Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I purchase a Genuine Scooter?
Can I buy a scooter directly from Genuine and have it shipped to me?
Do I need a special license to ride a scooter?
How do I get a motorcycle license?
Aren't Two-stroke scooters illegal?
My scooter won't start. What gives?
Can I ride my scooter on the interstate?
Can I ride my scooter with a passenger?
How does the roadside assistance work?
How does the warranty work?
Can I maintain the scooter myself?
Is the warranty transferable?
What gas mileage do these things actually get?
Your web site lists the price of your scooters. Why is my dealer trying to rip me off by charging me $200 more?
According to my GPS, your speedometer says I'm going faster than I really am. Is that covered under warranty?
Can I get a Stella in California?
I really want a scooter, but I'm afraid to ride one.
How do I break in my scooter?
Q: Where do I purchase a Genuine Scooter?
A: Genuine Scooters are sold only through our network of authorized dealers. Our list of dealers is growing all the time. If there isn't a dealer near you now, don't fear, that could change really soon. Click HERE to search our list of dealers by state. [top]
Q: Can I buy a scooter directly from Genuine and have it shipped to me?
A: No. We only sell through your local authorized dealer. While it may sound enticing to have a scooter shipped to your front door, you'll be way happier getting it from a dealer...trust us! An authorized dealer will prep and test ride your scooter before the sale to ensure it's in top running order. An authorized dealer can advise you on the operation of the scooter, scheduled maintenance, licensing requirements in your area, proper protective gear, and how to have a fun and safe riding experience. Only a locally owned authorized dealer can give you the customer service and warranty support you'd expect from a premium product. To reduce packaging waste and to save fuel, scooters and motorcycle don't typically ship fully assembled. They require some assembly plus preliminary adjustments to the engine, suspension, brakes, etc. Do you have the tools and know-how to do this? Wouldn't you feel safer having it done by a professional? [top]
Q: Do I need a special license to ride a scooter?
A: The answer depends on your state laws.
In many states, a person with a standard driver's license can legally ride a 50cc scooter that is restricted to 2 horsepower and a top speed of 30 miles per hour. For this reason, Genuine's Buddy 50 and Roughhouse 50 models come with removable restrictors that limit power and top speed. Your dealer can remove these restriction devices upon request, but then you will probably need a motorcycle license to legally ride it. Genuine's 110cc, 125cc, and 150cc models do not have any restriction devices and will require a motorcycle license in most states. Contact your local department of motor vehicles to learn about your state's requirements. [top]
Q: How do I get a motorcycle license?
A: This question also depends on your state requirements.
Typically, you first go to your local department of motor vehicles and take a written test. Upon passing the test, you will be issued a learner's permit which will enable you to legally ride with a licensed rider during daylight hours. The DMV will also provide the specifics of the driving test, which you can simulate and practice by setting up cones in a parking lot. Since the DMV course is usually painted on the pavement, you also can practice on the DMV course when they aren't conducting tests. Once you have practiced and mastered the test, you can take the driving test at the DMV and receive your license.
An alternative is to sign up for an accredited riding class, such as those organized by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. There is typically a small charge to take the course. Small displacement motorcycles are usually provided, but many riding courses are adding scooters to their fleets. It may also be possible to get permission to use your own scooter. You will need to bring your own helmet, gloves, long sleeve shirt, long pants and over-the-ankle boots. There is usually a classroom session on a Friday night, filled with valuable information on riding safely and skillfully in a wide variety of situations and weather conditions. Saturday usually starts with a short classroom session followed by several hours of riding drills. The drills are conducted on cone courses at low speeds in a parking lot sectioned off from car traffic. The class concludes with a riding test. If you pass, you are awarded a certificate which in most states qualifies you for a motorcycle license without taking the DMV riding test. As an added bonus, many insurance carriers offer discounted rates for completing a safety course. [top]
This is a general description. You must check with your state licensing agency for laws that apply to you.
Q: Aren't Two-stroke scooters illegal?
A: No. Two-stroke scooters that comply with EPA and local regulations are legal.
