Scooters are lighter to push around than motorcycles; scooters (not those little 50cc scooters but everything else) are as fast as most motorcycles to around 35mph; they top out at around 55 (plenty fast for everything except I95 and the Turnpike); they are much easier to maneuver; easier and more relaxing to ride; not hated by car drivers; less scary to reluctant passengers; and, of course, less expensive to rent. YOU WILL NOT GET THE LOW HAND, TWO FINGER WAVE THAT SOME MOTORCYCLISTS GIVE EACH OTHER WHEN THEY PASS OTHER MOTORCYCLES—SORRY ABOUT THAT.
In Europe (esp. Italy and France) there are dozens and dozens of scooters on the streets, highways and parked on the sidewalk. Some are little 2 strokes (hoards of them buzzing to the front of the line at traffic lights in Rome) but most have larger engines and locals use them to commute. There are FOUR reasons why: 1) Fun to ride. 2) Gas is very expensive in Europe and scooters don’t use much. 3) Practical in that there is room (under the seat, between the rider’s legs, in the top box) for three weeks worth of groceries. (in some parts of Asia, riders find room for their significant other, two kids, 2 chickens and a baby elephant). 4) In Europe (NOT here!) you can park pretty much wherever you want.