a strange concept to go out and road test some restricted
50's, especially after spending years on much larger and way
more powerful bikes, but these two little Malaguti 50's looked
such a tempting proposition that I just had to have a go!
The latest generation of
50cc real motorcycles (I say that as opposed to all the scooters
around!) have very little in common with the bikes I grew
up with a few generations ago. The new 50's both look, and
feel like much bigger bikes as opposed to the smaller models
from Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki some years back. The icon of
the 70's & 80's the Yamaha FS1E, was
a tiny little bike, but it was a real motorcycle, and that's
what everyone wanted then. But now were are faced with small
engined motorcycles that have full size adult proportions
in every respect.
Malaguti 50 XTM enduro-style, and the XSM supermoto
fall easily into this category. The overall design dimentions
and geometry of these new models, especially the frame design,
would have been seen as overkill a few years ago, even for
bikes of much larger capacity. The seat height, footpeg position
and overall riding position on both of these superb 50cc 'real'
motorcycles is a far cry from the so-called 'mopeds' of the
past. I can honestly say that if you are under about 5'7"
or don't have fairly long legs, then you won't be able to
even get on either of these Malaguti 50's, your feet just
won't touch the ground! But in saying that don't be put off,
there is a lowering facility for both of them at the rear,
so you can drop it by about 20mm, just enough to suit most
people under that crucial height.
Both these 50's are restricted
to 30mph as the law requires, it's a shame as I rode an unrestricted
XSM Supermoto a little while ago and it was just great fun
up to about 55/60mph. The restricted versions are all well
and good but do struggle a little without the available power.
Both bikes are just perfect for 16yr olds, street cred is
everything, and the Malaguti 50's have it by the bucket load!
Both bikes share the main components, the Paioli forks, the
watercooled motor, motorcross intakes for the radiator, cool
digital dash, funky colour schemes and with the exception
of the wheels being different they both ride just the same.
XTM comes with motorcross tyres and larger wheels (18"
and 21"), whereas the XSM comes with sticky road rubber
and 17" front and rear. There is also a brake difference
between the two bikes, the XSM gets a 20mm larger disc for
those mad 'stoppies' we all know Supermotos can do! The XTM
enduro version has a slight weight advantage at 96 kg, two
less than the XSM. This is of course dry weight, you will
have to add 6.7 kg of fuel, and 1.2 kg of oil for the separate
oil mix of the 2 stroke engine. The fuel/oil mix of the single
cylinder is managed by a pump, all you have to do is maintain
the oil level in the tank on the front right hand side of
the bikes, on the other side is the radiator, hence the motocross
Both the XTM and the XSM
are powered by a 49.7 cc liquid cooled engine, this is fuelled
by a Dell'Orto PHBN16-HS carburetor. The ignition is obviously
electronic on most things nowadays and with the emissions
of 2-strokes being monitored closely both bikes come with
a catalyser making them conform to the recent Euro 2 emission
requirements. A manual kick start, multi disc wet clutch and
a six speed gearbox add to the entire package to get you the
best available power delivery.
Both bikes are different to ride, yet both
bikes are the same in their performance. Being restricted
there is only so much you can do with them, but however you
ride them they are both fun to take out. The XTM and XSM are
both perfectly suitable for every day use in and out of town.
Ride the Malaguti (either one!) and you wil find them both
agile and very manoeuvrable. East to ride, forgiving and an
ideal learning tool to progress tolarger motorcycles. That's
what these bikes are all about, a stepping stone to bigger
and better bikes which give you the satisfaction of actually
having a bigger (looking) bike to learn on. The riding position
leaves you a little squeezed up due to the high pegs and the
lower bars (especially if you are tall) but the riding experience
overall is very good. The engines, although restricted, are
still fun, and can be fairly exciting when they reach top
revs. The unrestricted version was indeed fun to ride, but
you will have to wait a while for that!
All in all I enjoyed the Malaguti
50's, they are good bikes to start you journey into
motorcycling with, they both look good and have some serious
'pulling power' on the street (if you know what I mean!),
the only thing you'll have to put up with is the lack of speed,
which is no bad thing to start with. A cool package and well
worth a look at instead of those plastic scooters we see everywhere!