WK SCRAMBLER 50 (2022-on) Review | Owner & Expert Ratings

Highlights

  • Proper geared 50 for those who don’t want twist ‘n’ go
  • Generous size gives the look and feel of a larger bike
  • Fabulously loud horn…

At a glance

Power: 3 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.7 in / 780 mm)
Weight: Low (282 lbs / 128 kg)

Prices

New £1,999
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Yes, the WK Scrambler really is a fifty. Folk comment how fine it looks, usually mentioning a certain Mr S. McQueen or The Great Escape, and some even ask whether it’s a Triumph. They all double take when told it’s a 49cc tiddler that can be ridden by 16-year-olds with a CBT certificate.

The reason this Scrambler 50 from WK Bikes makes an impression is because it’s their popular Scrambler 125 fitted with a smaller engine. And the stance, 780mm seat height and just-so look of the 125 mean it can readily be mistaken for a 250. It’s no wonder the 50 looks the part.

And this is important. The moped world is dominated by cheap, cheerful, easy-to-ride scooters with proper geared fifties accounting for a piddly part of the market, so to attract finnicky teens they need to appear and feel like cool, pukka bikes and not toys. And at £1999 the WK does this while remaining competitively priced too.

Riding the WK Scrambler 50 on UK roads

Though not as brisk away from the school gate as a rev ‘n’ rip scooter, the Scrambler 50 is otherwise as speedy (legally a sixteener’s moped can only do 28mph) and has the advantage of looking and sounding, in the words of my own stroppy teen Ed, 'like a proper bike'.

He wasn’t interested in getting on two wheels as he thought it would have to be a 'plastic tinny scooter' but trying the Scrambler kickstarted his interest. In fact, that’s him riding excitedly in the pictures on his own bike that he’s bought himself.

OK, the WK is unlikely to be the FS-1E of the Snapchat generation. But it’s decently made, robust and feels worth each of its £1999 – that’s £400 cheaper than the similar Mash Fifty (with effectively the same engine).

Sure, garish scooters costs less than the Scrambler 50, but they’re just nothing like as cool.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Suspension defies expectations for a small, cheap, Chinese bike. Obviously, we’re not talking sumptuous ride quality or finger-tip feel ­– this is a low-priced bike using simple components.

But the front forks and twin rear shocks are chunkier and give a more secure ride than other bikes at this price. There’s none of the flimsiness some rival machines have, even popping to the pub two-up (there’s rear preload adjustment if needed).

Single brake caliper on the WK Scrambler 50

Chunky rubber makes itself felt through the steering response, but at just 128kg the Scrambler can obviously be tossed about like a BMX. It’s also so light that you can manoeuvre it in your shed or a bike park without effort.

There’s a surprising amount of bite from the twin-pot front brake and single disc, and more than enough power from the rear disc (not drum like some opposition). Don’t take big grabs when it’s cold and wet though – there’s no ABS on the Scrambler as it’s not a legal requirement on dinky bikes.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The two-valve, air-cooled, Euro5 motor is what’s known as a '139FMB vertical'. It’s effectively an upright version of the engine used in countless Honda Cub copies and pit bikes, and so should shrug off many years of merciless caning.

With 2.8bhp at 7500rpm from the four-stroke single, the Scrambler’s twistgrip is an on/off switch. It’s either pinned open or closed. Pulling away requires plenty of right-wrist action and the four-speed gearbox has a large gap between first and second, so thrashing in first is essential before shifting up.

The two-valve motor comes fitted with a kick start

Once moving it’s a breezy 50. Second, third and fourth are tightly packed ratios, allowing swift downshifts for inclines, and the Scrambler cheerily sits at an indicated 30mph bubbling away against the limiter. A measured 128mpg (yes, one hundred and twenty-eight) means well over 300 miles from the 11-litre tank.

Delphi injection and Euro5 gubbins mean sneakily releasing extra oomph will be harder on the Scrambler than on the two strokes many of us were raised on.

I’m sure inquisitive types who spent their formative years messing with pipes, riffler files and big-bore kits will doubtless be able to find more ‘on the flat’ performance, although WK sell derestricted ECUs giving 40mph potential for £168. It’s plug and play tuning.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

For a low-priced moped there are some nice touches. More importantly, the Scrambler doesn’t give the impression of frailty that early Chinese bikes did. The WK is solidly built and pleasantly finished, featuring metal mudguards and chainguard, alloy rims, braided brake hoses and a rugged feel. Keep the engine in fresh oil and it should run and run.

Trim is impressive for a £2000 motorcycle

Some coating and plating benefits from loving attention, though. There are fasteners and brackets that require anti-corrosion potion for winter use (like any bike…), and the thin paint on the exhaust struggles to keep rust at bay ­­– the downpipe can look like marine salvage if unprotected and left smothered in roads filth. Ten minutes with Scotchbrite and a tin of heat-proof paint squares it up nicely, mind.

The drive chain also stretches like pizza dough and needs regular tweaks to stop it slapping on the chainguard. But hey – it’s a two-grand bike.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

There are plenty of scooters that undercut the Scrambler but they’re not doing the same thing. Its geared 50cc motorbike opposition comes from Yamasaki and Mash: the former’s bikes are cheaper but feel less substantial; and the latter’s offerings use essentially the same engine and have more shiny bits but cost £400 more. The WK also has a two-year unlimited mileage warranty – some cheap mopeds are 12 months.

Residual value is unknown at the time of writing as it’s a new model, although rival bikes depreciate slowly – there aren’t many geared 50s and so demand is favourable to values.

A side view of the WK Scrambler 50

Running costs are low. The WK barely uses any fuel, tyres last forever, and road tax is just £21 a year. Reasonable insurance for a 16-year-old too: shop around and you’ll get TPFT for £350 or so, and fully comprehensive for about £100 more.

Servicing is every 3000 miles or annually, though the dinky engine doesn’t even hold a litre of oil so it’s not going to break the bank. Valve clearances should also be inspected every service, but the motor’s inspection cover and easy access mean this is straightforward too.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

You obviously don’t get a heated seat, TFT dash with connectivity or umpteen riding modes. However, the Scrambler 50 is well equipped for what it is.

The tidy digital dial has revs, speed, time, gear position and a fuel gauge, with a choice of odometer or two trips.

There are LED lights (the taillight is super-bright), and the grab rail, centrestand and preload-adjustable shocks are standard. Braided hoses and a stainless filler cap, too.

Specs

Engine size 49cc
Engine type Air-cooled, OHC, 2v, single
Frame type Tubular steel semi-cradle
Fuel capacity 11 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 128kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable telescopic fork
Rear suspension Preload-adjustable twin shocks
Front brake 276mm single disc, two-piston caliper
Rear brake 220mm single disc, one-piston caliper
Front tyre size 110/90 x 17
Rear tyre size 130/80 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 128 mpg
Annual road tax £22
Annual service cost -
New price £1,999
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 3 bhp
Max torque 2 ft-lb
Top speed 28 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 309 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2019: WK launch the Scrambler 125, an air-cooled single with on-trend retro styling, decent specification, chunky tyres, ample proportions and an attractive price (just £1900).

2021: Scrambler 50 released. It’s basically the 125 fitted with a 49cc engine.

Other versions

There are no other versions of the WK Scrambler 50.

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