APRILIA RX50 (2006 - 2012) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Aprilia RX50 has the looks of a proper enduro bike, but none of the performance.
Restricted, it’ll struggle to break 30mph, and de-restricted (illegal for 16 year-olds) it’ll top 50 eventually. The chassis will cope with gentle off-roading, but ride it harder and the RX50 will be out of its depth.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The RX50’s chassis is realistically best around town – try ride it off road and you’ll get sick of the suspension clanging in to its bump stops. The wide bars, lightweight and compliant suspension is perfect for urban riding, but the standard knobbly tyres will complain if you push too hard – buy the Aprilia SX50 with its supermoto-style road tyres if you don’t ride off road.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The Aprilia RX50 49cc two-stroke single engine is typical of the class – gutless. It needs revving hard and the clutch slipping to pull away, and you need to continue thrashing it. But as a first motorcycle, it’ll feel lightning quick – it’s all relative.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Build quality is basic but OK – the main problem comes from abusive teenage owners. Cleaning, basic maintenance and using top-quality two-stroke oil should keep it happy for most of the time, but being both Italian and two-stroke expect the odd foible.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
£2399 is a lot of money for a first bike that you’re unlikely to keep more than a year. Insurance isn’t cheap for a young rider – motorcycles like the Aprilia RX50 are towards the upper end of the risk scale compared with twist-and-go scooters. Find an Aprilia RX50 for sale.
The Aprilia RX50 is basic motorcycling – no storage, a riding position that makes no concession to comfort and a simple electronic dash displaying only basic information. There is a pillion seat – but only for the very stupid. The chassis looks nice, but is nothing special underneath the fancy façade. Compare and buy parts for the Aprilia RX50 in the MCN Shop.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, two-stroke single. Six gears.|
|Frame type||Alloy beam|
|Fuel capacity||7 litres|
|Front brake||260mm disc with two-piston sliding caliper|
|Rear brake||180mm disc with single-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||1.85 x 21”|
|Rear tyre size||2.15 x 18”|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||80 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£20|
|Annual service cost||-|
2 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||6 bhp|
|Max torque||9 ft-lb|
|Top speed||50 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||123 miles|
Model history & versions
Year: 1997-2005. Uses an earlier version of the same engine, but in a steel chassis. The looks mimic Aprilia’s 1990’s 125cc enduro bikes. Very rare now – patchy build quality, abusive owners and bike thiefs looking for field bikes are responsible for the demise of most.
Aprilia SX50 2006-current. Much the same as the RX50 but with 17” road wheels and tyres and a larger front brake disc. Unless you really must ride off-road there’s no reason to buy the RX50 – the SX50 offers a much better ride on the road.
Owners' reviews for the APRILIA RX50 (2006 - 2012)
7 owners have reviewed their APRILIA RX50 (2006 - 2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
Cramped ride position. Hefty steel swing arm. Suspension ridiculously soft. Brake pedal tip and kick start lever lack sufficient knurling. Soft frame bends easily when dropped (footrest bracket area). Auto vacuum fuel tap unreliable. Ignition magneto unreliable. Speedometer wiring unreliable. Shares Aprilia RS / Derbi GPR sport bike engine - minus crankshaft counterbalancer. Inevitably vibrates like magnitude 8 earthquakes. Engine mount brackets fracture. Fairing panel screws, exhaust system screws, engine mount screws, magneto screws, timing plate screws, all require anti-vibe lock washers. Big-wheeled Japanese auto scooters offer more satisfaction.
New crank bearings, gearbox bearings, piston kit every 15 - 20,000 miles and it'll serve you well if you don't ride it in a neglecting manner. But you have to spend a few £££'s replacing the Italian Ignition, carburetor, fuel tap and adapt the battery box.
Shorter wheelbase than a typical 125cc = cramped ride position especially while standing on foot rests. Rock hard wafer thin seat. Front/rear brake calipers lack sufficient emergency stopping power even with Double-H Sintered pads. Front fork springs too soft for bumpy off road terrain (SX50 springs would be too stiff). Rear shock absorber preload is non adjustable, seat height is too tall even for 6ft folks.
Zero bottom end torque' have to slip the clutch to set off and 1st gear has an immensely short ratio. Mid range - top end pulls good with a Yasuni Cross ML exhaust.
