Motorcycle vs Scooter: Which is the safer option?

I started riding motorcycles 3 years age and already feel more confident on it than a scooter which I have been riding since 2011.

BHPian MotorUniverse recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

A day back, I was just discussing with my friend about the newly launched Yamaha R15 V4 and Aerox 155. I just casually said that I am very excited about the new R15M and might even buy one for myself. Over that, he laughed and quoted that he would rather go with a scooter as they are safer than motorcycles. The base of his argument being that motorcycle riders tend to ride rashly and in an inappropriate manner on roads which make them more susceptible to crashes/accidents. Also, he thinks that because scooters are slow-moving machines, they are less likely to be involved in a crash. Now I have been riding scooters since 2011 and have just started riding motorbikes three years back and I have always felt more confident riding a motorbike because of many reasons. But here, I would like to ask all of you guys that what do you think about this? Which one do you think is safer among the two?

Here's what BHPian 2000rpm had to say on the matter:

Bikes all the way. Scooters are the most unstable vehicles on road, worse than a rickshaw or even a cycle.

Also, you can't compare a rowdy rider on a bike to a safe rider on a scooter. Drive both vehicles in the rowdy way, the bike will be safer. Drive both vehicles in a safe way, the bike will be safer.

Ask your bike if a scooter can be brought back under control if you lose control. For a bike, 4 out of 10 times, lost control can be regained if the driver is skilled enough.

The scooters we have today have not evolved at all for the last 15 years, except maybe a charging port and some fibre parts.

Here's what BHPian deathwalkr had to say on the matter:

For the sake of discussion I guess bikes have better brakes, larger tyres so should be "safer?" But if it's a collision then all that won't really matter.

I mean you can't really talk about air bags, crumple zones etc., here. Wear proper protection and ride carefully and I guess that's the safest option.

Here's what BHPian Engine_Roars had to say on the matter:

For me personally, bikes are safer. Whenever I ride my wife's Activa I am always scared of it slipping away from under me. I can never cross 40 km/h, my wife laughs about it but I am really scared of driving it on any speeds above this. I don't trust those puny tires nor can I get myself to trust its brakes.

Here's what BHPian Gansan had to say on the matter:

A car is any day safer than a two wheeler. Among two wheelers, a bike is any day better and safer than a scooter. A scooter is more convenient than a bike.

  • A bike has much bigger tyres than a scooter. While a scooter wheel will go "into" most potholes on the road, a bike wheel will go over them instead. Mostly. So safer and more comfortable.
  • A bike has longer travel suspension because it can accommodate larger shock absorbers.
  • Since scooter wheels are small, the tyres have to rotate faster and do more revolutions than a bike wheel to do the same speed/cover the same distance. So the tyres will wear out faster in a scooter.
  • The rider sits astride the bike, gripping the fuel tank with the knees in addition to the grip on the handlebars. Whereas he sits "on" the scooter, like sitting on a stool. More prone to getting thrown off the vehicle. I always feel slightly unsafe while riding a scooter.

There will be exceptions of course. The Aprilia and the soon to be launched Yamaha scooters are more like bikes actually. They are step thrus and not scooters.

Edit: There is no such class of vehicle as a scooty! It is also a scooter. A mini scooter, when it was originally introduced by TVS in its two-stroke avatar. But no longer. Now it is a regular scooter.

Here's what BHPian aargee had to say on the matter:

Safety lies in the nut that connects between the handlebars & seat. 80 km/h seems dangerous in Activa, but very much controllable in CBR 250R & dull on Speed Triple. Ask a pullingo riding Dio, he will dare to chase even a Busa in it.

Remember the thumb rule - ride is only 10% & rider is 90%

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