Molly
Why do you call Vietnam's motocycles scooters?

Hi Teachers!

I cannot make a distinction clearly between motocycles and scooters. Vietnamese call the common name for all of them motocycles or motobikes. Foreigners here in Vietnam call them all scooters.  As I understand, a motobike is a small and cheap one, scooter (more expensive) is a large one with gas but foreigners call all of them scooters and call the one to be used on races, a huge and expensive one a motocycle. COULD anyone teach me about this?

Thank you!

May 22, 2018 7:18 AM
Comments · 6
In the US the main distinction is this - the rider of a motorcycle straddles the motorcycle like a rider straddles a horse. The rider of a motor scooter sits on the seat with their feet together in front of them like they were sitting on a chair. Because the rider of a motor scooter sits with his feet together in front of him, the wheels need to be smaller than those of a motorcycle. You can ride a motor scooter wearing a dress or skirt. That is rather more difficult to do on a motorcycle. I have seen motor scooters with somewhat bigger wheels that are powerful enough to go on the freeway - 65 miles per hour.  In general, motor scooters are not as stable as motorcycles at high speeds.
May 22, 2018

My perception is that a scooter looks like an Italian Vespa with a platform in front for your feet.  A motorcycle is bigger like a Harley-Davidson, but it doesn't have to be that big.  I don't use the word motorbike.  

I think of a scooter as a type of motorcycle.

May 22, 2018

@Scooter:
A wheeled vehicle with small wheels and a low-powered petrol engine geared to the rear wheel. 


I cannot see there is huge difference among scooter, motorcycle and motorbike. 

May 22, 2018
Your understanding is incorrect.  How the foreigners call them is correct.
May 22, 2018
I am no expert but I think the difference is in the design. Scooters typically have a platform for your feet, a windshield, storage space at the back, protective panels, some kind of chassis (I think) and smaller wheels than motorbikes have. The usually do not go much above 30mph and are for urban/suburban trips only. Motorbikes look much more like bicycles.  The engine size can range from 50cc to more than 1,000cc. 
May 22, 2018
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