Quality Moped

I'd like reccommendations from the experienced on what are the most reliable, trouble free 2 person mopeds made. Looking for a durable machine to carry my wife and I ( Combined wt 360) for country day trips at low speeds. BTW, we live in NY and have to deal with the regs as to getting a Class A or B machine. Thanks in advance! Jeff

Re: Quality Moped

ItsLookingUp /


Others will probably challenge me here but, here goes. I wouldn't recommend any 50cc moped or scooter as a two person vehicle. That much weight will really shorten the life of the engine/transmission. NY has hills and even mountains... a single rider will be crawling up 20 degree inclines at 15 to 20 mph. If you want to ride on the same bike I would suggest you consider a motorcycle. As far as durable goes, stay away from scooters they have a lot of plastic. Generally, older mopeds are constructed better. I don't know the difference between a class A or B machine so I can't comment there.

Re: Quality Moped

david f martin /

Itslookingup, I have to disagree with you about the durability of scooters. The plastic body panels are merely there to shroud the mechanicals underneath, they are not there to provide any structural support. A scooter frame is not as pretty as a moped frame, because it was designed to be hidden from view.

The smaller wheels on a scooter allow the engine to apply more torque to the pavement, which makes it better at acceleration and hill climbing. If it has a variator (I believe most do), it will have good gearing from takeoff to top end.

Scooters are more of a modern design than mopeds and tend to be faster, with better suspension and brakes. They also tend to cost more.

Most scooters have lockable storage built into them (mine doesn't), but aren't as easy to accessorize as a moped.

Mopeds are more "Old School", but there's certainly a charm to that...

Jeff, the only problem you might have with registering a scooter in NY is that they may consider it a motorcycle. If that's not a problem for you, you could even go to a bigger displacement scooter, which would certainly carry you and your wife.

My '87 Honda Elite 50s has gone thru at least 6 different owners before I got it. I had to fix a few things on it that were worn out or neglected, but I've put about 2600 miles on it since last March (mostly at 40mph), and it still runs like a swiss watch.


Re: Quality Moped

ItsLookingUp /

I agree that scooters have faster stock take-off (and usually slightly higher stock top end). I also agree that the body panels are there to give the bike style and provide no structural strength. However, as far as "durability" goes scooters are no match for a moped. Scooters are very expensive when the body panels start braking, which they do. I think the real issue here is whether anyone would recommend either as a two person vehicle for regular riding.

Re: Quality Moped

david f martin /

Mine's not set up for two people for sure, but it would probably handle it in a pinch... As far as asthetics, my panels are pretty beat up, but it doesn't really bother me that much... I've got them attached in places with tie-wraps and tape... I've wrecked it once, my son's wrecked it once, and I'm sure it's been wrecked a few times before. It's kinda ratty, but it runs just fine.

360 lbs. is a bit much for any 50cc bike, though...

There's this old guy that rides past my workplace most every day, sometimes towing a lawnmower and carrying a weedeater, on a very loud Tomos ratbike... I wonder what he's done with it...


Re: Quality Moped

david f martin /

I forgot to add to the last post... This old guy sometimes has a pretty ugly girlfriend riding on the back (NOT with the lawnmower and weedeater). He has to climb a pretty steep hill to get to the traffic light at the corner, but he always makes it.


Re: Quality Moped

dont buy a moped for that load. it'll suck, I've tried it.

Re: Quality Moped

i wouldnt recomend a moped for 2 people...no moped will carry 2 people up many hills, and would go very slow on flat. i would recommend a honda helix 350cc....

Re: Quality Moped

ItsLookingUp /

That's funny... I can picture it!!! Ugly broad ratted out moped. Do they has smoke cigs while they ride? I'm not picking on scooters. I have had several. But All of them I'm familiar with have body panels that are cracked or broken. They just can't handle being laid down. I had a Honda Aero, to replace the body panels was $475.00. I sold the scooter as is and bought a Vespa Ciao.

Re: Quality Moped

david f martin /

No way I'd spend $475 on new panels...

