Yes- scooters aRE too heavy!
I have a 50cc step through- a Honda Passport -type with 16" spoked wheels- that is why I bought it- the larger lighter wheels- still the rims are heavy steel, not alloy- mine has tires 1/4" wider than Honda puts on the Passport- so I can go a bit lighter and better rolling there some day- I have hardly ridden it, but keeping it awhile- the MB's are more convenient and I stilll like to shut off and pedal.
the scooter REALLY does look like a moped if I take the plastic farings off- except NO PEDALS and the frame and bars are heavier-
The three speed semi-automatic makes it faster and the well-muffled 4 cycle motor make it quieter though- You have to shift it up and down, but it will stop in any gear without dying- centrifical clutch I guess. I lashed saddlebag baskets to the seat rail, and just got a HUGE steel wald bike basket I hope to mount on the front- so I can really get some grub or laundry if I want (or need).
But the scooter COULD have a lighter frame- DEFINITELY could have some alloy bars and rims, and a little bit more attention paid towards weight- the shocks could be more minimal , and the front hydraulic handbrake could just be mechanixcal and lighter.
I've had it a couple years or more now, and I think I can always sell it for at least what I paid-if I don't crash it and it doesn't get stolen- the prices keep rising otherwise- I have it in a garage now- I had to leave it covered outside in the apartment I was in.
And yes a bicycle motor that still fits between the pedals- with a two or 3 speed internal tranny would be great-