Scooter sales see increase

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Bill Pyle said he bought himself and his wife matching scooters two years ago “just to have fun on.” “But now we use them to conserve fuel,” Pyle said. “Gas prices dictated that we use them more.”

By Keely McDowell: CNJ staff writer

Local retailers say interest in scooters has risen in response to escalating gas prices.

Ronnie Jones, general manager of High Desert Honda, said almost every customer who has come to purchase a scooter over the past eight months is not concerned with the price of the scooter, but inquires about gas mileage.

“All I know is eight months ago I had a dozen or better in stock, and as I’m talking to you today I have three,” Jones said. “I usually sell about two scooters a year, and I have sold nine in the past four months.”

Local scooter owners have varying lifestyles, but are all looking to save money on gas, according to Jones.

“A local doctor purchased a scooter, and when a doctor is riding a scooter you know something is wrong with the gas prices,” Jones joked.

Dr. Richard Stamm, a Clovis podiatrist, was ahead of the trend. He said not only does the scooter he purchased two years ago save him money on gas but allows him to stay in touch with nature.

“I get 80 miles to the gallon and I fill up about every nine days with one gallon of gas. My truck would be 90-plus dollars worth of gas,” Stamm said. “Now you know why I’m riding a scooter. The only thing bad about riding a scooter is that it’s tough to ride in a tie.”

Scooters range in size, price and gas mileage.

Jim Hughes, owner and manager of Clovis Cycle and RV, said customers have moved their focus from larger vehicles and motorcycles to smaller scooters that get between 50 and 100 miles per gallon. After being in business for 45 years, Hughes said the market has changed dramatically because gas mileage is now top priority for customers.

“Our business has flip-flopped,” Hughes said. “We are selling a lot of the models I couldn’t sell last year.”

The larger scooters require a driver’s license to operate.

By the numbers

According to Jim Hughes, owner and manager of Clovis Cycle and RV.

• Motors: 4-40 horse power

• Cost: $1,895-$5,900

• Cruise: 35-75 mph

• Gas Mileage: 50-100 miles per gallon