Mopeds Information

Mopeds are a type of low-powered motorcycle designed to provide economical and relatively safe transport with minimal licensing requirements. Mopeds were once all equipped with bicycle-like pedals , but moped has been increasingly applied by governments to vehicles without pedals, based on their restricted engine displacement, speed, and/or power output. Mopeds occasionally resemble powered bicycles, but most are now step-through designs and step-over designs similar to a regular motorcycle. Although mopeds usually have two wheels, in some jurisdictions low-powered three or four wheeled vehicles are also classified as mopeds.

In most countries, the legal driving age for a moped is lower than for regular motorcycles and cars. Mopeds are typically restricted to 50 kilometres per hour from a maximum engine displacement of 49 cubic centimetres , though there are a few variations.

The term "moped" now only applies to low power vehicles, but pedals were a sign of sophistication when first fitted to the early motorcycles, such as the 1912 Douglas in the photograph. Pedalling away from stationary was a great improvement over "run and jump" and LPA was valuable for climbing hills. Better transmissions with wider ranges, better clutches and much better engine performance made pedals obsolete on all serious motorcycles by 1918 but the pedals on mopeds remained valuable for their original purposes as late as the 1960s.

Wikipedia, Mopeds, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mopeds (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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