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Thinking about a moped

Old 12-10-06, 04:20 PM
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bike756
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Thinking about a moped

Does anyone have experience with a moped? I am thinking I want one for the longer trips around here. Are they safe? Reliable? I think my parents might get me one for christmas if I ask for it. I looked on ebay and found them from 400-2000 dollars. What is a resonable price? I want one with an engine that can go at least as fast as 45-50mph.
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Old 12-10-06, 05:13 PM
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I was considering building one soon using an old mountain bike frame and a chainsaw engine. I have no idea how well this will work, but theoretically it should be able to get up to around 50 mph with pedal start. It will also probably be totally illegal here. I'm going to try to get it to run on alcohol to avoid the horrible smog that's characteristic of two-stroke engines.

A moped seems like it would be a very good compromise between a bike and a motorcycle. You have the engine power available if you need to go very far quickly, but you also can still involve human power. On the other hand, I've never actually met someone who regularly uses a moped, so I don't really know what it's like.
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Old 12-10-06, 05:14 PM
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I've never owned a moped myself but I've had plenty of friends that have. You'll need to check your states laws for the speed a moped is allowed. Many of them are governed to only obtain a certain speed. 45mph is obtainable on most mopeds I've seen if you put a little work in them. However most states seem to have a limit of 35mph or less, in Iowa I know it was 35mph and has changed to 25mph in the last few years. As far as price it can vary from $200 to $3000 depending on what you want. Your best bet IMO would be to find a kid that's getting a car and wants to get rid of his moped, they'll usually get rid of them for pretty cheap.
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Old 12-10-06, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bike756
I looked on ebay and found them from 400-2000 dollars. What is a resonable price? I want one with an engine that can go at least as fast as 45-50mph.
If you want to go that fast, and are willing to spend money in that price range, a motorcycle might be a better fit for you. A brand new Honda Rebel is only $3k.

http://powersports.honda.com/motorcy...delId=CMX250C7

I know it's not a moped, but in terms of utility it is probably a better deal. A used one would be even less. My roommate sold his old motorcycle for ~$500, and it was completely functional.

From what I understand (which I admit is not much) a 4-stroke motorcycle engine is more efficient and will produce fewer emissions than a 2-stroke engine on a moped would. I've seen estimates ranging from 60-100 mpg for a Rebel.
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Old 12-10-06, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Seggybop
I was considering building one soon using an old mountain bike frame and a chainsaw engine. I have no idea how well this will work, but theoretically it should be able to get up to around 50 mph with pedal start. It will also probably be totally illegal here.
Any plans for how to stop it safely? Lights? Signals? Any of that stuff interest you? Not probably illegal.
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Old 12-10-06, 09:48 PM
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I want one with an engine that can go at least as fast as 45-50mph.
If you want a vehicle with relatively low emissions, get one with fuel injection. These are generally not cheap: $3000 or more if they're brand new. (I think.) Fuel injection also improves fuel economy though.
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Old 12-10-06, 09:50 PM
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In Texas, if it can go 45-50 MPH, it's not a moped... it's a motorcycle. Whole different ball of wax in terms of licensing. Electric bikes here are covered under bicycle laws, and can legally ride in bike lanes.
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Old 12-10-06, 09:59 PM
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I'd recommend a smaller displacement Honda motorcycle. One of the older 125CC versions should net over 100mpg and go 45-55mph, more with aerodynamic mods, be fairly reliable, and not cost an arm and a leg. A moped could also provide this, w/o the hassle of insurance, but you'd need to mod it.
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Old 12-11-06, 05:14 PM
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For a plethora of information on mopeds, check out Moped Army.
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Old 12-12-06, 01:37 AM
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I should add, that something like this in a moped frame would do very well. A biofueled, 120mpg moped with a top speed of 60mph on level ground should be adequate.
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Old 12-12-06, 12:19 PM
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It seems to me that a moped isn't much improvement over riding a bike. If you really need to go further, faster, a motorcycle makes a lot more sense. Especially one that is highway legal. I recently got a much better job that is unfortunately 25 miles away by highway. I bought a motorcycle for this commute, but when I am home I get around by bicycle and the motorcycle stays in the garage. Something like a Kawasaki Ninja 250 should get about 60-70mpg and still be fast enough to ride on the highway. A scooter would be another option, but most of them aren't highway legal.
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Old 12-12-06, 01:42 PM
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+1 in reference to the previous poster.

I have had mopeds, scooters, motorcycles and, of course bikes. Mopeds in almost all states are classified because they have an engine, pedaling mechanism, and top out at about 30 mph. Stick with a good bike over a moped.

A scooter isn't much of an improvement but will go a bit faster and you have the quality of a name like Honda or Yamaha behind it.

I think the best route is the Kawasaki Ninja 250. I've owned three, the most recent of which my wife wrecked--the dreaded cage makes a leftie in the path of a bike. I've given up motorcycles after this recent mishap and returned to bicycles. Back on topic, the ninja does offer 69 mpg on the highway and will top out at around 100mph. Even in town they achieve 60mpg, easy.

Good Luck but personally, I am sticking to bicycles (and am striving to use my truck less and less.)
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Old 12-14-06, 06:17 PM
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Four stroke scooters are available from several manufacturers these days. Honda and Yamaha both make small scooters (50cc) that are fairly clean and get great mileage. From what I've read 125cc bikes are better if you want to carry a passenger or keep up with faster traffic. 250cc scooters are basically upright motorcycles and are capable of freeway speeds.
50 and 125 cc scooters are available from big brands like Vespa, Honda, Yamaha for $2000 - $3000. The cheaper scooters are China imports that are often unserviceable due to lack of actual dealers vs. importers.
I think a 125cc scooter from Honda or Yamaha would make a good vehicle for longer distances for the car free person. It is probably not suitable for a several hundred mile trip however.
This is all based on my mostly internet research into scooters. I have not yet had a need for one.
Craig
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Old 12-15-06, 07:56 PM
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My buddy's got a 70 something Batavas moped: old ugly, 400 bucks. On cold days he takes the bike (to keep warm), on hot days he takes the bike (so as to not straddle a hot peice of steel), in between is biking weather. He only uses the thing to get big stuff, pick up a person or let me ride around honking the horn and laughing maniacly. On the plus side you can join moped gangs.

jim
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Old 12-19-06, 08:32 PM
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Here you go.

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001377.php
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Old 12-25-06, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Seggybop
I'm going to try to get it to run on alcohol to avoid the horrible smog that's characteristic of two-stroke engines.
...so what would you lubricate the engine with?
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Old 12-26-06, 12:05 AM
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Synthetic two-stroke oil will dissolve in alcohol.
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