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Top 5 50cc Scooters

16 and looking for your first scooter? Read our guide on the best 50cc machines available for sale today.

16 is the magic number when it comes to starting out on the roads on a powered two-wheeler in the UK. For it’s at that age that would-be motorcyclists first qualify for an AM licence, enabling them to get their first taste of riding on the road.
And while that only qualifies you – once you’ve acquired your provisional AM licence and successfully completed CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) – to ride a 30mph-restricted, sub-50cc machine it still opens up an exciting, whole new world of fun, freedom and independence. Nor are they just for 16-year-olds. If you passed your car test before 2002 you’re allowed to ride a 50cc AM machine with no further training. But if you passed after that, haven’t got a car licence or have recently passed 16, you’ll need to do a CBT course before you’re allowed out on the road. Don’t worry though. You’ll find plenty of local motorcycle training schools online that operate the course which usually takes a day, costs around £100-125 and isn’t too daunting. And while the AM licence does enable you to ride proper 50cc motorcycles, such as Aprilia’s exotic and expensive RS4 50 mini sports bike, the most popular introductory class is undoubtedly for 50cc ‘twist ‘n’ go’ scooters which combine easy-to-ride manners, plenty of day-to-day practicality and, often, impressive value. But which should you go for – and what are the pros and cons of each? Here’s our pick of the best.
Lexmoto Echo 50 – the bargain one
AutoTrader’s Best AM Class Bike of 2017 isn’t going to win any awards for design originality or cutting-edge features but that’s not the point. Instead look at the price –something that can be all important when you’re 16 and starting out on two wheels. The Lexmoto Echo isn’t unique in being a 50cc scooter for under £1000 but it IS one of the very few to come from an established firm with a decent reputation, dealer network and with a one-year warranty. On top of that the Echo is also competent, credible and nicely styled. And all of that, at this class-leading price, makes the Echo an almost irresistible introduction to two wheels and explains its huge-selling success.
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Best AM Bike 2017
Peugeot Speedfight 4 – the long-time fave
The long-lived and enduringly popular Speedfight has been the benchmark in the 50cc sports scooter class ever since the original brought the breed to prominence in the late 1990s. Its trick has always been its blend of good looks, performance and value and, although the French Peugeot scooters brand is now owned by Indian giant Mahindra, the latest ‘4’ version continues the theme. A variety of different specs and variants are available but as a classic, good value, two-stroke sports scooter it still more than cuts the mustard. It’s available in both air and liquid-cooled forms, it looks great, is on a par with Yamaha’s Aerox for sexiness appeal and price and as a proven all-rounder is difficult to beat.
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Peugeot Speedfight
Aprilia SR 50 R – the exotic Italian
If you’re a little more ‘well-heeled’ (or your dad is) and prefer your sports scoot to be Italian rather than French, Aprilia’s similarly long-lived SR 50 remains the one to go for. It’s powered by a liquid-cooled two-stroke engine so is a tad brisker than many 50cc sports scoot rivals off the mark, has top notch twin disc brakes with the sporty handling to match, has a classy feel with impressive build quality and, perhaps best of all, is arguably the best, sharpest looking sports scoot out there with angular lines reminiscent of Aprilia’s RSV4 superbike. No, it’s not the cheapest, but if you want the best performing, most enviable 50cc sports scooter of all, this is probably the one.
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Aprilia SR 50
Vespa Primavera 50 – the cool retro one
If you’re less interested in sports and taken more by classic Italian chic the Primavera 50 has no real rivals. Built by Italian scooter legends Vespa, the Primavera is an all-metal, traditional style scoot but with modern features such as electric start, disc brake and underseat storage big enough for a full-face helmet. The result is not only as authentic as Italian scooters get, it’s also probably the classiest and most expensive retro-styled 50cc scooter of all.
It’s not just about style, though. The two-stroke engine is lively, the little 11-inch wheels make it agile around town and, with LCD clocks and neat design touches, it has a quality, classy feel – albeit at a price. Find a Vespa Primavera for sale on AutoTrader
Vespa Primavera
Yamaha Aerox R – the best of the Japanese
If Peugeot’s Speedfight is the classic original sports scoot and the Aprilia SR the exotic Italian take on the theme, then Yamaha’s Aerox, which has been around since 1997, consistently updated since and is at once great looking, well built and durable, is probably the most sensible sports scoot buy of the lot. Although also two-stroke powered, the Aerox isn’t quite as quick as its rivals but it makes up for that with idiot-proof rideability, great handling, quality, durable build and, being a Yamaha, a far superior dealer network to both of its French and Italian rivals. What’s more, having been around so long, plenty of decent used examples are available, too. Not the cheapest, maybe, but arguably the thinking man’s 50cc sports scoot.
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Yamaha Aerox