The OEM Italian Ducati ignition stators give up their ghost after not too long. Wiring harness frame mounting hooks need either rubber or foam to stop bare metal rubbing and cutting into wires. Radiator cooling fan should be removed as this serves no purpose, even after a seized engine with boiled over coolant it does not activate. The Gilera RCR and SMT models don't include the cooling fan for the same reason. The auto vacuum fuel tap's diaphragm broke on 3x taps ' fit a Derbi Senda 125/Cross City 125 manual operation tap. The D50B0/D50B1 engine manufactured by Piaggio is reliable as gravity and 100% capable of long distance touring 16+ hour stints if you convert to a simple carburetor design (Polini CP 17.5), jet the carb properly and don't "race tune the s**t out of it" with 12,000+ rpm exhausts.
OEM parts backup: extortionately overpriced' the only genuine Aprilia parts with longer lasting rugged build quality than OEM counterparts are: rear shock absorber, kick start lever and clutch plates.
Small 7L tank and no fuel level gauge' just a typical electronic low fuel warning light that flashes when it's already too late. Larger capacity transparent fuel tank would solve many things. No battery box lid' you have to insert rubber underneath, around the battery and use a sponge on top of it to prevent a damaged battery. Dashboard rev counter tells porkies' no front fork gaiters for preventing rust and accelerated oil seal wear, Acerbis 40mm neoprene gaiters do the job sufficiently. Stock tyres are useless off road' Continental TKC80's are much better. Airhawk 2 small pillion cushion on the seat + Klim Tactical Shorts are an effective comfort upgrade.
I have owned this bike for around 11 months, and around 3-4 months i didn't really have the time to ride it as me and my family travel alot. The bike has been awesome in the year though, my RX 50 is a 2009 registered bike and i have covered just over 2500 miles riding it in the year. I only ride for pleasure, and obviously a 50cc bike is never going to be brilliant when you only ride for run but the bike has been brilliant, it has a spunky little 2 stroke 50cc engine which can give you a little bit of a scare in it's de-restricted form as it wants to be ridden full throttle every where, and with a top speed of around 50mph on a straight, the inexperienced will soon learn from their mistakes. I have had 58mph down a big hill, but the whole look of the bike makes other road users treat you with a little bit of respect as it really does look like a bigger bike, the only downside is the poxy L plate that UK residents will have to show. Overall the bike has been great, i have loved every second of it and it has really prepared me to get on a 125cc machine. Great bike, potentially the best 50cc moped money could buy!
Had this bike from new for 6 months now - and I love it!! Picked up a Gianelli exhaust as, although it was restricted to 30, it would struggle to get to 30, let alone maintain it. Now it will happily maintain 40mph no problem. The powerband is quite pokey and will out accelerate cars when filtering up until 30 or so. The only gripe is that the seat is NOT comfy for prolonged periods! Reminds me of my mountain biking days... There is also NO storage anywhere, so be prepared to use a rucksack, should you need anything. No reliability issues at all. Mine hasn't had an easy life: dropped while off-roading, knocked into neutral while attempting to change up into second several times resulting in maximum engine revs and is either full throttle or nome at all due to my 'exuberant' riding style. Still going strong. Great styling as well. Will always stay with Aprilia (as long as this one serves me well for the next 4 months (which I'm sure it will)) and looking at an RS4 125 next as I've always wanted a sports bike. Got this one due to the manual gearbox, and not the RS50 because that's a 2 - stroke sports bike and that's just not cool!
Great value for money. can hit 55 on straights (de-restricted) and is so reliable. great handling too!
my aprilia rx has never let me down, it may only be a 50 but fells like it should be bigger it is a joy to ride in what ever wheather. the engine is solid and it is fairly quick for a 50cc. i have topped at 55mph on the flat a 70mph down hugely massive hills. if i was to ever go back to a 50 it would be an aprilia rx
Good Points - Brilliant Whilst Working, Engine Good, Handling Good, I have had 54mph out of my fully derestricted stock SX50. Parts, take a while, and you will be lucky to go a year without neading to order and wait for any. The speedo is good but the rev counter doesnt tell you how many revs your doing just has a bar that goes up and down. Overall, a brilliant little bike and is a great head turner. Get a new model 2006 - current and if you are 16, it is guarenteed that all you mates, bike lovers or not will want one. Just remember you cant have it all, speed and style are the pluses, typical italian reliability - poor and bad parts service.