This is How Fast 50cc Engines Can Go!

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Riding is so much fun, and it’s no wonder that many start by looking at 50cc options. They can fall into the gray area in some places with licensing, and they tend to be the most affordable transportation options. That said, how fast are 50cc engines?! How much zip can you expect?

50cc engines have a top speed of 30 miles per hour (mph) if restricted. If unrestricted, 50cc engines have been reported to reach up to 43 mph without additional modifications.

Scooters in particular are designed to be an economical and environment-friendly transportation option, especially when compared to cars!

It’s part of why 50cc bikes have risen in popularity, whether we are talking 50cc dirt bikes, 50cc mopeds, mini bikes, or any 50cc.

A 50cc tends to be small, & you can maneuver city streets well. Plus they are generally slower, so they make a great beginner option yet can be fun & zippy for the experienced rider.

What does 50cc mean?

To explain it in simple terms, CC is short for the measuring unit cubic centimeters. The cubic centimeter measures the capacity of the engine to burn air and fuel to create horsepower. Put simply, it is the volume of air and fuel that the engine burns to generate power.

The technical terminology for this capacity is engine displacement. An engine with high displacement can burn higher volumes of energy and thus generate higher power. So, if we interpret the label 50cc engine, we can say that the engine can burn 50 cubic centimeters of air and fuel to generate power.

This applies to all 50cc options whether we are talking 50cc motorcycles or 50cc dirt bikes.

When we are talking scooters, sometimes scooters with an engine size of 50cc will be called a moped. It’s not truly a moped, but you’ll hear the term thrown around with them.

Read More: Different types of scooters

man not wearing a helmet, pants, sleeves or any protective gear riding with a blur of a background visible
We recommend safety gear here, but he appears to be cruising on his moped!

All of this is how we categorize the engine size.

How fast is a 50cc two-stroke vs a four-stroke in mph?

Whether an engine is a two-stroke or a four-stroke matters when we are talking the speed of what a 50cc can produce. The quick answer is that four-strokes are more fuel efficient, but when we’re talking power, you’ll find more of it in the two-stroke.

A 50cc 2-stroke engine has 5-7 horsepower which translates to speeds in the 40-50 miles per hour range. A four-stroke engine has 3-5 horsepower and translates to speeds in the 35-43 miles per hour.

If a scooter is advertised with a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour, it has been artificially restricted to meet the safety or regulatory requirements that have them in the lighter licensing requirements that attract some to this size.

Can You Make a 50cc Engine Faster?

Most 50cc scooters are sold with a restriction on how fast they can go. You can increase the speed by removing that throttle limiter feature and upgrading some components.

One such component you can upgrade is your exhaust. While it won’t have you going 60 mph, it will give you a slight bump in what your scooter will do.

The common approach is to disconnect the restriction. However, if you have a car in the driveway, it has a governor. It does more than just restrict your speed to appease your local laws. It also protects your engine from revving too high.

If you feel froggy, you can certainly find plenty of forums and YouTube videos for your specific scooter if this is of interest to you. A 50cc moped can go up to around of 45 miles per hour when unrestricted.

Here’s a video, but also know that if you are insuring a 50cc scooter, your insurance company may make you feel hung out to dry if they are involved in pay-outs related to an accident & discover your scooter has been derestricted.

Which is faster, 50cc or 150cc?

Recall that cc represents the power an engine can produce. In this case, it is easy to compare as it is just a matter of comparing the numbers. A 150cc engine is faster than a 50cc as it produces more power through the increased displacement.

A 150cc engine is faster due to its bigger size, and top speeds are seen in the mid 60 mph range. Mopeds are good for inner-city, shorter rides, and the 150cc will be good on those rides, as well, with hills. The larger engine sizes will give more flexibility to travel further with the higher speed available to it.

Anything over the 50cc (like 125cc scooters or 150cc scooters) will go faster than a 50cc option as a good rule of thumb. The average speeds of a stock engine are higher as the cc number goes up as it is an overall more powerful scooter.

What is the top speed of a 50cc scooter in mph?

A 50cc scooter generally reaches a top speed of 35 to 40 mph unless the engine has been restricted by the manufacturer or altered to achieve maximum speed. It is not unheard of to reach 45 mph on a two-stroke in particular.

That said, the more weight the engine has to move, the less likely it will be to reach its top speeds. This can mean the items you’re carrying, an extra passenger, or even heavier riders.

The speed restriction is due to a throttle limiter. By offering stock 49cc or 50cc scooters that have the limiter on them, many states do not require a special motorcycle license & extra requirements to operate it beyond the standard driver’s license.

What is the top speed of a 50cc scooter in kph?

While the top speed of most 50cc scooters with a restricted engine is 48 kilometers per hour (kph); some manufacturers have built 50cc engines that can comfortably reach a top speed of 65 kph.

flowers on the handlebars of a vintage 50cc engine scooter

What other benefits does a 50cc engine has to offer?

Easier handling

Unlike other engine sizes, a 50cc engine is lighter and easier to handle on the road. Much credit goes to its speed limit which does not exceed more than 30mph. It allows the riders to maneuver the scooter with ease. These are great options for beginners while minimizing any risks of fatal accidents or serious injuries.


A 50cc engine is one of the most affordable means of transportation. A scooter or moped with a 50cc engine costs nothing when compared to a motorcycle or car. 50cc engines are no doubt a pocket-friendly option.

The price ranges from $1,599 to $4,099 for a reputable 50cc scooter brand with the prices starting at $2,099 for the lowest cost beyond the 50cc engine size.

Read more: Average Scooter Cost by Engine Size

Fuel efficient for more $ savings

50cc engines are the most fuel-efficient and cost-effective motor vehicles. It is one of the critical factors buyers consider when making a purchase.

Roaming around for 100 miles on a gallon is economical and relatively more environmentally friendly than any other means of transportation. Due to this reason, youngsters, and especially students prefer 50cc scooters and mopeds.

It helps you skip long traffic lines faster

Due to their small size, 50cc scooters and other two-wheeled vehicles are easier to handle in traffic and long queues.

You can also take the bus lane or HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes on the road, enabling you to skim through traffic jams with greater ease and comfort, saving you an ample amount of time.

Reaching a destination on time is easier and more possible.

Easier to find parking

With so many vehicles on the road, finding a parking spot is has become a mission impossible situation in modern times. Vehicle owners dread looking for car parking in most downtown areas.

The petite size of a 50cc scooter makes it easier to squeeze it into a tiny spot for parking.

Does it require a license for driving a 50cc engine?

Most states in the US do require a driving license for riding a 50cc engine. The law also requires that the rider of the scooter be no younger than 16 years of age.

That said, it is imperative to know that having your valid driver’s license ensures safety not only for yourself but also for others on the road. I’m talking to those that are under 16 without training here.


50cc engines emit lesser volumes of fuel combustion as compared to other types of vehicles, which makes them an excellent resource for being eco-friendly. 

Check out this article if you’re curious how far you can travel on a 50cc.


It’s important to learn from your own experience, but let’s speed up the learning curve by learning from others along the way. These are sources used in this article, in addition to, our own personal research to provide you the best resource!

Nut, Scooter. (2021, January 3). 2-Stroke vs. 4-Stroke. Motor Scooter Guide.