The new iGet engine has more power and smoother power delivery

Piaggio’s Vespa division renewed its classic Vespino design ahead of MY2018 with a new Sprint 50 Chrome Crest (CC) model and an accompanying blackout model, the Notte. The factory touts this smallest Vespa as a “green” model due to its stellar fuel economy, and a compact build makes its physical footprint as small as its carbon footprint. Timeless Italian style and a modern engine make these Vespinos ideal for students or commuters who are looking for a ride with class and taste with an eye toward environmental health.

  • 2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
  • Year:
    2018- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    50 cc
  • Top Speed:
    40 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    4099
  • Price:

Vespa Sprint 50 Design

  • LED lighting
  • Classic “tie” graphic
  • iconic teardrop shape
  • Clean and classy design
2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
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Clean and classy, the Sprint 50 CC and Notte carry the old-school Vespa look into yet another generation of machine. It starts with the single-side front fork and fore-and-aft, 12-inch rims for that “small wheel” effect that fits so well with historical-looking designs.

The face of the legguard bears the classic “tie” graphic, and while it’s kinda’ subtle on the Notte, the chrome accents on the CC make it stand out quite nicely. LED blinkers ride flush-mounted in the sides of the shield for a nice-and-clean look, and up top, a cyclops LED headlight finishes out the forward lighting behind a vertically-flattened sextagonal lens.

In another classic move, the factory enclosed the handlebar and instrumentation in a common fairing with the headlight housing to keep the hand-control area looking clean. The speedometer and indicator lamps are concentrated in one location behind the headlight, and inside the fairing is a small glove compartment for your possibles.

A short-rise tunnel interrupts the step-through somewhat but comes with a wide flat top and a patch of non-skid so you can use it to carry some cargo. As usual, there’s even more storage below the two-up, locking bench seat that sports a faux tuck-and-roll cover for a little extra style. Flip-out footpegs and dual J.C. handles finish out the passenger’s amenities.

The side covers carry that classic teardrop shape that earned it its “wasp” moniker with recessed blinkers set within and a slightly protuberant taillight to finish off the gear in the rear, all in LEDs. The CC sports plenty of chrome piping and such across its paint spectrum, but the Notte is straight-up black-on-black for a stealthy, up-to-no-good look.

Vespa Sprint 50 Chassis

  • Monocoque body
  • Aircraft landing-gear type front suspension
  • Single-channel ABS
  • Rear mechanical drum brake
2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
- image 889021
2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
- image 888999
2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
- image 889013

Rather than using an underframe for support, the Vespa Sprint 50 family relies on a stressed-skin arrangement for its structure. This monocoque body uses stamped-and-formed panels and spot welds for the main structure with reinforcement plates at the stress points to make for a light, yet rigid, build.

The front end is the traditional aircraft landing-gear type with a coil-over shock and leading-link system that articulates to absorb the jolts from the front wheel, and while this is a proven arrangement, it leaves the front fork with little travel and no adjustability. A coil-over monoshock supports the rear end and dampens the motion of the swing-drive unit made up of a stressed engine and transmission case in lieu of an actual swingarm.

Cast-aluminum is the material of choice for the 12-inch rims, and the hoops come in a 110/70 and 120/70 on the front and rear, respectively. Up front, a hydraulic caliper and 200 mm disc take care of business with a stock, single-channel ABS feature, but old-school rules the day out back in the form of a 140 mm, mechanical-drum brake.

Load Bearing Structure: Sheet steel body with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single-arm fork with coil spring and hydraulic monoshock absorber
Rear suspension: Coil spring with hydraulic monoshock absorber
Front wheel: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00 x12”
Rear wheel: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00 x12”
Front tire: Tubeless 110/70-12"
Rear tire: Tubeless 120/70-12”
Front brake: Hydraulically operated 200 mm ø stainless steel disc brake. Single channel ABS anti-lock system
Rear brake: Mechanically operated 140 mm ø drum brake

Vespa Sprint 50 Drivetrain

  • 49.9 cc single-cylinder engine
  • 3.2 hp @ 7,500 rpm
  • 2.2 lb-ft @ 7,500 rpm
  • CVT Transmission
2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
- image 889009
2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
- image 889029

A four-stroke thumper delivers the goods on the Sprint 50 with 3.2 horsepower at 7,500 rpm backed up by 2.2 pound-feet of torque. The 39 mm bore and 41.8 mm stroke give it an overall displacement of 49.9 cc, and the mill relies on forced-air cooling to remove waste heat. A single over-head cam times the triple-poppet head for efficient aspiration. Induction control falls to a throttle body with a port-type injection for the fuel, and this helps the engine reach its Euro 4 emissions target. Power flows through a centrifugal dry clutch and constant-velocity transmission for the twist-and-go operation that scooter riders demand. The overall drive ratio and governor on the engine turn out a top speed around 40 mph, so that will limit where you can ride to around town and on slower secondary roads.

