Overall, the Sting 50 offered nice retro styling in an aging but affordable package.
Front disc brake
High seat height
Older low tech engine
KYMCO STING 50
The Sting 50 was originally introduced for the 2009 model year in the USA and was sold through 2011. It was never sold in Canada. Outside of North America the Sting had been on sale for quite a few years, so it was actually one of Kymco’s older designs despite its late introduction in America. The Sting 50 shared a lot of attributes with other 50cc Kymco scooters as the engine, frame and many components.
The Sting 50 could be considered the 2-stroke sibling of Kymco’s Sento 50 scooter. Both scooters feature retro styling, but the Sting 50 uses Kymco’s long lived 2-stroke 50cc engine instead of a 4-stroke engine. This gives the Sting 50 more pep, but lower fuel mileage than the Sento 50.
The Sting 50 used Kymco’s standard 2-stroke 50cc motor that found it’s way into all of Kymco’s small 2-stroke from this era. The Sting 50 has a top speed around 40mph, but its restricted by an artificially low redline and a washer in the variator, so top speed gains to about 45-50mph are easy to come bay. You can read more about removing these restrictions at the Super 9 page. A few example of other Kymco’s sharing this engine include the Super 9, ZX50, Cobra Cross and Agility 50.
Design and Amenities
Like a lot of Kymco’s sharing this vertical engine, the Sting 50 has a high seat height of 32.6” which makes it poorly suited for riders with short inseams. The heavier than average weight of 220 lbs also won’t help smaller riders.
Amenities on the Sting were fairly standard, with a decent amount of storage space but no glove box due to small dimensions of this scooter. One nice inclusion is the front disc brake, which is not that common on 50cc scooters and provides an appreciated safety margin.
Overall, the Sting 50 offered nice retro styling in an aging but affordable package. The engine was a basic design dating back to the 90’s, and most of the components like the suspension and gauges showed their age even with the Sting was new to the North American market, but such was the tradeoff for the low cost of these machines. Kymco’s MSRP was actually a bit high at $2150, but significant deals could normally be had on new machines.
If you’re looking for a bit more of a modern / refined / upscale retro look, then check out Kymco’s Like 50 or 200 scooters which are really nice designs. Of note, the Sting 50 bares a moderate styling resemblance to Vespa’s ET series with its oval headlight.
Most of the competitors to the Sting 50 were only offered with 4-stroke engines, but the Vespa ET2 50 and Yamaha Vino 50 were both offered with 2-stroke engines as well, so if you want a retro styled 50cc with 2-stroke power those are your main options. If you’re open to a lower powered but more fuel miserly 4-stroke, then the Honda Met/Jazz, Vespa LX 50, Genuine Buddy 50 and Yamaha newer 4-stroke Vino 50 are all worth checking out. Compared to the competition, the Sting offered a front disc brake that was lacking on Honda’s and Yamaha’s, but there’s less storage under the seat than most competitors and you don’t get the same level of refinement. The Sting 50 was a good scooter for its low price and it remains a good machine to buy if you can find one for a good discount.