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Written by Ant Stead    Monday, 26 May 2008 22:21     E-mail
Piaggio Zip 50
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Piaggio Zip 50
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Before I even start this review I have to get this out the open… This will properly shock you, but….The Piaggio Zip ‘08 off the showroom floor, is so slow that it is almost dangerous. Right, I said it. I firmly believe the restricted, 50cc, four-stroke motor in this scooter only has just enough power to get around in a flat area... and then only if you weigh less than anorexic midget (little person?).

It’s a real shame that it's so slow, as the Zip looks sleek and modern; it’s a sexy little number. Piaggio have, as per usual, set the bar with build quality. The plastics used are great, the seat is well designed with a good quality covering. The lights are modern, stylish and well built, everything is great... there's just no power. Piaggio do produce a 100cc 4 stroke model which we haven't reviewed yet and I imagine that it would be great bike, as the only real issue I have with the 50cc Zip is the depressing lack of mumbo

The 50cc Zip comes with 10” alloy rims and 175mm hydraulic disc brake up front, and the obligatory drum on the rear. On the road the Zip feels light and maneuverable, it is low to the ground and weighs approx 92-95kgs wet, the official dry weigh is 89kg. Once again, when there is a small incline any excess weight, be that rider or a full tank of fuel causes the speed to drop away much too quickly. Most 50cc scooters slow down a little when heading up a hill, but the Zip also stops, no really it does! Hitting a small hill, perhaps a 100m climb the bike could only push me up at 30kph(18mph). I was forced to the side and cars cruised by doing almost double my speed...ugh.. the shame... and the danger.

On the flat is cruises comfortably at 50-60km (30 - 37mph) and I managed a top speed run of 65km,(40.3mph) that’s a good top speed, but unfortunately its takes an eon to get there. The 0-50kph test proved what I had thought: It only managed 19.9sec, which is pretty shocking and the slowest scooter we have ever reviewed. In that time a 2008 Yamaha Jog could have done the zero to fifty sprint twice... and made a cup of tea... and picked up a date at a bar... ok maybe only if the person being picked was a pretty easy sale.

The speedo, although not moving very fast, performed almost perfectly, only being out by 2 kph, showing 48kph at 50kms, unfortunately the large gauge mounted to the left of it did…er..nothing. I’m not sure what it was doing there. Perhaps it was meant to be a fuel gauge, but Piaggio forgot to add it. Oops… But, never fear, there is a orange light that starts to glow when the fuel level drops below about 1.5litres. When riding at night it is so bright that it becomes distracting. Not the best, I much prefer a gauge that tells me what the level is at all times. A cool design feature is the entire cluster of instrumentation is housed in a futuristic, clear plastic sphere, which integrates into the front head-light.

The gas tank, when filled will hold 7.5litres. That’s a good sized tank for a lil’ fifty, but it gets better… a whole lot better… after our testing we worked out that the 7.5litres would get you about 300kms (186miles). It might take a while, but you could do it. The Zip is a true gas miser, returning just 41.1kms per one liter of gas. In other words 2.4litres per 100kms/ or 96.6mpg! That is one of the best results we've had to date ( 26/5/08).

Storage, was very average. My XL full-face helmet didn’t come close to fitting in the underseat storage, it would take an open face though. There is a little bag loop, for the shopping, but there isn't a glove box. There is placement for a pillion passenger, by means of extended floorboards, and hidden grips above the rear lights. But I wouldn’t like to think how long it would take to ride up a hill with two people on the lil’ scooter. I recon it'd be so slow it'd probably end up going backwards. There's an idea, maybe if you rode it backwards it'd be quicker...

In summing up I’d say the Piaggio Zip would make a great moped for the first time biker, if you didn’t need to go fast or far it would be perfect. Perhaps, if you only needed to travel a small distance through a congested city. It is a good looking, light, incredibly economical, and well made scooter. If you really liked the Zip but needed to travel at 50-60km over a few small hills, then you "might" be disappointed with her, perhaps the 100cc model might be for you.

PriceUS$1899, AUD$1990, NZD$2400
Lap time47.8sec
0-50km/h19.9 Seconds
Top Speed65kph
Fuel Economy 2.4L/100kms - 96.6 MPG
Speedo Accuracy

50kph displayed = 48kph actual


Amazing fuel economy, great build quality, good styling, light


Restricted mode very slow, doesn't take full-face helmet.

Fuel Consumption
Value for money
Ease of use
Build quality

Overall Score


Manufacturer Specifications

Max power at shaft ---
Max torque---
Engine TypeSingle-cylinder 4 stroke
Cylinder Capacity49cc
Seat height765mm
Dry weight 89kg
Kerb weight ---
Fuel tank capacity7.5 liters
StartingElectric & Kickstart
TransmissionCVT “Twist and Go”
Storage volume---
CoolingAir Cooled
Bore X stroke---
Compression ratio---
ChassisSteel Tube
Front suspensionTelescopic fork
Rear suspensionHydraulic shock
Front brake175mm Disc
Rear brake110mm Drum
Front wheel/tyre180/80-10"
Rear wheel/tyre120/90-10"
Max speed (km/hr) 65
Type approval---
Consumption (ECE applicable text cycle)---
Consumption @km/h - km/l---
Audible Indicatorno
Full helmet storageno
Glove boxno
Fuel Guageno
Trip Meterno
Seat release (via remote control)no
Seat release (remote, ignition/switch) no
Comments (5)add
written by Marco , December 15, 2011
Interesting review.
What I feel is missing from all of these reviews are a rough uphill performance review. Though hard to measure, an opinion regarding the uphill performance of these scooters would be really helpful for someone considering to buy a scooter.
Also, personally, I felt that after reading this review on the 4-stroke made me wonder how the 2-stroke zip 50 would perform. This information doesn't seem to be available and may be a worthwhile review to perform?
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written by cool Jean Paul Gaultier eyeglasses , May 23, 2011
nice post,i like it very much,but i think u can think it in another way then,cause it will be interestinghttp://www.eyeglassescool.co.uk/cool-jean-paul-gaultier-eyeglasses-819.html
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written by vincel , October 23, 2009
Agree all you like, I can assure you that no 13 year olds were involved in any part of the review. Perhaps you could try re-reading it? The review clearly states that the build quality, styling et al are exceptional as you would expect from Piaggio. The fact of the matter is that we can only review what we are supplied, does a derestricted Zip reach lightspeed? I havn't the faintest idea... the restricted one however is so slow as to be a menace, simple, fact!
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written by Peter Rorzire , July 17, 2009
I agree with Williams comment.

3 pages to wine about the so called 'lack of speed' illustrates this is not a serious review about the Piaggio Zip.

"The speedo, although not moving very fast, performed almost perfectly"

Next time try to write a serious review or don't review at all please: this 'review' seems to be written by a 13-year old.

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written by William , July 17, 2009
Stupid review by only focussing on speed????
The scooter is -I think- very well build and very reliable, something one cannot say of the infamous chinese scooters.

I feel this scoot deserves a better review than 40 lines complaining about speed and how slow it is.

Derestricted it runs fast and smooth (between 60-70 km/h) ....so....poor narrow minded review in my opinion.
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 August 2008 15:06 )


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