Piaggio Zip 50 Cat Specs and Info (2001 to 2005)

Piaggio scooter parts
Piaggio Zip 50 Cat specs

2003 Zip Cat 50cc in blue

Piaggio Zip 50 parts on Amazon….

Piaggio Zip 50 Cat Specs…..

The Zip Cat 50cc was a 4bhp, 2 stroke scooter released in January 2001 in the UK by Piaggio. The Zip Cat was a variation of the Zip 2000 with basically the same features and styling.

The Zip 50 Cat had a catalytic converter on the exhaust system and the word ‘Catalyst’ just under the word ‘Zip’ on the badges either side of the tail panel!

Used Piaggio Zip 50 spares….

A little bit about the Piaggio Zip 50cc…..

Basic model info…

Manufacturer: Piaggio
Model: Zip 50 Cat
CC: 49cc
Engine type: Single cylinder (2 stroke)
Style of bike: Scooter
Insurance: Group 4 (of 17) – Save money on your scooter insurance at Confused.com

Models and years (in the UK)

Zip Cat 50cc (Jan 2001 to 2002)…..
Description: Modern scooter with telescopic forks, 10 inch 3 spoke wheels, headlight mounted in the handlebars, integrated front and rear indicators and a dual seat with underseat storage.
Cost new: £1199
Zip Cat 50cc (Jan 2003 to 2004)…..
Description: Same as above model.
Cost new: £1249 to £1299 (the RRP changed from £1249 to £1260 in 2003 then to £1299 during 2004)
Zip Cat 50cc (2004 to 2005)…..
Description: Same as above model.
Cost new: £1349 to £1199 (the RRP changed from £1329 in 2004 to £1349 then was reduced to £1199 in 2005)
Zip 50 side view

Side view of a 2003 Zip 50 Cat

Engine and gearbox stuff…..

Displacement: 49 cc
Engine type: Single cylinder (2 stroke)
Bore×Stroke: 40×39.3mm
Engine code number: C251M
Cooling system: Air cooled
Gearbox: Automatic
Gearbox/final drive oil: Separate final drive oil (80w-90 gear oil)
Max. Power Output: 4 BHP (@6500 rpm)
Top speed (approx): 30mph (restricted UK version)
Idle speed: 1800rpm (+/- 100)
Final drive: Variable belt drive

Zip 50 front and rear view

Front and rear view of the Zip 50 Cat

Carb, fuel and oil stuff…..

Fuel system: Carburetor
Carb type: Dellorto PHVA 17.5RD
Pilot screw: screw should be 1.5 turns from closed
Fuel type: Unleaded petrol
Engine lubrication: Fully synthetic 2 Stroke oil

Please note – Piaggio specify a good quality fully synth 2 stroke oil for the Zip 50. This is because, as with most plastic wrapped scooters, they have a tendency to run hot and a proper fully synthetic 2T oil will protect the engine better!

Final drive oil type: 80w/90 drive oil
Petrol tank capacity: 7.3 litres
Zip cat 50 side

Side view of a 2003 Piaggio Zip Cat 50

Electric stuff…..

Ignition type: Electric CDI
Starter: Electric start and kick start
Electrical system voltage: 12 volts
Spark plug: 1 x NGK BR9ES
Spark plug gap: 0.6 to 0.7mm
Spark plug tightening torque: 25 to 30nm
Spark plug ignition: 1 x Coil (built into the CDI)
Magneto/flywheel tightening torque: 40 to 44nm
Battery: Zip 50 Battery – YB4L-B / CB4L-B
Battery voltage/capacity: 12 volts / 3.6 amp/hour
Zip 50 battery location

Piaggio Zip Cat 50cc battery location under the seat

Shocks, brakes and wheels stuff…..

Front wheel type: 10 inch 3 spoke wheel
Front tyre size: 100/80-10 (tubeless)
Rear wheel type: 10 inch 3 spoke wheel
Rear tyre size: 120/70-10 (tubeless)
Front wheel spindle torque: 43 to 52nm
Rear wheel nut torque: 104 to 126nm
Front tyre pressure: 22psi / 1.5 bar
Rear tyre pressure: 26psi / 1.8 bar
Front brake: Single 175mm disc brake with single piston caliper
Front brake disc: Disc brake MD932D (EBC)
Front brake pad: EBC SFA260
Rear brake: Single 110mm drum brake
Rear brake pads: EBC FA899
Front Suspension: Telescopic hydraulic forks
Stanchion diameter: 30mm
Front fork oil: 10w fork oil
Fork oil capacity (per fork): 100ml
Rear Suspension: Single monoshock
Zip 50 clocks

2003 Piaggio Zip Cat 50cc speedo and clocks

Weights, measures ‘n stuff…..

