2011 Taotao ATM 50 A1 Scooter Review

by Virginia Morris
(Southbury, CT)

I purchased this scooter about a month ago, it was delivered to my home in a crate, it took about 2 1/2 hours to assemble it. I had ordered a red one.

Well first of all I had a few problems with it, after it was all assembled I needed to get it started, I put gas in it, checked engine oil and gear oil, everything looked good. I charged the battery while I was assembling it.

Now, the battery is installed and it's ready to start, turned the key tried to start it, after an 1/2 hour I then realized it would not start, checked spark plug, getting spark but no smell of fuel on plug, so followed fuel hoses and found fuel line pinched under seat mount which was done at the factory, fixed hoes and tried again started right up, took scooter for short ride very short ride, handle bars were shaking up and down like you were riding a horse.

I brought the scooter into the garage and lifted its front tire off of the ground and spun it once and the tire looked oblong not centered with the rim, tire was defective called where I ordered scooter and they said the would send me a new tire, a week later tire came (wrong tire) called them again said they would send me the right tire, one week later new tire came in & I installed it, scooter now ran great.

I rode the scooter for about 3 days and put 145 miles on it. Then my rear trunk started to shake a lot, I investigated the problem. The trunk rack that was mounted to the scooter was moving up and down as if it was loose, The bracket inside the scooter under the body plastic was loose or seemed loose. This was going to be a huge project taking all the plastic off to get to the rack mounts!

Well what I found with this scooter was very discouraging, being built by the Chinese, and let me tell you it's one scary job, welds were very poor, scooter frame was not lined up, they used washers to fill in for 1/4 inch spaces where parts did not line up, frame tubing was not lined up or even close to being square, very shabby work, found bolts that were stripped and just laying in the holes, this scooter was an accident waiting to happen, and as-fore the trunk rack that was bolted to the frame, garbage no way you can fix it to make it stronger, real thin metal bracket.

The way the bracket is designed will break sooner or later, only bolted down in 2 places, yet rack uses 3 bolts. As I checked the scooter, I found gear box bolts loose, bolts that hold the front disc brake on was loose, kick stand bolts loose, etc.

Well everything is now fixed except the trunk rack no fix for that. It's just the way they built the scooter...

I do like the way it runs... plenty of pick up for a 49cc... it goes up these real steep hills at 30 mph. Top speed on a level road is about 47 mph, gas mileage is close to 100 miles per gallon, love the color red, nice and bright.

Final word: I do not think I would buy another Chinese scooter just because of the workmanship, very shabby, This scooter was affordable with a total price delivered $639.00... guess you get what you pay for.

Comments for 2011 Taotao ATM 50 A1 Scooter Review

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Jul 27, 2015
Initial Problems w/ATM50-A1 NEW
by: Ken W.

No problem assembling thee bike. The 1st thing
went out was the gas guage after about 4000Km (not too bad for a tao tao), but still pisses buyers off. The 2nd thing is much more important to me, at least. It is the speedomoter and of course the odomoter.

The tires are shit and you WILL dump it if you try to turn a corner at YOUR safe speed, if there's any sand at all.

Get new tires, get an American battery, and get a new carburetor. The total cost of the new items are more than worth the repair bill if something
bad happens in the road.

Believe it or not, my Tao Tao was a great investment, even w/the necessary immediate improvements. Since I've done the above, it's run great and meets the speed advertisment easily.

I'm a retired 28 year lawyer, and I'd recommend Tao Tao if you can spend the minute extra $ 0n the above.

Apr 13, 2015
by: Teddy ball game

I got a 2014 atm50-a, build date of August. Initially all went well. However, after about 500k, and you know they are not accurate, I did some research after lighting problems. Folks if you here this switch to better quality parts, Phillips bulbs, etc, Napa for 197's, Mobil 1 both crank and gear, 1/4 inch real fuel line from Napa, along with hose clamps, better quality Buss fuse, and do not waste your time with so-called online replacement parts. These things have some strengths, and a few very common weaknesses, however for cheap and basic transportation for someone that does not mind tinkering, can be kind of fun. Do your research, and do not be surprised when problems arise. Preventive medicine and knowledge are always best.
Happy Scooting!

Jul 11, 2014
You are supposed to do a full PDI NEW
by: Anonymous

You are supposed to do a full PDI when you get it delivered to your house. The Chinese believe that you are smart enough to understand that you need to go over the entire bike, like a dealer would, before you drive it. This includes changing all oil, setting the engine valves, cleaning the carb, checking all lines/wires, and putting loctite on every bolt. I do agree with you that the Free Included Trunk was crap. I took it off right when I got my 2013 50cc TaoTao ATM50-A1. Following my GY6 engine's maintenance schedule and using premium fuel, I get 100MPG and it goes 48MPH. I have only improved the tires, carb, and vaccum/fuel hoses. Takes $10/10 mins to replace/adjust anything on the bike. To buy a Honda with the same engine, would cost me $4,500...

Dec 12, 2012
Not all Chinese are bad NEW
by: Anonymous

Not all Chinese scooters are bad, but you get what you pay for. Taotao is cheap for a reason, terrible parts and craftsmanship. There are SEVERAL brands of high quality Chinese scooters. One of the best is www.Bintelli.com - their scooters more resemble a scooter from Taiwan than from China. Check them out. There's also Puma and Gorilla which are good too, just not on the same level as Bintelli.

