Derbi Motorcycles Review: Range, Reliability and Cost


Derbi Motorcycles are a Piaggio-owned company that makes striking-looking 50cc bikes in the enduro and supermotard style. And thankfully, they’re also Euro 4-compliant for road use.

For younger riders looking for something capable on the dirt, road, and track, Derbi bikes are worth a closer look. 

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About Derbi Motorcycles

Derbi started near Barcelona in 1922. The owner focused on hiring and repairing bicycles for the first twenty-two years of its existence. Only when they began to produce their own line of bikes did they consider working on a motorised version. 

Their first attempts were more scooters than motorcycles but were popular for their reliability. The success of these machines led to a change of direction for the company. In 1950, Derbi unveiled their first real motorcycle, the Derbi 250. 

Unlike Bultaco and Montesa (now collector’s items), Derbi survived the fall of Franco’s dictatorship and Spain’s entry into the EU. They also saw massive success in the 50cc world championships.

When the capacity of this class was changed to 80cc, Derbi continued to dominate the Grand Prix circuit, winning four consecutive world titles. This expertise makes them a leader in making small displacement, high-performance machines. 

Derbi’s original owner died in 1988, and the company remained independent until 2001. At this point, they were bought by the Piaggio group, who continue to manufacture these bikes today. 

The Derbi Range

Senda X-Treme 50 R

Derbi Senda X-Treme 50 R

The 50R doesn’t look like your typical beginner bike. The spoked, full-size wheels (21” front, 18” rear, wide handlebars, bright fairing, and high-routed exhaust all contribute to an aggressive, off-road look. 

The double steel beam frame is sturdy and compact. This, combined with a high sitting position and wide bars, gives a reliable feeling of control. The 2-stroke, liquid-cooled engine uses a lightweight alloy cylinder that produces maximum torque, even at low revs. 

37mm, hydraulic front forks with 170mm of travel ensure control on the road and enough give to soak up bumps on the trail. A rear mono-shock provides 200mm of travel. It also looks great and contributes to the ‘big bike’ look. 

The yellow and blue livery looks smart too. The bodywork has an angular feel, offset by bright highlights. The Italian pedigree shows in the overall design. A digital display and convenient neutral light will help newcomers get to grips with their new toy. 

Senda X-Treme 50 SM

Derbi Senda X-treme 50 SM

By the looks of this machine, we’re assuming the “SM” stands for supermotard. This model is set up with tarmac-ready sport/road tyres and alloy rims – built on the same double steel beam frame as the 50R. 

The 2-stroke engine also uses a lightweight alloy cylinder with respectable torque for its size. An electronically controlled carburettor means smooth, reliable performance. And the included catalysers make this Euro-4 compliant. 

The SM model also uses the same 37mm fork up front and mono-shock in the rear. The brakes are also a cut above a typical 500cc. A 260mm stainless steel disc in the front is stopped by a floating calliper. The rear uses a 220mm disc with a similar calliper design. 

The SM is available in the same yellow and blue as the R model. It also comes in a black and orange colourway, giving it a more street look. It features a fully digital display and a series of warning, neutral, and indicator lights. 

Senda Racing 50 SM 

Derbi Senda Racing 50 SM

The Racing model is (unsurprisingly) the sportiest in Derbi’s range. Built on the same double steel beam frame and sporting the same 2-stroke engine, this delivers some of the most fun you can have on a 50cc.

That lightweight, 2-stroke engine ensures decent torque at low revs. And the low overall weight means the limited power isn’t too encumbered. 41mm upside-down forks make this look slightly more premium than other models. Those forks feature 240mm of travel – more than enough for the road or track. The rear suspension uses a mono-shock with 200mm of travel. 

Black, anodised handlebars and sleek black and yellow colour scheme give this a stealthy feel. The 17” alloy rims are big enough to look like a real bike but small enough to be agile in traffic or a racing situation. 

Adjustable brakes are a feature that isn’t present in the other models. The dual-piston front calliper can be modulated. This gives the Racing SM extra versatility. You can set the brakes up for road use and adjust them for finer control when at the track. 

All motorcycles can be seen on Derbi