Length (total): 1,670mm
Height: 1,215mm
Width: 680mm
Wet weight (inc oils etc): 84kg
Fuel tank capacity: 7.3 litres
Zip 50 underseat storage

2003 Piaggio Zip Cat 50cc underseat storage compartment

Service stuff…..

Gearbox / final drive
Change oil: Every 20,000km (12,427 miles)
Gearbox / final drive oil: 80w/90 drive oil
Oil volume: 100ml
Hydraulic brake system
Change brake fluid: Every 24 months
Brake fluid: DOT 4 motorbike brake fluid
Front forks
Change fork oil: Every 24 months
Fork oil grade: 10w (10 weight)
Fork oil volume (per fork): 100ml
Front/side view Zip 50

Zip 50 Cat front/side view

Frame number location…..

The frame number on the Zip 50 is a real PITA to get to. It’s located on a metal plate just behind where the riders foot would be on the underneath of the scooter.
Because of the location the frame number plate is prone to rust and corrosion which can make the frame number very difficult to read!

Zip 50 ignition and bag holder

Piaggio Zip 50 ignition switch and shopping bag holder

Useless stuff…..

The Zip Cat 50 was released in January 2001 and was one of the 2nd generation models of 2 stroke Zip 50.
Similar to the earlier Zip 50 models introduced in 1993, the Zip 50 Cat was a small and agile scooter with a large under seat storage compartment and smart styling which made the scooter popular around towns and cities as well as popular with younger (16 year old) riders.

The Piaggio Zip 50 was also popular with some take away restaurants due to the low new price, fair reliability and simple maintenance (it is fairly common to see Zip 50’s with 50k + kilometers on them in Europe!).

Zip 50 Cat’s were also fairly similar to other 2 stroke Zip 50’s between 2000 and 2010, which means parts are often interchangeable with earlier and later models.

Buying advice…..

As with all 50cc scooters, it can be tricky buying older Piaggio Zip 50’s 2nd hand.
Thankfully, Piaggio Zip 50’s didn’t have any problematic and expensive to replace coded ignitions to worry about and parts are plentiful and fairly cheap for them.

It’s always better (although sometimes difficult to check) to buy one that’s been run on a good quality fully synthetic 2T oil. Piaggio recommended a full synth 2 stroke oil as, like most plastic clad scooters, the Zip’s did have a tendency to run hot which can tend to break down low spec/cheaper 2 stroke oils.

It also worth checking the bike has been cleaned regularly, especially if it’s been used over the winter. As with most Italian scooters the Zip Cat was built for a warmer climate and a build up of road salt around the engine, front caliper and other parts can lead to corrosion of the metal parts like the engine casings (which makes the casing brittle), exhaust and other parts.

The Zip 50’s were fairly easy to steal if not chained up, so stay away from anything that doesn’t have key’s or a logbook.

Zip 50 Cat seat lock

Seat lock location on a 2003 Piaggio Zip 50 Cat

Piaggio Zip 50 spares…

Disclaimer: The Piaggio Zip 50 Cat specs and information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge. But the info should NOT be taken as 100% accurate as we can, occasionally, make mistakes!

If you think we’ve missed any important info out or have something to add, please feel free to leave a comment below…..


48 responses to “Piaggio Zip 50 Cat Specs and Info (2001 to 2005)”

  1. John Norcott Avatar
    John Norcott

    Very helpful web site.Lots of good info.To be recommended.Thank you.I will look at this again when I need simple information,such as;carb make,weight, oils to use,and so on. Great!

  2. James Jones Avatar
    James Jones

    this is very informative, but it lacks in some areas, I would like to know how to take the rear side panels off so I can reach the carburettor and air filter, but the side panels are obstructing the screws, please could I have any opinions or suggested emailed to me asap, thank you

    1. Sorry for the blog article lacking in some areas (we try our best to list as many specs for this bike as we have available).

