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Choosing a Moped for City and Country Use

Yehudah Posnick

The idea of putting pedals on a gas-powered motorcycle has been around since 1912. Since the word “moped” is a contraction of “motor” and “pedal”, you’d think that every moped has to be motorized and be equipped with pedals. That certainly was the case until recently. But you’ll see gas-powered light bicycles that are considered “mopeds”, even though they don’t have any option to pedal them.

We’ll see that a moped can be either gas- or battery-powered. It’s usually good for commuting within the city, or on various types of terrain when outdoors. They are equipped with wide wheels that are capable of handling dirt roads, snow, sand, gravel, and mountain roads. Some are similar to an electric bike, in that they give you the choice of pedaling as on a typical bike or using the motor to assist you when going uphill. Other mopeds have more powerful motors and are comparable to scooters in terms of speed and performance.

We’ll go through some of the offerings on the Best Reviews Guide list of mopeds. Depending on the model you choose, a moped can help you maneuver through traffic when commuting, provide another way of exercising, or allow you to enjoy the great outdoors!


What is the difference between a moped and a scooter?

Mopeds and scooters are both small, two-wheeled vehicles that are popular for commuting and transportation in urban areas. There will be some overlap between the functionality of mopeds and scooters since you can find mopeds equipped with a motor and transmission that’s comparable to that of a scooter. While they may look similar, there are some key differences between the two:

  • Engine size: Mopeds typically have smaller engines than scooters. The engine’s cylinder capacity is measured in cubic centimeters. A larger cylinder will mean a greater ability to mix fuel with air for more combustion, and thus more power. A moped’s engine size will usually range from 49cc to 150cc, while scooters can have engines up to 500cc or more.

  • Pedals: When it was originally introduced, a moped was a two-wheeled bicycle with a low-powered engine to give you a boost when pedaling. But nowadays, mopeds may have pedals like a bicycle, which can be used to assist the engine or propel the vehicle without using the engine at all. You’ll typically see pedals on battery-powered mopeds. Scooters do not have pedals.

  • Speed: Mopeds are generally slower than scooters. However, a moped’s top speed will depend greatly on the size of the engine. A moped with a 50cc moped will usually have a top speed of around 30 mph, while mopeds with a 150cc engine can go as high as 70mph. Scooters can have a motor as large as 750cc motor, so they can achieve speeds as high as 75 mph.

  • Licensing: In many countries, mopeds can be ridden with a standard driver's license or a moped-specific license, while scooters may require a motorcycle license or endorsement.

Overall, mopeds are generally simpler and less powerful than scooters and are designed for short, urban commutes, while scooters are more versatile and can be used for longer trips or on highways. In fact, experts recommend against taking a moped on a highway, because they don’t go fast enough to keep up with traffic, which jeopardizes your safety.

Types of Mopeds

Looking at the different products in the Best Reviews Guide list of mopeds, we see that they fall into two main categories:

  • Gas-powered mopeds: As we mentioned in the FAQ section, the size of the moped’s gasoline engine will determine how fast the moped can go. If they’re equipped with a 50cc motor, they’re usually limited to a speed of around 30 mph. Nowadays, gas-powered mopeds usually will have a step-through frame and no pedals. An example is the X-Pro Tahiti 150-cc Moped. Its maximum speed is around 55 mph.