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How Fast Does A 150cc Scooter Go?

See which modals are the fastest.

Speed is fun. Going fast can be an adrenaline rush. Let’s explore the 150cc scooter category a bit more and see what kind of speeds we can expect from this fun ride.

The top speed of a 150cc scooter ranges from 55 mph to 70 mph. This assumes the scooter is stock and no additional modifications have been made. 

Factors That Affect The Top Speed

There are many reason why you’ll see such a speed range when it comes to scooters. The type of motor will make a difference. Is it a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke? Is the scooter older? As a rule of thumb, the older the scooter, the older the technology, the old the technology, the less efficient the scooter runs.

Proper Engine Break-in May Increase Speed

Poor maintenance can lead to an overall decrease in performance. Following a proper maintenance plan will help keep things running well. A possible bonus to taking proper care of your scooter is as the engine breaks-in, you may see a slight increase in horsepower. Also, proper lubrication of moving parts can lead to less friction, which is a good thing.

Making modifications: I had friend change out a few parts of his Yamaha scooters transmission, including tweaking the gear ratio, and he said he was able to push it to 73 mph. I don’t recall the exact model, but it was a 150cc motor.
Keep Things Light To Go Faster

Weight is a huge factor. Not only the weight of the machine, but the weight of the rider and a possible passenger can make all the difference. So much so that when researching a particular scooters top speed, often, to make sure their comparing apples to apples, the rider weight is assumed to be 200 lbs. If it’s not, the reviewer should note the test riders weight. Lastly, additional accessories you add like, a tail top box, side bags and even contents in the under seat storage matter.

Why A Scooters Top Speed Can Fluctuate

Wind plays a larger roll, in regards to speed, more then people think. Remember, scooters are small and light. While you’re probably not used to considering variables like headwind, these things need to be factored in. I can’t give you a fixed rule, but I have definitely seen a drop off of 5-10 mph on days I felt the headwind was nothing more then a “light breeze”. The other end of that is a tailwind. Naturally a tailwind is going to give you a little push, or at least not require the motor to work as hard to maintain speed. Side note: a good tailwind can help improve gas mileage. Unfortunately, a headwind hurts mpg. Because wind can have such an affect on speed, be a bit cautious when someone claims speeds that deviate to far from what others are claiming. While most scooters owners don’t ride for sport, some folks can’t help themselves (myself included), and feel they need to be braggadocious.

Aerodynamics matter. There may be nothing you can do about the scooters base design itself, but avoiding add-on accessories will help. Above I mentioned accessories like tail top boxes and side bags for the weight they add, but their drag will also hurt speed. However adding the optional windshield most manufactures offer will do far more damage. I know it serves a purpose by limiting the amount of bugs and other debris that hit the rider, but it does cause wind resistance, and it will slow you down. Hold you say! “You’re wrong Andrew. Even if the windshield wasn’t there, the riders body would cause the same amount or air resistance regardless.” You’d be right… if the rider wasn’t able to duck by leaning forward. If you think I’m being ridiculous, just listen to two passionate scooter owners (again, myself included) brag over the smallest things. Trust me, if gaining a single mph more can be obtained by leaning forward, it will be done.

Elevation can also play a role in a scooters performance. The closer you are to sea level the more oxygen there is, the more oxygen you have the better the engine combustion, which leads to better performance.

Road conditions and terrain will also have an affect. This one may seem a little to bring up, but I’ve shocked by friends bragging their scooter can go x miles an hour, but not include the fact they were kinda down hill. 🙂

Use It As Intended

Also remember, by design scooter where not built with high-speed intentions in mind. Not only are the motors small, in this case a 150cc, but handling and braking weren’t designed to drag knee in a corner and stop on a dime like a motorcycles. Instead manufactures focus on qualities like comfort, fuel efficiency, and safety. But you know, a casual ride can be just as rewarding (“It’s also safer!” – every Mother ever).

4-stroke vs 2-stroke Engine – Speed vs Quickness

Raw speed is only one-half of the equation. Sure it’s a blast to go fast, but don’t undervalue the joy of quick acceleration.

In general, 4-stroke motors are slower off the line, but can reach higher top speeds. Whereas 2-stroke motors are faster off the line, but have a lower top speed.

