A Few Things You Need To Know Before Riding Your Moped

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As the popularity of electric and gas moped scooters continue to soar, there seems to be a greater need to educate prospective and present owners about its use. According to webbikeworld.com, the sales of scooters in the United States had an increase of 49.6% in the first quarter of 2011, when compared to the first quarter of 2010. This means that during that period, 6,246 new moped scooters were sold (an increase of 2,070). Hopefully, as time goes by, the information in this article will be more relevant and useful. If you are new to driving a moped scooter or if you are considering buying one, there are a few things you need to know, ideally, before jumping into this fun and stylish form of transportation.

First, make sure you are informed about local and state laws regarding mopeds. If you do that, you will avoid unnecessary stress. Most scooter dealers have no special provisions in their policies for returns due to local restrictions imposed by the law. It is the buyer's responsibility to research about all laws and regulations to avoid being penalized by law enforcement agents. Since the use of mopeds continues to increase, the laws that govern its operation are also in constant evolution. Prospective moped owners should not rely on information provided by non-official websites, since the advice might be outdated.

There are, however, some scooter related websites that provide a list of the official websites of each state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Transportation (DOT) and other city-level agencies. One way to extract good information from those official websites is to write "mopeds" or "moped laws" in their search box feature, and you will be flooded with up-to-date laws and regulations

Second, make sure your moped is properly assembled. If you buy your moped from a store front scooters dealer, it is wise to pay a little extra to have a certified mechanic assemble it. If you buy online, like most people do according to statistics, it is recommended to follow the instructions provided in the owner's manual. Most moped scooters are delivered 70-90% assembled, so the job is not beyond anyone's capabilities.

It will take time and a little ingenuity, but it is not difficult to achieve. It is advisable to have a decent set of screwdrivers, sockets and metric wrenches as the tool kit that comes with the scooter sometimes is not good enough. The final step in the assembling process is to make sure every part is properly connected, and the nut and bolts are tight, specially the ones holding the muffler, exhaust and wheels.

Third, make sure you follow basic guidelines for moped safety. Assuming you are planning to use your moped on city streets and highways, besides possessing a motor scooter license, you must consider buying insurance. It doesn't cost much (you can get a policy for less than $150 a year), and it will give you peace of mind, since your moped could be stolen or you could be involved in an accident leaving you with injuries and a total loss of your vehicle. Also, keep in mind that mopeds are not toys; they should not be ridden in a careless way, or by a minor.

In addition, wise moped drivers always use protective gear, including jacket made with reflective material and adequate padding, helmet, and appropriate shoes. Moreover, caution should be taken when driving at night. Even though most mopeds are now equipped with frontal and rear lights, the astute driver assumes not everybody can see his moped.

Fourth, make sure you use common sense while driving your moped. There are some common sense rules that apply to all motorized vehicles, and scooters are not the exception. Remember that the stop sign is there to keep the order and to ensure the safety of drivers. Stopping at a stop sign is not only the law, is for your well being. Therefore, always stop at a stop sign; look right and left before proceeding. Also, stop at the end of the driveway. Exercise caution before entering the street. Use proper hand and light signals while you drive. It is a healthy practice to drive defensively.

Finally, make sure you avoid moped destructive practices. Most mopeds are built to last. Therefore, with proper care you will enjoy your motorized scooter for many years returning your initial investment many times over. For that to happen though, it is necessary to keep good maintenance habits. Do not neglect your moped. Check oil levels and change the motor oil and transmission fluid each 1000 miles, check tire pressure and the tightness of nuts and bolts periodically. Also, avoid jumping off of curves, and putting to much weight on it, since it can bend or break the frame. Do not ride on flat tires because you might easily loose control of the vehicle and it will damage the tire and the wheel.

The instability of gasoline prices and the growing desire of a more "green" way of life, is transforming our car dependent society. Moped scooters are not the perfect solution to our transportation problems and dilemmas, but they certainly are a viable alternative that many are seriously considering. Scooters, particularly mopeds, are here to stay. If the trend that we have seen in past years continues, many more people will buy one of these wonders. The more people acquire a moped scooter, the more information they will need to make sure they are going to be driving it the proper way. Hence, these moped driving tips are presented.

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