World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (2023)

World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (1)

A Real Machine
Eric Manning is one of those guys who are driven to make something real and tangible. He’s a guy I know personally, and I am privileged to have the opportunity to shed some light on his recent project. I felt a formal interview would be the best way to get Eric’s ideas across and I have included the Q&A below. Now, I love a good concept rendering as much as the next guy, and virtual “what if” images certainly have their use for marketing, but I get real excited when I see an idea get built and it works as intended. In an industry full of fluff renderings and blue-sky concepts never to be built, here’s a refreshing exclusive to The Kneeslider about a genuine creator who comes from the Build it-Test it-Break it-Build it Again-Go Faster school of thought.

World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (2)

What Manning has meticulously designed is a lightweight, small displacement land speed racer to be used as a test bed for maximizing efficiency of small engines and vehicle aerodynamics. This is real-world privateer development that benefits from decades of experience in building the fastest World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (3)motorcycles on earth. You see, Eric’s ol’ man is Denis “Bub” Manning, who is no doubt a legend in motorcycle streamlining and a recent AMA Hall of Fame inductee. Bub has been chasing land speed records for close to 40 years, and his son, Eric, practically considers the Bonneville Salt Flats like a second home. When they’re not setting speed records, the father-son duo runs Bub Enterprises, which has become the #1 selling aftermarket exhaust system for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. My dad bought a set of Bub’s high-performance pipes in the early 80’s for his Yamaha 650, and they’ve kept in touch ever since. That bike is in my garage now, still sporting the original chrome Bub pipes and it runs better than ever.

Staged Development
The engine for Eric’s prototype streamliner started life in a 2002 Aprilia RS50, but has been highly modified and runs on methanol and nitrous. Manning enlisted engine builder, Richard Farmer, to whip the little 2-stroke in to shape, the same guy behind the engine development on the recent world’s fastest motorcycle, Bub’s 350mph 500hp V-4 powered streamliner. Last year, Manning’s team ran the 50cc test engine in a stock Aprilia frame, and with the help of BMW record holder Andy Sills in the saddle, they went 77.128mph to break the record in the MPS-AF class that stood for 28 years. Phase I was a success.

World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (4)

(Video) I Built An Insane Motorcycle. Four Times.

World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (5)

The Phase II machine started life in Solidworks and was fabricated almost entirely out of laser-cut aluminum to form a lightweight, rigid truss-like structure. From what Eric tells me, the sole purpose of the Phase II machine is to dial in specific “modules” such as steering, suspension and the engine. Then, once the designs are proven, the modules will be incorporated into a completely new carbon fiber monocoque construction. This is the kind of systematic development you usually hear about in MotoGP or Formula1, but guys like Eric and his team are proving that all it takes is some good ol’ fashioned ingenuity, determination and the ability to use the tools you’ve got.

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If you have ever experienced a speed event at the Bonneville Salt Flats, then you know the type of people who run machines there. From my own experiences, I would speculate that the desolate location itself is what predisposes these gearheads to maintain a work-with-what-we-got mentality and thereby pride themselves with living in reality to make things work. There are also many factors at play at Bonneville that only add excitement to the challenge such as shifting wind, moisture, traction, heat, lunar tides, running out of beer, and so on. So, it’s not as easy as just going fast, you’re up against planet Earth, too. If you beat these odds, and walk away with that little timing slip, then you’ve accomplished something truly indescribable.

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Bonneville attracts mostly self-taught individuals and highly skilled folks who probably only keep their day jobs so they can afford to go racing. You’ll see men and women, young and old. You won’t hear a lot of “that’s how it’s always been done” or “it’ll never work”. You will hear the occasional “that just can’t be done”, though, if your machine is shaped like a brick and you just don’t have the horsepower to push it through the air. It’s a simple formula and it changes exponentially. But, if you’ve got a fancy degree and little experience, don’t go to Bonneville and tell these guys how to produce horsepower or break records.


Toys Got Bigger, More Expensive
When I first met Eric, it was in the mid 80’s during a family trip out West, and around the time Bub was running the S&S-powered streamliner he called “Tenacious”. I was 9, and I’ll never forget what it was like to see that blue streak shoot across the great white desert for the first time at 270+ mph. World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (8)We were guests in the Manning’s Grass Valley, California home and Eric and I played and talked about cool stuff like dirt bikes, video games and blowing stuff up. I now believe that experience on the salt as a child has had a profound effect on my life. That word “tenacity” has stuck with me all along and I finally know what it means. Bonneville is a surreal place, that’s for sure. So, Eric and I are still doing the same things we were doing as kids, and that, we feel, is what happiness is all about. I know that many people talk about that, but few are lucky enough to get to do it.

So why do this? Well, I can tell you that these people take going fast very seriously. But, most importantly, it’s about having fun in the process. One thing I’ve learned about the Manning’s, is they never joke about speed or horsepower. Everything else is pretty much fair game and they are truly a joy to be around. I’m not sure if it’s the water in Grass Valley or what, but they sure know how to enjoy life!

Interview with Eric Manning:

B.Case: Your Phase I project was a stock Aprilia RS50 running a modified engine, with your Phase II creation being a complete ground-up purpose-built machine. Will the Phase III machine be an evolution of the current chassis, but with a streamlined shell to go after the absolute 50cc record of 144mph?
Eric Manning: Phase III will be a full streamliner with a carbon monocoque frame. The idea behind the transitional bike is to test and refine the steering, suspension and the engine package. I wanted to cut that development down dramatically and test each of the components separately on the Phase II motorcycle. These modules will be in the final carbon frame.

B.Case: Last year, your rider, Andy Sills, set a record with the RS50 at 77.128mph. What was it like to break a 28-year old record with your first project?
Eric Manning: It was incredible knowing that we got the record. You look in the record book and think that you have a very good shot at it, but when you factor in the wind & track conditions the odds get a lot smaller.

B.Case: Describe what it’s like to design and build a machine from scratch, and then test it on the hallowed Bonneville Salt Flats proving grounds?
Eric Manning: Bonneville is the last place in my mind for a privateer to compete. The rules are based on safety, not what sponsors of the big manufacturers agree on and that makes it very special. Innovation is not a dirty word at the salt. You can’t get banned for a good idea.

(Video) Not saying this 50cc makes 30hp, but...

B.Case: You say this year was all about testing the new purpose-built frame and suspension. What sort of things did you learn with the new setup once you hit the salt?
Eric Manning: One of the first things was the difference in traction for handling. We had steering issues. Our bike is more of a streamliner and bit more challenging to ride at low speeds. The frame design itself was very easy to work on and maintain.

B.Case: Being that the Kneeslider readers are a fairly technical bunch, can you describe for me your design guidelines for things like weight distribution, ground clearance, rider positioning, and traction?
Eric Manning: Well the most important design challenge was the packing for Andy on the bike. Trying to get the frontal area to the bare minimum was the first goal, and then using Solidworks FEA, I was able to design the frame with a comfortable safety factor. The real bulk of the design is the packing of the sub components. That was really tough to keep it simple.

B.Case: I noticed you’ve utilized some rapid-prototyping techniques with some of your part designs. Are there other teams at Bonneville using this approach?
Eric Manning: I don’t know to what extent the other teams are using that technology, but it has sure taken a lot of the wasted time out the project. When you’re dealing with complex machine parts or castings, the RP parts can save weeks of expensive manufacturing.

B.Case: Bonneville has got to be one of the flattest, most surreal environments on Earth. As we accelerate faster and faster towards alternative vehicles, do you feel there will always be pioneers like you proving their designs out on the salt?
Eric Manning: Sure, I think that what it’s all about. To push the limits of any technology defiantly pulls in pioneers. Half the fun being at Bonneville is seeing the off the wall designs people come up with.

B.Case: Your dad told me once how a salmon inspired the extremely low-drag shape of his “Seven” streamliner. Will the same sort of aerodynamic “biomimicry” play a role in your designs?
Eric Manning: Yes, and no I’m not ready to share those designs yet. We are sponsored by Solidworks, and they have a Flow program that we are using to design our shape. We plan to head to the wind tunnel in full scale when ready.

B.Case: Now in the motorcycle hall of fame, your dad has been a pioneer in motorcycle streamlining for 35+ years. Would you say the Salt Flats are like a second home for you?
Eric Manning: There are very few times that I wasn’t at the salt. I met my wife, Delvene, at the Australian salt flats at Lake Gairdner.

(Video) The REAL SECRET of the world’s FASTEST TWO STROKE!

B.Case: You’ve got a 7-month old baby boy named Jack, and he’s already been to the Salt Flats. No doubt, Jack is going to have some very big salt-encrusted shoes to fill. Is it safe to say that Bonneville is in your family’s blood?
Eric Manning: Yes, land speed racing is very close to my family and will continue to be.

B.Case: Where can we follow the project and find out when you’ll be testing the machine next?
Eric Manning:

Manning’s 50cc LSR Specs:
•2002 Aprilia RS 50
•Methanol Fuel with Readline Oil Premix
•Metrakit: Engine modifications (Cylinder, Piston, Crank, Primary, Reeds)
•Pingel: Nitrous Express Kit, remote starter, accessories
•Barnett Clutch
•Custom Fuel Injection with NX control
•Custom frame purposely designed for land speed racing
•Laser cut and CNC bent aluminum alloy

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World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (10)

World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (11)

(Video) 125cc vs 1000cc (you don't expect this)

World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (12)

World’s Fastest 50cc Motorcycle Project (13)

All pictures supplied by Eric Manning.
Links: 50cc LSR Bub Speed Trials at Bonneville


What is the max speed of 50cc? ›

On average, the top speed of a 50cc moped is between 25-30mph. To get the most accurate answer, though, we need to look at all the factors that affect the speed of a 50cc moped, starting with the legal restrictions.

How fast is 49cc in mph? ›

A 49cc moped is going to be able to hit a top speed of 30 miles per hour.

What is the most powerful 50cc? ›

What's the fastest 50cc moped?
  • Peugeot Speedfight.
  • Yamaha Zuma 50.
  • Piaggio Zip 4T.
  • Gilera Runner 50.
  • Aprilia SR50.
  • Yamaha NMAX 125.
  • Honda PCX 125.
  • Kawasaki J125.
Apr 2, 2020

Can a 50cc moped go 60 mph? ›

How fast is 50cc? Production 50cc motorbike and scooter top speeds range between 50-100 kph (about 30-60 mph).

Can a moped go 100 mph? ›

100cc Mopeds

The top speed of 100cc bikes ranges from 50 to 70 mph (80 to 112 km/h) on average, but most production models are capable of 50 to 60 mph. In contrast, the world record speed of this engine type exceeds 116 mph (around 186 km/h).

How much power can a 50cc make? ›

50cc Motorcycles:

Lightweight motorcycles with 50cc usually have 2-stroke engines that produce anywhere from 3 to 9 HP. However, some racing 50cc motorcycles can pack a punch, getting up to 15,000 rpm, with anywhere from 10 to 20 HP.

Whats faster 50cc or 125cc? ›

125cc e-scooters, on the other hand, have a higher engine capacity and offer more power and speed compared to 50cc e-scooters. With a top speed of around 60 mph, 125cc e-scooters are ideal for those who need to travel longer distances or for those who want a more powerful riding experience.

Is 49cc the same as 50cc? ›

What's the difference between a 49cc and a 50cc scooter? The answer: NOTHING! All 50cc scooters are "49. something cc", so they fall within their own category for the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Is 50cc fast enough? ›

Typically, a 50cc moped is going to have a top speed of 30 miles per hour. At 30mph, you are going to be driving more than fast enough for most local trips. Driving around a town, city, village, or local area is much easier at 30mph.

How fast is 125cc in mph? ›

The short answer is that the top speed of a 125cc, on average, is somewhere between 65mph and 80mph.

