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Old 10-24-2011, 06:33 PM   #1
Speedo66 OP
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Best 50cc Scooter?

My wife just shocked the crap out of me. Asked if I still had "that little red one" (Honda CT90, sorry, gone) and said she might be interested in a small scooter. We are thinking of moving to CT, where I believe no lic/reg is required for a 50cc, so that will be the scooter size.

Anybody recommend a small scooter based on longevity, ease of maintenance, speed, etc.? Probably be looking for used at this point.

Extra points for no shifting, electric start, and possible fun for me if she decides she's not into it.

Thanks!
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:37 PM   #2
tortoise2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedo66 View Post
recommend a small scooter based on longevity, ease of maintenance
Carb'ed, air cooled, SYM or KYMCO.

From a value perspective, hard to beat a Chinese 139QMB non-runner off Craigslist . . parts are cheap.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedo66 View Post
My wife just shocked the crap out of me. Asked if I still had "that little red one" (Honda CT90, sorry, gone) and said she might be interested in a small scooter. We are thinking of moving to CT, where I believe no lic/reg is required for a 50cc, so that will be the scooter size.

Anybody recommend a small scooter based on longevity, ease of maintenance, speed, etc.? Probably be looking for used at this point.

Extra points for no shifting, electric start, and possible fun for me if she decides she's not into it.

Thanks!
Anything used and cheap. Because one way or another, you'll be selling it inside of a season.

If the wife likes it, she'll want enough power to keep up with traffic. If she doesn't, you'll want it out of the garage.

Be smarter than I was. Buy used all the way up the ladder until you get where she wants to be...be it Burgman or a sportbike. When she finds the sweet spot, replace the used with a new.
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:39 AM   #4
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You can get a used brand name for between 400 to 1000 . An honda elite 50 cc there no real difference between the old brand names scooters. There s still loads of 50 cc scooters sitting in dealers from 2 years ago from the down turn. New they run around 2 grand.
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyJones View Post
Anything used and cheap. Because one way or another, you'll be selling it inside of a season.

If the wife likes it, she'll want enough power to keep up with traffic. If she doesn't, you'll want it out of the garage.

Be smarter than I was. Buy used all the way up the ladder until you get where she wants to be...be it Burgman or a sportbike. When she finds the sweet spot, replace the used with a new.
This is Smart Advice!
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tortoise2 View Post
Carb'ed, air cooled, SYM or KYMCO.

From a value perspective, hard to beat a Chinese 139QMB non-runner off Craigslist . . parts are cheap.
AVOID anything from China. (Barely) Used 50cc scoots from SYM and KYMCO can be had for $600-$800. Heck, the KYMCO Agility 50 can be had NEW for $1399. Plus if you buy quality used, (one of these two, Honda, Yamaha, etc), then you can get what you paid for it if you decide to sell it and upgrade later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyJones View Post
Anything used and cheap. Because one way or another, you'll be selling it inside of a season.

If the wife likes it, she'll want enough power to keep up with traffic. If she doesn't, you'll want it out of the garage.

Be smarter than I was. Buy used all the way up the ladder until you get where she wants to be...be it Burgman or a sportbike. When she finds the sweet spot, replace the used with a new.
You need to consider the traffic and roads she'll be riding. A 50cc (4 stroke) scoot with a top sped of 40 MPH will take a while to get there, and will be comfortable at 30-35 MPH. They're great for stop-n-go city traffic. If she is going to ride any rural roads, or any roads with a speed limit over 35 MPH, seriously consider a 125-150cc scoot. On a 50, she'll be relegated to the shoulder with the bicycles, which is much less safe than riding with the flow of traffic. They're great on any road up to a 45-50 MPH speed limit (although, on a 50 MPH road, traffic is usually going 60, which is the upper limit of a 150, and more into 200-250cc territory).

Yes, > 50cc requires a motorcycle endorsement on the license. However, that is easy to get. In most, if not all states, the permit is a knowledge test, and then the endorsement is best gotten by taking that permit to the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) Basic Rider's Course. This training will make her a MUCH safer rider on any sized scoot, including a 50. I would strongly recommend it even if you go with a 50. Not only will it make her safer, but if/when she upgrades, she'll already have the endorsement.

Oh, and 125/150cc scoots don't cost a whole lot more than the 50's. I've seen low-km pre-owned Kymco Agility 125's for sale in the same price range as the 50's.

Good luck with your search, and RIDE SAFE!
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:55 AM   #7
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probably a zuma used would be a great start
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:23 AM   #8
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If you happen to find a nice used Honda Metropolitan (these are equipped with a four-stroke water cooled carb'd engine), or its brother, the Ruckus; Avoid the Metropolitan II (these are governed WAY down to meet moped laws in some states), and avoid anything prior to 2005 (earlier models had faulty crankcase breathers, which would cause the engine to fail due to contamination).

I see tons of Honda Sprees every once in a while; these are painfully slow, and have a single-speed drivetrain (no variator!), but the Elite 50 (49cc 2-stroke) is a nice machine so I'm told, and since they were made from 1987 until 2000ish, they're a dime a dozen.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:37 AM   #9
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Yamaha Jog.
Minarelli 50cc 2str, so boringly reliable, and truckloads of bits to make the little hotrod do 70mph when she gets sick of it for a bigger one! Will do 40mph all day easy stock, weighs in at around 150lbs. Cheap, Yammie sold millions of the little things. Every 2nd dragracer I know uses them for tow-bikes when their kids have grown out of them.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:57 AM   #10
Jim Moore
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My 93 Elite 50 SR is a hoot, but I always see recommendations to go with a 94 or later if possible. Better aftermarket support, I think.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:01 AM   #11
tortoise2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jas67 View Post
Yes, > 50cc requires a motorcycle endorsement on the license.
Incorrect . . per Connecticut Motorcycle Operator Manual

"Motor-Driven Cycles (Mopeds)
Connecticut law distinguishes the difference between a motorcycle and a motordriven cycle, commonly known as a moped. A motor-driven cycle is defined as any motorcycle, motor scooter, or bicycle with an attached motor that has a seat height of at least 26 inches and a motor that produces no more than five brake horsepower. You must have a valid driver’s license to operate a motor-driven cycle, but do not need a motorcycle endorsement."
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by tortoise2 View Post
Incorrect . . per Connecticut Motorcycle Operator Manual

"Motor-Driven Cycles (Mopeds)
Connecticut law distinguishes the difference between a motorcycle and a motordriven cycle, commonly known as a moped. A motor-driven cycle is defined as any motorcycle, motor scooter, or bicycle with an attached motor that has a seat height of at least 26 inches and a motor that produces no more than five brake horsepower. You must have a valid driver’s license to operate a motor-driven cycle, but do not need a motorcycle endorsement."

Obviously, laws vary by state, some also specify to spee. But it is safe to
say, that anything over 50cc likely requires a motorcycle endorsement in any state.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:47 AM   #13
lifer
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I will bite.I will probably be scorned for this but here goes. Buy a 2 stroke 50cc with oil injection like a Yamaha Zuma . The 2T's have better aceleration by far than a 4 stroke 50cc the top speed is about the same as a 4 stroke ( about 38-40 mph ) with a few minor mods a 2T 50cc can do 45-50 mph. The pluses for a 50cc are low or no insurance needed, either a car license or none needed. I have had a Zuma since 2005 and I enjoy driving it as much or more than my other cycles. I got it for my wife because she would not need a motorcycle license to drive it. If your wife has a cycle license than I would recommend a Kymco Agility 125 instead of the 2t 50cc. But if you are locked into a 50cc because that is all she can drive then the Zuma or another popular 2t . Do not get one that is not common because parts are not available or cheep. The aftermarket for the zuma is unending. You will find that on the small wheels 45 mph is flying.

I live in the country and I disagree with the other posters about the 50 cc. If you stay on secondary roads the little 50 is fine in the country, the roads are not real bussy so if a car wants by you there is no problem. I would say my Zuma is wide open 90% of the time I drive it and it handles it just fine. It uses about 1 qt of oil every 600 miles and wide open I get 75-80 mpg . In town you will find that you need to be able to do at least 40 mph or you you get run down on a 35 mph road. I put a basket on the back of it and we can carry 5 bags of grocerys ( 2 in the basket, 1 under the seat and 2 on the floor between my feet)

The accleeration of a 2t 50cc can keep up with in town traffic from a stop light where a 4t would be holding up traffic.If you do $200 in mods it will top out around 45 mph so you would have no problems in town unless a jerk gets behind you. You would need an 80-100cc 4 stroke to have the same performance as 50cc 2t.

lifer screwed with this post 10-25-2011 at 09:53 AM
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:30 AM   #14
nedc
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I agree w/ that choice- fun little scooter and surprisingly fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MODNROD View Post
Yamaha Jog.
Minarelli 50cc 2str, so boringly reliable, and truckloads of bits to make the little hotrod do 70mph when she gets sick of it for a bigger one! Will do 40mph all day easy stock, weighs in at around 150lbs. Cheap, Yammie sold millions of the little things. Every 2nd dragracer I know uses them for tow-bikes when their kids have grown out of them.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:34 AM   #15
tortoise2
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Originally Posted by lifer View Post
If you do $200 in mods it will top out around 45 mph so you would have no problems in town
Unless enforcement is "stepped-up" . . Nevada example.
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