PIAGGIO FLY 50 / 150
Piaggio’s Fly scooters are modern, sporty and affordable. Globally, the Fly is Piaggio’s most popular model because it fully and evenly embodies the scooter ethos of practicality, affordability and riding enjoyment. The Fly is Piaggio’s (quite successful) attempt to target mainstream scooter buyers. You won’t find the high end chrome (and price tag) of Vespa here, nor will you find the aggressive styling of a super sports scooter. Rather, the Fly is an excellent all around blend of the characteristics that make scooters appealing to the average scooterist.
The Fly 150 was the first Fly to be introduced. It debuted in the USA for 2005 and in Canada the following year. The smaller Fly 50 followed for the 2007 model year in both markets, at first utilizing a 2-stroke 50cc motor but switching to a 4-stroke mill the year after.
Globally, the Fly 50 and 150 are receiving a major redesign for the 2013 model year. This updated design was first shown at the Milan motorcycle show in fall 2011 and entered production in fall 2012 as a 2013 model. This angular new Fly (below) is a mostly new bike, while still utilizing the same motors from the previous generation. No word yet whether these updates Fly scooters will make it North America for 2013. The more angular style is a nice restyling for the Fly. The new lines are crisp and modern and should look good for quite some time.
The Fly scooters share their motors with Vespa’s scooters of the same displacements, while often lagging their more expensive Vespa counterparts by a year or two in getting the latest technological updates. The 2-stroke Fly 50 (sold only in 2007) used Piaggio’s Hi-PER2 motor which was also found in Vespa’s ET2 50. For 2008, the Fly 50 starting using the Piaggio group’s 4-stroke Hi-PER4 motor that is also found in the Vespa LX 50 and S 50.
For 2011, the Fly 50 received the latest 4-valve version of this Hi-PER4 motor (as opposed to the earlier 2-valve design) which offers a moderate boost in fuel milage and power over the 2-valve version it replaces. Since Piaggio scooters are lower priced scooters, the Vespa models usually get to enjoy new technology for a year or two before it filters down to Piaggio’s models. This 4-valve variant found it’s way into the Vespa LX 50 and S 50 for 2009. Both the 2-valve and 4-stroke Hi-PER4 motors can saunter to a top speed of 40mph, but the 4-valve version sips a little less fuel in doing so. Piaggio does claim a small power increase for the 4-valve motor (4.3HP vs. 4.1HP), which are both still far behind the 5.1HP the less efficient 2-stroke motor was capable of.
The Fly 150 utilizes the same ‘LEADER’ motor as Vespa’s 150cc LX and S scooters and the ET series before that. The lower cost Fly 150 doesn’t get the latest fuel injected version of the engine, but it’s still a good motor that offers a solid amount of power (11.6 HP), good reliability and average fuel economy. All versions of this motor are a powerful performers and the Fly 150 can attain a true 60-62 mph top speed. Fuel milage is the small downside with this motor, as the 2-valve, air cooled and carbureted design only achieves about 60 mpg in real world conditions. Some higher tech engines found in competing scooters in this class can attain 70-80 mpg. Vespa’s have been utilizing a fuel injected version of this motor since 2010 capable of about 65mpg in real world use. The Fly 150 may see this motor in the coming years.
Brakes / Suspension / Handling
Unlike their Vespa relatives, the Fly 50 and 150 use larger 12” wheels that provide better stability at higher speeds. It’s not an issue with the 50cc models, but the 150cc Vespa’s can be a little twitchy at top speed due to their smaller wheels and high-ride height.
The job of stopping these scooters is handled by a dual piston 200mm disc brake in the front and a 140mm drum brake in the rear. Despite nice specs, the front brake is only mediocre. The feel of it is a bit wooden and it requires higher than average lever pull effort. Good stopping power is there, but it requires a firmer squeeze that other scooters.
With the 2013 redesign, Piaggio increased the front brake to 220mm (from 200mm) and lowered the seat height from 30.9” to 29.9”, which will be a welcome change for smaller riders.
Design and Amenities
In practical terms, the Fly scooters score well. The underseat storage area is quite generous, with the caveat that this area does get fairly hot due to its engine proximity. It’s definitely not a good spot for storing the ice cream. It’s also not a spot for pets, as Piaggio’s plethora of warning stickers will tell you. The Fly 50 and 150 have a nice glovebox which comes in quite handy and sets this scooter apart from quite a few competitors that offer either an open storage area or nothing at all.
The Fly scooters are sharp designs, so their popularity is easy to understand. They aren’t class leading in terms of price, technology or style, but they are well rounded and practical scooters that score well in all areas. They are solidly built, supported by a large network of dealers and there’s a great owner community.
The Fly 50 and 150 should appeal to someone seeking a scooter with a modern look who’s looking for good value, as opposed to just the lowest purchase price. The Fly scooters are well featured with enclosed storage areas, quality and powerful motors and front disc brakes. The inclusion of a proper glove box is small but valued detail that separates the Fly from quite a few competitors.
Piaggio is asking $2099 for the Fly 50 which is a very fair price. You can buy cheaper (and less featured) scooters like Kymco’s super low priced Agility 50 ($1399), but most scooters of this caliber sell for a similar price. The Fly 150 goes for $2899 which is a lot more affordable than its high end motor sharing counterpart, the $4599 Vespa LX 150.
Please consider adding an owner review of your Fly 50 or 150. It greatly benefits other readers and improves this site.
OWNER REVIEWS - Browse the Piaggio Fly 50 / 150 Owner Reviews
- Stability at speed due to 12” wheels
- Reliable and powerful motors
- Enclosed glovebox storage
- Below average fuel economy
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Piaggio Fly 150 Review - Nice bit of journalism on the larger Fly by Motorcycle-USA
Key Specs - Fly 50 / 150
* Engine: Air cooled, 2-stroke 49cc OR 4-stroke, 4-valve 49cc OR 2-valve 150cc single cylinder
* Power: 5.1hp (2-stroke 49cc), 4.1 hp (pre-2011 4-stroke 49cc), 4.3hp (4-valve, 4-stroke, 50) or 11.6 hp (150cc)
* Transmission: CVT
* Bore & Stroke: 40mm x 39.3 (2-stroke 49cc), 39mm x 41.8mm (4-stroke 49.4cc) or 62.6mm x 48.6mm (149.6cc)
* Compression Ratio: 10.3:1 (49cc), 10.1:1 (150cc)
* Fuel Delivery: Carbureted
* Wheelbase: 52.4”
* Weight: 220 lbs (49cc), 247 lbs (150cc)
* Starter: Electric and Kick
* Seat height: 30.9” (pre-2012), 29.9” (2012 model)
* Fuel Tank: 1.9 gallon / 1.7 gallon (2013 model)
* Front Brake: 200mm dual piston disc brake
* Rear Brake: 140mm drum
* Front Suspension: Telescoping forks, 2.3” travel)
* Rear Suspension: SIngle shock, adjustable preload on 150cc
* Tires: 120/70-12 (Front and Rear)
* MSRP: $2099 (2011, USA, 49cc) or $2899 (2011, USA, 150cc)
50cc - Midnight Blue, Optic White, Gray
150cc - Excalibur Gray, Midnight Blue, Optic White