Can a scooter go 30 mph? ›

Any 30 mph electric scooter is fast. But in terms of top speed, it's not fast. The benefit of this speed range is for fast long commutes. And 30 mph electric scooters can still be pretty portable, whereas the fastest electric scooters aren't, as their larger battery packs add weight to a heavy scooter.

What is the fastest moped? ›

The BMW C 650 GT comes in at top speeds of over 100 mph, only just barely slower than the Honda Grazia. Unlike most mopeds and smaller scooters, this moped from BMW has a ton of power, with a relatively large and urbane engine.

What does CC stand for in 50cc? ›

Meaning of CC in bikes

Cubic capacity or CC of the bike is the power output of the engine. The cubic capacity is the volume of the chamber of the bike's engine.

What is the highest CC for a moped? ›

Mopeds can be driven with any class of driver license. Mopeds are classified as having an engine capacity not exceeding 50 cc (3.1 cu in) and a maximum speed not exceeding 50 km/h (31 mph). Electric mopeds must have a motor between 0.6 to 2 kilowatts (0.82 to 2.72 PS; 0.80 to 2.68 bhp).

Can 50cc go on highway? ›

50cc Moped Limitations

To elaborate, motor scooters, such as 49cc mopeds, are often unable to go faster than 35 mph, thus making them unsafe to use on the highway. That said, the above assessment somewhat implies that mopeds capable of going faster than 35 mph are safe to drive on the highway.

Can a moped go 40 mph? ›

Moped vs.

What you should know Mopeds top out at 40 mph (less with increased rider weight) and may achieve triple-digit gas mileage.

Why are 50cc scooters restricted? ›

50cc engines (and their electric motor equivalents) have a standard limit on their speed – the 50cc moped is essentially the slowest vehicle allowed on public roads. The restriction on their engines means they have a slower top speed than what they're actually capable of, as per legal requirements.

What is faster than a moped? ›

A scooter is essentially a stripped-down small-displacement motorcycle with a step-through chassis. Most scooters have engine power in the range of 50cc to 250cc, which means they can be substantially more powerful than mopeds and can reach higher top speeds.

What is faster scooter or moped? ›

What is a scooter? Scooters are similar to mopeds in many ways but typically have larger engines that range in size from 50cc to 250cc. That means higher top speeds, as high as 60 or 70 miles per hour.

How fast is a 300cc scooter? ›

A sub-50cc scooter typically can go up to 63 km/h and a 300cc scooter can go up to 128 km/h.

How many cc is 1hp? ›

For most small engines 32.5 CC is equal to 1 horsepower. CCs are a unit based on engine volume while horsepower is a measure of the pulling power generated by the engine.

How many cc are there in 1 HP? ›

Several illustrations to prove the slight correlation between HP and cc of various engine sizes and types reveal that one HP is equivalent to roughly 14cc to 17cc. These numbers are what you can use for this conversion technique.

How long does a 50cc engine last? ›

3. The engines don't last as long. The general rule of thumb is that a 2-stroke scooter engine will last beyond 30,000km assuming a normal servicing schedule is being kept up. Having said that we have customers with over 50,000km on their little 50cc scooter and they still run fine!

How fast does an 80cc motor go? ›

HIGH PERFORMANCE: Unlike most standard bicycle engine kits, the Mega Motors 66/80cc comes standard with high quality components designed to last. This engine puts out 5-6HP (horse power) and has a top speed of 25-35MPH (miles per hour) stock.

How fast is 110cc in mph? ›

In short, a 110cc dirt bike should reach a top speed anywhere between 35 mph and 45 mph, although some new and more expensive models claim to be able to get close to the 60 mph mark.

How fast is 500cc? ›

Engine size of 500cc (Scrambler Model)

This engine will reach a maximum speed of 63 mph.

How old is my 50cc motorcycle? ›

Becoming a moped rider

The minimum age to ride a moped is 16 years and you will need to: complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for the relevant motorcycle category. pass a theory test. pass practical tests.

Are 50cc bikes restricted? ›

As standard, 50cc mopeds have restricted engines. This means they have a lower top speed than what they're engine is actually capable of reaching, but this is a legal requirement.

