Should you Opt for a Scooter with Gear or Manual Transmissions or Not?

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Are you looking for a scooter, but don’t know which one to choose—gear or without gear? Or in other words, are you confused between manual and automatic transmissions?

Though, it is common to have such kind of dilemma as both the transmissions have their benefits and drawbacks, it is wise to acquaint yourself with the merits and demerits of manual transmissions vis-à-vis automatic transmissions to make the right decision. So, here we go:

Two-wheelers with gear or manual transmissions:


  • Affordable to buy: If budget is a constraint, a two-wheeler with gear is an apt choice. On an average, a manual scooter will cost lesser than a gearless scooter of the same model.
  • Easy to maintain: As a gearless scooter is embedded with extra machinery and parts, two-wheelers with gear are easy to maintain with lower repair costs.
  • Better control: Riders have a better control over scooters with gear as compared to gearless vehicles.
  • Good fuel efficiency: As manual transmission engines are less complex and weigh less, you will end up saving more fuel than you would have in case of automatic transmission. It is believed, scooters with gear can save around 5% to 20% on fuel cost.


  • Complex handling: When it comes to handling gears, the majority of people lack professional training. As a result, they prefer to go with gearless models to get the experience of simple riding without having to ponder over mechanical details.
  • Risk of stalling: With manual transmissions, a rider may encounter problems like accidently stalling of a vehicle on a road when the traffic light changes, etc. However, with automatic transmissions, you don’t need to deal with any such issues.
  • Maintenance requirement: This point falls under both the heads— pros and cons. It is true that scooters with gear are easy to maintain but still they also require some basic maintenance. The constant use of mechanical parts, like cable, gear shift adjustments, etc.; make these scooters prone to loss or damages, and therefore, timely maintenance is required to keep them in a working condition.
  • Difficult to use in heavy traffic: In case of manual transmissions, more time goes into starting, accelerating and decelerating. Though, it may not be a problem on normal days, the constant starting and stopping becomes a tough task during heavy traffic. In case of gearless scooters, a rider can zoom past through heavy traffic seamlessly by pushing only a single pedal.
  • Heavy: Manual transmissions take away a lot of space with heavyset clutch systems.

Two-wheelers without gear or automatic transmissions:


  • Easy to handle: With automatic transmissions, you can enjoy the benefit of safe riding without having to fuss over complex mechanical details.
  • Better control on shifting speed: Thanks to technology, the automatic transmission has upgraded itself to shift speed faster and smoothly than the manual transmission. It means, even those riders who earlier preferred scooters with gears due to their power and performance, now feel more at ease with gearless two-wheelers.
  • Low maintenance: Automatic transmissions only require a throttle to control the vehicle, which automatically reduces the need of frequent maintenance check.
  • Low weight: Due to the absence of heavy machinery components, gearless scooters weigh less as compared to scooters with gear. An automatic transmission only requires belt, weight, and springs.


  • Expensive: As more high-tech parts are equipped in gearless scooters; these scooters tend to be more expensive than scooters without gears.
  • Low reliability: While its complex parts make your journey hassle-free, they are more prone to breakdown as well. On the other hand, manual gearbox is much simpler and easier to use.
  • High fuel consumption: As the energy loss in hydraulic torque is high, the fuel efficiency of gearless scooters is much lower as compared to manual scooters.
  • Less sporty: As in automatic transmissions, a rider doesn’t have any control over gears and their speed, it is less sporty as compared to manual transmissions.

A quick glance: Manual Vs Automatic Transmissions

Parameters Manual Transmission Automatic Transmission
Initial Cost Low High
Fuel Efficiency High Low
Maintenance Cost Low High
Comfort Low High
Driving skills required High Low



It still requires a lot of practice before you use gears and clutch. Gearless scooters, in the comparison, are much easier to handle and significantly in a lesser time, a rider becomes pro at it.

However, automatic transmissions are costlier than manual transmission vehicles. So, the decision to choose between scooters with gears and gearless scooters should be solely taken by you by keeping your comfort into consideration. After all, it is only you who has to go from point A to point B.

Also, irrespective of the type of scooter you choose— with or without gears—don’t forget to cover it with a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance in India. Any mishap can hamper your otherwise smooth journey and therefore, it is necessary to have a proper bike insurance policy to secure your journey. Both automatic and manual vehicles are susceptible to loss or damage of all types, including theft and accident, therefore it is in your best interest to go for a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy.

Reiterating again, it is all about how much comfortable you are and on the basis of that you should make a choice. If you like a manual scooter, go with it even if someone calls ita ‘retro scooter’ or a scooter ‘belongs to your father’.


Author Bio

“Ruchir Chauhan is a creative story teller (because someone has to get their hands dirty) who has dispersed his words around topics like technology, travel, health, auto content and home improvement. His work reflects a grin of knowledge, imagination and a fun element. Lover of road trips, animals, pizza and peanut butter, he is often found reading on the beach while sipping his favourite drink.”