Author: Iggy Grainger Posted: 09 Jul 2014
Without doubt scooters are one of the coolest modes of transport; they’re stylish, fairly cheap and can be very economical too. So which one should you be riding this summer?
Getting on the road
If you passed your car test before February 2001 you can legally ride a moped (up to 50cc and restricted to 28mph) without doing a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training). If you’re 16 or over and want to ride a moped you need to do a one day CBT course to make sure you’re safe to be let out on the road. It costs around £100, lasts for two years and can be repeated if you don’t want to take your full bike test.
Seventeen or over?
At seventeen or over a CBT allows you to ride a 125cc bike or scooter on L-plates but you can’t carry a passenger or ride on the motorway unless you take the full test. Our advice is to get a bit of experience on a 125 and pass your test, even if you don’t think you’ll want a bigger bike you’ll have more freedom and, just like a car licence, it’s there for if and when you do want to use it in the future.
What to choose
The choice is endless and can depend on your expected mileage, age, budget and personal preference. To help you choose here are ten of our current favourite 50-125cc machines, in no particular order.
Launched this year the Vespa Sprint comes with ABS as standard, it also has 12” wheels for added stability and the air-cooled 3-Valve engine is quite a nippy little lump that returns a claimed 145mpg. The Sprint makes a perfect city scooter; it’s light, agile and very stylish. It’s not the cheapest 125 at £3771 but is one of our favourites.
Chunky wheels, eye-catching graphics and a two stroke engine give the SR Motard some added kudos. It’s based on the popular Piaggio Typhoon but the details make it stand out from the crowd. It’s also available as a four stroke 125. The 50 costs £2071 and the 125 is £2271
Honda are well known for their quality and the PCX125 is very well built, looks good and comes with a Combined Braking System (CBS) for added safety. The fuel injected engine is liquid cooled and also comes with Idle-Stop technology to improve MPG, not a bad little scooter for just £2600.
The Burgman 125 has maxi scooter bulk but comes in a learner legal package. You’re getting big scooter road presence with all the benefits of comfort and weather protection but without the large capacity engine. If you need loads of storage and a bit of class the Burgman 125 is a worthy option. It costs £3499.
Gilera launched the Runner back in the late 1990’s and the two stroke 125/180cc versions quickly became the bad boys scooter of choice. These days you can still buy a new 50cc two stroke Runner but the 125cc is ‘just’ a four stroke. That hard-edged larger capacity two stroke is no more, unless you buy used of course. Pictured is an original 125cc Runner, complete with kick ass Malossi 172 kit and plenty of attitude.
Kymco are a very well respected manufacturer and the Downtown 125 certainly won’t disappoint. The scooter is classy, well spec’d and quick enough to do a few longer distance trips, you’ll see 70mph on the clock and easily achieve 70mpg as well. It costs £3299.
If you’re after a sporty looking 50cc scooter the Aerox is one of the classiest around. It looks the part, rides very well and has a two stroke engine but you may be disappointed with the built in electronic restriction. Hit the dizzying heights of 28mph and the restrictor stops things abruptly. Other than that it’s a great little scooter.
The Satelis is a very smart looking scooter, it’s sleek with executive styling and the whole package is well finished and classy. The Satelis is great to ride as well thanks to its 15bhp liquid cooled, fuel injected engine. Expect to pay around £3471 for this French machine.
You can’t ignore one of the longest running classic designs if you’re talking about scooters. The Vespa PX was released in 1977 and aside from a few aesthetic touches, electric start and a front disc brake it remains largely unchanged. The PX still has a four speed manual gearshift and two stroke engine. They’re great fun to ride and sound lovely too. A new PX125 will set you back £3271.
Ignore them at your peril, the Chinese are here to stay! This Baotian Falcon 50R is one of the sportiest looking 50’s around, it’s two stroke engine is nice and revvy, you get disc brakes at both ends, adjustable rear suspension and best of all you can own a new one for just £1371. Baotian are one of the more respectable Chinese scooter brands.