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Written by Del Fuego    Monday, 02 June 2008 17:46     E-mail
Yamaha Vino XC50
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Yamaha Vino XC50
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Sometimes, the decision of which 50cc scooter to buy is an emotive rather than logic driven procedure. The problems arise when there are many choices and most of them fit the list of necessary criteria. What are those criteria… 50cc engine, small, and lightweight, frugal? Check, check, check and check… so what does the choice boil down to then?

Design! It really always comes to this in the end, and that is why Yamaha sell the Vino. The little Vino was the Pimp Daddy of our 50cc Super Battle it has plenty of chrome and is literally dripping style.

The Vino is probably the most well known of the retro style Japanese scooters available today. It really does blow the competition away in this particular genre, it manages retro without looking dated and that is far from an easy balance to achieve. Further to this it is built incredibly well right down to beautiful paint in your choice of blue or white. Details like the big cushy seat add both to the overall aesthetic and to the comfort of the ride. Further to this there are the obvious details that hark back to scooters from the ‘50’s and ‘60’s such as the huge chrome headlight and the indicator housings and mirrors.

The Vino, unfortunately, doesn’t deliver as it should in the go and fuel use departments. Our test revealed a fuel consumption figure of around 65MPG which is a long way from the 110 quoted by Yamaha, and one of the worst results from a 4-stroke 50cc machine which normally trade performance for excellent economy. Performance, again unfortunately, was nothing to write home about either, I couldn’t comment on the top speed as the bike tested had a top speed restriction. However the 0-50 time was fairly dismal too.

On the track though the extremely low weight of the Vino made for quick direction changes, which meant an eventual time in the high middle of the pack. This nimble attitude translates very well to road riding with the sedate, comfortable little Vino pulling double duty as an entertaining traffic carver with little complaint. The suspension is set to work with the rest of the bike and complete the plush, compliant nature of the whole. It is set reasonably soft but not so much so that the ride becomes choppy or especially bouncy, this is a very successful outcome when you take into account the little 10” wheels. My one real gripe with the Vino are the brakes, here Yamaha have taken the retro design one step too far. No scooter should have a drum brake on the front wheel, I have enough reason to complain about a disc drum combination but dual drums are just ridiculous. I will refrain from going into my disc vs. drum rant but suffice it to say there is no reason for any manufacturer to use a front drum brake on any scooter.

Day to day operations are achieved with ease, parking, manoeuvring putting the bike up on it’s stand are all made massively more simple thanks to the light kerb weight. Storage is somewhat less than inspiring, the under-seat compartment will not take a full-face helmet although an open face unit will go in with ease. There is a small front glove box to hold your phone and wallet and a rear rack that will take a top box or can be used to strap some luggage onto.

All in all if you want a 50cc scooter that looks the part and your daily tasks don’t require too much distance or large hills the Vino is worth a look. The real positives of this machine are the beautiful fit and finish along with super comfortable ride. Add to this the great styling, adequate performance and low weight Yamaha’s Vino will continue to find plenty of admirers.


PriceNZ $2,995 USA $2,049
0-50km/h14.6 Seconds
Top Speed50kph (30MPH)
Lap Time45.1 seconds
Fuel Economy 3.57L/100km (66MPG)
Speedo Accuracy

50kph displayed = 48kph actual


Styling, build quality


Fuel Economy
Value for money
Ease of use
Build quality

Overall Score


Manufacturer Specifications

Max power at shaft  
Max torque---
Engine Type4-Stroke single cylinder SOHC 3valve
Cylinder Capacity49cc
Seat height28.1 inches
Dry weight  
Kerb weight 81kg (178lb)
Fuel tank capacity4.5L (1.2gal)
Transmission“Twist and Go” Automatic Transmission (CVT)
Storage volume---
Bore X stroke---
Compression ratio---
Front suspension---
Rear suspension---
Front brake110mm Drum
Rear brake110mm Drum
Front wheel/tyre90/90 - 10"
Rear wheel/tyre90/90 - 10"
Length1666 mm
Width630 mm
Max speed (km/hr) ---
Type approval---
Consumption (ECE applicable text cycle)---
Consumption @km/h - km/l---
Audible Indicatoryes
Full helmet storageyes
Glove boxyes
Fuel Guageyes
Trip Meterno
Seat release (via remote control)no
Seat release (remote, ignition/switch) yes
Comments (1)add
written by matt , March 29, 2009
i have the 2006 vino 50 and it gets 90-100 miles per gallon.
cruising speed is about 35mph, if you're going even slightly downhill you'll hit 40.
i haven't bought a helmet yet so i can't confirm the storage. it's a fun bike though and pretty stylish. i still feel kind of gay riding a 50cc scooter, though. especially when a dealer told me that shade of blue is what girls ride in asia. oh well.
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Last Updated ( Friday, 20 February 2009 11:25 )


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