Taiwanese company Kymco’s ZX 50 scooter was built to be the sporty two-stroke scooter geared towards a sport scooter audience. In the same league as the Super 8 and Super 9 50cc scooters, it was the predecessor of both, but was received with variable popularity in North American markets. Its sales declined towards the end of the 2000s, but its resale value is still relatively high due to the trademark durability and reliability of Kymco products.
Kymco’s reputation for hardy motors is not left by the wayside in this peppy scooter. The ZX 50 uses the same motor as Kymco employed in all of its other 50cc, two-stroke scooters such as the Super 8 2T, Super 9, Like 50, and Vitality 2T. This choice allows Kymco to save on costs and cut down on the time it takes to manufacture the scooters as well. Essentially, the engine is identical to Honda’s AF18E and AF16E motors because the two companies were once a single company that split apart in the late 1990s. The AF18E motor was so well-engineered, both Kymco and Honda decided to continue to use it in their 50cc lines.
The ZX 50 is restricted to a mere 38 mph by its electronic CDI/Rev limiter and the restrictions in the gearing, but it can be derestricted if the driver desires to achieve higher speeds. In order to do this, the driver would need to purchase a separate CDI after market for an additional price, and the CDI would have to be specific to the Honda AF18E or AF16E Dio scooter, as Kymco does not produce one specific to its own scooters. Still, removing this restriction will only allow the driver maximum speeds around 43 mph, so the effort may not be worth it to most drivers. Furthermore, it tends to reduce the efficiency of emissions and lower the reliability of the engine itself. Fuel economy for the ZX 50 is suitable for a two-stroke model at about 65 to 70 mpg with normal use. In laymen’s terms, this means that a driver can go approximately 90 miles before needing to refuel.
The ZX comes with much more storage space than one would expect from a Kymco product. It contains a relatively large glove compartment with a more than modest amount of space under the seat. The motor’s vertical design prevents the storage space beneath the seat from being too large due to its placement, so it can hold only a small helmet or a small personal bag, but the storage space is suitable nonetheless when compared to other Kymco scooters, which often have a smaller under-seat storage compartment and occasionally lack even a glove box. The ample storage space under the seat, however, compromises the height of the seat: sitting at a high 31 inches above the ground, the seat may be uncomfortable for short-legged drivers. A rear rack comes standard on the ZX 50, and can be accessorized with a top case or bungee cords if extra storage is needed.
Altogether, the ZX 50 has a stable motor and is a practical vehicle with more than enough storage space and a solid single piston front disc brake. Barring any troubles one might find with the unusually high seat, the ride feels comfortable, and the seat itself is cushioned and plush. The engine comes alive at higher speeds, especially when derestricted, and the scooter’s refined body design will be the pride of drivers who enjoy onlookers pointing in awe as they race by.