Genuine's Buddy 50, Roughhouse 50, and Rattler 110 models feature eco friendly, EPA compliant two-stroke engines. They are legal to own and operate in all 50 states, including California. Genuine's Stella 150 model is EPA compliant and can be registered in all states except for California. [top]
Q: My scooter won't start. What gives?
A: Because of their small size, scooter engines are much more sensitive to stale fuel and fuel impurities than a car. Because scooters are often driven short distances and sometimes stored for extended lengths of time, their batteries are much more susceptible to being drained.
If you are a new rider, take heart! Every first time scooter owner goes through a learning process. A scooter is not a car. As such, they respond to cold mornings, humid afternoons, and extended periods of time sitting in a garage differently than your car does.
If you're a new rider and your brand new scooter doesn't start, your first inclination may be to blame the scooter. On behalf of all scooter and motorcycle manufacturers worldwide we would like to say "don't take this the wrong way, but it's probably not the scooter, it's probably you." We say this because experienced riders rarely, if ever, call about problems starting their scooter.
Trust us on this one; as you log more miles and get a "feel" for the engine, this problem goes away and soon you will feel a cosmic connection to your scooter. Your scooter will practically start via mental telepathy.
In the springtime, we get lots of calls from new riders. The problem is almost always due to stale fuel (which can clog up the carburetor) and/or a dead battery. To solve these problems, you'll need to have a mechanic clean your carburetor and you'll probably need to purchase a new battery. Neither service is covered under warranty.
An easier and more cost-effective solution is "winterizing" your scooter before storing it. This simply involves pouring about an ounce of fuel stabilizer into a tank of fresh gasoline, and disconnecting the battery.
If you want your battery to love you forever, plug the battery into an inexpensive "trickle charger" (they start at $29.95 at scooterworks.com). This device turns itself off when the battery is fully charged. Over time, when the charge drops to a certain level, the trickle charge turns back on. This process serves to "cycle" the battery over the winter, and in the spring, your battery will be stronger than it was in the fall.
And when the sun starts shining, we say ride your scooter...a lot! The more you ride your scooter, the happier it is. Putting miles on the scooter keeps fresh fuel flowing through the carburetor and keeps your battery in tip top shape. And if you keep up with scheduled maintenance and oil changes, your scooter will run smoothly for years to come. [top]
Q: Can I ride my scooter on the interstate?
A: Scooters are primarily designed for nimble, quick, convenient and efficient urban transport. They thrive in places where parking is scarce, roads are congested, and fuel prices are high.
Genuine's Buddy 125 models can attain a top speed in excess of 60mph and Genuine's Buddy 150 models can approach 70mph. However, cruising at 65 miles per hour on a 150cc scooter would be similar to cruising at 130mph in your car.
In other words, your properly maintained Buddy will faithfully zip you along city streets, country roads, bustling boulevards, tree lined parkways, and even pikes. But we'd advise staying off the expressway and the interstate. [top]
Q: Can I ride my scooter with a passenger?
A: Genuine's various scooter models have a weight capacity ranging from 320 to 340 pounds. But you have to remember that the weight capacity factors not only the weight of the rider and the passenger, but EVERYTHING else the scooter is carrying.
In other words, the combined weight of you, the weight of your clothing, the fuel in the tank, the oil in the engine, cargo, your passenger, your passenger's clothing, your helmets, any accessories mounted on the scooter, the stuffed animal you tied to the handlebars, etc. must be equal to or less than the weight capacity of the scooter. [top]
Q: How does the roadside assistance work?
A: When you purchase your scooter, your dealer submits a warranty activation form on your behalf. When we receive your warranty activation, we pass that data along to our roadside service provider. In a few weeks, you will receive a letter in the mail. It will include your roadside assistance account information, including a toll free number to call if you need roadside service. The service will cover a tow up to $100 in value, which is roughly equivalent to a 50 mile tow. The roadside assistance account is free for two years and can be extended by you for a small charge thereafter. [top]
Q: How does the warranty work?
A: The Genuine Buddy, Roughhouse, and Rattler are covered by a 2-year unlimited mile warranty. The Stella is covered by a 1-year, 5,000 mile warranty. At the time of purchase, you will receive a warranty certificate with a detailed breakdown of what is covered and not covered, but here's a quick overview!
