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kevin ambrose  says:

Dangerously under-powered scooters

My son has started riding which for me is great news. He has an Aprilia SR50, which is restricted to 30mph by law - all the roads in my area are 40mph limit dual carriageways which end in large multi-lane roundabouts. To keep safe he needs to maintain top speed on approach to these roundabouts using good reading and planning - he cannot...

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  • Posted 5 years ago (11 March 2010 13:48)

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Nov 08

Posts: 17

thruxton05 says:

20 mph

Are you sure it is restricted to 20mph? As i undertsood it 50cc mopeds are allowed to do 30mph, I may be wrong. It could be there is some other problem with your scooter as they are normally very fast accelerating.

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Nov 08

Posts: 879

Restricted to 50km/h = 31mph by design...

...but with a two stroke on a carburettor it can be a bit approximate, don't be surprised to get a genuine 35mph on the flat from some without de-restriction.  By comparison, injected four strokes might be a bit more accurate (e.g. brick wall at 28mph).  Either should accelerate adequately.  My son's Speedfight2 carries me just fine and I don't find it dangerous.

If you are only getting 20mph it sounds like there's a problem - main and pilot jets are tiny and frequently get blocked with barely visible particles.

DO NOT DE-RESTRICT for a 16 year old - they'd be riding without a valid driving licence and without any insurance - if something went wrong, even though someone else's fault, they're looking at huge fines, lengthy ban, and not being able to afford insurance for years!  Worth the risk?

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Feb 10

Posts: 53

TheWookie says:

Don't de-restrict it. If the Police catch him, they'll bring out a rolling road to test it and if it isn't restricted as required by his age, they WILL crush it.


Personally though, have you thought about getting him a 50cc geared bike? Derbi do one that is a bit of a supermoto style one. Bit pricey at £3k but well, the earlier he gets his head round gears and clutch control and the rear brake being at the foot the better, no?

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Dec 07

Posts: 20

Tooshay says:

I had a Derbi Senda 50SM when i was 16. In restricted form, it was slower than a scooter - going uphill it would stuggle to hit 18mph. Also, due to it being restricted, the exhuast wouldn't get hot enough and 2 stroke oil would build up in it. After two weeks of riding the bike restricted, i was riding home at 10pm and the bike just spluttered and died. I was stuck on a 60mph road in pitch black with no lighting - Is that safe? The next day i took the exhaust off and a load of burnt 2 stroke oil ran out of the exhaust. It was then derestricted and ran with no problems whatsoever for the rest of the year because when derestricted, it allowed the bike to get hot enough to burn the oil. It also meant i could get more than 18mph uphill on 60mph country roads. A lot of people will probably say it's the wrong thing to do, but as far as i'm concerned the 30mph law for 16 year olds was made, like all laws, for the city of london - i doubt they ever thought about people that would have to use them on 60mph roads. So depending on the circumstances, I think it is safer to derestrict a 50. Just tell your son to be very cautious if you do.

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Feb 09

Posts: 2

retrodouggy says:

Riding Technique

I agree with the other comments about not derestricting the bike and echo the suggestion about going for a geared 50cc. Both good comments, as are the others in this thread. The one thing that no-one has mentioned in detail is riding technique. There is clearly a power issue if the moped will only do 20mph, so get that sorted first of all.

The next thing to develop is the rider's use of rear brake when pulling away. The automatics use a centrifugal clutch, so opening the throttle will not deliver immediate power to the back wheel. The rider should be building power whilst holding the rear brake on in preparation for pulling away. When a safe gap is found the rider smoothly releases the rear brake (similar to clutch control on a geared bike) and the bike will pull away under power and more promptly.

Couple this with better forward planning and hazard perception to prevent having to stop in the first place and 30mph should be plenty in 40mph zones. I agree that these bikes were not designed for national speed limit dual carraigeways and the like, but they are perfectly safe if ridden properly in town.

The other thing I would like to mention is defensive lane position. Novice riders (particularly those on mopeds) have a nasty habit of riding to the left of the lane, especially in areas where the speed limit is higher than the top speed of their machine.

In short get the bike sorted, then spend some time on the road ensuring that your son is applying everything he learnt at CBT. DSA publish "Learning to ride" (£6.99) which is a good reminder of the content of CBT.

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Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Get a classic moped and stay legal.

Any moped registered after 1977 has to be restricted to 30 plus/minus 5 mph to be called a moped BUT mopeds registered before this were called mopeds because they had 50cc motors and PEDALS. So... get a classic FS1E from 1976 (complete with pedals) for about £2500. Then your son can legally do 50mph or even more if he tunes it (which is still legal as it is officially a moped because of its pedals).

Seriously though the slowest mopeds when I was a kid were the Honda Expresses and the Puch maxis. Honda Expresses when new topped out a 25mph whilst Puch maxis couldn't go up moderate hills (e.g. 1 in 10).

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