Are you curious how fast a small displacement scooter or moped will go?
In general, top speed will correlate with engine size. The smaller the engine, the lower the top speed.
Depending on how far you plan on riding and where you plan on riding, it’s an important metric to consider.
While smaller engines aren’t known for speed, they are great on gas mileage.
However, engine size and top speed will also determine how your state DMV will classify and regulate the vehicle. You can learn more about that topic here: Scooters vs. Mopeds.
How Fast Does a Moped Go?
The top speed for your scooter will often depend on how large the engine is.
For a bike to be considered a moped, the top speed is typically no faster than 30 mph.
But, you’ll also need to think about licensing, registration, and insurance requirements when selecting the right bike.
The engine size and speed of your scooter will affect how your state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) classifies the bike.
For something to be considered a true moped or motorized bicycle, it will typically need:
- An engine no larger than 49cc.
- A top speed of no more than 30 to 40 mph.
At those thresholds, many states will not require a motorcycle license, license plates, or insurance.
However, if your scooter has an engine larger than 49cc and a top speed of over 30 mph, it will typically be treated the same as a standard motorcycle for licensing and registration purposes.
|Scooter/Moped Engine CC||Estimated Top Speed|
|>49cc||30 to 35mph|
|50cc||35 to 45mph|
|100cc||40 to 60 mph|
|125cc||50 to 60 mph|
|150cc||55 to 70 mph|
|250cc||70 to 80 mph|
Note that these are estimated ranges, the top speed for your scooter may be higher or lower depending on the overall design of the bike and the engine.
You can learn more about some of those topics here:
50cc Moped Top Speed
As stated above, a 49cc moped (or less) will typically have a restricted top speed of no more than 30 mph.
Learn more about 50cc mopeds.
100cc Scooter Top Speed
When you move up in engine size, the top speed capabilities of the scooter will increase.
For scooters in the 100cc range, you can expect a top speed of anywhere from 40 to 60 mph.
125cc Scooter Top Speed
A 125cc motorbike or scooter will be able to reach speeds around 50 to 60 mph.
At this size, you’ll be able to safely ride on higher-speed roads, and will be more comfortable during longer rides.
However, at this point, your scooter is considered a small motorcycle and will require the proper motorcycle endorsement, motorcycle registration, and motorcycle insurance.
150cc Scooter Top Speed
A 150cc scooter is a decent size for moderate city commuting.
Top speeds for a 150cc scooter typically range from about 55 to 70 mph.
250cc Scooter Top Speed
With an engine of 250cc, most scooters will be capable of top speeds around 70 to 80 mph.
A scooter of this size will be capable of freeway riding and much longer commutes.
300cc Scooter Top Speed
At 300cc, you’re getting into small motorcycle territory.
You can expect most 300cc engines to top out around 100 mph.
How to Make a Moped Faster
Small displacement scooter engines are often restricted to lower speeds.
There’s not a ton you can do that’s worth the money or effort (or penalties) to increase the speed too much.
In most cases, the best choice is to get a larger scooter if you want to go faster.
That said, derestricted a 49cc scooter to make it faster will typically involve:
- Modify the variator.
- Replace the CDI or modify the stock unit.
If you’re curious, you may be able to experiment with the carbs, airbox, exhaust, or top end too.
However, the hassle is often more than it’s worth.
How Fast Does a 50cc Moped Go Unrestricted
In order to comply with state and federal regulations, small displacement (~50cc) moped engines are equipped with restrictors that keep the top speed around the 30 mph mark.
In some cases, you can remove the restrictor for an immediate bump in speed.
Unrestricted, a 49-50cc moped may be able to reach speeds up to ~40mph to 50mph.
However, doing this may change the licensing, registration, and insurance requirements for the bike.