All warranty work must be performed by an authorized Genuine Scooter dealer. Genuine will not ship warranty parts directly to the owner, or to a third party dealership/mechanic. Warranty work and warranty parts are free of charge, but the costs of transporting the scooter to and from the authorized dealership is the sole responsibility of the owner. Depending on the situation, it's possible you could take advantage of Genuine's roadside assistance program to tow the scooter to the dealership if it cannot be ridden.
If you experience a mechanical issue with your scooter and you believe it is warranty related, please make an appointment with your authorized dealership for an inspection. The dealer will assess the cause of the malfunction and determine if the repair is covered under warranty.
In a nutshell, consumable parts such as brake pads, cables, tires, bulbs, belts, etc. are not covered. The battery is covered for one month after purchase. All non-consumable components such as the piston, the forks, the frame, etc. are covered for the entire length of the warranty period.
What do we mean when we say "covered"? We mean we'll happily fix your scooter if the failure occurred under normal riding conditions and your scooter has been properly maintained and treated nicely.
In other words, if you break your scooter by riding it into a tree, forgetting to change the oil, attempting to replace the stock piston with a piston from a 1979 Harley Sportster, "seeing what it will do" on a motocross track, wiring a 1,000 watt stereo into the electrical system, or riding wide open throttle to California with a passenger and 90 pounds of gear, that's not nice and therefore that's not covered. [top]
Q: Can I maintain the scooter myself?
A: We'd strongly advise you have the scooter maintained by your authorized Genuine dealer. I mean, we really really really really prefer you take it to your dealer.
Let's be totally honest here. The number of problems we see with customer-maintained scooters vastly outnumber the problems we see with dealer maintained scooters. We're talking like a 10:1 ratio or something crazy like that.
Your dealer has special tools that you probably don't have. Your dealer has service manuals. The guys at your dealership do nothing but wrench on scooters every day. The guys at your dealership have cool shop jackets (with embroidered name tags) we'd bet you don't have. We could go on and on.
If you are bound and determined to maintain your own scooter, we ask you to at least do the following...
Have your authorized dealer perform the 500 mile first service. This is the most important service in the life of the scooter and goes way beyond an oil change. The valve clearances are inspected, the cables are adjusted, the brakes are tested, bolts are tightened, the carburetor is tweaked, and so forth.
After that, if you choose to perform some or all of the maintenance, please make sure to purchase a shop manual from your authorized dealer, all special tools, a torque wrench, etc. Then make sure to closely follow the recommended maintenance schedule, read the instructions before you even think about picking up a wrench, and take your time.
If you do all that, chances are you'll be just fine. But if you do something wrong and your motor starts sounding like a 4th of July fireworks display, it ain't warranty...it's all on you. [top]
Q: If I install performance parts on my scooter, does that void the warranty?
Your scooter is designed to operate reliably at the factory settings using factory components. In addition, the scooter is only EPA certified (i.e. legal to ride on the street) in stock form.
If you make modifications and/or install performance parts such as big bore cylinder kits, free-flow exhausts, and clutch kits, this not only voids the warranty, but potentially makes your scooter illegal to ride on public highways. On top of that, when you install a performance part, it usually requires additional adjustments (such as changes in the carburetor jetting) that if done incorrectly can cause extensive damage to your engine. [top]
Q: Is the warranty transferable?
A: No. The scooter warranty and roadside assistance program is valid only for the original owner. [top]
Q: What gas mileage do these things actually get?
A: The answer depends on the size of the rider and the type of riding he or she does.
For example, a 100 pound woman who cruises at 45mph on rural Iowa backroads will get better mileage than a 250 pound guy who battles rush hour traffic in San Francisco.
That said, we see riders of all shapes and sizes riding in all sorts of different places getting an HONEST 80+ miles per gallon on a Buddy 125. Some Buddy 125 riders have achieved over 100mpg! Figure that a 50cc model will get 5-10 mpg higher than that. Figure a 150cc model will get 1-3 mpg lower. [top]
Q: Your web site lists the price of your scooters. Why is my dealer trying to rip me off by charging me $200 more?
