Bought a 2003 Aprilia Scarabeo 50 Scooter

I wanted a cheap, quick and easily parkable form of transportation, so I bought a 2003 Aprilia Scarabeo 50cc last weekend.

I’ve been looking to buy a used one for quite some time now, but they are very hard to come by. I was ONLY interested in buying the Scarabeo because:

  • I wanted a big wheel scooter for more stability.
  • I wanted something quick enough to handle traffic, yet not fast enough to get me into much trouble.
  • Gas mileage. This is the only 50cc scooter in the world that gets 122 MPG.
  • 1.9 gallon tank x 122 MPG = 230 miles for every $5 of gas.
  • I can park anywhere. 2-foot wide parking spaces.
  • I can use sidewalks or small spaces to avoid stand-still traffic.

After some negotiating I got the scooter + tax + title for exactly $2,000 out the door. If I bought the same scooter out the door brand new, it would have been about $3,600.

Just like a car, the real cost of ownership is much higher. However, gas, maintenance and insurance are extremely cheap for the scooter unlike a car. The larger costs came in the form of safety equipment. In the end, this is what I spent:

  • $2,000 – Scooter out the door
  • $50 – Matching helmet found on Craigslist
  • $55 – Battery trickle charger
  • $13 – Chain lock
  • $40 – Motorcycle gloves from Craigslist

Commuting to campus or around Downtown during rush hour is a cinch now. I am doing everything I can to be safe and always take low-traffic roads to avoid cars. Small trips are much quicker since there is no concern about parking and they are definitely much more fun!

Blog posted on: October 19, 2005

43 comments on “Bought a 2003 Aprilia Scarabeo 50 Scooter

  1. Anonymous

    yup…you’re gay — that scooter proves your love of guys. The only between a guys legs should be a pussy or harley

    1. God

      Wow ! Leave it to a crotch expert to determine what should be between a man legs. Can you say bully control freak?

      1. Jack

        Harley driver calling someone gay! That’s rich. That tiny little button beteen ur legs is small, ur right to think that it is.

  2. Googler

    Anonymous Flamer,
    For someone who hates Nev so much, you sure do read his blog a lot. In every previous post you have left comments bashing Nev.

    You are obviously infatuated with Nev, so the only gay one here seems to be….you.

    Nev, the scooter is awsome. From what I know, Aprilia is the “Ferrari of motorcycles”, and I’m guessing the same goes for their scooters. Congrats!

  3. Russell

    What a great way to save money! The only problem I’d be worried about is it being stolen! Did you have to get a new drivers license for it?

  4. Anonymous

    Be careful using sidewalks to bypass stand-still traffic. They’ll throw you in jail for that.

    And parking is an issue too. With a real motorcycle, they won’t tow you because it’s a pain. But with something as tiny & puny as that, two guys can easily pick it up & move it.

    Hope you’ve got a strong chainlock, or the football players will surely be f*cking around with you.

    I also think this is a big waste of money. You could have gotten a much cheaper used scooter if you got one that’s >5 years old. There aren’t that many parts that can break, and the maintenance is easy enough for a woman to do. Way to spend $1500 you didn’t need to.

  5. Neville

    It’s prone to being stolen, but that’s what insurance is for!

    I wanted a late model scooter so I don’t have to maintain it etc. Also, buying a 50cc scooter that is 5+ years old will allow me to go about 30mph, way too slow on roads for comfort.
    The Scarabeo is the only 50cc that will easily reach 50mph. It is also the least stupid-looking scooter you can buy.

    As for being thrown in jail for riding on a sidewalk…HA! I’d LOVE to be arrested for that just because it would be a funny story.
    At most, the Austin APD might tell me not to do it again…IF they tell me anything. Austin is very motorcycle and scooter friendly.

    I’ve been riding motorcycles for a long time, and I still went with a scooter for one main reason….It’s not powerful enough to tempt me. I love going fast and doing stupid things, so this is the only way to check that urge until I grow out of it.


  6. Rand

    I’d have to agree with some of the earlier comments.

    From a purely economic view, $2000 for a used scooter doesn’t make sense when you could easily get a used light weight motorcycle for price. Here’s one on craigslist for $1,500.

    Plus, a motorcycle will hold its value better than a scooter.

    However, as with many big ticket purchases (cars, homes, etc) – pure economics isn’t usually the decisive factor. It boils down to emotions. And if that little scooter makes you happy Nev, that’s enough to justify the purchase.

  7. anthea

    I just bought a ’99 scarabeo yesterday and I’m already deeply deeply in love with it…I congratulate you on your excellent taste in scooters!

    I happened onto your blog because I wanted to find an Aprilia lock for it…do you know of any good resources besides ebay? i’m not in Austin…

    happy scootering!

  8. Catie Fitzgerald

    When calculating the real cost of ownership don’t forget to factor in depreciation and opportunity cost. Most people forget that cars, scooters, etc. lose value over time. Ideally, the utility you gain by having the vehicle should offset the depreciation. If you finance the vehicle (I assume you paid cash), you also need to factor in the interest paid. That being said, enjoy the new scooter!

    1. hector

      what ever it was a good buy enjoy your scooter by the way i got the same scooter for 300$ dollars so i guess i don’t have to worry about all the depreciation an opportunity cost your talking about. But thanks for wishing him and of course me to enjoy our scooter i will bye….

  9. Anonymous

    Hi Nev,

    I said you bought a helmet of Craigs List. Presumably then, it is used? If your head is smaller than the person you bought it from then the protection offered by the helmet is greatly reduced. Also, they may have dropped it, introducing small fractures in the material. If you crash with a fractured helmet then you might as well not be wearing one. I know helmets can cost a whole bunch, but definitely worth the outlay if you like being alive.