Is 50cc a 2-stroke or 4-stroke? ›

Almost all scooters on the market today over 100cc have 4-stroke engines. However, at small engine sizes, particularly 50cc, a 2-stroke engine will produce much more power than an equivalent sized 4-stroke, which is why most 50cc scooters on the road today are still 2-strokes.

How much HP is a 49cc? ›

49cc Stationary Engine - 2.5HP.

How far can a 50cc moped go on a full tank? ›

Generally a moped has about a 5 liter gas tank or 1.32 gallons. Scooters can get between 100 and 120 mpg, so that leaves us at an estimate range of 132 to 158.4 miles or 212 to 255 kilometers.

Is 50cc worth buying? ›

A 50cc scooter is ideal if you are looking for something to just ride around town. Since it is a small engine, these scooters also get the best mileage. However, an ideal scooter should be between 125cc to 150cc for most scooter riders. This engine size is perfect if you want to ride beyond city limits.

Is 25 mph fast on a scooter? ›

25 mph can be really really fast, and you need to develop a little bit of skill to handle the scooter at these high speeds. The 48V and 9.6 Ah battery offers 461 Wh battery is also much larger than those found in most other lightweight electric scooters.

How powerful is a 50cc engine? ›

In something like a chainsaw, a 50cc two stroke engine produces around 2–3HP. But considering that a 2022 Yamaha YZ125 produces 34HP from 125cc, it is not hard to see that you could get lots more. With the same HP per liter as the YZ125, you could get almost 14HP from 50cc.

How many horsepower is a 50cc motorcycle? ›

50cc Motorcycles:

Lightweight motorcycles with 50cc usually have 2-stroke engines that produce anywhere from 3 to 9 HP. However, some racing 50cc motorcycles can pack a punch, getting up to 15,000 rpm, with anywhere from 10 to 20 HP.

What is the world record for Kreidler 50cc? ›

In 1981 rider Jan Huberts also tried to break the record:

They broke the record with this Kreidler powered bike, on a new, not open yet, piece of highway in Holland. The new record : 221,965 km/h !! That is 137.952 miles/hour on a 50cc bike!!

What is the top speed of TGB r50x? ›

The final drive gearing, mated with ideally weighted rollers, lets the scooter achieve its [real] maximum governed speed of 53km/h (62km/h indicated) in just under 8 seconds.

What moped goes the fastest? ›

Only scooters with measured 0 – 30 mph times on the ESG test track have been included.
RankScooter30 mph Time
1NAMI Burn-E3.7 s
2Kaabo Wolf King GT3.8 s
3Dualtron Thunder II4.4 s
4*Dualtron Storm4.9 s
6 more rows

How much is 1 HP in cc? ›

Several examples that show the slight relationship between horsepower (HP) and cubic centimeters (cc) of different engine sizes and types show that one HP is equal to about 14cc to 17cc. For this method of converting, you can use these numbers.

What motorcycle holds the speed record? ›

The BUB team, using a custom-built V4 engine, then alternated as record holders with Ack Attack over the next four years. As of November 2022, the Ack Attack team has held the motorcycle land speed record at 376.36 mph (605.69 km/h) since late 2010.

What is the quickest world record? ›

There aren't many unbreakable Guinness World Records titles, but this is one of them. The fastest speed possible is the speed of light in a vacuum, where its velocity is 670,616,629 mph (1,079,252,848 km/h), equivalent to 10,337,670 cheetahs, 5,082 of the planet Mercury, or 12.5 S4714 stars.

Who makes the TGB 1000cc engine? ›

Taiwan Golden Bee (TGB) is a subsidiary of Taiwan Vespa Company (TVC), and was established in 1965 under a license of Italian Piaggio.

How fast is 570cc? ›

570cc—65 MPH

If you're looking for some real nail-biting ATV speed, this will get you there.

Who uses TGB engines? ›

TGB variants today work reliably in scooters, quads and motorcycles of leading world manufacturers such as Polaris, Aprilia, Piaggio, BMW, Vespa, Rotax, Peugeot, Motori Minarelli, Motori Morini, SYM and others.


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