What is a Scooter?


Staff member
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
I haven't heard back from him yet. Until I do, we'll handle it on a case-by-case basis for those vehicles that are not plainly scooters. About what vehicle do you have a question?

The question you have answered already in this thread so all good. I was asking about a specific event that was held in May for scooters, and I have been informed that it was only held last year and is not being repeated this year. Thanks for your help so I shall make my ride in May when the weather is better, cheers Julian.


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Just to toss out an example of scooter definition for a different group, the Scooter CannonBall Run folks define it this way:

A scooter is a two or three wheeled vehicle that satisfies AT LEAST THREE OF FIVE of the following conditions:

1 unit construction of engine, transmission and rear swingarm.
2 wheels no larger than 10in.
3 originally equipped with a step-through style frame.
4 originally equipped with running boards or leg shield.
5 a single cylinder engine design.

They have given exceptions to allow Honda Trail 125s and older Honda Trails, some Cushman scooters and a few other oddball options.

In my case, the Honda ADV150 looks like a scooter to virtually everyone, but has 13" and 14" wheels, and only a semi step through frame. It qualifies for 1, 4 & 5 and some argue 3, so fits their definition of a scooter.

The Honda Trail 125 qualifies for only 3 & 5, so needed an exception. The Honda SuperCub on the other hand, qualifies for 3, 4, (leg shields), & 5 making it a fit for their rules w/o issue.

That offers a pretty inclusive list w/o needing too many rulings for odd ducks that people might want to ride a SS1K on.


Active Member
I haven't heard back from him yet. Until I do, we'll handle it on a case-by-case basis for those vehicles that are not plainly scooters. About what vehicle do you have a question?

Ira: None actually. I am just trying to stay current. If/when I talk to scooter riders, I would like to have accurate info. And it is always fun to see where the definition lines are drawn and the hair splitting starts. Any definition would have to stand the test of time.

ALL: If I was trying to create the litmus test for any given scooter specs, I would insist that the ladies be consulted. If a female attired in a long dress, be it sheath or full, could ride/operate the scoot in question (including ease of parking) to an event requiring such attire without mussing it too much, I would be inclined to accept that scoot as such.

ADVRider has a thread devoted to females on scooters if one needs some inspiration? Recently, I was in Canada when I found out that youths as young as 14 can get scooter licenses. Perhaps Canada's definition of scooter should be considered?

Perhaps one must consider the history of the scooter and what it was designed to do in the first place? Sticking close to those parameters might be best. And then create a separate class/division for modern, power scooters? I would not want the efforts of a 2-up couple on a Wasp following the route of the Mille Miglia to be diluted by riders on a power scooter. (Conversely to be fair, the IBR might have enough mandatory single track to keep the Wings honest?)

If I was in Mike's position, I might rule out scooters because of a lack of speed defined by the lack of horsepower much the same as small bikes have been ruled out of the IBR? Power scoots would become MCs de facto. Certs would read as the manufacturer labels the bike.

IF... a scoot was entered in the IBR, would the aux fuel mount be restricted to anyplace other than the step-thru area in order to maintain the 'step-thru' scoot spec? What happens when the aux fuel is mounted there anyway for all certs not collected on an IBR?

As a dyed in the wool Hopeless Class fan, I am all for riders trying to have the most fun doing it the hardest way possible. Doing a ride by scooter should be harder than by MC. And it should be obvious.

jus' musin',


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Premier Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
This is exactly why we currently do not have a strict definition - hair-splitting and trying to game whatever definition one comes up with is not what we want to encourage.

There is a similar problem with regard to trikes - what is a trike and what is a car? There are some vehicles that are clearly trikes, like those based upon Harleys or Gold Wings. Where it starts to get sticky is those not based upon motorcycles. For example, we allow Can Am Spyders, which have saddles, handlebars, and a front-and-back seating position. But we do not approve Slingshots, with steering wheels, seats, and side-by-side seating. It gets even stickier when it comes to home-built vehicles, with extended forks, handlebars, and Chevy 350 engines.

So there is some advantage in using the case-by-case method for some vehicles instead of arguing over every hair.

Ira Agins
Iron Butt Association
I used my scoot in the last TT2000 since my scout was in the shop. The little wheels didn't like the gravel sections but it did make it to all the checkpoints.