The non-adjustable forks, simple cantilever rear shock, and budget Vee Rubber tyres are good enough to cope with some sporty knee-down action. The front radial brake caliper looks beefy but has been set up to be novice-friendly for clumsy and over-enthusiastic teens rather than to cope with constant track thrashing.
On the road, the easy handling and ability to maintain momentum should easily make the RS rider the leader of the local moped gang.
No amount of throttle or clutch-slip will ever get the Aprilia off the line quickly. From then on up, however, it's a gas. Gather a bit of momentum and things get much better. Despite the single-figure power output, the light, well-spaced gearbox helps keep the tacho needle firmly at the top half of the rev counter. Expect to see 55-60mph in unrestricted form.
A lot of RS50s will have been ridden hard by 16-year-olds with little to no mechanical sympathy and filled with whatever oil was on offer at the local garage. If you can find an RS50 that's been looked after and run on good quality oil, it'll be much more reliable.
There's no doubting that £2,549 was a lot of money to pay for what was essentially a 50cc moped, but what price do you put on having the best bike a 16-year-old can legally own? And at least the 60mpg fuel consumption is hugely economical.
In 2019 the RS 50 is still available to buy new, at a price of £4099, and still uses that venerable two-stroke motor. It's fair to assume this will be replaced when Euro5 emissions legislation is introduced.
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From a hundred yards away, the RS could easily pass for a 600. The scaled-down RSV1000R styling, upside-down forks, and OZ-style wheels create a convincing illusion of size.
In July 2009 Aprilia launched a Max Biaggi replica livery for this bike that gave it added appeal for motorsport fans.