A 150cc scooter can get you into real trouble. You can now ride on highways if you’re brave enough.
While a 150cc scooter is powerful enough to get you in to trouble it also helps to get you OUT of trouble.
With decent horsepower under the hood a 150cc scooter can get you where you´re going in style, but which one is The Best 150cc Scooter?
Let’s check out some of the options.
The TaoTao Lancer is definitely one of the nicer lookers scooters on the market at the moment. I don’t even mean just in this price segment either. If you look at the blandness of the (much more expensive) Honda PCX 150 then you can see how the TaoTao whips it easily in the looks department.
Still, this is not a premium scooter, but an affordable midrange one. Which means it is reasonable to expect some compromises compared to the big name brands. The Lancer has a healthy 10 HP, which is good for almost 90 km/h . That’s fast enough for minimum highways speeds in some parts of the world, but do make sure.
It also means you have a maximum weight capacity if almost 360 Kg. That’s more than enough for two average adults to ride. Although the rear brake is still just a drum model, the front hydraulic disc brake has ABS technology according to the manufacturer’s home page, which is a good way to deal with the extra power over 50cc or 110cc scooters with similar frames.
To literally top it off, the scooter comes with a top box for additional storage, color matched to the rest of the scooter.
The Roketa MC-06 looks like a sportbike and has a riding position akin to that of a motorcycle, but if you look more closely what you’ll find is a sort of bike-scooter hybrid.
Which means it does not use a manual gearbox as almost all motorcycles do, but a standard CVT automatic drive. The engine also appears to be mounted on the swingarm, which brings with the the same unsprung weight issues that scooters have and motorcycles are free of.
So it seems this “bike” is perfect for those who want to present the sportsbike aesthetic, but aren’t quite ready for the ins and outs of riding a manual bike .
The top speed as claimed by the manufacturer is 112 km/h , which is just fine for driving in the slow lane of most highways.
Given that extra oomph, it’s good to see that this bike is furnished with both front and rear disc brakes, which at this point really do become necessary. It also benefits from having larger wheels than the typical scooter, which helps deal with those dreaded potholes that have destroyed so many front ends over the years.
The Quantum 150 is another scooter from TaoTao that shows, if nothing else, that the company knows how to make a good-looking scooter.
Despite being the same engine capacity, the Quantum does not make as much horsepower as the Lancer. It only has 7.7 HP, compared to the LAncer’s 10 .
That’s a 23% difference in power but hasn’t really affected the top speed, which is still about 90 km/h. Presumably it will just take the Quantum longer to get there.
This scooter also uses a rear drum, but there is no mention of ABS technology for the front disc brakes.
All in all, it’s hard to justify choosing the Quantum over the Lancer, when the price difference is negligible.
The third TaoTao scooter on this list comes in at almost the same price as both the Lancer and the Quantum. Yet it manages to look much worse than either of them.
With a name like “Powermax” though, I expect it’s going to make up for its ugly mug by being the most powerful 150cc scooter TaoTao makes. Well, I was wrong. This makes the same power as the Lancer and has about the same top speed. So really what’s the point TaoTao? Once again, Lancer is still the most desirable of the three. At least this model also has ABS for the front brakes.
The Hornet SR2 is another scooter with automatic transmission made up to look like a sportsbike . In fact, the various pain jobs are directly referred to as “Kawasaki Green: or “KTM Orange”. Which means if you want to fool people into thinking you’re riding something more powerful (and expensive) then this scooter is off to a good start.
That being said, the Hornet looks the business and it is one of the more expensive options when looking at affordable scooters from the East. The yoke, handlebars and front end all look pretty legit. It’s just that single-cylinder scooter engine that gives it away. Although not apparent thanks to the overall design.
Speaking of this engine, its the incredibly common and reliable GY6. This motor is often marketed as a clone of a Honda engine, but Honda have never made anything like it. It’s just a design that no one really knows the origin of, but since almost everyone used it finding parts is both cheap and easy. This unit can produce up to 9.4 HP with a top speed of just over 100 km/h .
The suspension is “sports tuned” which probably just means it’s pretty hard, but thanks to relatively large wheels it shouldn’t be unmanageable. Both front and rear braking is provided by disc, which is excellent. Even better, the front brake has ABS technology .
What to Consider When Buying a 150cc Scooter
The first thing that you should make sure of is what the license requirements are for 150cc scooters. In some parts of the world small capacity scooters such as 50cc, 110cc, 125cc and 150cc models don’t need a special licence if you already have a car licence. Generally however something with this type of capacity will essentially require the same licence as a large motorcycle. It might also be that automatic and manual transmission bikes have different licence terms. Confirm the details with local traffic authorities before buying your new scooter.
Tips for Riding a Scooter
If you are coming to a scooter from a car perspective there’s a lot to learn about defensively managing the space around your scooter. Learning to brake safely is the most important skill to acquire and we recommend you learn to do an emergency stop safely as soon as possible after buying your scooter.
For those coming from a 50cc scooter background, you should learn to ride less enthusiastically. On a 50cc scooter one must work to tease out as much power as possible, but on a 150cc scooter this approach might lead to an overcooked ride and some hospital time.
Ground clearance on scooters is usually very low. Be very careful of potholes, objects like sticks and even just bumpiness. Small wheels combine with high levels of unsprung weight can quickly lead to a rider being thrown off the scooter.
FAQ for 150cc Scooters
Is it really that much more powerful than 50cc scooters?
Typically 50cc scooters have about 2 HP, but 150cc scooters often have as much as 10 HP. That’s a five-fold increase in power, so be careful!
Can I Ride These on a Highway
In most countries 150cc scooters comfortably exceed minimum highway speed requirements, but depending on how people drive in your part of the world it might still be better to stick to urban or suburban roads where possible.
Is it Hard To Service?
While 150cc engines are a decent size, they are still small enough to make maintenance easy. Usually you’ll just need to swap out a pint or so of oil, one spark plug and a small air filter. The service intervals might be very short, so keep an eye on that odometer.
Should I Go For a 2-stroke Scooter?
The short answer is NO! While 2-stroke engines generate a lot more power per CC than their 4-stroke counterparts, they require much more maintenance. They are also noisy, smelly and don’t meet modern emissions standards. They are almost only available in off road bikes or in used scooters.
What Makes a Scooter Different From a Motorcycle?
Modern scooters generally have an automatic transmission, making them easier to master than motorcycles. They also tend not to have foot brakes, with the rear brake lever where the clutch would be on a motorcycle.
The other major difference has to do with where the engine is mounted. Motorcycles have their engines mounted in the frame cradle, with a chain, belt or shaft drive going to the rear wheel on the swingarm. Scooters, at least small capacity scooters, mount the entire engine on the swingarm. Which means it moves up and down as you go over bumps in the road.
This has negative effects on handling, but at the speeds scooters are operated it’s generally not a problem. Scooter riders should still take bumps with extra care however.