Although many more experienced riders may look down their noses at 50cc bikes, to a first-time motorbike convert or a youngster getting his first set of wheels they represent that first taste of freedom!
Even if you aren’t planning to keep your 50cc model for long, it’s still important to choose something reliable – but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice style either! Here are a handful of our favourites to get you thinking about what you want out of that first two-wheeler. Of course, don’t forget that you’ll need to be properly insured whatever you choose – even 50cc moped insurance is a necessity before you hit the road.
Aprilia SR Motard 50
The Motard means business, even for a scooter – also available as a four stroke 125, the 50cc edition is still a very worthy machine for those who want their first scooter to really stand out from the crowd. Available in a sleek black or sportier white design, with satisfyingly chunky wheels offsetting a sharp, angular look. It’ll set you back around £2,000, which is a surprisingly fair price for what you’re getting.
Yamaha Aerox 50
A little pricer than the Motard, but a little sportier in both looks and handling, emulating the bigger and more powerful Yamaha sport models quite nicely. Newer models come with a very slick LCD instrument panel too. Ideal for beginners who are planning on embarking on a long two-wheeled career, it bridges the gap between a scooter and what comes next very comfortably.
Piaggio Fly 50
Perfect for the more cautious beginner, the Fly 50 is a very stable ride that’s equally at home in city centres or on rougher rural roads. Still nice and agile, with a very efficient four stroke engine, the Fly 50’s selling points are probably the improved safety features, thanks to the rigid steel tube frame and large tubeless tyres. It’s a basic-looking but still very neat machine – and readily available for less than £2,000.
We’re sorry, but we really couldn’t resist including the Ruckus – a great reminder than 50cc bikes can still come in all sorts of weird shapes and sizes. The unique, bare-bones style, the raised frame and the double headlamps… there’s just something about it that means you’ll either love it or hate it at first sight. It’s got a pretty good reputation for being as sturdy and reliable as it is fun to drive – the kind of 50cc bike you’ll want to hold on to, and still take for the odd ride even when your garage is full of classic cruisers.
We couldn’t talk about scooters without mentioning a Vespa at some point – totally iconic, the Vespa brand is as good as synonymous with scooters and mopeds. Although a classic Vespa will likely be a dream scooter for many, their newest models are well worth a look as they combine that vintage style with a contemporary edge, and plenty of power and efficiency to boot. The only catch is the price tag – you could easily be looking at £2,500 and up. But, let’s face it – sometimes you really do get what you pay for.