There are a surprising amount of decent 50cc scooters for sale in the USA, and it’s not hard to see why. Sometimes owning a big motorcycle isn’t necessary, and you just need a small, reliable, scooter to take you from A to B in a comfortable and economical way. They’re versatile vehicles, with far more practicality than dirt bikes and without the intimidating power of a sports machine. But which one do you buy? And is a 50cc scooter even the ideal choice? Lastly, what’s the difference between a moped and a scooter, since the words are often used interchangeably? We’re going to tackle these questions here, starting with the latter.
Is It A 50cc Moped Or A 50cc Scooter?
Is it a scooter or a moped? Good question. Some people like to call full sized motor scooter machines “mopeds” – but that’s not the correct use of the word. By definition, a scooter is actually a “light two-wheeled open motor vehicle on which the driver sits over an enclosed engine with legs together and feet resting on a floorboard.” So that rules anything remotely like a conventional motorcycle out. But what about the difference between a scooter and a moped? Once again, a dictionary definition can quickly clear this one up: a gas moped is a “low-power, lightweight motorized bicycle” and more specifically: “a pedal cycle with motor and pedals.” If you’ve been calling something without pedals a moped, then you’ve been getting it wrong all this time. You’re forgiven though, because the words are used interchangeable to describe small motorcycles without clutches, built on top of an underbone frame. Scooter, however, is the preferred industry term. But scooter moped can work, or just moped, since it has become synonymous these days.
The 50cc Scooter – A Worthy Purchase?
With that cleared up, let’s look at whether a 50cc scooter is a wise purchase or not. They’re not as expensive as their bigger brethren, they’re incredibly economical, little scooters are easy to ride, and for the most part they’re allowed to be ridden with a driving license alone and without a specific motorcycle endorsement. These are all great reasons to own a 50cc moped scooter. As for the cons, well, 50cc gas moped scooter models are slow and underpowered which could make them vulnerable next to normal road traffic, their slow speeds don’t make them the most practical vehicle in the world, and if you’re a larger rider, you’re going to have a hard time getting around on one of these. Before making a decision to get a 50cc moped or not, ask yourself what you need it for, the routes you’re going to be taking, and what sort of terrain you’re going to be crossing. If you still think a 50cc scooter is the ideal choice, then lets go shopping and see the types of 50cc scooters for sale in the USA – because there are more than you think!
There are plenty of small independent brands out there, and a ton of unknown Chinese makes with 50cc scooters for sale like Tao Tao and their electric scooters – but we’re going to focus on the tried and tested manufacturers, the ones with a proven history, and established dealership networks and look at the best models in their range. So without further ado…
The Best 50cc Scooter Mopeds For Sale In The US!
Honda Scooters For Sale
Honda has built more small capacity scooters than any other manufacturer on the planet, from 49cc Super Cubs to countless 125cc machines, Big Red has plenty of experience in the scooter market. In the USA, Honda doesn’t have such a big presence in the 50cc scooter department, with only a couple of machines on the roster. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If all of Honda’s scooter models were available, you’d be so spoiled for choice that you’d never be able to commit to a purchase. Fortunately for us here in the USA, Honda have made shopping easy. We’ve got two 50cc scooter models to choose from, and both of them are great.
The Honda Ruckus
Since it rolled onto the scene back in 2002, the Honda Ruckus has made a big impression. Bucking the trend of conventional scooters, the Ruckus has been designed as a rough and ready, utilitarian, urban tool rather than following the conventional styling of plastic bodywork and streamlined curves – and it works. Powered by an ultra-reliable 49cc motor that has more than enough power to scoot you around town and twinned with an automatic transmission for an easy ride experience, the Ruckus is one of the most recognizable 50cc moped models out there. Built around a tough tubular steel frame and given absolutely no unnecessary styling, the Ruckus is a minimalist machine that does everything you’d expect it to in a very economical way. No more and no less. It’s a great 50cc scooter for sale today. Honda list the Ruckus with an MSRP of $2,699.
The Honda Metropolitan
If you prefer your scooters to follow a more conventional aesthetic then Honda have another option for you: the Metropolitan. Designed with the urban jungle and slow moving, start-stop traffic in mind, Honda’s Metropolitan might be a more practical option than the Ruckus. Powered by the same fuel-injected 49cc four-stroke engine as the Ruckus, the Metropolitan boasts classic scooter aesthetics with curvaceous bodywork on top of its frame, and most importantly, proper storage space under the seat. If you’re looking for something that will get you to and from work, but with the option of doing a little shopping on the way, then the Metropolitan is a superior choice thanks to that lockable storage. Naturally, the Metropolitan comes equipped with all of the modern technology that you’d expect from a new Honda such as an electric start, a modern automatic “twist and go” gearbox, and an environmentally conscious fuel economy. Honda list the Metropolitan with an MSRP of $2,499, making it the cheapest Honda 50cc moped for sale.
