For some, the notion of a 50cc motorcycle is totally alien. Folks in the U.S. are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing their first motorcycle. Heck, you could buy yourself a brand spanking new BMW S 1000 RR as your very first bike if you wanted to. Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on how you look at it—folks over in Europe don't have the option of swinging a leg over a liter bike as their first taste of the two-wheeled lifestyle.
Many European countries have one form or another of licensing restrictions for young, beginner riders. In fact, most riders aren't even allowed to ride a full-powered Kawasaki Z650 until they hit the age of 24, for folks looking to get a direct license; or 21, for those who have progressed all the way from the A1 license bracket. That said there is a thriving market for small displacement scooters and motorcycles in Europe, and the selection of bikes available over there may surprise you.
Aprilia, for instance, has launched a new scooter with first-time riders specifically in mind. The SXR 50, which bears the same body styling as that of the India-specific SXR 160, has been launched in France. Equipped with a tiny 50cc single-cylinder engine, this scooter pumps out just 3.26 horsepower. The scooter's miniscule engine is clad in rather large body work, however. In fact, when placed side-by-side with the Aprilia SXR 160, you'd hardly be able to tell them apart. That said, given the SXR 50's relatively large proportions, first-time riders can get the experience of riding what most people would consider a full-size scooter.
While many beginner riders see their first moped merely as a tool meant to be used to advance to the next level, Aprilia has outfitted the SXR 50 with a few creature comforts which give newbies access to the amenities found in some of the bigger toys. For instance, the SXR 50 comes with optional Aprilia MIA smartphone connectivity. It even gets a full set of LED lights, an LCD instrument panel, and a USB charging port. The new Aprilia SXR 50 fetches a price of 2,279 Euros, or the equivalent of $2,755 USD.