter is just a play toy for dogs. That's an accident waiting to happen.
I think the rain issue could be solved by making sure that you know the roads before taking to the scooter. Invest some time to study and plan your routes (the way a downhill skier studies the course). Only drive on routes that you've thoroughly studied.
How do you suppose they get away with renting the scooters on STT? You'd think tourists would be mangled all the time...
I've nearly mangled a few myself. They ride them like dodge'em cars.
The money you save in gas, you will pay in hospital bills. Everyone i know that has bought a motorcycle or scooter. Has had an accident. It is not if, its when
I love bikes, use to race motcross years ago. But in stt bad idea. Just my 2 cents
While i love the idea of a scooter, i cant imagine having to drive from C-sted to Cane Bay on it, esp at night. Or from downtown Charlotte to redhook.... There are sooo many spots with gravel in the road and some decent potholes, not to mention dogs and being pitch black outside if going at night... I suppose if you were using it around town during the day, for up to 5 miles or something and you know the route youd be ok.
I'm getting a kick outta reading who replies with what....you can see who likes riding on two wheels.....and who envy's those that do....
Hey Jim! just wondering where you raced motocross?
yeah,Marty I got ya on that last transmittion!! I read one post and I'm pro-scooter;I read another and I'm anti-scooter. All in all, I think I still want a scooter-for going to the store and stuff.