Aprilia, the Italian motorcycle and scooter maker, started out making small-displacement machines and, though it has branched out since then, continues to produce its share of well-regarded scooters. Owned by Piaggio, which also owns Vespa, Aprilia introduced its SportCity 250 to the U.S. market in 2007. In 2009, the company expanded the line of step-through scooters, adding the SportCity 50 and SportCity 125.
The SportCity 50 has a 49.9cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine; the 125 model uses a 124.9cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled engine. Both are carbureted. The SportCity 250 runs on a 244cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine with fuel injection. All three models have an SOHC valve configuration, as well as the continuously variable transmission that is standard for scooters. Telescopic forks provide the front suspension; a twin-sided swing arm and an adjustable spring preload shock make up the rear suspension in all models. The SportCity 50 and 125 have a single disc brake in front and a drum brake in back. The larger and heavier 250 has dual disc brakes, with twin-piston floating calipers in the front and an 8.7-inch disc in the rear.
All three versions have plastic bodywork sheathing steel frames, and upper and lower fairing is standard, as are front and rear fenders. A two-piece seat, for driver and passenger, is 30.5 inches high for the 50 and 125 scooters; the 250’s seat is 32 inches high. For all models, the driver uses the floorboard; the passenger has foot pegs that fold back tidily into the frame when not in use.
The instrument panel offers a generous array of information: a clock, fuel gauge, speedometer, odometer, trip computer, and temperature warning light are standard. The 250 even has a tachometer. All models have lockable under-seat storage, but only the SportCity 250 offers the option of an additional top box (available in three different sizes), plus a backrest. The dash also has a lockable compartment for papers and sunglasses, and the 250 has a power outlet so you can charge your phone. A rider can also add either a tall or a short windshield to the 250.
In 2009, the SportCity 50 and 125 came in gray or black; the 250 was available in gray or blue. The 250 is powerful enough to go from zero to 50 mph in a respectable seven seconds, with a top speed of 79 mph—meaning that it’s safe to operate on freeways for short jaunts; though, like any scooter, it’s better suited to city commuting. The other two models are strictly for lower-speed use.