      You can get to the air filter from the side of the scooter (it is visible so you shouldn’t need to remove any panels). You can also try removing the access panel at the bottom of the storage compartment, under the seat to see if you can access the carb (you can also get to the engine from the panel behind where your feet go).

      If you want to remove the side panels, the part pic on the page below should give you a better idea of how to remove it:


  3. Kevin Bryne Avatar
    Kevin Bryne

    How do i change the gearbox oil on my 2 stroke zip,and what grade oil should i use?

    1. There should be an oil drain bolt on the rear/back of the engine. You would need an 80w90 gear oil.

      1. Brandon Avatar

        Which side of the bike

  4. Hi i have problem with zip 50 ,intermiting ,ignition does not come on ,and by presing horn,it lights up,it just effects starter and flashers,lights are ok ,I think it is earth ,so how could i fix .thanks Mike.

    1. Check the earth connections and make sure they are clean and properly attached.
      If there ok, check the wiring, starting at the ignition switch and working back to see if any wires are damaged, corroded or exposed.

  5. Jimmy ingles Avatar
    Jimmy ingles

    can you tell me how much and how often do I need to put 2stroke in please

    1. How much you should use will depend on mileage, riding style, the bikes oil settings and which oil you use.
      You need to keep a careful eye on the 2 stroke oil reservoir under the seat and top it up whenever theres space.

      Also helps if you keep a bottle of 2 stroke oil under the seat for topping up.

  6. Show people where the restriction cable is. : )
    Disable this to go faster!
    Top speed is then around 65-70kmph with belts adjusted correctly.
    : )
    Fanging round town and keeping up with traffic is a good thing!

  7. Martin Avatar

    I have a 2009 Zip 502T, it has only done 1500 km. goes well, however on starting at low revs get a loud from the screech from the belt casing. It goes away once the revs go up at the bike starts moving. Is this an issue and if so how can I fix it?

    Cheers martin

    1. No, it isn’t a normal sound to get from the casing. Have you tried removing the casing to see if there’s any marks or damage that would indicate something rubbing?

  8. Allright mate was just wondering if you could help me my moped is blowing from underneath and its sound really loud when reving it isn’t the exhaust because I have tightend it

    1. If there’s no holes in the exhaust is the exhaust gasket (goes between the exhaust and the engine head) seated properly and intact?

  9. Roy Quin Avatar

    I have a Piaggio zip but i do not have key is there a way to get one and are they chipped?

    1. I don’t think the locks were chipped (there wasn’t any sign of a chip system on the Zip 50 we had?).

      There’s quite a few locks for sale on Ebay fairly cheap (link below):

      Piaggio Zip 50 locks on Amazon

  10. Bridgette Bruckshaw Avatar
    Bridgette Bruckshaw

    How do I change the gearbox oil and the engine oil in a piaggio zip 4 stroke please 2009? Which oil should I use? I have taken it to the garage for a service in the past but I want to do it myself.

  11. I have a 58 plate zip 50cc battery fitted is lion 12v 8ah so there is no working electrics is it because wrong battery is fitted

    1. The battery should be powerful enough (from the battery ref number you gave).

      If everything is dead, try checking the fuses.

      You could also check the battery is connected properly and check the battery has enough charge (should be 12.4 volts or above)

  12. Just picked up piaggio zip 50 2t that has had a newer engine fitted.
    Log book shows engine as C259M and the new engine shows C25EM. Are there any significant differences i should be aware of when servicing or ordering spares ? Thanks

    1. Not sure to be honest, but, there’s likely to be so you would be better off ordering engine parts for the 2009 to 2013 Zip 50 model (the C25EM engine code was used on the 09 to 13 year model).

  13. Glen Malton Avatar
    Glen Malton

    I would like to buy a piaggio 50cc scooter, second hand, what should I check to know if it is a good buy or not ? I dont want to buy something that has not been looked after.

    1. Glen Malton Avatar
      Glen Malton

      I would like to buy a piaggio 50cc scooter, second hand, what should I check to know if it is a good buy or not ? I dont want to buy something that has not been looked after.

      1. Your best bet, if you aren’t sure about buying, is to take a friend or relative who has bought bikes before with you for advice and guidance.
        There’s no real things to look for, but obviously a good few hundred quid bike with low mileage and service history is likely to be alot better then a high mileage, scratched and ‘modified’ bike for £100……

        Things to look out for are:
        Mileage (lower the better).
        Any unusual engine noises (knocking, pinging etc)
        Very high levels of smoke
        General condition of the bike (scratched/damaged bikes with bald tyres aren’t usually a sign of an owner who’s cared for the bike!).

        I would advise doing an HPI check on the bike your buying to check for outstanding finance, insurance and Police history and avoid anything with a damaged ignition as there’s loads of stolen bikes about….

  14. Timothy Goodwin Avatar
    Timothy Goodwin

    Where do I put the 2 stroke if there is no cap for it only petrol 1 thanks

    1. Are you sure it’s a 2 stroke and not a 4 stroke bike (if it’s 2 stroke the oil filler cap should be under the seat, on the opposite side to the petrol cap)?

      Zip 50 oil location

  15. hi ive got a 2010 2 stroke piaggio zip could u plez tell me the head torque settings carnt find them anywhere thanks its a 50cc

    1. Can’t help you with the torque settings, I’ve got no specs for the 2010 model 🙁

  16. I have a 2016 zip 2t 50cc and when i get near three quarter throttle the motor seems to not want to pick up anymore revs or speed and it bogs down, would this be due to a restricted cdi, too small carb, or the cat exhaust, i have removed the airbox and fitted a foam pod filter, upjetted carb and have mid to dark tan plug, also removed restrictor plate from carb and removed spacer from between pulley halves, and cut off dead end pipe from header pipe an welded shut the hole in header pipe, im getting 65kmh on a flat road and 72kmh on slight down hill road, my zip is quicker from standing start up to around 55kmh, i want to fit expansion chamber exhaust system could you recommend a suitable system and where to find one please ,(im in New Zealand), also an unrestricted cdi unit, cheers.

    1. At a very rough guess, I would say it’s possibly a carb problem, either dirt in them or else they need upgrading to match the rest of the performance mods?

      There’s plenty of aftermarket exhaust systems and parts for you bike but I don’t know any suppliers where you are!

  17. I’ve got a 2006 zip 2 stroke HI-PER 2 AIR COOLED I brought a tyre for it its a 90-90-10 will it fit on the rest?

    1. Errrm, the rest of what?

  18. John Mckay Avatar
    John Mckay

    How would I go about changing the oil in one of these? What filter do I use?

    1. They are a 2 stroke engine, so don’t have a filter?
      The only oil that may need changing is in the rear diff (behind the back wheel).

  19. Benjamin Radotina Avatar
    Benjamin Radotina

    I just bought a 2015 2 stroke Zip 50cc.
    The manual says its time to lubricate the transmission elements. Any idé what parts need lub? And what lub to use?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t have any specs for the 2015 model.

  20. Alan Hoyle Avatar
    Alan Hoyle

    Thanks for all the Info.

  21. Hi do you know where am the cdi unit is on a 09 zip?

    1. They have a combined spark plug coil and CDI, if you follow the thick, black lead back from top of the spark plug you’ll find a box attached to it, this is the CDI/coil.

  22. Christian Ballard Avatar
    Christian Ballard

    Greetings from California! Many thanks for all the info. I have a 2003 Derbi GP1 which as far as I can tell is very similar to this Scoot. (apart from being liquid cooled) Tough to find info on odd scooters in the states!

  23. How hot do the exhaust usually get on a Piaggio Zip 50 2stroke any ideas anyone?

  24. Steve Avatar

    What is the carrying capacity, driver + passenger

    1. There might be a plate on the bike somewhere that states the carrying capacity?

  25. Robert Wilson Avatar
    Robert Wilson

    hello , some great questions that your answers have helped me a lot , could you please put up a pic of where the rear brake fluid goes, as i really cant find it and the rear brake is getting long to brake , thanks in advance and i have bookmarked this page for future referance ,,

    1. Fred64 Avatar

      There’s no brake fluid in the rear brake ,it’s only operated by câble .

  26. Screws on pannels under seat
    one or two under pannels
    and where meets footrest rest is grooved plastic hooks that lift up to release

  27. 100ml per fork means 50ml each side?

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