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TGB R50X Review


TGB R50X Review

The problem with 50cc scooters is that they tend to be bland and well, a bit boring. Something that riders with only a car license (in some states) would ride. They really don't shout "sport".

Jason Tubnor

The R50X from TGB redefines the 50cc scooter, declaring itself as a premium sports scooter without the insane price tag that other sports scooters carry.  At $2790 plus on road costs, you'll get a sports scooter at the asking price of many entry level 50cc scooters.  It might sound a lot if you are comparing the R50X against a 125cc scooter on price alone, but that is where the similarities end.

At first glance, its sharp lines show its intentions to other road users, looking how a "sports" scooter should look.  A modern vertical layout of the high output halogen headlights keeps the look within the original designed lines.  The sports inspired exhaust shows that there were no short cuts taken on design just to save a few bucks.

On the headlight, the output is brilliant.  On both high and low beam, the rider has more light to work with than a lot of the 125-150cc scooters on the market.  The high beam has a significant spread to ensure not only the road ahead is well lit, but the edges of the road are also covered so the rider can see in advance, domestic or wild life, preparing to make the mad, suicidal dash across the road.
Fit and finish is on par with its European competitors.  All panels fit nicely and don't squeak or groan under load.  Drilled metal foot boards give the rider extra grip in inclement weather or if you are working the R50X hard on the down hill.  There is a keyed access hole to the spark plug and battery making basic maintenance a lot easier by saving you from having to dismantle half of the scooter.
Handling of the R50X is brilliant with a balanced frame, tuned telescoping forks at the front and an adjustable, tuned single spring/shock setup on the rear.  Weight bias is set in the traditional motorcycle forward position, assisting with a more direct feeling in the steering, enabling quicker entry speed into corners and giving the rider more confidence.  Even two-up on the scooter does not adversely affect the handling of the R50X, something that scooters costing thousands of dollars more still have issues with.
Assisting with the handling of the R50X is a set of alloy 13 inch wheels, wrapped in 130/60R13 Maxxis sports rubber.  The braking adds to the handling and is performed using a single hydraulic disc setup on the front and rear.  Even though the brakes felt a bit "woody" when new, after 500km, they really start to bed in and had no problems hauling up a maximum loaded R50X on a 5 cent piece.  These brakes are literally "eye popping".  A steel braided hose to the rear brake ensures that they never feel spongy, even under heavy use on long tight down hill runs.
Performance out of the 49cc 2-stroke engine is modest, compared to other hyper 50's on the market.  It is an air-cooled, oil injected unit, producing 3.5ps (2.57kW) at 7,500rpm.  It's how it's used and put to the back wheel that makes the difference, though the 95kg dry weight of the R50X does give it a slight handicap.  The final drive gearing, mated with ideally weighted rollers, lets the scooter achieve its [real] maximum governed speed of 53km/h (62km/h indicated) in just under 8 seconds.  It certainly has more in the performance tank after the 8,500rpm ignition limiter.  Starting the engine is either by electric or kick starter.  A disappointment is that the battery is a bit on the cheap side, doesn't have much of a capacity and as the fancy digital dash causes a minute amount of discharge when the R50X is stored away, can cause starting to be troublesome after extended periods of non-use.  However, if you are using the R50X day in, day out, you will not have a problem.
Seating is comfortable for two, with the pillion having access to fold out foot pegs and a rear grab handle.  Under seat storage can easily fit a large open face designer helmet.  Also under the seat is access to a 12 volt socket to charge an iPod or phone while on the go.  Fuel and 2-stroke oil tanks are accessed from under the seat with the 2-stroke oil tank holding 1.1 litres of 2-stroke oil, good for about 1000km of riding between refills.  The 6.7 litre fuel tank access is via a twist cap and has drain holes surrounding the filler to take away excess fuel in the event of overfilling, preventing the fuel from filling up the under seat storage.  It is a very nice touch and has saved the contents of my shopping from being spoiled by overfilling at the local servo.
The dash is well laid out, with the standard feature being the large racing tachometer in the centre of the dash.  Other displays include a large, easy to read speedometer, 5 bar fuel gauge, clock with date function and an odometer with trip meter.  It is a very comprehensive dash, making some larger scooters look, underdone.  Switch gear and buttons all have a solid feel about them and are easy to use.  The only issue that I have is that the speedo indicated 14% over on actual road speed (measured using GPS) with the test R50X.  At least there will be no surprises in the mail after doing the local commute through 40km/h school zones.
The TGB R50X is a brilliant scooter and really has nothing I can find to fault in this value packed premium sports scooter.  It handles like a dream, performs moderately well and is backed by a 3 year unlimited kilometre warranty.  I am so impressed, that I have laid down my own hard earned cash and bought one myself.
The TGB R50X is imported and backed up by Stoney Creek Power Sports.  Thanks to FX Power Sports for preparing the demo for

Published Sep 29 2008, 06:11 PM by allen
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Stevo said:

Nice review!

I found myself nodding in agreement for the whole thing because i've got one too.

October 3, 2008 5:24 PM