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APRILIA RS50 (2006-on) Review

Published: 01 April 2015

Updated: 02 December 2019

Expect to see 55-60mph in sixth gear - impressive for an 8.4bhp, 50cc machine

Aprilia RS4 50 side profile static

Expect to see 55-60mph in sixth gear - impressive for an 8.4bhp, 50cc machine

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

If you can overlook the impracticalities, stomach the price tag, and keep it in top quality oil, the Aprilia RS50 remains the bike of desire for 16-year-olds more than ever - and has the stunning looks to match. It was briefly renamed the Aprilia RS4 50 as the company moved over to a 4-stroke engine for most of its models, but then dropped the '4' shortly afterwards as the RS50 remained 2-stroke.

While it looks different and appeals to a different sort of biker, the RS 50 is actually the sister machine to the Aprilia SX 50 off-roader.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

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. 

Engine 4 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

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.

Insurance group: 2 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

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.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2006
Year discontinued -
New price £2,549
Used price £2,200 to £4,100
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group 2 of 17
Annual road tax £20
Annual service cost £150
Performance
Max power 8.4 bhp
Max torque 4.7 ft-lb
Top speed 60 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 60 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 49cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, two-stroke single-cylinder
Frame type Aluminium twin beam
Fuel capacity 13 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 89kg
Front suspension 40mm upside-down forks
Rear suspension Hydraulic monoshock
Front brake 300mm stainless steel disc, radial caliper with two 28mm opposed pistons
Rear brake 180mm stainless steel disc, caliper with two 25mm opposed pistons
Front tyre size 110/80-17
Rear tyre size 130/70-17

History & Versions

Model history

First released in 1998, the RS50 remains the most sought-after 50cc sports bike on the market and the bike which all others in this class must measure up against

Other versions

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their APRILIA RS50 (2006-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.

Review your APRILIA RS50 (2006-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

RS50, best first bike!?

09 June 2015 by Peter Andre

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Rock hard seat, pillion is comfier, but the bike would not move 2 up! A teenager could last much longer on this bike, I usually have to rest every 30-45 minutes. The bike loves the twisties, and you just think your way around the bends.
Engine
4 out of 5
For its capacity, it has a good amount of power. No doubt is it the king of the 50cc's, but if mixed with a 70cc kit, exhaust and bigger carb, things really come to life! With the upgrades, it feels like a much larger bike, having no power below 7k or so, and then a violent power band to 12k, make sure you're up to the gear changes to keep it in this small range!
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Typical 2 stroke engine, but look after it and it will be much more reliable. Warm it up well before riding, run it off good quality oil, and you should see a few thousand miles per rebuild! Corrosion and rust on exhaust, brake disks.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Could do with a new barrel and piston annually, although you could probably get away with just a piston and rings if the barrel is in good condition.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Good dash, although it would benefit from a fuel gauge, being aimed at teenagers and all.
Buying experience

I bought privately, at £1100 for a 2009 plate.

Photo Gallery

  • Aprilia RS4 50 side profile static
  • Aprilia RS50 front three quarter
  • Aprilia RS50 static front shot
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