Additional benefits of a 4-stroke scooter engine
  • Better durability and reliability. Do to the way 4-strokes engines work, they run at lower RPM’s which means they do less work. Less work means they’ll last longer before needing an overhaul.
  • Cleaner burning, less pollution. This is due to fact they run only on gas and not a gas/oil mix.
  • Better fuel economy because fuel is only consumed once every forth cycle.
  • Provides more torque at lower RPM’s. This will help provide the extra “grunt” off the line you need to, let’s say, start going on a steep hill.
  • Much quieter engine. The combustion happen on a separate stroke than lubrication which helps contain the sound.
Additional benefits of a 2-stroke scooter engine
  • More power. Instead of the piston firing on every forth stroke, it fires every other. This equates to about a 30% to 40% increase in power.
  • Basic in construction. This means things are less likely to go wrong. For example, 2-stroke engines don’t have values.
  • Lighter than 4-strokes.
  • Cheap to repair. There are simply less things that can go wrong.
  • Provides better torque at higher RPM’s. 

Max Speeds Of Popular Scooters

First, I’m going to start off with a short rant. When trying to put together this list, I had no idea it was going to be so hard to find out the top speed of these scooters. For some reason manufactures don’t make it easy to find this information. I know above I mentioned how wind, elevation and more have an affect on speed, but the manufacture should able to create an accurate control and produce some sort of reliable data. So I did my best to try and get as close to accurate as possible by referencing many different sources. If you see a scooter in the 150cc (ish) class I didn’t include, but should have, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Yamaha SMAX - Top Speed: 70 mph
  • 155cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke, SOHC single cylinder; 4 valves
  • 81 mpg
  • List price: $3,699

Honda PCX150 - Top Speed: 70 mph
  • 153cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
  • 100 mpg
  • List price: $3,599

Piaggio Liberty 150 - Top Speed: 61 mph
  • 155 cc i-get single cylinder 4-stroke, 3 valves
  • 94.8 mpg
  • List price: $2,999

Vespa Primavera 150 MY18 - Top Speed: 61 mph
  • 154.8 cc 4 stroke single cylinder with electronic injection
  • 98 mpg
  • List price: $5,099

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  1. Even if you lean forward, you will still be taller and wider than the windshield. So that argument is bunk. Yes, leaning forward will reduce drag but the wind screen is irrelevant because the rider will ALWAYS be the larger in height and width. The purpose of the wind screen is not to deflect bugs, its there to reduce rider fatigue by taking some of the wind forces off the rider, but not so much that its causing extra drag. Its also extremely helpful in colder temps by deflecting away some of the ice cold air that would otherwise be hitting the rider in the chest area.

  2. James Stamper. Not entirely true. The full windshields are completely non aerodynamic. They are almost like a parachute except have a slight curve for somewhat better airflow than a chute. The human body is not flat with defined edges like a windshield , thus air tends to flow smoother across curved surfaces… which is why many bicyclists wear spandex clothes. Yes casual clothing trailing in the wind will cause significant drag, however as the author noted leaning can reduce the drag. I think the author should have expanded on this idea.
    Back in high school I used to have an old Puch moped and my buddy had a Peugeot (I think) and on lunch break we would go for rides …often heading down a smooth nicely paved stretch through the forest. There was a long stretch that was about 5 miles of open road between stop sign, with no intersections, merges and free of potholes , bumps etc. It was along this stretch that every day we would max out our scooters racing each other.
    Our scooters were pretty much a equal match, and we quickly found that with the proper “tuck” (leaning way forward) we could eek out an extra 5mph on the top speed. Definately not the safest riding position as we were hugging the scooter in a truck where as our eyes peeked out just over the handle bar stem. Also one hand tucked away and one on the throttle. Like I said ….not the safest… and dont anyone get any ideas and try this at home.
    A little off topic… one lunch break my scooter was able to slowly overtake and leave my buddies scooter behind… I say an addition 5mph faster. I hadntvtold him about my simple performance model until he caught up with me at the stop sign.
    I had taken an old chrome horn , (the kind with the rubber ball you squeeze ) and sawed the neck off to fit the intake side of the carb. I think I had to add a piece of curved pipe to get the horn opening facing forward. Basically at higher speeds, the shape of the horn causes a venturing effect, which speeds up the flow of air into the carb. Also having the opening facing forward made a “ram air” kind of set up, in which the air rushing by was forced into the carb.
    I remember demonstrating the setup to my buddy as we rode side by side. We would hit max speed and I would slip the horn over the carb. The engine RPM would kick up and off I’d go.

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