Aug 28, 2012
by: Anonymous

Got mine it wouldn't idle from the get go,no matter how much adjusting. Located air mixture screw on carb which is COVERED by a plug so u cant adjust. Happen to notice there's no bolt heads on carb bowl for removal so NO CLEANING. @800 miles it impossible to start. So used easy outs on carb to access float and jet for cleaning and drilled out plug over air/gas mix screw. Nothing. I happen to notice fuel filter was not full of gas and it seemed to not fill.So since the fuel system rely s on suction to draw gas outta tank I replaced all gas lines actually every hose on scoot with Goodyear insulated fuel injector lines and sea clamps. NOTHING!! Did compression test A- HA!!!! No compression. 100 bucks later new rings-piston-cylinder honed out. Apparently my scoot has a 63cc head on it and will burn up rings from manufacturer if the carb setting is not changed. How can I adjust if u have the screw plugged off??Thx for telling me U Chinese pricks. Last foreign piece of garbage I ever buy. There's a reason US products cost more Cause they aren't JUNK. Steer clear of any Chinese scooter unless u like having to work on it every time u roll it out to ride it. But if U like to Cuss and work on sh*t the TaoTao 50 is the bike for you!

Aug 27, 2012
Tao Tao 50 scooter NEW
by: Jack Mackeral

I bought my Tao Tao 50 new for $ 750 assembled and out the door 3 months ago. Had to tighten the steering (very loose and scary) all the fuel lines were not clamped and a few other loose nuts and bolts had to be tightened. Gas tank float fell off into tank and had to drain the tank to get it out. But now at 481 miles it appears to run great. Always starts and runs great(knock wood). For now I am very pleased.

Jul 04, 2012
Finding Parts NEW
by: Garry Driscoll

We bought a Taotao50 that my wife started to ride to work to save gas. No problems powerwise, but I wholly agree with the comment "what you save in money you'll pay for in sweat". First the caliper bolt on front disc brakes fell out, fixed that and took me forever to find brake resevoir. Checked bike up and down to make sure nothing else loose, then the front brake line burst when she tried to stop on highway (thank God she was close to house and not hurt). Kept adjusting rear brake but that only works tempoarily, for some reason the wear on rear brake is substantially greater. Have over a 1500 miles on it and it paid for itself when gas was through the roof but when you add in the oil changes, gear box lube change, (which we do religiously) and you have added cost to upkeep. Still hav'nt found the brake line without purchasing entire assembly w/resevoir that comes to about $75.00 online. Definitely our poor mans ride. At $699 for a 2011 it was still a bargain but please don't let your life or livelyhood depend upon it. My wife still wears a helmet and we insured it for only $69 a year on our policy even though we didn't need to in Ky. Still I worry so we are going to save for a Sportster next year! Be safe and God Bless all!

Apr 30, 2012
I have the same scooter. NEW
by: Bonnie&Cyde

It is a piece of work. I have two 2012 TaoTao
50 49cc ATM 50 a or something. I bought
them from ebay from someone in Texas who sold
me two for 1200 flat. What a rip off! So
once they got here, my love put them both
together and they both had some problems
from the shipping. Broken things, couldn't
put the trunk on because the bars were
crooked inside the scooter. The mirror was
broken upon arrival. So were some other
cosmetic things. I took pictures and sent
it to the company and they like 2 months later finally sent me it after I had to bug them for weeks to just send me the parts. They are
both black. We ended up getting both of them
to semi work. One was working great! While
the other was just a pain. Kick starting it
every time! Random things stop working.
After 150 miles one just shit out on us.
So we had to use 1 scooter to take two
people everywhere they needed to go.. which
over exceeds the weight limit. Not by much.
It's been over 1000+ miles on the one and it
has some minor things like the break pads
and something else need fixed. Let me say
those scooter are NOT worth the trouble.. I
should have looked at the reviews for it
before I purchased them...
If anyone can find the correct wire diagram,
please let me know!

Oct 25, 2011
by: Chakra


This link is the suggestion from the scootdawg forum for anyone buying a Chinese scooter. What you save on money upfront is what you need to do on the backend, while these are clones of Japanese scooters they haven't cloned the quality control standards to go with it. You should immediately disassemble the scoot as much as possible, use locktite, silicone, new fuel lines, new plug, and nylon ties liberally. What you save in cash you will pay for in sweat, if you make great wages then buy a name brand, if you are poor or frugal you pay for it with your free time.

You can buy a used scoot on craigslist at half the cost of new but you may need to buy a few replacement parts. I had to buy the locks and center stand on my 2010 Baja 50cc 4t scoot, about $100 with shipping, with 1100 miles on it but I only paid $350 for it too. Since these Chinese scoots will most likely require you to break it down quite a bit for a thorough PDI, used is the way to go imho and if you can try to buy it during the late fall since their market value will be even less. I'm in the process of negotiating for my second "upgrade" to a 150cc scoot and will get it for about $400, my expectation, since there is always someone who isn't satisfied with their purchase. Since mechanically most of the scoots are similar, you can buy a second used scoot as a parts bike and a small shed to store it in.

Aug 25, 2011
More Than That
by: Jim Zeiser

If you pay attention to the maintenance, ride it within its limits and do the occasional bolt tightening the scooter will last a long time despite its manufacturing flaws. I know in Connecticut you could have bought that scooter for another couple of hundred dollars-tops- and had someone who would take care of those problems for you. As it is www.gsmotorworks.com is the American distributor of Tao Tao. If you need parts call 1-888-400-3253 and ask for John. Best parts guy in the universe.

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