Review of an E-ton Sport 50 Scooter
This review is primarily about the 2010 Eton Sport 50 with some comparisons to a 2010 Yamaha Vino 50.
In the past, I have always been a die hard motorized bicycle rider and have scorned those girly looking scooters (no offense). Believe me, I would have had a Harley if I could have afforded it.
After having 3 gas powered motorized bicycles: a crappy 80cc Happy Time chain drive, homemade 26cc Homelite chainsaw powered friction drive, and a "Staton" Honda gx 35cc friction drive kit, I've come to find most motorized bike kits have some pros over scooters(like an HONEST 150+mpg), but they also have many many more cons.
Between reliability and vibration issues with the Happy Time, extreme noise and exhaust smoke with the Homelite chainsaw, and slow acceleration and roller slippage with the Honda gx35cc, I had it up to here with making compromises for a daily driver.
After me riding my motorized bikes, my dad bought a 2010 Yamaha Vino 50 4-stroke. I couldn't believe how quiet, comfortable, and reliable it was. The acceleration was better than my 80cc 2 stroke.
I decided then I wanted a scooter but didn't want to pay as much as my dad did for his Vino in case I wanted to upgrade to a 150cc later. We have all heard the horror stories about cheap internet bought scooters with no parts available and blown engines in the first 100 miles.
I didn't want to take a chance on a sub $1K gamble of a scooter with no dealer support and a "I give you my word" type of warranty.
That's why I chose an E-ton Sport 50. As far as I know it's one the lowest cost, iron clad warrantied, and dealer supported scooters out there. True, it uses many of the "seemingly same" parts as those $800 internet jobs out there (like a 139QMA engine), but it's built to the higher quality that SYM customers demand.
For those of you who didn't know this, the Eton Sport 50 is made by SYM and essentially identical to the SYM Symply 50/Orbit except for colors and some trim differences. The Tomos Nitro 50 also uses the same SYM engine.
After only 350 miles, I really like my Sport 50. The fit and finish is almost as good as my dad's Yamaha Vino, however it did come with 2 very minor dents in the plastic just above the headlight.
When I fist received delivery of the scooter from the dealer, I asked to hear it run before I layed my money out. Good thing I did because the 3rd time I tried to start it it wouldn't start and there was absolutely no power going to anything even though the battery was good.
The dealer checked the main fuses right near the battery and said they weren't blown but couldn't figure out why there was no power. I stood there for at least an hour before they figured out there was a short/bad fuse holder/or bad wiring, I don't remember which.
Despite this problem I STILL BELIEVE THIS IS A HIGH QUALITY SCOOTER. It's more likely than not the dealer did a rush job on the prep because they were so busy at the time. I have not had any other problems yet other than this one.
The engine on the Sport 50 is actually a tad quieter than the Vino 50, go figure: the stock mufflers seems to be louder on the Vino than the stock Sport 50s one, however the Valves make more noise on the Sport 50. Overall: Vino engine still louder. These scooters are so quiet you can actually have a conversation at 30mph without screaming.
The gearbox tends to
wine substantially on deceleration, is this a gy6 motor trait? I don't know. I know the Vino doesn't do that though. I even put heavier 85w140 gear oil in it an it helps a tad but it still wines. Am I just being picky?
The suspension on the Sport 50 is more jittery on smoother road surfaces than the Vino however the Vino bottoms out very easily even though it floats on the road on smooth surfaces. I have yet been able to bottom out the suspension on the Sport 50.
The top speed on the Sport 50 seems to be about 33-34 mph restricted. I'm pretty sure its CDI is restricted because going downhill will not make it go faster.
The acceleration is almost as slow as my 35cc motorized bicycle, as the Sport 50 is one of the heaviest 50cc scooters out there. The Sport 50 is a nice long distance cruiser despite its racy looks. The Vino 50 will do 38mph un-restricted from the factory on the flats and in a full tuck 41mph on the flats.
The acceleration is very strong for a 4 stroke all the way to 30 and then slows quickly til top speed is reached. I weigh 165 pounds.
The brakes seem to be better on the Sport 50 with a 2 piston caliper disc up front while the Vino has 2 drums. The Vino has better feel and modulation though. The rear drum on the Sport 50 is virtually useless: my motorized bicycle rear brakes work better. While the rear drum on the Vino will easily stop it alone.
The comfort level of the bikes seem to be a toss up depending on your weight, riding style, and road conditions. The seat is definitely more comfortable on the Vino as the Sport 50s angles down for a racy look, but I find myself leaning far forward to keep my entire bottom on the seat.
If I sit straight upright in a normal position I find myself primarily sitting on my tailbone. Maybe it's just me and I need to break in the seat more? I will say I am 26 years old, in good shape, and have no back issues. I have done 100 miles in one day on my hard tail motorized bicycle and have had no pain in my bottom so I definitely think there is something wrong with the Sport 50s seat design.
The recommended maintenance needing to be done on the Sport 50 is substantially more than the Vino or any other top tier scooter. Once broken in the Vino can go 2000 miles between oil changes while the Sport 50 is at 621 miles or 1000km.
If you have your dealer change your oil you you might want to skip buying a Sport 50 because the $80hr or so your mechanic may charge can make a $3 oil change into $83. Gearbox and engine oil plugs are 10 times easier to access on the Sport 50 than the Vino 50.
For the current msrp I am happy with this scooter. For about $300 more you can get the nearly identical SYM Symply 50 and all you get is a better warranty (oh, and a highbeam switch, the Sport 50 has only low beam lights). Is it worth it? Time will only tell.
I do believe if you are looking for a low cost high quality bike with dealer support and plenty of parts, you've found your scooter. You won't probably get the "OOOHHHS and AAAHHHS" as Vespa owners do, or the "SUITE" as Zuma owners do, but this scooter will still get: "GOOD BUY" or "NICE SCOOTER" from anyone who likes or is interested in buying a scooter.
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.