Lawton_Rising gas prices are forcing many drivers to trade in their wheels, but not for more fuel-efficient cars. Instead they're trading their cars for a motorcycle or scooter. Some motorcycles average 55 miles per gallon of gasoline, and scooters can average over 130 miles per. As fuel prices keep rising, some drivers are re-thinking their choice of vehicle.
Lawton Deputy Fire Chief Juan Rodriguez parks his truck as much as possible lately. "[With a] 32 mile round trip, it's costing me $4.50 just to go to work for one day." Now, he drives his scooter to work instead - all the way from Cache to the Central Fire Station in Lawton. "I can drive that scooter three times to work and back before I fill it up," he says. His scooter gets 68 miles per gallon.
Rodriguez was thinking ahead. He bought it when gas prices reached $3 per gallon. "People laughed at me because I'm kind of big to be riding a scooter," he says. But, he has had the last laugh now that gas prices have reached nearly $4 per gallon.
Rodriguez isn't alone, with gas being a hot commodity Honda Yamaha Powersports had one lone scooter remaining in a sea of motorcycles - they have sold all of the rest. "Gas prices have driven them in," said Jay Alexander. "We're selling a lot more scooters, a lot more motorcycles."
If you don't hop on the scooter or motorcycle bandwagon soon, you may miss your ride. "It's taking more work to find more motorcycles because we're selling so many," said Brandon Hay with Proteam Harley Davidson. He says their most popular model gets 55 miles per gallon. "But they're so popular right now, they're very hard for us to get a hold of," he said. "We've sold out of every one we can get."
If you do purchase a cycle, it's important to sign up for a motorcycle safety class - especially if you have never driven one before. Classes are offered on Fort Sill, and there are three-day weekend classes offered at the Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton. At the end of the courses, the driving portion of the motorcycle endorsement is satisfied, and then drivers to take and pass the written test before getting a license.