Did you know that despite their small engines, 50cc scooters can go a lot faster than 45 km/h or 30 miles per hour?

Really – it’s possible, at least it is if you derestrict one.

In this blog post, you’ll discover more about derestricting 50cc scooters and mopeds, including:

  • What it actually means when you “derestrict” a 50cc scooter or moped
  • Why this engine size is subjected to so much restriction
  • 1 CRUCIAL legal aspect to consider before you decide to derestrict your scooter or moped
  • 3 common derestriction techniques

What Does It Mean to “Derestrict” a Scooter or Moped?

Prefer to get this information in podcast form? Listen to the 30-Minute Motorcycling Podcast episode about what derestricting a 50cc scooter or moped really means:

Whenever the term “derestriction” is mentioned, it’s usually around scooters and mopeds that belong to the 50cc engine class.

In many countries, 50cc scooters and mopeds contain a special “restrictor” that limits the maximum top speed.

Therefore, if you derestrict your scooter, it means you remove any restrictor mechanisms that limit the scooter’s or moped’s top speed.

Why are 50 cc scooters subjected to so much restriction?

It all comes down to one reason – legality.

Unlike their 125 or 250+ counterparts, 50cc scooters are usually restricted by a certain top speed.

For example, in the United States, the maximum top speed for a 50cc scooter is limited to 30 mph (48 km/h) – although it varies from state to state.

In Sweden, the top speed is either 25 km/h (15 mph) or 45 km/h (28 mph), depending on if the scooter belongs to Moped Class 1 or 2.

When unrestricted, a 50 cc scooter is actually capable of speeds as high as 96 km/h (or 60 miles per hour).

Are You Thinking of Derestricting Your Scooter? READ THIS FIRST

If you’re going to derestrict your scooter or moped, you must, in many cases, have a motorcycle license and valid motorcycle insurance.

Otherwise, prepare to be in a load of legal trouble if you get stopped by the police. 

How Do You Derestrict a 50cc Scooter? Some Common Methods

1. Removing the variator restrictor

The first derestricting method directly relates to the CVT transmission’s variator.

On many 50cc scooters, the variator will have a special restrictor nut behind it that prevents the variator from sliding further on the shaft.

If you’d like to see how it’s done on a Genuine Roughhouse, check out this handy tutorial video from the New Scooters 4 Less YouTube channel:    

2. CDI box and carburetor fuel washer adjustment

Did you know that your CDI box has a special connector that transmits information about your scooter’s RPMs?

Knowing that – what do you suppose would happen if you disconnected or cut this connector (usually colored purple)?

That’s right – you’ll fool the scooter into thinking that it has a much lower RPM rating than it actually does.

Of course, that’s just half the battle – you’ll also need to adjust a small washer inside your carburetor that controls how much fuel goes into it.

Sound complicated? Not to worry –if you’d like to see how it’s done, check out this tutorial video from Relaxed Turning: