Moped Features that Define This Subgroup
Mopeds are a class of motorcycles which is defined by several key traits: being lightweight, economical, safe and easy to ride. Along with scooters, mopeds are the smallest and slowest category of motorcycles and, in certain areas, the two terms are synonymous.
The word "moped" is the result of combining "motor" and "pedal" which used to characterize the original mopeds, but not modern ones. Those were actually equipped with pedals in addition to a small motor, allowing them to resemble powered bicycles. The main purpose of the pedals was to get the moped going as it was a lot easier than relying on the small motor. Most newer mopeds have foregone the use of pedals, even though they are still not equipped with a powerful motor. In fact, their motors are allowed a maximum displacement of 49 cc and are restricted to 30 mph.
The Benefits of Mopeds
Mopeds are a preferred method of transportation because it is very accessible, both in terms of the cost of a moped and in terms of who is allowed to ride one. The legal driving age for a moped is lower than that for other vehicles in almost all parts of the world due to the fact that it cannot go very fast. In the U.S., regulations regarding the use of mopeds vary from state to state. In some states the maximum driving speed is as low as 20 mph while in others they allow mopeds with powerful engines up to 130 cc. Certain states such as California still require mopeds to have pedals.
Another big advantage of mopeds is the excellent fuel economy. Most mopeds can get around 100 mpg or even more and one tank of fuel can last for over 200 miles. However, there are concerns over the emissions of mopeds as these seem to be far greater than that of automobiles. As a result of this, catalytic converters have been fitted to a lot of moped motors in order to improve the emissions.
Legally, the moped is not classified as a motorcycle. The exact term differs from state to state, but motorscooter and motorized bicycle are often used. As a result of this, it is subjected to lower insurance costs and taxes. However, many drivers choose to modify their mopeds in order to improve their performance. When this happens, the mopeds needs to be reclassified as motorcycles in order to remain road legal.