Yamaha Scooters For Sale
Like Honda, Yamaha knows a thing or two about scooters. As the manufacturer of some of the world’s favorite scooter models such as the Exciter and Nouvo, Yamaha know exactly what the modern American customer needs. Since the USA isn’t close to being Yamaha’s biggest scooter market, they’ve only got a limited range of gas scooters for sale – but they’re all pretty good urban movers. If you’re looking for models like the aforementioned Exciter and Nouvo, then prepare to be disappointed because we don’t get those over here – but we do get even more exciting street legal gas powered models instead.
The Yamaha Zuma 50F & FX
The Yamaha Zuma 50 actually comes in two different flavors to suit two very different types of riders, but we’ll have a look at what they both have in common before examining their differences. Both models comes powered by the same compact and sporty liquid-cooled, 49cc engine that offers an unexpectedly powerful ride experience, complete with an ultra-reliable and low maintenance nature. An electric start comes as standard, along with a pretty decent fuel economy of around 13 miles per gallon, thanks to the cool fuel injection system. Both also come with essentially the same rolling chassis. The bodywork is the only obvious difference, with the FX having a sportier look than it’s more utilitarian styled brother, and the fact that the FX only has a single headlight rather than the F’s dual lamp arrangement. Both are pretty cool though. Yamaha also make no distinction between the models in price, since both scooters are chalked up with a $2,599 MSRP.
The Yamaha Vino Classic
If you’re looking for something with a nice retro-theme then the Yamaha Vino Classic might be the ideal 50cc scooter for you. As you can see from the pictures, Yamaha worked hard to deliver a timeless, retro design that manages to incorporate modern technology to cater for the modern rider. At the heart of the Vino Classic is the very same engine that you’ve just read about in the Zuma 50 series, mated to an easy to ride automatic gearbox.
Thanks to modern fuel injection technology, the Vino Classic is very economical with an estimated economy of 127 miles per gallon, making it a perfect choice for those who need easy-to-operate, reliable, and cheap transport to help them navigate cross town traffic with absolutely no hassle involved. Some of the Vino Classic’s hidden features include a spacious storage compartment, effortless controls, and build quality (the fit and finish is superb for a scooter of its price). Yamaha have listed the Vino Classic with an MSRP of $2,299.
Aprilia Scooters For Sale
Taking a break from the Japanese manufacturers, let’s head over to Italy and see what Aprilia has to offer. Often overlooked, Aprilia actually has some of the best scooters for sale worldwide. In the USA, however, Aprilia is more famous for their sports models such as the Tuono or the class leading RSV4 super bike, but while Aprilia is a well-known brand, their 50cc scooters are pretty much unknown. And that’s no surprise since the company only imports one model to the USA. It might only be one model, but it’s a good one, we assure you. It’s actually one of the cheapest and one of the best scooters for sale too.
The Aprilia SR Motard 50
As mentioned above, Aprilia have a long and illustrious history in the sports motorcycle department, and their small engine machines are some of the best in their class. Here, Aprilia have decided to try and inject some of their sports lineage into a humble 50cc scooter, and they’ve done a remarkable job. Named the SR Motard as a reference to their Supermotard models, the SR Motard 50 is quite a sporty commuter – as you can see in the design. Equipped with aggressive bodywork, smooth lines, and sports-oriented handlebars and controls, the SR Motard 50 been designed for nimble agility, fast acceleration, and an exotic riding experience. Not bad for a 49cc scooter, right? With an MSRP of $2,099 this might be the most economical and cost-effective way of owning an Italian motorcycle. It’s no RSV4 racer, but it’s still a genuine Aprilia.
Vespa Scooters For Sale
Of course, the most iconic 50cc scooter ever made would have to be the Piaggio Vespa. Now, the Vespa has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but no matter what form it takes – two-stroke, four-stroke, and soon to be electric – it has always set a high benchmark for style and design, and proven time and time again that scooters are cool. Most importantly, Vespa have always produced small scooters that are incredibly fun to ride. These days, they’ve dropped the old-school two-stroke, clutch, handlebar gear-change arrangement in favor of more environmentally friendly engines and simpler, more accessible controls, but the soul of their machines is still undeniably Italian. Here are the best Vespa moped models for sale.
