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How to Derestrict a 50cc Scooter

Updated April 17, 2017

Derestricting your 50cc scooter allows the scooter to accelerate quicker and travel at a greater top speed; this makes for a safer and easier ride on larger roads. Most 50cc scooters are restricted by the placement of a spacing washer in the drivetrain system, also known as the variator system. Removing this washer allows the scooter's variator system to operate at its full potential, increasing the scooter's acceleration and top speed.

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  1. Remove the kickstand from the side of your scooter: Pull out the pin that attaches the kickstand to the side of the scooter. You may need to loosen the bolt at the end of the pin slightly before pulling it out.

  2. Open the variator system by first removing the plastic intake covering -- the covering is often fastened to the outside of the variator system with two or three bolts that can be removed using a socket wrench.

  3. Detach the metal lid from the variator system -- the lid is secured with six bolts around the outside of the variator case; three of these bolts are located on the top of the lid, and three are located on the bottom. Remove the bolts with a socket wrench, as you would the bolts holding a tire rim in place, by alternating between top right, bottom left, top middle, bottom middle, top left and bottom right.

  4. Secure the front pulley wheel with a strap wrench. Wrap the strap around the wheel and tighten it. Position the handle of the strap wrench under the rear pulley wheel, so that it will wedge underneath the wheel when you unscrew the bolt holding the front wheel in place.

  5. Loosen and remove the bolt holding the front pulley wheel in place, using a socket wrench, before taking the front pulley wheel out of the variator system.

  6. Take the washer off the front pulley rod -- the washer restricts the belt's access to the front pulley rod, preventing the scooter's drivetrain from operating at full potential, thus limiting its acceleration and top speed capabilities.

  7. Reassemble the variator system, the intake case and the kickstand.

  8. Tip

    Bypass steps 4 and 5 by using an impact wrench to remove the front pulley wheel.


    Derestricting your scooter will affect its overall top speed. For 50cc scooters, the maximum speed allowed in most states is 30mph. If your scooter is able to travel over this speed when it is derestricted, you may need to register it as a larger class vehicle at the DMV.

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Things You'll Need

  • Impact wrench
  • Strap wrench
  • Socket wrench

About the Author

Samuel Hamilton

Samuel Hamilton has been writing since 2002. His work has appeared in “The Penn,” “The Antithesis,” “New Growth Arts Review" and “Deek” magazine. Hamilton holds a Master of Arts in English education from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Arts in composition from the University of Florida.

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