The Sento 50 doesn’t really stand out in any one area, but it’s a reliable machine at a very affordable price ($1999)
Front disc brake
High seat height
Low tech engine
KYMCO SENTO 50
The original Sento 50 was introduced for the 2009 model year in both USA and Canada, and it was sold until 2012 in the USA (2011 in Canada). For 2012 Kymco Canada replaced this model with a new machine called the “New Sento” which they began referring to as just the “Sento” as of 2014, but it remains an entirely different machine so it is discussed separately. This same machine was introduced into the USA as the Compagno for 2013.
Outside of North America, the Sento 50 was been on sale much earlier than 2009, so it is actually one of Kymco’s earlier designs. Although it still uses the same engine, the Like 50 is a much newer design introduced in 2009 and it offers arguably a more upscale and refined retro look but it also comes at a higher price.
The Sento 50 used the same 4-stroke motor found in all of Kymco’s 4-stroke 50cc products at the time. This motor is an older design using basic technology (air cooled, 2-valves, no fuel injection etc) which provided reasonable power and fuel economy (typically 80-90 mpg) in a reliable package. The leading 4-stroke 50cc engines are capable of about 110mpg in real world conditions but you’ll also spend more acquiring one. In North American markets, the Sento 50 is restricted via an RPM limiter and via a physical restriction in the variator. Thus top speed is limited to 25-30 mph (top speed may vary or there may be two different versions varying by state). These restrictions enable the diminutive Sento to meet moped laws, but also shave about 10mph off its already lackluster top speed.
Design and Amenities
The Sento 50 tips the scales at 183 lbs which is fairly light. For comparison, Vespa’s LX 50 is quite a bit heavier at 225 lbs, whereas Honda’s Metropolitan is lighter still at 176 lbs and Yamaha’s Vino 50 wins this category at an impressive 166 lbs. Part of the reason for the Sento’s low weight is that it’s a compact machine not well suited to lankier riders. Smaller riders will find it to be a nice size, along it does have a slightly high seat height of 31.9” which makes it not well suited to really short riders. The rider shown below is 6’3”.
One neat touch on the Sento is the pop out passenger pegs – although you’d be hard pressed to actually fit a passenger on this seat. The inclusion of a kickstand is also appreciated as tilting the scooter onto one of these is easier than using the centerstand everytime. Kudos to Kymco for including one of these when so many other brands leave this to the aftermarket. Kymco did leave a few things to the accessory list, such a small backrest, chrome trim and a gas cap that resembles a wheel to give your Sento 50 the full vintage Italian scooter look.
One area where the Sento 50 beats the Japanese competition is with the inclusion of a front disc brake. A front disc brake is found on Vespa’s and on Taiwanese competitors from SYM and PGO, but not on most Japanese 50’s. The Sento 50 doesn’t really stand out in any one area, but it’s a reliable machine at a very affordable price ($1999). Accordingly, it’s a good choice for someone looking for a slow and low cost retro scooter. If you’ve got another hundred dollars to spend though, Kymco’s newer Like 50 scooter has a nicer retro look to it and is more accommodating to riders of a larger size. Conversely, it you are happy with an older model but want a bit more pep then check out Kymco’s Sting 50, which offers similar styling but with 2-stroke power and a healthier appetite for gas.