They say you get what you pay for. To test that theory, Bikes and Beards bought the cheapest street-legal scooter they could find on Amazon as the latest of their wild Amazon purchases.

Considering their experiences with other cheap Amazon rides, this looked pretty promising at first. After all, not only is it street-legal, but at 50cc, it's small enough that you can ride it on the street without a motorcycle license, and in some states without any license at all. For $794, it's less expensive than some bicycles, and having an engine it's less work to ride. What's the catch?

Assembly is interesting, to say the least. For many years, I have enjoyed reading amateur radio equipment manuals that have been quite poorly translated from the original language. This "Pony 50" scooter will provide the purchaser with a similar experience, and a unique interpretation of the English language. The included assembly DVD does not apply to this model, but that won't matter, because who still has a DVD player in the Netflix age? Besides, not all of the necessary bolts are included, and the fit and finish makes a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe look like a Rolls Royce.

After assembly and spilling gas all over it (the filler location makes it nearly impossible to use a gas can), the Pony 50 does, in fact, start, run, and ride. This puts Bikes and Beards far ahead of many buyers who were unable to get it running without major work or repair, straight out of the box. There are reasons why 27 percent of the Amazon reviews are one star.

Like most inexpensive Chinese bikes, this scooter is carbureted and runs too lean. Massive amounts of throttle are necessary to get up to any reasonable speed. It tops out at around 40, downhill. It won't jump. It will only pull wheelies at walking speed, which is good because you have to put your feet down to lift the front wheel off the ground.

Still, a running scooter for $794 is something in itself. It includes a kick starter which is probably good for when the electric starter fails. It includes hooks to hang your bags of bananas or whatever. It will take a passenger, or even two (not recommended). Is it worth it? Absolutely not. If you want a cheap scooter like this, get a used Honda Metropolitan. It's much better quality, more reliable, and parts are cheap and easy to find. If you want a cheap Amazon bike, try some of the true motorcycles they've tried. They have their quirks, but if you want a good, cheap, new bike, they're decent options. The Pony 50 is not.

Got a tip for us? Email: