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Top 7 Urban Scooters


by Amyot Bachand ,

City dwellers who want to run errands, go to school, and meet with their friends often turn to small, 50cc scooters. A scooter rider's licence is easy to obtain, and these low-cost, high-efficiency machines are just as easy to ride through downtown traffic. While the number of models has dropped in recent years, quality has improved along with fuel economy and performance.

A good 50cc scooter delivers adequate acceleration and can maintain a speed of 60-65km/h even when going uphill (otherwise it's a hindrance and even a danger to other motorists). It may offer two-up capability, but I wouldn't recommend bringing a friend along precisely because of limited performance. The ride and handling equation needs to be calibrated for rough pavement, while storage and convenience are also important. Then you have to factor in reliability, build quality, and customer service (looking for a non-traditional brand? Good luck!). Finally, there's the issue of pricing and value: How much do you get for $2,000-$3,000?

Based on all of the above, I discarded the following scooters:

Kymco Agility City 50 4T
A good scooter for the city, with generous comfort, friendly ergonomics, and convenient storage (12V outlet, spacious under-seat compartment, and standard top case). It stands out with 16” wheels and a large, flat floorboard, while showing nice agility in and around neighbourhoods. The 4-stroke engine is just not powerful enough both during takeoffs and when cruising on boulevards.

Chironex Chase 50
This one barely missed our Top 7. It does have some great attributes such as an electric start and commendable handling, but lacks storage capacity, room for your feet, and a bit of oomph on the road.

Honda Ruckus
The comfortable Ruckus is a solid scooter delivering solid performance for safe commutes around town, but it's more geared toward the country and gravel roads. It has no fairing to protect riders from the wind and rain, and no storage solution for running errands.

KYMCO Sento 50
Unlike the larger Sento 100i, the Sento 50 lacks power both off the line and at cruising speeds. Too bad, because it offers classic styling, decent storage, and good handling.

Nostalgia 50cc
The Chinese-built Nostalgia is reminiscent of Lambrettas and even some Harley-Davidson motorcycles with a raised handlebar. Build quality and mass centralization make it a fun scooter to ride in the city; however, the engine is slow to take off and struggles to get over hills.

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