Make us your home page
Instagram

Scooter sales vrrrooming

Scooters like these Vespas are in high demand for their great gas mileage as consumers try to find ways to battle rising prices.

MIKE PEASE | Times (2002)

Scooters like these Vespas are in high demand for their great gas mileage as consumers try to find ways to battle rising prices.

Even with gas prices how they are, Chris Densmore doesn't even pay attention when he fills his tank. He gets 100 miles to the gallon.

Densmore, owner of Scooter Escapes on First Avenue N in St. Petersburg, is seeing an increase in business as more and more Pinellas County residents switch to scooters and small motorcycles to get around town.

Though passenger car registrations in Pinellas have decreased 3 percent in recent months, motorcycle registrations have jumped 8 percent.

The numbers suggest that families are buying scooters and motorcycles as another option for short trips, said Sam McClelland, head of the county tax collection communications department.

Scooters cost between $1,100 and $6,000, but can get around 120 miles to the gallon.

The increase in sales has been good news to both scooter dealers and companies that train their riders.

"We've sold more product than is available to us," said Dan Lynch, owner of Action Wheel Sport on 66th Street N.

He said he sold more scooters in June than he had in any other month of his 29-year-old business. "I'm just now being able to fill the store back up."

And John Leonard, owner of Finish Line Scooters in Madeira Beach, said he has 200 scooters on hand right now — but he's already ordering more.

Another appeal of the scooters is that drivers are not required to carry insurance on them.

Smaller scooters, with an engine size under 50cc, are exempt. Owners of bigger scooters can escape insurance premiums by wearing a helmet.

The smaller scooters also do not require anything more than a standard driver's license.

The large scooters require a motorcycle endorsement on the license.

And because a new law requires a motorcycle safety course to get the endorsement, Jim's Harley-Davidson of St. Petersburg has been flooded with calls.

Jim's is the only place in the city, and one of only three in Pinellas County, that offer the safety course. The other two are in Clearwater.

"We're getting calls from all walks of life now," said Tony Capo, program manager for the safety course. He said the class is already booked through October.

Andrew Dunn can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8150.

Scooter sales vrrrooming 08/02/08 [Last modified: Sunday, August 3, 2008 11:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
[LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Times
 file photo]

  2. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners

    Business

    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

  3. International array of artists chosen as finalists for pier project

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A diverse group of six artists will compete for a chance to install their work at the city's multimillion-dollar Pier District, expected to open in early 2019.

  4. Gourmet food fight between top chefs raises $200,000

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — The chefs came armed with their secret ingredients — pork rinds, truffle butter, pork bellies.

    (From left to right) Chefs Ryan Mitchell, Michael Buttacavoli, Ted Dorsey and Matthew Brennan compete during Tampa Bay Food Fight at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The event features chefs from the Tampa Bay area and benefitted Metropolitan Ministries. EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times
  5. HSN star Joy Mangano promotes new book: Inventing Joy

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — After more than 30 years, Joy Mangano knows a thing or two about promoting products. Now she's promoting herself.

    Inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano is releasing her first new book, Inventing Joy on Nov. 7. [TIERRA SMITH | Times]