|This machine has great acceleration but poor top speed. You can get healthy boosts of speed on it by using the rails and the jumps along the course!|
— Kirby Air Ride North American instruction booklet, page 35
The Wheelie Scooter is a rideable machine in Kirby Air Ride. This vehicle is the most agile design of the four different "bike" machines available in the game, and is notable for both turning very well and jumping extremely high. It notably appears to be a variation of the Wheelie enemy.
This vehicle's basic body is that of a single, somewhat large wheel with a rounded black tire. On each side where a hub would normally be, there is instead a large, relaxed brown eye with a chrome eyelid. Positioned on the top half of the wheel is a pale green, matte covering with tan accents, and a brown leather cushion upon which the rider sits. On the front of this covering are are a pair of handlebars gripped by the rider, and a small yellow headlight.
Extending out from the rear of the covering is one small gray exhaust pipe, which leaks out smoky gray exhaust while the vehicle is moving. The exhaust stops completely when the bike is stationary or charging, but spikes for a moment after boosting. Adjacent the exhaust pipe is a single red taillight, which lights up when the vehicle is charging.
Where the Rex Wheelie appears to be based on a powerful motorcycle, the Wheelie Scooter appears to be based upon a mundane moped.
The bike's most standout features are shared with all bikes--Wheelie Bike, Rex Wheelie, and Wheelie Bike Dedede Custom. Since it relies on a wheel to propel itself, it does not float above the ground as stars do. This renders it more susceptible to ground hazards such as the magma in Magma Flows or the snow in Frozen Hillside, decelerating and messing with its handling more than it would stars. However, it also gains the aid of Dash Panels and activates switches without the need to touch the ground with a charge. As with all bikes, it does not glide in the typical sense, but instead jumps. That is, it gains a sudden increase of speed when going airborne--much more so than its fellow bikes--but cannot steer or alter its trajectory to the point almost all stars can.
Aside from its unique bike properties, the Wheelie Scooter is renowned for being the single highest glider, or jumper, in the entire game, barring the legendary Dragoon. In addition, it can also fly quite far, but is outdone in that area by at least the Winged Star. Aside from this, it has excellent turning capability, and can even do rapid U-turns by charging without losing much momentum. Although it gains little boost from doing so, it can charge extremely fast. The vehicle also has superb acceleration.
Despite its impressive maneuverability, the Scooter has a low top speed of a mere 21.12 km/h. In addition, it has very low HP, as well as very low offensive and defensive capabilities. Finally, it is also very lightweight, and thus can be knocked around easily. Despite this, its excellent boosting capabilities can be utilized to gain great speed if maneuvered properly. An exploit involving quick-spinning while charging on walls has been utilized in Speedrunning to attain the best times on all courses save for Magma Flows, which is still dominated by the Rocket Star.
How to Unlock
To unlock this machine for use in Air Ride, the player must begin the final lap of any course in 4th, but end up finishing in 1st. In City Trial, the Wheelie Scooter can occasionally be found randomly throughout the city and be mounted like most other air ride machines. It is always available in Free Run as well.
In Kirby: Right Back at Ya!