PIAGGIO NRG 50 (1999-on) Review

Published: 31 July 2009

"Race bike styling and graphics but it's still a 50cc moped restricted to 30mph"

Piaggio NRG

"Race bike styling and graphics but it's still a 50cc moped restricted to 30mph"

  • At a glance
  • 49cc  -  4 bhp
  • 33 mpg  -  56 miles range
  • Medium seat height (795mm)
  • £1,762

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

Image is everything when you’re 16 – the Piaggio NRG has it with race bike styling and graphics. But it’s still a 50cc moped restricted to 30mph by law, so unless you’re old enough to derestrict, progress is painfully slow.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

Small wheels and cheap suspension make the NRG very nervous – you have to ride it for a while to adjust your input levels before it can be ridden smoothly. Bumps and holes upset it – the tiny wheels can’t ride over any kind of imperfections. It’s very nimble through traffic and easy to manoeuvre at low speed – ideal for the CBT.

Engine 1 out of 5

The twist-and-go 50cc two-stroke does little more than propel the Piaggio NRG forward as slowly as the law dictates. Derestricted the speedo will show 55mph plus – it’s a typically optimistic Italian gauge though, so real speed is around 45-50mph.

Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5

Piaggio build quality is sub-par anyway – as one of the cheapest bikes in the range, the NRG is one of the most susceptible to abuse. The finish is cheap - the paint rubs through, alloy parts corrode and steel parts rust – the exhaust especially. Breakdowns aren’t unusual either. You’ll need the warranty.

Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5

Most teenagers treat the Piaggio NRG as a throwaway item – which in reality, they are. They’re not cheap, but there is a queue of teenagers ready to splash Dad’s cash on one, buying them solely on image. Be prepared to loose a big chunk of value as the condition deteriorates, and incentivised new bikes push the value out of used scoots. Find a Piaggio NRG 50 for sale.

Insurance group: 4 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 2 out of 5

It doesn’t have much – there’s a rev counter that serves no useful purpose on a twist and go, a clock, an underseat storage area and a hook to hang shopping bags on. It has upside down forks, but they’re crude and only for show. Compare and buy parts for the Piaggio NRG in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

6 owners have reviewed their PIAGGIO NRG 50 (1999-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.2 out of 5
Engine 3.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.3 out of 5
Equipment 3.3 out of 5
5 out of 5

One of the best for the money

25 February 2013 by martin2194

Despite what's been said in the official review, I've had an NRG Power DD since 2006 and think it's a great little scooter. It also hasn't broken down once. And it looks almost as good today as it did when I bought it. I'm not a neurotic washer and... Read more polisher either. Just an ordinary UK user who's quite lazy on the whole. The bike's been derestricted and can comfortably sit at 45mph provided the road is flat and there isn't too much headwind. I've had it up as fast as 60mph for short bursts. These speeds with nothing more than taking the washer out. No sports exhaust or anything else fancy. All bog-standard. Fuel economy is around 76mpg. I also have a YBR125 and PCX125, which are both four-strokes and only go slightly faster. Whereas I love the Piaggio for its amazing two-stroke sound and decidedly 1960s retro feel. All-in-all I can thoroughly recommend this scooter. Don't be put off by the official review.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not a bad 50

22 September 2012 by Mattmayhew

I brought my piaggio nrg for £400 just to get to and from work/college back in march. It was brilliant to start off with but after about 4 months the oil pump broke which resulted in the piston seizing. After replacing the piston, barrel etc, I found... Read more that the carburetor and automatic choke were broken as well so i had to buy a whole new fuel system as the parts are not sold separate. I now have it back on the road after 2 months of fixing problems. Still a nice ped but after having to fix all the problems with it I have lost love for it

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5

A good first step into biking

16 December 2011 by Morgan86

I brought my Piaggio NRG brand new in September with a 61 plate ready to start my new term of sixth form and as my first step into biking it’s been brilliant. In the past 4 months I have clocked up just over 1000 miles and it’s never failed me, a... Read more great sounding moped, much better than the other boys Peugeot speed fighters. I would recommend this bike to anyone looking for a sporty moped but wants to stand out from the speed fighter crowd.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Verry fun scooter

18 February 2010 by provisionalrider

Only had it for about a week and i love it thats all there is to say. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

2006 Piaggio NRG PureJet

20 December 2009 by Anonymous

20/DEC/2009 I have owned my Piaggio NRG PureJet 50 (Injection) since new 2006,and i have nothing but absolute praise for this brilliant premium sports 50cc scooter from Piaggio. So far,i have covered 22000kms of complete reliability,and without the... Read more need to touch the engine,or anything else for that matter. It is as clean and powerful today as it was from just run in. The ride is on the firm side,but never uncomfortable,yet it always handles superbly. It takes corners with verve,and always seems to beg for more. It's floor mounted fuel tank,helps give an overall balance to the chassis that is sublime. The frame is stiff and tight,with almost motorbike quality,due to it's twin steel tube cradle frame. The overall feel is one of robust solidity,that feels like it will last forever. Big disc brakes on both front and rear,pull the bike up effortlessly from any speed,and always feel solid and safe. The build quality is outstanding,with high quality plastics,and flawless fit and finish. Full digital and analog instrumentation give all the information you could ask for,and special features like the remote opening of the helmet bay are always appreciated. Now the Injected performance...It's simply a blast to ride,with full de-restricted GPS tested performance of.... (0-50kph=7.2secs / 0-30m=4.5secs / Top speed=90kph@9000rpm). It sips fuel at a miserly 2.5L/100kms,and oil top-ups are at around 3000km intervals. The sound that comes from this brilliant engine and OEM sports reverse exhaust, is like that of a mini japanese sportsbike,and the throttle response is super crisp and precision perfect. Oh,and then their's the style of this beautiful Italian scooter...It's sportsbike derived,with classic genuine eye-catching Italian design details and proportion. Summing up...the Piaggio NRG PureJet may cost more then the average 50cc,because it is clearly a class above in build quality,performance,economy,clean running,handling,equipment,and style. The only other premium 50's that can compete with this very impressive bike,are the Aprilia SR50 Factory,and the Gilera Runner PureJet. My NRG still looks near new,and i think that speaks volumes about it's quality. It's simply a GREAT 50 to own.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
2 out of 5

piaggio nrg

25 September 2009 by juryryan

i have the piaggio NRG i have had it for about half a year and its all ways in the work shop it wood be a good bike if it worked Read more

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
Read all 6 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1999
Year discontinued -
New price £1,762
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 4 of 17
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 4 bhp
Max torque 2.9 ft-lb
Top speed 31 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 33 mpg
Tank range 56 miles
Specification
Engine size 49cc
Engine type Two-stroke, liquid-cooled single. CVT transmission.
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 6.5 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 95kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension None
Front brake 220mm disc
Rear brake 175 mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70-13
Rear tyre size 140/60-13

History & Versions

Model history

Piaggio NRG Extreme – 1999-2002. Air-cooled sports scooter, looks dated now and its unlikely any still around will be in presentable condition.
Piaggio NRG MC3 Air - 2002-2004. The second generation air-cooled NRG.
Piaggio NRG MC3  - 2002-2004 – The liquid-cooled version is faster in full power form.

Other versions

Piaggio NRG Silver Bullet – White/red special edition is mechanically unchanged.

Photo Gallery

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