2016 - 2017 Aprilia SR Motard 50
Introduced to the North American market in 2013 for the 2104 model year, Aprilia calls the SR Motard 50 "supermoto-inspired" and I’m sure it was, hence the clever model name. I can see the influence in the design: the aggressive front fairing, minimal body panels revealing the mechanicals, the exposed front forks, insect-tail rear end and race-tastic graphics. It even sounds like it could manage in the dirt, but that’s really as far as it goes. It’s a supermoto theme on a 50 cc scooter. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I’m just calling it as I see it. That aside, let’s look at the SR Motard 50 as a spiffy little sports scooter and see what we can make of it.
Continue reading for my review of the Aprilia SR Motard 50.
2016 - 2017 Aprilia SR Motard 50
Top Speed:40 mph
I must admit that scooters have come a long way from the early putt-putt rides that weren’t really suited for urban traffic here in the U.S. That has changed and the SR Motard 50 seems like a sporty addition to the 50 cc scooter pool.
Borrowing heavily from parent company Piaggio’s Typhoon50, the SR Motard 50 shares the four-stroke four-valve engine, frame and body panels while adding a few cosmetics to give that moto look. Price-wise, the Typhoon 50 comes in $100 less for essentially the same scooter minus the moto theme.
With plenty of compartments for stashing your bits and bobs, the main under-seat storage in the SR Motard 50 is plenty ample enough to hold a helmet. For additional storage, peruse the accessory catalog to add the quick-release top case for another six gallons of storage. If your plans include serious commuting, add the 4 mm molded methacrylate windscreen and leg cover. For extra security and peace of mind, add the accessory handlebar lock, 10 mm chain lock, 5.5 mm disc lock or self-powered alarm — or any combination — to make sure your SR Motard 50 stays where you parked it.
Top speed on this nifty little scooter is about 40 mph, and while Aprilia seems to be keeping fuel economy close to the vest, Piaggio offers that the Typhoon 50 is good for about 144 mpg. For scooting around town running errands and for short in-town commutes, that’s fuel economy that won’t break the bank.
Aprilia stayed with the standard, tubular-steel, step-through frame design and swingmount motor, and why not? It is a time-tested layout. What isn’t so typical is the front forks; in a move that shows shared DNA with its superbikes, the Motard gets inverted front forks to stiffen the front end and give it something of a sporty vibe. A coil-over monoshock springs the rear end off the swing-mount assembly, and it comes with a preload adjuster so you can tune the ride for changing loads.
The hoops are rather large for a scooter at 14 inches in diameter, a move that surely improves handling and continues the race-tastic vibe started with the front end. A 220 mm front disc and hydraulic caliper bind the front wheel, and the rear mounts an adjustable, 140 mm, mechanical drum brake. Normally I would whine about the drum brake at this point, but it is only a 50 cc scooter, so it’s probably sufficient.
The teeny-tiny beating heart is the air-cooled, 49 cc, one-lung engine tucked away over the rear wheel. It cranks out 4.6 horsepower at 9,500 rpm and 2.8 pound-feet at 8,000 rpm. Not very impressive on paper, but plenty to zip the Motard around town.
A Keihin NCV F20 carburetor keeps the intake simple, and a kick-starter provides a bit of backup in an emergency situation. The tranny setup is typical of the scooter category with a continuously-variable drive system that provides twist-and-go operation without the hassle of a clutch and shifter.
MSRP on the 2017 SR Motard 50 is $2,099, same as last year. You have a choice in the North American market between Racing White and Racing Black. Yes, it’s white or black with race-tastic graphics added. Aprilia covers your scooter with a two-year unlimited-mileage warranty and gives you a free year of roadside assistance with Road America
While the Aprilia embraces the whole Motard racing theme, the Super 8 has more of a jet-fighter motif. Since design is subjective to taste, I leave it to the reader to decide which is better. I have to give KYMCO credit for going all the way with the digitized camouflage, I thought that was a nice touch, though it may alienate some buyers.
The Aprilia gets points for the inverted front forks, but the rest of the chassis is largely the same between the two. They are scooters, after all. Combination disc and drum brakes, swingmount, air-cooled, carbureted, 49 cc motors, all largely the same until you look at the performance numbers. The Super 8 puts out 1.9 ponies and 3.0 pound-feet versus 4.6 horsepower and 2.8 pound-feet from the Motard 50. To make it worse on KYMCO, the Aprilia gets twice the mileage, so the Motard 50 carries the day with authority when it comes down to performance.
My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says “I know that Aprilia used to make scooters, but had gravitated toward the sportbike end of the spectrum. Since they now fall under the Piaggio umbrella, I expected one of the other subsidiaries to handle the small scooter bit, but it certainly isn’t out of the ordinary to have some crossover within manufacturer-families for marketing reasons.”
"Since I’m not so much into the moto look, I’d probably go with the Typhoon 50. It’s the same scooter for less money and I prefer the solid colorways to the racing graphics. Still the SR Motard 50 is a sporty looking ride and even if you don’t live in an urban area, it’s a great little scooter for getting around in a gated community or on campus."
|Engine:||Air-cooled four-stroke single-cylinder four-valves|
|Total displacement:||49 cc|
|Maximum Power:||4.6 Horsepower at 9,500 rpm|
|Maximum Torque:||2.8 Pound-Feet at 8,000 rpm|
|Fuel system:||Keihin NCV F20 carburetor|
|Starter:||Electric and kick start|
|Lubrication:||Wet sump forced lubrication system with mechanical pump|
|Transmission:||Continuous automatic variator|
|Frame:||High-strength steel single cradle|
|Front suspension:||Telescopic hydraulic fork, 3-inch travel|
|Rear suspension:||swingmount, single hydraulic shock absorber with preload adjustment; 3.4-inch travel|
|Front brake:||220 mm disc brake with two-piston floating caliper|
|Rear brake:||140 mm drum brake|
|Wheels:||Lightweight alloy, black 14-inch double-spoke|
|Front tire:||Tubeless 120/70-14 inches|
|Rear tire:||Tubeless 120/70-14 inches|
|Seat height:||30.3 inches|
|Maximum Speed:||40 mph|
|Fuel tank capacity:||1.9 gallons|
|Storage:||Holds a flip up helmet|
|Warranty:||Two-year unlimited-mileage warranty|
|Road Side Assistance:||One Free Year of Road Side Assistance provided by Road America|
|Type approval:||EPA and CARB|
|Color:||Racing White, Racing Black|