Despite non-scooterists' disbelief, scooters are very good for long distance touring. Scooters can commonly hold a lot of luggage, are less threatening looking and less expensive looking than motorcycles, and vibrate less than (some) motorcycles. There have been many inspiring long distance scooter trips documented.
- Laird Vandyck rode a Honda Metropolitan 49cc scooter, route from Baltimore to Los Angeles.
- The Scooter Cannonball Run is a bi-annual coast-to-coast "endurance challenge" that began in 2004 and typically takes ten days and covers a different route each time.
"Hello, I'm a 24 year old Englishman who is riding his 49cc Yamaha Vino from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. Mad you may think but ultimately possible. I've recently hit 10 thousand miles and am currently in San Pedro de la Laguna on lago de Atitlan in Guatamala. I do have issues though and I suppose things have been far from plain sailing. Does anyone know how to make my scooter faster at altitude or even move. Yesterday I had to walk uphill with the engine revving to just move. Virtually all power is wiped out. I still go on the flat but only about 20 k's max.
I know I'm not your usual biker guy, me being a scooter boy but I share the passion for the road. My happiest times are on the road living the dream and avoiding those bloody backpackers and tourists. Yours Rup Wilson-Young." - Post on Horizons Unlimited
Another organized distance tour on a Vespa was The Ride of A Lifetime from California to Italy.
Giorgio Bettinelli was arguably the greatest scooter-riding world tourer. He rode around the world numerous times on a Vespa PX before upgrading to a Vespa GT200. He vowed to ride through every country in the world on his Vespa. He died in China in 2008 from an infection at age 53.
Bettinelli believed "The Vespa is like a bridge to tolerance and sympathy."
Surprisingly, Bettinelli had few repair skills. When asked what he does when his Vespa breaks down, he replied "You wait. Someone comes, someone helps. A car, a truck, a camel. An hour, a day. Someone comes, someone helps."
He has written four books about his trips, but unfortunately for us English-speakers these books are only available in Italian.
Link on Australian leg of Bettinelli's trip:
In 1978 Walter Muma rode a Mobylette from Toronto, Ontario, to the Yukon Territory, across the border into Alaska and back and to Inuvik, NWT. The trip lasted 3 months and covered 11,500 miles. He averaged 150 mpg for the entire trip.
Members of the San Francisco Moped Army branch rode from San Francisco to Tierra del Fuego in 2006.