A Definitive Review Of The Honda 50cc Scooter

Honda 50cc Scooter

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There are a lot of reasons why people choose a Honda 50cc scooter over faster scooters or even motorcycles. For one, not everybody prefers high speeds. Some people need to go from one place to another, and they would rather be safe. Still, others appreciate how economical and practical a Honda 50cc scooter could be.

If you live in the city, you would certainly want to consider getting a scooter. For one, it helps you weave in and out of traffic, rather than getting stuck in yet another rush hour gridlock. It is easier to find a parking spot for a scooter, as well. What’s more, it is much more fuel efficient than your average car. Case in point, these Honda scooters are more than four times more fuel efficient than the average new car.

Two Honda 50cc Scooter Models: The Ruckus and the Metropolitan

There are currently two Honda 50cc scooter models available in the market. These are the Honda Ruckus and the Honda Metropolitan.

The Honda Metropolitan has a very classic look, which has earned a following among scooter riders. The Metropolitan’s current looks and specifications are what you would consider customer-driven: Honda incorporated the suggestions from its customers after the Metropolitan’s popularity dropped in 2013. As such, the design has been much improved and more functional.

On the other hand, the Honda Ruckus is considered to be the more rugged Honda 50cc scooter. Its looks and styling are what makes the Honda Ruckus a strong contender in the 50cc engine space, but the Metropolitan is not bad to look at either.

Design and dimensions

The 2018 Honda Metropolitan has a wheelbase of 46.5 inches, a seat height of 28.3 inches and curb weight of 179 pounds, inclusive of all the required fluid, standard equipment, and a full fuel tank. Meanwhile, compared to the Metropolitan, the 2018 Honda Ruckus’ front and rear wheels are further apart with a longer wheelbase at 49.8 inches. It has a slightly higher seat with a seat height of 28.9 inches, and it is heavier at 194 pounds. If you are tall, you might want to consider the more limited legroom you get with the Metropolitan.

The Metropolitan is often described as “cute,” and one look will make you agree with that assessment. When you look at the Honda Metropolitan, you will be reminded of the classic Vespa, and it charms you with its retro looks. What’s more, the Metropolitan has a storage box under the seat that you can lock. It has enough space for 22 liters of your stuff.

Meanwhile, the Ruckus has dual headlights, fat tires and what you might call “naked” styling. It features an instrument cluster that includes only the basics: odometer, indicator lights, and an analog speedometer. You would not see a fuel gauge on the cluster, but the low-fuel indicator light will come on when you need to refuel. It does not have any storage, but you can quickly secure things under your seat. The Ruckus also has panels that you can buy to have an enclosure for everything you want to bring with you. There is also a helmet holder.


The Metropolitan sports pastel colors. But if that is not your idea of cool, there are the Ruckus’ more masculine color options. There are two color variants for the Honda Metropolitan: denim blue metallic and soft pearl beige. Meanwhile, the Honda Ruckus offers more basic colors: an all-black model and the red and white combination.


Both the Honda Metropolitan and the Honda Ruckus have a 49cc single-cylinder engine. Both also have a four-stroke engine, which means that they make less noise, produce extra torque, and are more fuel-efficient than two-stroke engines. They also do not need lubricants or additional oil. Both engines are also liquid cooled.


These are the specific features of the Metropolitan and the Ruckus.



The Metropolitan has programmed fuel injection, which gives every cylinder the optimum amount of fuel. Meanwhile, the Ruckus uses an 18mm constant velocity carburetor. That means that the Metropolitan has fewer emissions and a more powerful induction than the Ruckus.


Ignition and transmission

The Ruckus uses capacitor discharge ignition, while the Metropolitan has full transistorized ignition. Both Honda 50cc scooter models have automatic V-Matic belt drive transmission, so you twist it and then promptly forget about it.



