I started on a scooter(Buddy International 150) and then bought a motorcycle soon after(Ducati GT1000). I still have both, and have no plans to give up either one. As others have mentioned it is really a function of what you’re going to use it for.
The scooter was literally twist and go. Very very easy to get a feel for. My situation with the motorcycle is a little different than others on this forum in that I started with a large bike. No incidents and learned to ride relatively competently in a few months but it definitely took dedication, patience, maturity and some self confidence acquired by a few months on the scooter. My feeling is that even starting on a 250 or similar, there is still more to learn than on a scooter, probably even a maxi scoot.
One thing in the above posts that I would have to disagree with is Sangria7 when he wrote “Driving standard cars and riding a motorcycle has no correlation to learning how to ride.” I think that being comfortable with a manual transmission car is invaluable experience. Not that shifting can’t be learned without it, but just the idea that the sequence of gears, downshifting, etc, are not new concepts, gives you one less thing to think about even if the controls are altogether different. I am quite certain that it helped me immensely and in my MSF class the never evers who had experience with a clutch seemed much more comfortable than those who were only familiar with P, D, N & R.
I live in a small town, about 2 miles from “downtown” and I constantly find myself making that run into town. For those trips the scooter is incredibly practical and fun, also keep in mind this sub $2 gas won’t be here for long. As for the motorcycle, at least in my particular situation, it isn’t nearly as practical, most of my longer trips will require the storage space of our SUV, I bought it mostly for fun. One thing I can tell you is that as I sit here in sub zero temperatures picturing my first ride of the spring, that little picture in my mind is not of me on the scooter. In short, for me scooter:fun and practical and I’m missing it. Motorcycle:an almost instinctual need to get back on that machine the moment the weather permits.