Yamaha Zuma Motor Scooter Review

by Rick Rudge
(Portland, OR, USA)

A lot of scooter riders go for the naked look of a Honda Ruckus, while others like a little bit of locking storage space that the Yamaha Zuma has to offer. I was discouraged from the Ruckus when I found out that many owners soup-up their Ruckus by engine swapping it with a Zuma's engine and calling them Zoomers.

I quickly fell in love with the Zuma's styling, the very comfortable seating, and the peppy speed of this little 50 cc. Its low maintenance, air-cooled, 2-stroke engine is unbelievably easy to work on and since it's a well established Yamaha product, it's very easy to find parts for it, both Yamaha, as well as OEM and third-party customized parts.

Outside of bicycles, I'm new to scooters and motorcycles. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get started in scooters by buying the Zuma.

Its CVT automatic transmission makes it so easy to ride, and since it's an under 50cc engine, I don't need to have a motorcycle endorsement on my license (check your local DMV for rules in your area). If you're considering buying a Zuma, I recommend getting onto the Zuma Forums web site to learn more about it.


The Zuma has an oil injection system so there's no mixing oil into the gasoline. It does it automatically. The Zuma also has front disc brakes that have unbelievable stopping power.

A reality check: I don't know where Yamaha gets its mileage rating. I don't get anywhere near 123 miles per gallon. My actual mileage is closer to 72 MPG, which is still, pretty damn good.

My maximum speed on the flats is 37 MPH with its stock engine. There are ways of getting even more speed out of it, but right now I'm too new to scootering to be interested in that just yet.

The Zuma also comes in a 4-stroke 125cc scooter if you really need to go faster but want to keep that same Zuma styling. But, for me, I'm really quite happy scooting around inner-city traffic with my Zuma 50cc.

Comments for Yamaha Zuma Motor Scooter Review

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 29, 2011
Correction Cubed. NEW
by: Long time scooter guy

The Ruckus is called a Zoomer because that is what Honda called the nps50 model in other countries. The Zuma swaps are a most often called a Zumukus. The Chinese gy6 150 is a common swap as well.

The BWS100 is still common in Taiwan and other Asian countries. Current USA laws do not permit the BWS100 to be imported for street use. It must be 25+ years old to be exempt from EPA standards. Since the BWS100 is newer and its two stroke motor can't meet emissions standards, it is not road legal. People have been known to swap a BWS100 engine into a street legal Zuma frame (straight swap, no mods) to have a "legal" BWS100.

The "Zuma" does not come in a 125cc model. The "Zuma 125" comes in a "125"cc model. For 2012, Yamaha has dropped the Zuma and made a Zuma 50F, also not a Zuma.

I don't remember the exact testing requirements but part of it was constant cruising at 23MPH without pumping the throttle. That is how Yamaha was able to come up with the crazy fuel economy number.

Great review though.

Apr 14, 2011
Correction to the Correction
by: Rick Rudge

Hi anonymous,

Actually, that's not really correct either. There are no 150 cc Zumas. There's the 50cc Zumas, the 100cc BWS (Big Wheel Scooters, Zumas which were sold in Europe, Asia, and Latin America) and what seems to have replaced them, the 125cc Zuma/BWS that are now 4-stroke.

I've been searching all over to see if it's even possible to buy an old or rebuilt Zuma 100cc engine from Mexico without much success. Maybe it was easier in the earlier years, but I'm thinking that it was just the 50cc engines that were available.

I would imagine that now days, modern Ruckus owners would rather skip to the Chinese GY6 engines now, which now come in the 150cc displacement. But, I've read where it used to be the Zuma engines that were going into modified Ruckuses.


Apr 05, 2011
by: Anonymous

Hey, glad you like your Zuma. To be fair however, Ruckus owners don't swap their engines with your 50cc Zuma, they do it with 150cc Zuma's. :)

Jan 27, 2011
by: gapo

i bought a zuma back in 09 (it was my fist vehicle ever) lol 2weeks later i went back to the dealer and did a trade for the zuma125 i got rid of the 125 (i miss it alot) but now got the yamaha majesty 400cc out of all 3 scoots i must say the zuma 50cc was the best one! lol but i travel alot over bridges and tunnels so i had to grab something with more power!!! gdelacruz89@gmail.com if you got any questions im happy to answer friend! scooters is the second best thing i about other than breathing lol

Jan 12, 2011
Thanks, Rick
by: Kathi, Site Owner

Thanks for the detailed review, Rick... Your Yamaha Zuma 50cc scooter sounds like a sweet little ride. Please keep us updated on all your adventures, won't you?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Reviews - Yamaha Scooters.

When you're done here, you may also be interested in reading some of these popular pages:

If you like to talk scooters, check out our motor scooter forums!

Battery Tender Junior in package

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.

Read our review or go right to Amazon.com to buy this highly recommended Battery Tender Jr NOW...


ATTENTION! I have had to delete the Scooter Forum for this site, unfortunately. Despite my best efforts, I could not adequately prevent daily attacks by hackers and spammers. Even though most of their posts did not go public, they still cluttered up my website host's server space, jeopardizing my account. I appreciate everyone's contributions over the past few years and I apologize for having to do this.

Wondering why your scooter question never got posted?

Chances are, there is a good reason. Did you...

If you "checked yes" on any of the points above, then I've deleted your post. Sorry, but I have standards. Feel free to re-submit, following the instructions I have everywhere on the site.

Also... all submissions have to be reviewed by me, and I am currently backlogged. Comments go live without approval, but still take 30 to 60 minutes to show up, so don't repost them, please.

This Week's Highlights

Share Your Scooter Blog Here
Your Help Needed!

We have lots of unanswered questions... can you help? Also, check out our newest eScooter Club members We are growing every week!

Keep Up to Date

Follow us on our Facebook Fan Page Follow our updates on Twitter
Subscribe to my motor scooter blog Subscribe to our RSS feed in your feed reader

Help Us Grow

Support This Site

I support this site by using affiliate marketing and running Google ads. I earn a small commission when you purchase items here, which helps to keep the site afloat. Thank you for your support.

XML RSSSubscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines