Itâ€™s time for a battle. Thereâ€™s only one certain way of comparing similar items. A back to back comparison test. Reviews are fine but youâ€™re working in a vacuum to some degree; regardless of how you much you try, itâ€™s impossible to be exact because as time passes your memory fades and even the best written notes donâ€™t fully describe all the various idiosyncrasies. So ultimately, getting the items together at the same time and place is the only way of choosing a definitive winner.
We managed to pull together thirteen 50cc bikes for our first comparison test. Sadly we missed some bikes because demos were simply unavailable. Most of the larger manufacturers are covered although we are missing both SYM and Kymco. The SYM Mio demo was unavailable and to put it bluntly, our local Kymco importer actually thinks his bikes donâ€™t need to be reviewed. The bikes assembled however include most of the sensibly priced and popular 50cc bikes available.
Our scooter reviews are rated over seven categories which give a fair impression of how each bike compares to others, but itâ€™s more of a technical process than a seat of the pants result. So for our first comparison test weâ€™ve added two further categories to the review criteria. First, weâ€™re factoring in the bikes ultimate lap time around our test track as a better representation of which is the best handling and secondly, a longer more extreme road course.
I rode each bike over the exact same number of laps with as similar as possible perceived effort each time. They certainly werenâ€™t banzai lapsâ€¦call them 80 per cent of maximum. What I did garner instantly is that some bikes are just much easier to ride. The good bikes hit the approximate best lap time on the first or second timed lap. Others took a lot longer to get confident on. Ohâ€¦and there is a massive difference in speed. The fastest bike was a full 5 seconds quicker than the slowest. Given they all have the same size motor and that the lap is very short; averaging about 44 seconds on a 50cc scooter, thatâ€™s a massive difference. In fact, the fastest bike would lap the slowest bike in just 8.4 laps. Each bike was then ridden by three different judges over the road course on the same day and finally subjected to our normal acceleration and fuel economy tests.
So the end result is the most definitive 50cc scooter comparison test ever undertaken. So who will win?