The Vespa Primavera 50
First up in the modern Vespa scooter range is the new Primavera 50. The Primavera model has a long an elaborate history starting back from when it was first launched in 1968. When it rolled on the scene back then it was already an icon, but that was then – this is now. The modern Primavera 50 boasts a cool, compact 50cc liquid cooled engine which produces low emissions, and decent power considering its small size. The engine is one thing, but the bodywork is another.
Shaped like you’d expect a Vespa to be with luxurious curves and elegant shapes, twinned with a sleek, minimalistic styling. To complement retro but futuristic style, the Vespa Primavera comes equipped with minimal instrumentation, with only an LCD dash that toes the line between tradition and innovation perfectly. With a top speed of 40 mph, the Vespa Primavera 50 is a really capable 50cc scooter for sale. It comes with a price though, with Vespa giving it an MSRP of $3,799…which makes it quite an expensive choice.
The Vespa Sprint 50
In terms of hardware, the Vespa Sprint 50 isn’t wildly different from the Primavera 50, as they both share the same engine – but Vespa market the Sprint 50 as the sportier of the two. What makes it specifically different in the performance department is a mystery only Vespa engineers may know, but the Sprint 50 is touted as having superior acceleration whilst still retaining good economy and low emissions.
To be honest, the only real differences that we can see are aesthetic ones, with the Sprint wearing a square headlight rather than a round one, and subtler differences such as the sportier looking handlebar cover and controls. That being said, it’s definitely more aggressive to look at than the Primavera 50, so if you want a 50cc Vespa but can do without the iconic cutesy look, then the Sprint is what you need. It’s more expensive that the Primavera, with Vespa giving it an MSRP of $3,899, marking it as one of the more expensive scooters for sale in the USA.
SYM Scooters For Sale
SYM might not be the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, but don’t discount them. Founded in Taiwan in 1954 as the San Yang Motor Corporation, SYM have carved out a name for themselves as manufacturers of quality, innovative, and reliable vehicles. Having teamed up with the likes of Honda in the past, it’s no wonder that SYM have made a big impression in the small capacity motorcycles department. In the USA, SYM have a number of small scooters on the roster that are definitely worth looking at, but today we’re focusing on their 50cc scooters for sale. We advise you to give SYM the chance they deserve.
The SYM Mio 50
The SYM Mio is similar to a lot of scooters out there that opt for a retro-inspired modern aesthetic, with sweeping curves, minimalist controls, the odd touch of chrome here and there, and most importantly: a round headlight. Since it was designed for fashion conscious city-dwellers, you might be surprised to learn that the engine boasts some quite advanced features. While this 49cc scooter is restricted to a top speed of 30 mph, the engine itself comes with a ceramic coated cylinder to ensure engine longevity and protect against cylinder wear – which is a nice touch for a bike of this size and price bracket.
The actual engine specs aren’t much to write home about but most 49cc moped models aren’t exactly going to win many drag races. While the engine might not be a race winner, the handling of this little Mio is quite surprising, with a nice and nimble ride experience that will help you navigate your way through heavy traffic. And the price? Well, SYM have given the Mio 50 a very cheap price of $1,999. As cheap scooters go, good luck beating this one in value.
The SYM Jet 50
Unfortunately, the SYM Jet 50 has been discontinued, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find one through SYM’s Alliance Power Sports distributor. The Jet has a very different style to the Mio, featuring more traditional scooter styling rather than mimicking a retro look. In a way, it looks kind of futuristic with its dual headlight and turn signal arrangement. The major difference between the Mio and the Jet is that the Jet is a two-stroke machine.
That’s the main reason that the Jet was dropped from the contemporary line up, but let’s not forget that two-strokes are generally more powerful motorcycles, giving the Jet a superior power to weight ratio – which is important if you’re performance conscious…which you probably won’t be if you’re searching for 50cc scooters for sale. While discontinued, finding one of these gems might be a wise decision for those looking for a small scooter with more power on tap than the norm.
Kymco Scooters For Sale
Like SYM, Kymco are another Taiwanese brand that deserve recognition. Founded in 1964 after splitting from Honda – Kymco used to make parts for Honda – Kymco decided to go it alone and begin R&D on their own line of motorcycles. Since 1970, the firm has slowly been expanding globally earning a reputation for excellence in the small capacity motorcycles department. In fact, they partnered with BMW in 2008 to provide engines for the G450 X endurance machine, and have recently partnered with Kawasaki to work together on the J300 scooter. The firm manufacturer excellent machines, but thanks to their relatively unknown name, their prices are still nice and low. And they’ve got some great 50cc scooters for sale to take advantage of.
The Kymco Agility 50
While the Kymco Agility 50’s styling might not be the most attractive on the list, this little 50cc scooter actually boasts some fantastic features for the price it commands. If you can look past the bland bodywork and pretty uninspiring looks, there’s a workhorse of a bike hidden underneath. This little gas scooter comes with an electric start, a rear passenger seat that can double up as a cool and practical back rest, useful underseat storage, pretty decent suspension, disc brakes (rather than rear drum brakes which is a nice touch), modern instrumentation and a fuel economy of around 10 miles per gallon.
The CVT automatic transmission makes it a very easy scooter to ride, and thanks to its overall light weight of around 203 lbs, the Kymco Agility 50 is a great motorcycle for those who are just in need of something simple, maneuverable, reliable, and most importantly: cheap. Kymco have given the Agility 50 an MSRP of only $1,599, which is criminally cheap for one of the best 50cc mopeds for sale in the USA.
The Kymco Super 8 50X
The Kymco Super 8 50X is another one of Kymco’s scooters for sale in the 50cc category, and as such, the performance specification is almost identical to that of the Agility 50. The engine is the same, and the overall bodywork isn’t particularly different. We do prefer the look of the Super 8 50X but that’s because it has a less severe overall look, and it generally paints a more relaxed picture, and looks like a more confident scooter. Looks aside, it still features the cool backrest and passenger seat arrangement as the Agility 50, the same spacious storage compartment, and the same suspension and brakes.
As for the differences, the Super 8 50X comes with both an electric start and a kick start – a feature we applaud – and it comes with the option of having it equipped with dual sport inspired tires and heavier duty rims. We don’t know why you’d want to push it hard through the dirt, but it’s nice to have the option. You pay extra for that kind of service though, so it’s understandable that the Kymco Super 8 50X gets an MSRP of $1,799. Still, it’s good value for what you get.
Genuine Scooter Company Scooters For Sale
If you prefer your 50cc gas scooter mopeds to come from a genuine American company then you should probably give the Genuine Scooter Company a call. Essentially, Genuine’s story began at the turn of the millennium, when a couple of guys who made a living selling scooter parts decided to pool their resources and focus on a common goal: bringing a better scooter to the USA.
By 2002, they’d got their company up and running. Based out of Chicago, Illinois, Genuine Scooters has become a trusted distributor of small capacity scooters for the United States. The company’s success if reflected in the service that it provides its customers, which now extends to longer warranties and ever to road-side assistance should something go awry. They have plenty of scooters for sale to pick and choose from, but we’re only going to cover one 50cc model, our favorite: the Buddy 50.
The Genuine Buddy 50
Styled with a vintage-inspired look and packed full of modern touches, the Buddy 50 is a great 50cc scooter for those looking for a fun and playful ride to take them around the city. Powered by a cool 49cc two-stroke motor mated to a fully automatic “twist and go” gearbox, the Buddy is an accessible and easy to ride vehicle that’s perfect for those searching for uncomplicated travel. With practical features like a grocery bag hook, under-seat storage and a useful USB charger port, the Buddy 50 makes urban living a dream. The fuel economy is pretty good too, with an estimated 100 miles per gallon. The overall price is more than fair too, with Genuine giving the Buddy 50 an MSRP of $1,999. What’s more, if you’re taken by the Buddy but could do with more power, Genuine offer the same model in 125cc and 170cc configurations. It’s one of the best 50cc scooters for sale in the USA, and one of our favorites too.
Used Mopeds: What To Look For
If you’re looking for a 50cc scooter for sale, you could try looking for used mopeds. The market for them isn’t massive and you might struggle to find a gas powered scooter going in your local area but they do exist and you should keep your eyes open for them when they go on sale. Still, you should be careful before you invest.
By nature, gas powered scooters and cheap mopeds are work horses, and they have hard lives. Carrying heavy adults can be a struggle for motors three times the size, so the humble 50cc has to work very hard to do its job. And that’s ok. No matter how thrashed an engine, it can always be repaired, right? Sort of.
The only real advice that we would dispense when it comes to buying used mopeds is to look for brand names that you can trust, with a known parts supply and distribution network, and user manuals that can easily be found and downloaded online. An old Honda moped, even in the sorriest of states, can easily be refreshed and brought back to life with very little effort or expense. A no name brand with no US address on it…well, that’s likely going to be more trouble than it’s worth.
Follow that advice, and you might find a moped for sale that suits your budget and needs.