Engine: 4 stroke single cylinder with electronic injection
Bore x Stroke: 39 mm x 41.8 mm
Displacement: 49.9 cc
Max Power: 3.2 hp (2.4 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 2.2 lb-ft (3 Nm) @ 7,500 rpm
Distribution: SOHC (single overhead cam), 3 valves per cylinder
Fuel system: New Electronic Injection PFI (Port Fuel Injection)
Cooling: Forced air
Lubrication: Wet sump
Starter: Electric
Clutch: Automatic dry centrifugal clutch with vibration dampers
Transmission: CVT with torque server

Vespa Sprint 50 Pricing

2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
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For 2020, the Sprint 50 CC rolls in white, black, red, or yellow for $4,099, but the Notte model comes only in a satin black Nero Notte finish. MSRP on the Notte is $4,199.

Color: Bianco Innocenza, Nero Lucido, Rosso Passione, Giallo Estate (Notte: Nero Notte)
Price: $4,099 (Notte: $4,199)

Vespa Sprint 50 Competitors

2016 - 2019 Honda Metropolitan
- image 840377
2018 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 50
- image 889008

Rather than grabbing another Italian scooter for my head-to-head, I headed to Japan for Honda’s Metropolitan to see how it would stack up. Honda does a pretty good job of emulating the classic Eye-Tie look without coming off like a clone.

Honda Metropolitan

2016 - 2019 Honda Metropolitan
- image 840354

The Metropolitan rocks a high-mount front fender and classic-looking legguard area with a handlebar fairing that doubles as a headlight/instrument housing. The step-through is dead flush with no tunnel to interrupt, and the rear end sports a teardrop profile that clearly looks to channel the Vespa’s panache.

Honda uses telescopic hydraulic forks up front for a bit of a more conventional look and operation, but the rear coil-over monoshock is a constant across the board. Power comes from a liquid-cooled, 49 cc thumper that churns out 4.4 horsepower and 3 pounds o’ grunt against 3.2/2.2 from the Vespa for a clear performance advantage for the Red Riders. Honda turns the screws on the Italian marque with a $2,499 price tag that is considerably less expensive than the Vespa’s $4k-plus sticker.

Read our full review of the Honda Metropolitan.

He Said

“Man, it’s just hard to beat a bona fide Italian brand for a classic-looking scooter. I think part of the appeal is the knowledge that Vespa, under the Piaggio umbrella, is the genuine article and actually helped to shape the general scooter market. Nothin’ like the real thing, baby!”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “50 cc scooters are a tough game in the U.S., partly because of the licensing laws that vary so drastically from state to state, and partly because the majority of folks don’t live where they work. If you live in the city and work in the city, a 50 cc scooter is so convenient and the Sprint gives you that youthful vibe that makes riding fun. The new iGet engine gives a better ride with more power and more pep, so scooting across town or to and from the campus is a breeze.”

Vespa Sprint 50 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4 stroke single cylinder with electronic injection
Bore x Stroke: 39 mm x 41.8 mm
Displacement: 49.9 cc
Max Power: 3.2 hp (2.4 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 2.2 lb-ft (3 Nm) @ 7,500 rpm
Distribution: SOHC (single overhead cam), 3 valves per cylinder
Fuel system: New Electronic Injection PFI (Port Fuel Injection)
Cooling: Forced air
Lubrication: Wet sump
Starter: Electric
Clutch: Automatic dry centrifugal clutch with vibration dampers
Transmission: CVT with torque server
Chassis:
Load Bearing Structure: Sheet steel body with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single-arm fork with coil spring and hydraulic monoshock absorber
Rear suspension: Coil spring with hydraulic monoshock absorber
Front wheel: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00 x12”
Rear wheel: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00 x12”
Front tire: Tubeless 110/70-12"
Rear tire: Tubeless 120/70-12”
Front brake: Hydraulically operated 200 mm ø stainless steel disc brake. Single channel ABS anti-lock system
Rear brake: Mechanically operated 140 mm ø drum brake
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length x Width: 73.6 in x 28.9 in (1,870 mm x 735 mm)
Saddle height: 31.1 in (790 mm)
Wheelbase: 52.4 in (1,330 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 2.1 gal including 0.5-gal reserve (8 liters including 2-liter reserve)
Fuel economy: 80.9 mpg
Approval: Euro 4
Details:
Color: Bianco Innocenza, Nero Lucido, Rosso Passione, Giallo Estate (Notte: Nero Notte)
Price: $4,099 (Notte: $4,199)

Further Reading

Vespa

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 806594

Read more Vespa news.

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: vespa.com, honda.com

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