Do 125cc Scooters Have Gears? Everything To Know Posted in: Motor Scooters – Tags:

vespa scooter in orange

Scooters have become the go-to vehicle for people that want to easily commute in busy urban cities where speed isn’t what you should think about but it’s more about how mobile your vehicle is.

You need the scooter so you can be more nimble to pass through cars during traffic so you can reach your destination much faster. A 125cc scooter is the legal minimum amount of power required for you to be able to go through the freeway.

So if you’re wondering if  125cc scooters have gear shifting like your average motorcycle, we’ll explain all of it to you here so you can get a more in-depth look at the different types of scooters transmissions. So, do 125cc scooters have gears? Here’s everything to know.


Isn’t a Scooter for Kids?

They can be, but in many parts of the world, scooters are viewed as vehicles that are closely related to a classic motorcycle as it runs with two wheels but has a much smaller engine compared to a motorcycle. It’s commonly used for short-distance rides like a city that’s densely populated and has heavy traffic in it. 

Scooters are mostly for utility and where you don’t need that much speed. They have large compartment spaces underneath the seat to provide storage, unlike the motorcycle where you need to buy bags in order to store your things.

Most common scooters usually don’t have any gear shifting and are mostly “twist and go” types so it’s able to lessen the hassle while driving. 


Is a Scooter a Motorcycle?

A scooter can be considered a motorcycle but it will usually depend on the variant of the scooters. Motorcycles will usually have bigger engines compared to the scooter and will have a different variety of riding styles.

They also have different designs and riding positions due to the contrasting uses both vehicles have.

As most motorcycles are used to driving at higher speeds, they will usually be found running along the freeway. There are only a few select scooters that are powerful enough to gain speeds in the freeway that can reach its legal minimum limit.


What Does ‘cc’ Mean?

The cc in a bike means “cylinder capacity’, this measures the displacement of the pistons of the engine. The greater the cc in your bike means that it can provide greater torque which enables your bike to go faster. 

“Cc” is commonly used to check how fast your bike actually is. Scooters will usually have their power from 80cc to 125cc, while motorcycles usually have their power by about 150cc up to 1000cc. 


Continuous Variable Transmission

The continuous variable transmission is the transmission system that’s commonly attached to a scooter. It has an input and output shaft that’s connected by a belt.

As the shaft has the ability to move forward and backward, the belt can act as an automatic gearing system. So when you’re trying to go faster with your scooter, the shafts begin to move into a narrower position making it go into a makeshift “higher gear”.

Due to this type of system, the torque and the gear ratio of the scooter can’t really be adjusted, unlike a manual transmission.


Automatic vs Manual Transmission

The most common gear system that’s found in motorcycles is the manual transmission. It’s wholly different from the CVT transmission as you’re able to adjust the torque and gear ratio of the bike whenever you need it. 

A manual transmission has a clutch and a gear shifter to let you be able to get more control on your bike while the CVT only has the throttle as you’re only given the torque that’s provided for you by the manufacturer.

If you’re new to riding with a scooter or a motorcycle, it’s important to know that manual transmissions are quite tricky as you have to get the shifting right in order to run your vehicle smoothly.


Do 125 Scooters have Gearing?

Scooters with manual transmissions are quite rare these days, if you actually spot one on the road then it’s probably a vintage model.

There are new models that the brand “Vespa” has manufactured, they featured scooters with manual transmissions from 80cc up to 150cc.

The manufacturers of scooters have almost removed the aspect of manual gear transmission making it a relic to find one that actually has gear shifting.

As the use of scooters is only for city riding, it’s actually more practical for it to not have a gear shifter in order to make it more convenient for city riding.


Why Do Gears Even Do?

Some people need gearing in order to climb steep roads, go on high speeds, or pass rough terrain. They need the adjustable torque so the bike can still manage to carry the load in it when it’s going to climb a hill.

It also gives you better control over your bike as you’re able to adjust the speed and power of it through shifting. 

Most motorcycles these days still need a manual transmission as it’s needed by the rider to make the vehicle perform in their own preference as they can customize the feel of the bike when going at high speeds.


Do You Need Gearing on your Scooter?

The practicality of having a gear shifter in your scooter will usually depend on how and where you will ride it.

If you’re only going to ride it in a busy street with crowded traffic then it’s much better to have the CVS installed. The CVS is convenient as you won’t really have the time to shift into another gear when you’re passing through cars and get into sudden stops.

But if you’re taking your scooter on highways that’s not filled with a lot of cars or you live in a very steep place then you might actually need the manual transmission.



125cc Scooters with manual transmissions do exist but they’re very rare nowadays. They don’t really manufacture much of those types due to the way the people who buy a scooter use them. If you’re really looking for a 125cc bike with manual transmission then you should try looking for motorcycles.