The Honda Metropolitan uses the very common telescopic fork suspension. A more common form of suspension, telescopic forks are simple and cheaper to create and assemble. It also adds a cleaner and simple look to the front end. It can compress up to 2.7 inches. The rear suspension uses a single shock absorber with 2.3 inches of travel. Meanwhile, the Ruckus has tube and slider front forks with 1.9 inches of travel and monoshock springs for the rear suspension with travel of around 2.6 inches.


Fuel capacity and economy

The Metropolitan and the Ruckus have roughly the same fuel capacity at 1.2 gallons and 1.3 gallons, respectively. The Metropolitan, however, is more fuel efficient, giving you 117 miles for every gallon of fuel, vs. Ruckus’ 114 miles per gallon.


Drum brakes

Both Honda 50cc scooter models use drum brakes for both front and rear brakes. Drum brakes are sufficient for bikes that weigh less than 200 pounds; however, it is an ancient braking technology.

Comparing the Honda Metropolitan and the Honda Ruckus: At a Glance

Let’s examine the two models and see which is better in certain aspects.

These Honda 50cc scooter models use an engine that is both fuel-efficient and creates lower emissions than similar two-stroke engines. While they both have outstanding fuel economy, the Metropolitan edges out the Ruckus by giving you three more miles per gallon of fuel. The two have automatic V-Matic transmission and can reach speeds of around 40 miles per hour.

On the downside, the drum brakes for both scooters are something that can be improved. While these would be enough considering the light curb weight of both models, these are a piece of dated braking technology. That being said, the Metropolitan seems to be the better choice with its classic looks, lockable storage, better fuel economy and programmed fuel injection technology. The Ruckus, on the other hand, still has a carburetor.

However, do not write off the Ruckus just yet. The Honda Ruckus has a more masculine style that most scooter riders prefer.

Side-by-side comparison

Here’s a table showing a side-by-side comparison between the Ruckus and the Metropolitan:

2018 Metropolitan NCW50

2018 Ruckus NPS50

Wheelbase (inches)



Seat height (inches)



Curb weight (pounds)



Available colors

2 (Denim blue metallic & pearl soft beige)

2 (Black & white/red)

Engine type

49cc single-cylinder four-stroke

49cc single-cylinder four-stroke


PGM-FI that features automatic enrichment

18mm CV carburetor, automatic choke


Full transistorized ignition

Capacitor discharge ignition


Automatic V-Matic belt drive

Automatic V-Matic belt drive

Front suspension

Telescopic with 2.7 inches travel

Twin-downtube fork with 1.9 inches travel

Rear suspension

Single shock with 2.3 inches travel

Single shock with 2.6 inches travel

Front brake



Rear brake



Front tire size (millimeters)



Rear tire size (millimeters)



Horsepower at 8,000 RPM (HP)



Fuel Capacity (gallons)



Fuel economy (miles per gallon)



Honda 50cc scooter pricing

The Honda Metropolitan and Honda Ruckus are both entry-level scooters with pricing that is budget-friendly, making it accessible to more people. They cost between $2,500 and $2,700 for factory models. Compared to another Honda scooter model, the Honda Grom, both the Metropolitan and the Ruckus are more affordable.

If you are interested in buying either a Honda Ruckus or a Honda Metropolitan, the Japanese company maintains a website where you could easily find a dealer close to you. Just key in your zip code and see a list of dealers that you can go to purchase one. Some of these dealers maintain an online presence, too.

Honda 50cc Scooters Compare to Other Brands

The Honda Metropolitan and the Honda Ruckus are two of the best Honda 50cc scooters available right now. However, there are several scooter brands that you might want to consider before buying. If you are looking for more options outside of Honda’s scooters, then you have a good number of choices. These include the SSR Motorsports Rowdy 150, the Piaggio Typhoon 50, and the Vespa S 50 4V Sport SE.

SSR Motorsports Rowdy 150

  • Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $2,549 (Entry level pricing)
  • Engine: Single cylinder
  • Displacement: 150cc
  • Top speed: 55 mph

The SSR Motorsports Rowdy 150 has roughly the same price as the Honda Metropolitan and the Ruckus, but it features a 150cc engine. It is small enough to still be economical but can reach a higher top speed. What is more, it gives riders a choice when it comes to styling. SSR Motorsports Rowdy 150 veers away from the Euro look of the Metropolitan, and looks more rugged and modern, like the Ruckus.

Piaggio Typhoon 50

  • Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $1,999 (Entry level pricing)
  • Engine: Single cylinder
  • Displacement: 49cc
  • Top speed: 40 mph

With the same 50cc single cylinder engine, the Piaggio Typhoon 50 is more affordable than the Honda Metropolitan. The styling is geared towards the younger set, with edgy and sporty design elements. Also, it delivers outstanding fuel efficiency, giving you 144 miles per gallon.

Vespa S 50 4V Sport SE

  • Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $3,499 (Entry level pricing)
  • Engine: Single cylinder
  • Displacement: 49cc
  • Top speed: 39 mph

While the Vespa S 50 4V Sport SE is at least $800 more expensive than Honda’s Ruckus, it does rate highly when it comes to performance. It has a minimalist design and includes a four-valve and four-stroke engine. The Vespa S 50 4V Sport SE combines style, safety, sportiness, and comfort all in one package.

Honda Metropolitan Pros and Cons

One of the things that you would appreciate about the 2018 Honda Metropolitan is that it features some improvements over the previous models. What’s more, it shares some of the best features that you see on the Ruckus, and it gives you the same level of performance. The Metropolitan does have better technologies than the ones you find on the Ruckus. For instance, the fuel injection system is by far the Metropolitan’s biggest advantage over the Ruckus. Below are some more of the Metropolitan’s pros and some of its cons.


The Metropolitan has some pretty nice pros. It has well-padded seats, lockable storage compartment under your seat, and a parking brake. It can hold your shopping bag and has an easy to remove fuel cap. Additionally, its audible turn signal is pretty cool.

The Metropolitan is very fuel efficient and goes for an additional three miles per gallon compared to the Ruckus. The scooter has programmed fuel injection, and it is lightweight. It has a combined braking system that allows the scooter to stop quickly. Finally, it has both lockable storage and center stand.


There aren’t many cons, but the top two are that it uses drum brakes and its instrument panel is quite limited.

Honda Ruckus Pros and Cons

The naked styling of the Honda Ruckus makes it look tough, but it does come with a 50cc engine, so you cannot expect it to go very fast. Nevertheless, you would love its 1.3-gallon gas tank and its fuel efficiency of 114 mph, as well as its aluminum and steel frame and subframe. Below are some more of its pros and some of its cons.


It’s silent exhaust system, smooth operation and fast acceleration are some of its best features. Like the Metropolitan, the Ruckus has well-padded seats, audible turn signals, and a secure parking brake. Additionally, it has a maintenance-free battery, a backup kickstart level and it is environmentally friendly.

The design and styling are very bare-bones, yet it looks very cool and tough. You can also customize your Ruckus with different personalization options available from aftermarket service providers. It comes with a one-year, unlimited mileage warrant, as well. And finally, its fat tires make it a very stable scooter.


Like the Metropolitan, the Ruckus does not have many disadvantages. The scooter is pretty nice. However, the fact that it is a solo-seat scooter is not so significant if you want to take someone with you. Also, like the Metropolitan, it uses drum brakes.

Final Verdict: Honda Metropolitan and Honda Ruckus

When it comes to the Honda 50cc scooter models, you have an option between the Metropolitan and the Ruckus. Either way, you get an affordable scooter that has excellent features for a safe and fun ride.

There are differences between the two, and these are outlined below. If you still are not sold, you can certainly look at other alternatives such as the more affordable Piaggio Typhoon, or the more expensive Vespa S 50. Or you can get something with a higher performance at roughly the same price, get the SSR Motorsports Rowdy 150. Ultimately, all of the scooters on this list are pretty good and what you choose will depend on what features you want and how much you want to spend.

Featured Image: Composite by the author, via source 1, 2, 3, 4

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