  10. manapuaman

    Cool scooter. That is the one I want too for the same reasons. If they weren’t so dangerous here, I’d have one by now. How does the bigger wheels feel compared to one like a Honda?

  11. Anonymous

    I have never heard so much CRAP. The pathetic excuse for the so called men who make gay comments are probably still in the closet. And a Scooter holds it’s price better than a Motorcycle because a lot of Women want a scooter. An Aprilia, which hales from Italy is the best two wheeled vehicle on the road, garbage Harley is not in the same league, however are over priced noisy American made junk, just like the cars and trucks, i DON’T buy American.

  12. Anonymous

    Future comments on reliability and availability of parts would be helpful.
    Congrats on going to a scooter. They’re a lot of fun and much less work around town than a big bike. I have a Honda Helix (250cc) and a Honda Ruckus (49cc) that are both great around town. The Helix gets 60+mpg and the Ruckus gets 110mpg. The Honda reliablity is tough to beat but Aprilia makes a great looking scooter that handles much like a motorcycle without all the weight. Love those 16″ wheels!
    For those interested in economy and reliability, my 2003 49cc Honda Ruckus has almost 18,000 miles on it and all it has had is new tires, belt and variator. Be sure to check it out along with the Aprilia. A new Ruckus is about 2,000 bucks out the door, but not as fast probably as the Aprilia, only about 40mph.
    For those who believe a Harley is fun to ride in town traffic, you have obviously never ridden a scooter; probably because you are afraid that someone you know might see you. Get a new group of friends or a penis enlargement device.
    My bike for the road is a 2005 Triumph Rocket III and I also have a Triumph Bonneville. All motorized 2 wheelers are great fun when ridden in the fashion for which they were designed. Ride often, ride safe.

  13. Anonymous

    I have an 150 cc Aprilia Scarabeo 2005 with 201 miles on it for sale over here in Kansas City. It was laid down and has minor damage. It runs good and straight, my mechanic had it up to 60 mph yesterday. I have ordered all the parts for it from the local dealer, mostly plastic stuff, including a new fairing. It will be conveyed to you with a good Missouri title that says “prior salvage history.” I’d sell it “as is” for $2600 or $3200 fixed. You can look it over at What you think about that?

  14. Anonymous

    I bought a 2002 aprilia scarabeo 50 for $900. 900 miles, but had been in a crash. Runs like a top but has some plastic pieces below the light which are broken. Coolest fricken thing i’ve ever owned, but I would like to fix it up. Any suggestions? I need parts, and I will do the labor myself.

  15. Anonymous

    My best bud and running buddy died on Monday on this very scooter! Even at slower speeds there’s nothing between you and the road. Please reconsider! Pay a little more for gas and live to make more!

  16. Anonymous

    Congrats on the purchase. You absolutely made a great choice. Aprilia has the scooter market nailed… you will not find a better scoot. And for those that comment about Harleys and Ninjas, neither of those choices fit the needs this scoot fills. If you want an obnoxious, loud lifestyle bike to fill up with oil,get a Hardley Ableson. If you want a cramped riding position, and numb hands, the Ninja will have you in a chiropractors office inside of a day. I have an Aprilia Sportcity 250,and the lovely wife rides a Scarabeo 100. The Italian community uses these for daily, primary transportation. They are beat on, left in the weather, and abused.. and just keep on ticking. I recommend Castrol TTS for a great 2 stroke oil.. minimal wear, clean burn and no smoke. Stay safe, keep your head up, and look at where you want to be… good advise for riding and living.

  17. Scooter Club Golden Triangle

    I assume this is an '03 Scarabeo 50 DiTech? How many miles have you got now, if you haven't got rid of it yet?

  18. Anonymous

    A helmet is really not needed. In a crash you will either walk away or die. Thats why insurance is cheap and also why insurance companys do not lobby to make it a law in my state. That being said I do not know what the law is in other states.

  19. rob

    i own the same thing..i paid 1000 for it on Craigslist and its the best 49 cc scooter in its class…. 50mph… my just reached 5100 miles and is still runs like a champ!

    best on the market!

  20. shoes

    May I simply say nice to read a alleviation to find person who really knows just what they may be discussing on the internet. You actually recognize how to bring a problem to light and make it critical. Even more people should learn this particular and understand this section of the story. I cannot believe you aren’t very popular as you positively have the gift.

  21. Ira Micay

    Hi Neville:

    I’m looking at buying an Aprilia Scarabeo 50 scooter and came across your blog. How is the speed on yours? Does it ever seem underpowered? Thanks. Ira

  22. patrick

    Disregard all the negative comments and tripe concerning your scooter. Your getting way excellent gas mileage and that in itself is saving the environment and your wallet.I am a car nut but the fuel price issue is absurd and is getting worse so enjoy the free wheeling frugality neville. austin is a beautiful city to putter around. I am doing the same here in Atlanta on a Scarabeo 150 and love it. godspeed….
    P.S. Scarabeo is a Latin term meaning “representing the soul”

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  25. Combustioneer

    We bought a 2003 Scarabeo 50 ditech a year ago for $400. We had to do some work on it to get it running that cost us about $200 in parts. My son used it to get around campus at The university of Arkansas. It worked well for him despite having trouble on some of the steeper longer hills. There is no level ground in Fayetteville, Arkansas. As I under stand it the ditech model Scarabeo 50 was only made for a short while. Is this true? If so does that make it a collectable model? I’m asking because my son has moved off campus and has his Yamaha 250 to ride now, so we are selling the Aprilia.


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