Tested: Peugeot Blaster, Vespa 50, Jog, Jolie, Aerox, NRG, Akros, TGB 101, Red Devil, Gypsy, Rush, Rally, SPC Runna. During one of the recent SA Scooter Club monthly rides I was kicked off the Peugeot Blaster 50cc and onto my CBR250RR bike because my wife wanted to come along and ride the scooter. This led me on a search to buy another scooter. I was undecided as to stick with the 50cc or something bigger. The only 2 criteria were that it has to be fast to get ahead of traffic and slim for lane filtering and agility work. I enlisted one of my friends who was also looking for a 50cc scooter to come along with me and we did a full day of test riding, mostly 50cc and here are the result. I took along my Blaster with us as the benchmark to compare aspects of braking, handling, acceleration, storage and ride position of various 50cc. On a side note, I also wanted to see if the claim of the Blaster being the fastest accelerating scooter on the market is true. When it came to the drag race test, as a rule of thumb the Blaster would always start a split second behind the others to ensure it is not a case of reaction time. The worst of the bunch would have to be shared between the Jolie, Jog, Vespa 50 and SPC Runna. They all had smaller wheels which caused a lot of nervous handling and tram-lining issue. Brakes on most of them were ok, but nothing too special, but then again when you struggle to get to 50km/h it's not too bad. Acceleration of them were somewhat pathetic and dangerously slow. The Vespa did give me the vintage scooter feel, and the Runner was a cheap Chinese version of a Jap scooter with the lot. Storage on the Jolie was probably the best of this bunch, while SPC Runna had a lot of added bling features like ABS brakes, immobiliser and accessories. I have seen a few very modified Jolie around, so maybe that's the pick of the bunch. The Hyosung Rally and the Hyosung Rush were virtually the same machine with the Rush being newer. They were severely restricted at the dealership but acceleration up to 50km/h was nothing to write home about but much better than a Jog. Gauges were easy to read and storage was good for an open face helmet. The handling was good due to stiff chassis, big wheels and would improve significantly once tyres are scrubbed in. Brakes were probably new as they were dangerously non-responsive and waxy. I had high expectation of this scoot since I have read a lot on how people were modifying these and making them go quicker. I guess they must have changed a lot to get it going. Piaggio NRG was one of the biggest disappointments. I was really expecting it to be as good as the Apilia SR50 in fuel consumption and technology while as fast as the Blaster. The scoot itself was bigger than the Blaster and heavier, however it seems very rigid and sure footed. It has surprisingly quiet in terms of being a 2 stroke scooter and very little emission, plus its power delivery is smooth throughout the rev range like an electric scooter. However this is where it got disappointing. There seems to be an eternity between the twist of the throttle, to revving up, to clutch engage, to wheel turning. If you are in a tight situation and want to get away, good luck. This mean acceleration was poor, in fact it is just about on par with the Rush, disappearing into the mirrors of the Blaster like it was standing still. It seems to have good suspension and the potential to get up to over 80km/h..... eventually. Now we come to the above average field of scooters, and we will start with a bombshell. The Yamaha Aerox R has long been regarded as one of the top 3 fastest and sportier scooters among the company of SR50 and Blaster. The design and styling of the 2006 model is eye catching and intimidating. The storage space is generous and secure. Bodywork and frame seems well made and strong. Brakes were good and instruments were easy to read. Handling wise, it felt top heavy and you have to be careful not to lean too much or it felt like the rear top would tip over. Its acceleration was uninspiring. It was not as severe as the NRG but still was slow off the mark. Once it reached 30km/h or so, it was keeping up with the Blaster's acceleration but not gaining. Leg position and seating position needed to get used to as it is race orientated and not the easiest to just relax and cruise on. If you close your eyes, you can just about smell the Yamaha R6 beneath you. The TGB 101 is comparable to the Bowell Red Devil. Both had good suspension, both can jam a small full face helmet under the seat, both had big wheels and both have good instrument cluster. Brakes are similar and can pull you up no problem, but forget doing stoppies on them. While power they were nothing to compare to the Blaster but still quite good and better than Rush or the rest. They do suffer a bit at the top end from 60km/h onwards. In terms of handling they just seemed a little big and uniformly heavy, unlike the Aerox concentrated at top rear. These models are often used as hire scooters and that only proves that they are durable and easy to maintain. Not a bad purchase if you are a bigger guy who wants to spend $3000. Get use to the unusual thumb location of indicators. So that leaves the Gypsy and the Akros. Both are priced at the $2500 mark and both are prominent in the hiring fleet of scooters. Both are well tested, serviced with plenty of spare parts and accessories. The Akros has slightly more storage space for a full face helmet, while Gypsy you have to force the seat to close and risk scratching the helmet. The Akros is a shorter and smaller scoot which is idea for people under 5'6" tall. The gauge on the Gypsy is slightly harder to read due to the graphics. The Akros's suspension seems a little less forgiving than the Gypsy and the tyres felt a little thinner. I do like the wider grip of the Gypsy and the taller stance, giving you a sense of presence. Both had probably the best acceleration off the mark out of all scoots tested against the Blaster. However, what surprised me the most was how the Akros actually kept up with the Blaster for the first 20m or so before it disappeared in the mirrors. We had to test it two more times just to be sure and it was. For this I give the Akros the thumbs up as the best scoot tested due to its price, initial acceleration, storage, size, handling and durability. The Gypsy is just about on par with same price and durability, slightly less acceleration, storage and difficult gauges. Handling and presence the Gypsy is better, similarly with styling if you want something more masculine. Final review will have to be on our bench marker, the Peugeot Ludix Blaster. The pro is obvious so let's start with the cons. It has NO storage ability, and that's a capital NO. Not even for a can of Coke. It isn't exactly quiet since it is power and speed orientated, so forget about sneaking home at night. The instrument is of the absolute minimal and just about as good as none. When the fuel light comes on, you have 1L of petrol left at the most. The indicator buzzer is so soft you can't hear it in a full face helmet. Forget about the mirrors because you ain't going to see anything other than your shoulders. The location of the gauges is also completely out of sight and on a sunny midday, forget about seeing any of the dash lights. Headlight has no high beam option and is also pathetic, if you are traveling in rural or dark suburbs, tape a torch on your helmet instead. So why is this scooter so exciting and popular you may ask? Well, how about acceleration that would cause wheelie if you are not careful, and it would continue to accelerate off the clock given long enough straight with no wind. If you needle goes pass 80km/h and you don't know how fast you are going, don't worry because when it is pointing at the "L" in Ludix, you are going at 100km/h, proven. It weights 79kg and it is so well balanced you feel like you are on roller blades weaving through side streets. The big motorcycle like tyres will make you want to keen scrap and counter steer, no wonder it is called a Blaster. So what would I get if I am getting another 50cc scooter? Well, if money is an issue then it's a real toss up between the Gypsy and the Akros. It will have to depend on the purpose of use, travel route and discount to make that decision. Both are extremely well priced for a student or as a petrol buster, yet offering enough to cruise and have fun on the weekend. However if you live on the fast lane, have a passion for speed and agility, then the Blaster will guarantee a smile under your sports helmet. Just have to get used to wearing a back pack. Cheers.