50cc Scooters Are Often Classified As Limited Speed Motorcycles
So how fast does a 50cc scooter go? We aren't sure because they don't make them. From what I can tell all major manufacturers actually produce 49cc machines to keep them under a legal speed and power rating for cheap insurance. Well of course like anything that depends on how much money you're willing to spend on it. A stock 49cc scooter usually has the speed limited at the factory to meet local laws for limited speed vehicles. Although these speed limiting devices can be removed quite easily, they do serve a legal purpose.
Potential scooter owners usually find themselves asking: "How fast does a 50cc go anyways?" 49cc bikes from Honda, Yamaha, Aprilia and Vespa are all fairly similar by design and can usually obtain an underwhelming top speed of 60-65kph from the factory. Acceleration on these scooters is moderate and can usually keep pace with most cars in traffic. I wouldn't expect to break any speed records as a scooter owner. This may not seem like much, but remember that most people don't buy scooters for speed but for fuel economy.
If the speed that a stock 49cc moped will go just isn't quite enough for you, you have a few options.
1. Modify your scooter or moped to go faster
This isn't as hard as it sounds. Scooters can be derestricted and modified for higher speeds and better acceleration. The benefit here, is that you can still pay the lower insurance rate that comes with a 50cc moped but will be able to keep up with traffic on major roads. Be careful going this route however because your insurance may be limited to a certain speed and not be valid if your bike is traveling above that speed. I would check your insurance before modifying your scooter.
I should add that it's incredibly difficult to prove whether or not a scooter has been modified with performance parts in the case that you need to make an insurance claim, but it's a risk you may be taking.
2. Buy a larger scooter
How fast a 50cc scooter will go obviously depends on the size of the bike. Mopeds come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the humble 49cc, all the way up to the highway monsters at 400cc and even 600cc. In most places, you will need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter that is larger than 49cc but don't let that stop you. A motorcycle license is not that hard to obtain and it can open a lot of doors for you in terms of transportation. If you use your bike as a daily driver and can keep to back roads, I would personally stick with the 49cc as the cheap insurance and gasoline are worth it.
3. Buy a motorcycle instead
If you must be on 2 wheels and just can't get what you want out of a scooter, then why not get a motorbike? Most people have an idea that scooters are somehow safer than motorcycles but this isn't true. The concrete is hard no matter what you fell off before hitting it. If you ride on roads where speed limits are above 60k you may actually find it safer to ride on a larger motorcycle that can handle those speeds safely. It's also worth mentioning that you should buy a good quality helmet and other safety gear no matter what you're riding.
So how fast does a 50cc scooter go? Fast enough for a typical back road commute to work and back. Scooters can be lots of fun and if all you need is cheap, reliable transportation, then I highly recommend you try owning one. If you don't like it or it just isn't capable enough for your needs you can always sell it or upgrade it to go quicker.