A: Your dealer is not trying to rip you off. The price listed on our web site is the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). That price does not include the money your dealer paid to have the scooter shipped to them or the cost of paying their mechanics to assemble, inspect, adjust, and prep the scooter. Other costs include taxes and state licensing fees. These are real costs that your dealer pays in addition to the cost of the scooter. Just like you, your dealer has a mortgage or rent to pay, utility bills, taxes, etc. They also have to pay salaries to their mechanics, parts and sales staff. Everyone needs to eat, you see.
We're best friends with a lot of our dealers, and we know for a fact that most of our dealers are in this business because they love scooters; they believe scooters are easy on the environment and make our cities nicer places, and they want to foster a close-knit scooter community in their towns. If they wanted to get crazy rich, they'd do something else.
You'll notice that our scooters aren't sold in big box stores, or direct on the internet. That's because we as a company are firm believers in supporting local businesses. We believe in people paying a fair price for an honest product. Your locally-owned scooter dealer can make buying and owning a scooter a significantly more rewarding experience, and we feel there's a huge value to that. So give 'em a break, won't you? [top]
Q: According to my GPS, your speedometer says I'm going faster than I really am. Is that covered under warranty?
A: Practically all scooter and motorcycle manufactures calibrate their speedometers to read optimistically. This is because several safety studies conducted by the motorcycle industry proved that if the speedometer read slightly fast, accidents are dramatically reduced.
People also have found that their fuel economy goes up because they are traveling at slightly slower speeds, and they are less likely to get tickets for speeding. [top]
Q: Can I get a Stella in California?
A: Yes. The Stella 4-Stroke, the only modern vintage scooter, is EPA and CARB approved for sale in all 50 states.[top]
Q: I really want a scooter, but I'm afraid to ride one.
A: If you really want to ride a scooter, but are unsure about your ability to handle one, we strongly recommend taking a reputable beginning riders course, such as those organized by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The classes take place in a safe, controlled environment and feature a series of easy drills that progressively get you feeling comfortable on a motorcycle and scooter. In fact, the first drills are done with the engine off and the instructor pushing you!
It's a great way to learn in a relaxed setting, and decide if scootering is for you! [top]
Q: How do I break in my scooter?
A: There is a lot of debate on this topic, and a lot of chatter on the internet. When in doubt, ALWAYS refer to your owner's manual and talk to your authorized Genuine Scooter dealer. The manual was written by the engineers who designed and built your scooter. We'd say that carries more weight than some random guy with an internet connection.
Your manual goes into specifics, but here's a general overview:
The engine in your scooter was run and tested at the factory, but only briefly. So when you're breaking in your scooter, the internal parts of your engine are essentially rubbing together for the first time. The friction points between the various components need time to wear down to a smooth surface.
Among your engine internals, the most important parts to consider are the piston rings. If you break in your engine correctly, you'll create a nice tight fit between the piston rings and the cylinder wall. A tight fit is necessary to create a barrier that prevents oil from leaking into the combustion chamber. You need your oil to lubricate, not to burn!
The best way to break in a scooter is to do a lot of city riding, places where there are lots of stop signs and lots of stop-and-go traffic.
Why is that? As you accelerate your scooter, you're putting a load on the engine. When a load is put on the engine, the piston rings are forced outward, pushing them hard against the cylinder wall. As this happens, a nice, squared off edge forms on the rings. A squared off edge helps the piston ring do its job of creating an oil barrier.
The worst way to break in a scooter is to cruise on a highway... especially if it's at wide open throttle.
If you're cruising at the same speed, you're not putting enough load on the engine. As a result, the piston rings get a rounded edge, and will not be able to prevent oil from leaking into the combustion chamber. Your scooter will burn oil, it won't run very well, and you won't be very happy.
Once you've logged a few hundred miles, your scooter should be broken in. your manual says that you need a 500 mile first service. To be honest, 500 miles is the longest you'll want to wait for this service.
Here's why: All those engine parts rubbing together scrape off tiny shards of metal. These pieces float around in the oil, acting like sandpaper.
Replacing the oil filter and putting fresh oil in your engine therefore, is crucial to a long engine life. [top]