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Scooter Review

TGB Tapo 50 Review

A sum of parts that will surprise for the price point. The Tapo 50 from TGB, budget scootering taken to a new level.

Allen Drysdale


What you may not know about TGB is that the name "TGB" actually stands for something.  The "Taiwanese Golden Bee" company was formed back in 1978. Since then TGB has been developing its very own blend of scooters, motorcycles and ATV's for various export markets. Being an export company with a huge customer base in Europe, TGB continue to develop models with these larger markets in mind.

In Australia we also share our own unique history with TGB. Models like the 101S 50 have spent a fair amount of time in the spotlight as Australia's number one selling scooter. So welcome the TGB Tapo 50, a new model by TGB aimed squarely at the youth market of Europe. Do we benefit from this? You bet we do.....


TGB have long dedicated themselves to building solid reputable 50 cc 2 stroke scooters. The TGB Tapo 50 is the latest incarnation, its been compiled using all the good ideas.

First up you need to remember the Tapo has a price point of just under $2000. Yep just $1990 plus your state and dealers on road costs.

And whilst styling may be reminiscent of models gone by, the Tapo 50 feels a whole lot different. Very much like every new model coming out of the TGB factory these days, very Euro, very solid and reassuring. But onto the features......

Front brakes look and feel smart. Up front we have a wave disc with single piston calliper that looks a treat painted gold. Working back to the handlebars, these are covered by a newly designed fairing that houses a dash layout that again has a very cool euro feel to it. I love the front mudguard, it keeps reminding me of many of those hypersport motorcycles that are out now.

The Tapo 50 features a flat floor and bag hook, under the seat its full face helmet territory all the way. Whilst under the seat you'll find a handy 12 volt charging socket. The 2 stroke oil reservoir is located here also. The long flat seat means the Tapo will accommodate a number of shapes and sizes, its a comfortable riding position.  

The rear rack is a really solid quality item. The top box ready the rack can be used with confidence in hauling the Tapo up and onto its well balanced centre stand. A side stand compliments the package.

The mirrors are direct from the Bullet range, top quality, not plastic and flimsy. Whilst where on the subject of sharing parts we should mention the wrap around exhaust which finds its way onto the Tapo. Again a couple of top quality parts not really associated to the budget 50 lifestyle. 

Being a 50 cc 2 stroke means that the Tapo has a fair amount of zing off the line. The Tapo's motor punches out a competitive 4.9 hp, and its power you feel immediately.

Another nice feature are the pin-striped alloy wheels. These are shod with better then budget Maxxis road rubber. Front suspension is borrowed from the 101S whilst the rear gets away with just a single shock. 

On The Road

The Tapo accelerates surprisingly briskly from standstill. Like any good 50 cc 2 stroke motor, you get that sudden pleasant surge of power that has you moving comfortably with the surrounding traffic. The Tapo has a nice growl coming from the wrap around exhaust. If your not seen on the road then your definitely going to be heard.

There is actually enough torque to accelerate up gradual inclines, and bar larger hills, the Tapo will pace itself at a steady rate. Remember in standard trim the Tapo is restricted to 50 Km/h. That said it reaches the mark quickly (for a 50), you can feel yourself being limited so my guess is there's plenty to come.

The light, thin nature of the Tapo will have you cornering better then any GP racer in no time at all. Its actually a bag of fun, the Tapo handles the roads with a high level of reassurance. I'm positive that some of this maybe due to the 12 inch Maxxis rubber, but the whole package does feel a notch above other 50 cc TGB models (all bar the Bullet of-course).

Maybe its the rubber, maybe its the alloy wheels, but you do come away thinking your not on a scooter with an under 2 grand retail.

The brakes are more then adequate, and remembering the Tapo 50 weighs a mere 94 Kg, it was always going to pull up easily. The wave disc set up just enhances the level of feel.

Living day to day with the Tapo should be relatively fuss free. Maintenance items like 2 stroke oil are easily accessed under the seat. You add fuel at the rear,  access to the tank is gained via the ignition key. With a lack of weight the Tapo is extremely easy to manoeuvre . Placing the Tapo on the centre stand, it just glides back without any effort what so ever. All in all a very low maintenance scooter to live with.

The dashboard is nice and visual, I like the new centralised speedo, its a welcome upgrade. Just a clock please Mr TGB.


Easy to service and maintain, a 50 cc 2 stroke scooter has got to be one of the most efficient forms of transport on the road today. Nothing beats short commutes on a 50, cheap on fuel, servicing, inexpensive to purchase.

If your daily commute involves suburb to suburb commuting then scooters like the Tapo should be very much in the mix when it comes to choice.

The Tapo 50, like I've said throughout , is a definite step forward in quality and feel. You can see the target, it has the Euro 50 market firmly in its sights. There are no rattles, nothing loose, just a really solid reassuring feel. It looks cool, its fun to ride and there's plenty to play with if tinkering is your thing.

So there you have it, cheap to run, cheap to purchase, but certainly not cheap on quality. The sum of parts surprising for the price point.

And finally if your in one of those states that allows you to ride a 50 on a car licence then its just another reason to give the Tapo a chance. 



published 17/05/2010

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