There’s a lot of reasons to like the SportCity One scooters. They offer excellent style, braking, handling and storage in a surprisingly affordable package.
Integrated and clean styling
Abundant storage options
Top notch front brake and handling
Budget motors (air cooled, carb, 2-valve)
Aprilia SportCity One 50 / 125
The SportCity One 50 and 125 scooters expanded Aprilia’s SportCity line beyond the original SportCity 250. The SportCity One design was entirely new and thus shared nothing but inspiration with its bigger sibling. To differentiate the two models, the original SportCity 250 got ‘Cube’ retroactively added to its name, while the smaller SportCity models used a “One” suffix.
Despite being introduced in a recession year when scooter sales were down 50% in the USA, the SportCity One scooters have lived up to expectations and formed a key part of Aprilia’s scooter sales through 2013. For 2014 the SR Motard 50 replaced the SportCity One 50 although these scooters share many parts in common.
Three versions of the SportCity One have been sold in the USA and two in Canada. The 4-stroke powered SportCity One 50 and SportCity One 125 were offered from 2009 to 2013 in USA and Canada. Joining those two 4-stroke scooters for just 2010 was the SportCity One 50 Street, which utilized a more peppy 2-stroke engine. Canadians never received this variant.
The SportyCity One scooters served as the most popular small scooters in Aprilia’s scooter line, thanks to their low price tag and widely appealing style. Aprilia’s higher end SR50 was the flagship model with its advanced technology and expensive price tag, while the Scarabeo models competed in the less popular large wheeled scooter segment. The SportyCity One landed in the middle as an affordable and somewhat sporty scooter that offered a much lower MSRP than the SR50 and more popular styling than the Scarabeo models
The concept of selling both an ultra sporty premium 50cc scooter and a more affordable sports styled 50cc is nothing new, with Kymco employing this technique for a number of years now with the affordable ZX50, Vitality and Agility scooters selling very well alongside their flagship Super 8 and Super 9 designs. What is surprising is that it took Aprilia until 2009 to fill the ‘affordable sports scooter’ hole in their line up alongside the premium SR50. This niche had been vacant since the 2004 demise of the Rally 50.
The idea for the SportCity One came from the larger SportCity Cube design. The aim with this design was to create a scooter with the ride qualities of a larger wheeled scooter and the looks of a sportier machine. The original SportCity used nearly full size wheels (15”), while the SportCity One scooters split the difference between common 10-12” rim sizes and awkward but practical 16” wheels found on large wheeled scooters like Aprilia’s Scarabeo models and Kymco’s People lines of scooters. The result is a really sharp scooter. The 14” rims function well and don’t stand out as being too big. The rim styling is awesome and they fit right in with the rest of the look. The rims look particularly good when blacked out, which Aprilia used on a few versions. Most examples received Aprilia’s silver rims which aren’t quite as nice.
There’s a lot of nice styling touches on the SportCity One scooters, such as the neatly integrated front and rear blinkers. The headlight and taillight are also cleanly integrated, which gives the entire scooter a very clean, sleek shape.
The rear rack is also a work of art and contributes to this scooters high quality feel. As we often see from the Piaggio group, the basic gauges are a bit of a let down. They give away that this scooter has been built to a price point. While there’s nothing explicitly wrong here, they just don’t have the same class as the rest of the scooter.
The only substantive difference between the three versions of the SportCity One are the motors. Both the SportCity One 50 and SportCity One 125 use 4-stroke engines, while the SportCity One 50 Street got a faster but less fuel efficient 2-stroke. The 2-stroke engine found in the 2010 SportCity One 50 Street is a horizontal Piaggio design called the HiPER-2. Various versions of this motor have powered quite a few Piaggio Group machines over the past decade or so, including Aprilia’s SR50, Vespa’s ET2 50 and Piaggio’s Typhoon and LT50 scooters. In the SportCity One 50 Street, a fairly basic air cooled, carbureted variant is used which differentiates it from the SR50, which gets a liquid cooled, fuel injected version that achieves both more power and better fuel economy. However, power for the “Street” model is still quite a bit higher than the regular SportCity One 50, and the best part is that this motor can be easily modified to whatever power level you’re after.
Aprilia claims their focus with the SportyCity One motor options was simplicity, which really means Aprilia used entry level engines to lower the cost and separate the SportCity One 50 from their higher end SR50. There’s no fuel injection, 4-valves or liquid cooling in any of the SportCity One motor options. However, Aprilia really has passed on the saving to the consumer, as these scooters enjoy low MSRP’s. The SportCity One 125 doesn’t have fuel injection or 4-valves like Yamaha’s competing Zuma 125, but it’s also $450 cheaper ($3350 vs. $2899), making it an appealing option.
An impressively large 220 mm front disc brake is found on all the variants of the SportCity One. This large disc brake provides solid stopping for the 125cc model, and ridiculously overkill performance for the slower speeds of the 50cc models. Squeezing this large rotor is a nice 2-piston floating caliper, which is fairly standard on 125cc scooters but it’s class leading stuff in the 50cc segment. Only a few 50cc scooters (ie. Kymco’s New Sento 50i) also use dual pistons up front.
Handling is also excellent thanks to the significantly larger than normal 14” wheels. With most small scooters boasting 10-12” rims, the SportCity One enjoys improved stability at high speed and less jarring over bumps than its smaller wheeled cohorts. The longer fork legs have also enabled Aprilia to be quite generous with the front suspension, which squishes up to 3.3”. Rear suspension is more average with 3.0” of travel in the 50cc models and 3.3” in the 125.
Storage & Convenience
The SportCity One scooters are quite easy to live with thanks to their complete slate of storage areas. The underseat area isn’t cavernous as the fuel tank also resides here, but you can fit most full face lids in here. Some sort of a glovebox is handy inclusion, and the SportCity One meets this wish with a small but still useful compartment on the upper left corner of the leg shield. It’s pretty tiny, but it’s enough space to keep your insurance papers, some spare gloves and other small odds and ends. If you’ve got something bulky, Aprilia has equipped with scooter with a standard rear rack, so you can get creative with that. You can also fit parcels and other large items onto the floorboard, which Aprilia has wisely kept flat.
Convenience touches aren’t quite as plentiful. There’s no clock or accessory charging outlet, which are both hard to live without once you’ve gotten used to them. The instrumentation is fairly standard fare, with a speedometer, fuel gauges, odometer and a few warning lights. There’s no trip odometer or other information on power and mileage like you find in the higher end Aprilia SR50.
There’s a lot of reasons to like the SportCity One scooters. They offer excellent style, braking, handling and storage in a surprisingly affordable package. The trade off for the low price is in the engines, which are reliable and proven designs that don’t offer quite the same fuel milage and power and some of their more advanced competitors.
The SportCity One models compete with scooters like Kymco’s Agility 50 / 125 and Yamaha’s Zuma/BWs 50 & 125. The Kymco scooters are even cheaper, but the Agility doesn’t have the same level of refinement. Yamaha’s Zuma 50 and 125 competitors land on the other end of the spectrum. They cost $300 – $500 more, but in turn you get fuel sipping and powerful motors that feature twice as many valves and advanced fuel injection. Also competing with the SportCity One is Kymco’s Super 8 series, which includes 50 and 150cc options. The Super 8 scooters land between the Agility and the SportCity One in terms of price and design.