GENUINE ROUGHHOUSE R50
The Roughhouse R50 is a sporty 50cc 2-stroke scooter from Genuine Scooter Co. It was introduced for 2008 as a replacement for the Rattler 50. The Roughhouse continues to be sold for 2013 as their sporty 2-stroke 50cc offering. It is a strong competitor to popular scooters like Yamaha’s Zuma 50 and it has become one of the more popular 50’s in the American market.
What’s In A Name?
Genuine’s decision to debut the Roughhouse name (as opposed to continuing the Rattler name) may appear surprising, as the Roughhouse is a very similar scooter that uses the same core design and style as the Rattler 50 and 110. The Roughhouse bears an especially strong resemblance to the concurrently introduced Rattler 110, as they both share the enlarged dual headlights.
The reason for the name change was that the Rattler scooters were based on the ‘naked’ version of PGO’s PMS-50 scooter (PM = model, S = sport), while the Roughhouse 50 is based on the PGO PMX 50 model (note ‘X’ for off-road vs. ’S’ for sport). So the Roughhouse has an ‘off-road’ slant instead of a ‘sporty’ one, and it gets enclosed handlebars instead of ‘naked’ bars like the Rattler scoots. This off-road slant means the Roughhouse gets more aggressive tires, mud booties on the forks and a jacked up front fender instead of a lower sporty one.
Genuine’s 2006 only Black Cat scooter was also based on PGO’s PMX design, and thus is virtually the same scooter. The primary differences are the decals on the Black Cat and the larger headlights of the Roughhouse. Genuine couldn’t use the Black Cat name when they brought the PMX model back to the USA for 2008, because the original Black Cat was a limited edition model created in collaboration with Black Cat Fireworks.
The Roughhouse shares a great deal of style attributes with its predecessor and the Rattler 110. The large dual headlights are most obvious tweak, and they are shared with the also new for 2008 Rattler 110. The overall look is nicer and more mature than the Black Cat, thanks to a number of small touches. The dull pewter colored rear rack adds some suave to the back end, and the toned down
Roughhouse R50 decals are an improvement over the perhaps excessive decals on the Black Cat. The silver rims and black front fender also add a bit of class compared to the bright colors found everywhere on the Black Cat.
All of Genuine’s 50cc’s to date including the Roughhouse have used a horizontal Minarelli core design. The Buddy uses a short case version of this motor, while the Roughhouse, Rattler 50 and Black Cat all share virtually identical motors. These horizontal motors aren’t technologically groundbreaking, but they’re solid trusted motors are going to deliver solid performance and good reliability.
You might not notice this ‘solid performance’ when you first ride your Roughhouse home, because these scooters are normally restricted to 30mph to meet moped legislation in various states. Being moped compliant saves insurance costs and licensing effort for some, while requiring that anyone looking for decent zip spend a bit of time removing these restrictions. The Roughhouse is restricted by the variator/drive boss preventing the scooter from reaching adequately tall gearing, thus it hits the redline at 30mph. The redline can be removed, but its best to gear it taller first so you don’t over rev the engine. A simple browse of online parts will yield cheap solutions. Replacing the exhaust with a non-restrictive performance unit will also add quite a bit of power.
Genuine claims the Roughhouse is the most powerful 2-stroke 50cc on the market and once derestricted it compares closely with other speed blessed scooters like Kymco’s Super 8/9, Aprilia’s SR50 and Yamaha’s Zuma. To pick a winner is tough, since all of these scooters share engines with other models and they’re all capable of 45-50mph. For one, Aprilia’s Rally 50 scooter also used the same motor as the Roughhouse.
Storage and Convenience
Just like the Rattler 50 it replaced, the Roughhouse provides a moderate amount of underseat storage space and this area includes a 12V charging spot. This can come in handy for topping up your cell phone charge, adding a cigar lighter or running various accessories. This underseat storage area isn’t huge but it fits some helmets and is generally big enough for day to day needs like a rain suit or a lunch. If Genuine were to move to the fuel tank down info the floorboard it would free up quite a bit more storage space, as the fuel tank currently occupies a moderate portion of the underseat area.
Storage up front in the legshield is more limited. There’s a small cubby hole here that occasionally will come in handy, but not nearly as much as a glovebox does. An enclosed and lockable space would be nicer to keep your papers and small items like tools and a spare plug.
The Roughhouse competes in the ‘sports 50’ scooter niche - a category that was virtually invented by Yamaha’s Zuma when it first appeared back in 1989. Although the hugely popular Zuma has made the switch to a 4-stroke motor for 2012, it’s best known as a sporty 50cc 2-stroke. These 2-stroke engines are typically the norm in the sports 50 niche because buyers are typically looking for more pep than a tepid 50cc 4-stroke 50.
Other scooters that compete(d) in this group are Kymco’s Super 8 and Super 9, Aprila’s SR50 and SR Motard and Piaggio’s Typhoon 50.
The Roughhouse R50 is positioned as a well built, peppy and good looking scooter that offers a bit less technology in exchange for a lower price. You won’t find fuel injection in the R50 like you do in the SR50 and latest Zuma’s, but you also save a few hundred up front. With this strategy, Genuine competes most closely with Kymco who also employ a similar technique of undercutting the price of the Japanese/Italian competition while still providing the good quality that is sadly missing in most Chinese scooters.
The best scooter to buy likely depends on your budget and style tastes. The Roughhouse (and Kymco’s) are going to be the lowest priced new scooters, while a fuel injected SR50 or Zuma is going to provide a bit better fuel milage and lower emissions.
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REVIEW - Add Your Review of the Roughhouse R50 BROWSE - Read the Roughhouse Owner Reviews
- Solid motor with lots of parts available
- 2 Year Warranty
- High seat to straddle for shorter riders (32”)
- Lower fuel economy than a 4-stroke and/or fuel injected scooter
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Service Manual - Download the PGO PM50 Service manual which covers most of the Roughhouse
* Engine: 2-stroke, Air-cooled, 50cc Single
* Power: 4.8 HP @ 7000 RPM, 3.8 ft/lbs torque @ 6500 RPM
* Compression Ratio: 9.0 : 1
* Transmission: CVT
* Bore & Stroke: 40mm x 39.2mm
* Fuel Delivery: Carb
* Weight: 210 lbs (50)
* Starter: Electric and Kick
* Seat height: 32”
* Fuel Tank: 1.35 gallon
* Front Brake: Disc
* Rear Brake: Drum
* Front Suspension: Telescoping Fork
* Rear Suspension: Single Shock
* Tires: 120/90-10 (Front), 130/90-10 (Rear)
* USA MSRP: $1999
2008: Green/Black, Blue/Black
2009: Blue/Black, Green/Black, Black
2010: Blue/Black, Green/Black, Black
2011: Red, Black
2012: Red, Black
2013: Red, Black