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First of all, what is a scooter? 

A scooter is a motorcycle with a step-through frame and a platform for the rider’s feet – a design made possible through the position of the engine and drive system, both of which are either housed beneath the rider’s seat or attached to the rear axle.

This style of bike is traditionally associated with small motorbikes, from the 50cc moped – which features pedal-assisted power – to bikes of around 250cc engine capacity. Nowadays, though, you can get scooters up to 850cc.

There’s lots to consider when you’re buying a scooter, like the cost of tax, insurance and fuel; the logistics of parking, security and on-bike storage; and, of course, how to stay safe.

All of these issues are important, but in this article, we’re going to focus on speed. How fast can 50cc and 125cc scooters actually go? And how fast are they allowed to go?

How fast does a 50cc scooter go?

A lot of 50cc bikes have their engines restricted at 30mph (48kph). 50cc scooters can be ridden on public roads (excluding motorways) by those under the age of 17. This is a great opportunity for youngsters to get some driving experience. In the interests of safety, though, a 16-year-old must only ride a 50cc motorcycle with a restricted engine.

You don’t have to have a motorcycle licence to ride a 50cc motorcycle. Provided you use L (learner) plates – or in Wales, L plates or D (dysgwr) plates – you can ride a 50cc scooter if you meet all the following criteria:

  • You’re at least 16 years old
  • You have a provisional motorcycle licence or a full driving licence
  • You’ve completed compulsory basic training (CBT)

However, if you passed your driving test before February 2001, you don’t have to use L plates.

What’s the top speed of a 50cc moped?

Most 50cc scooters come with a restricted engine, which limits the bike to a top speed of 30mph (48kph). However, a 50cc scooter can go at speeds of up to 60mph (96kph), while most will comfortably reach 40mph (65kph). 

What’s the fastest 50cc moped?

With an unrestricted engine, the usual 50cc top speed is 35-40mph (56-65kph). Some scooters, though, will do more! Here are a few examples of some speedy 50cc scooters:

Peugeot Speedfight

Launched in the year 2000, this 50cc French scooter has a two-stroke engine. The Speedfight’s top speed is just over 40mph (65kph).

Yamaha Zuma 50

This Japanese scooter was first made in 1989. The later models have a four-stroke engine, and they can get a top speed of around 45mph (72kph).

Piaggio Zip 4T

This 50cc Italian scooter, which was first available in 2005, has a four-stroke engine and can go at 50mph (80kph).

Gilera Runner 50

The Gilera brand is owned by Piaggio. The Runner, which was first released in 1997, has a two-stroke engine and a top speed of 50mph (80kph).

Aprilia SR50

From Aprilia – another brand owned by Piaggio – this super 50cc scooter made its market entrance in 1992. It has a two-stroke engine, and it can reach a velocity of 56-60mph (90-96kph). 

Who can ride a 125cc scooter?

You can ride a 125cc scooter, with L plates, if all the following apply:

  • You’re 17 or over
  • You hold a provisional motorcycle licence or a full driving licence
  • You’ve completed CBT

Only those who hold a motorcycle licence can ride a 125cc motorbike without L plates.

What’s the top speed of a 125cc bike?

These nifty little bikes will comfortably reach a speed of 60mph (96kph). Providing the rider has an appropriate motorcycle licence, a 125cc bike can be driven on the motorway.

What’s the fastest 125cc scooter?

Let’s have a look at some of the fastest 125cc motorbikes available:

Yamaha NMAX 125

This stylish little Japanese number first appeared in the UK in 2015. It has a four-stroke engine and a top speed of 65mph (105kph).

Honda PCX 125

The PCX by Japanese manufacturer, Honda, was introduced in 2009. It has a four-stroke engine and is capable of 70mph (112kph).

Kawasaki J125

Launched in 2016, the J125 from the Japanese company, Kawasaki, has a four-stroke engine, and its top speed is 70mph (112kph).

Honda Forza 125

The powerful Forza 125 by Honda, which has been available in Europe since 2015, is powered by a four-stroke engine. This scooter’s top speed is a massive 80mph (128kph).

Need scooter insurance?

Specialising in motorcycle insurance, Bikesure is well known for high-quality, low-price bike cover. If you’re looking for scooter insurance or a quote for young rider insurance, follow the links. Alternatively, give us a call on 0333 255 8844 or 0800 369 8580.

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