Actually, I kinda like my ratted out scooter. I've thought about pulling all of the plastic off of it and fabbing a new body... Not pretty, just functional.

When I get a new pair of white sneakers, I can't stand 'em till they get good and greasy and dirty. I guess I don't much like shiny new looking stuff.

We've got 2 other mechanics where I work. The kid has a shiny clean tool box full of Snap-on tools, neatly arranged and polished. The old guy has a big nasty greasy toolbox full of greasy tools piled up in all the drawers, hardware, papers everywhere... He knows where everything is, and he can fix anything.

New and shiny doesn't cut it for me.


Re: Quality Moped

Why don't you buy two mopeds.

Most states say 1 person only on peds.

OK... I have no idea what Class A or B is.

But I don't believe ANY mopeds are legal to ride 2 people on in most states.

This is a modern scooter that is big enough and powerful enough for 2 people .. but its licensed as a motorcycle... but it has an automatic tranny.

(which is what you want ,... a small motorcycle)

an Aprilia Scarabeo 150cc

<img src="http://www.beaudrymotorsports.com/images/apr/aprscarabeo_touring.jpg">;

Here is an old version of what you want ... Honda CT90 .. but theres gears to shift on this.

(there are a few other similar old Hondas that also fit the bill)

<img src="http://www.250ccbikes.com/images/upload200104240357297722.jpg">;

Wheels and gearing and speed.

david f martin wrote:


> The smaller wheels on a scooter allow the engine to apply

> more torque to the pavement, which makes it better at

> acceleration and hill climbing. If it has a variator (I

> believe most do), it will have good gearing from takeoff to

> top end.


Dave... he actually recommended a small motorcycle... and he's right (for 2 people).

... and on the small wheel/gearing deal .. that is not true... the engineers increase the internal gear ratios to account for the smaller diameter wheels.

If you give the engineers the same engine .. and tell them two different bikes have the same goals .. (acceleration and speed)... but one has to have 10" wheels... the other 20" wheels... they will both have the identical acceleration and speed capabilities.

... because they choose the internal gear ratios to suit those wheels.

Now .. if you take 10" wheels and PUT them on a 20" wheeled machine... well yeah.. its gonna accelerate hard and have a low top speed... but thats not how products get designed.

Re: Most states say 1 person only on peds.

david f martin /

Beautiful bikes... Great pics, Fred.

Any idea what that circular thing over the rear tire on the Honda is?


gas can ?

I'm pretty sure thats an auxiliary gas can.

bikes like that Honda simply fell out of style because people think themselves "above" items like that .. (like mopeds in many cases)... they would be embarrassed to ride them .... people here are so screwy that way ... that Honda trail 90 will do 55mph and accelerate aboout as fast as your Elite (or close)... and can climb very steep trail hills with its dual range gearbox.

Re: gas can ?

david f martin /

The gas can makes sense.

The overall gear ratio, engine rpm/wheel speed is much closer for small wheels, plus less centrifugal mass to deal with. Less gearing overall.


Re: Quality Moped

My Grande goes 30+ with me and my girl....about 315 combined...no problems.

Re: Quality Moped

I weigh 275 by myself. my cosmo runs 38, so far...

I even added footpegs on the back of mine. they're really for me though. kinda like rearset pegs. different place to put my feet, plus they take weight off the shocks and move it to the swingarm... got them at a local bicycle shop. they're really BMX stunt pegs. went to the auto parts store and bought 2 10mm longer bolts. $20 total.


Re: Quality Moped

Thanks to all for the advise and info. The Aprilla looks cool. I think a larger scooter/moped wis the consensus. In NYS a Class B moped goes no faster than 30 and only requires a normal drivers licence. Class A: >30 and requires a motorcycle licence, thus motorcycle course etc,


wheel sizes and gearing and speed

david f martin wrote:

> The overall gear ratio, engine rpm/wheel speed is much closer

> for small wheels, plus less centrifugal mass to deal with.

> Less gearing overall.

Well thats pretty vague ... but if you are still trying to say that smaller wheels make more torque or acceleration... thats totally wrong on the basis of gearing.

You are geting confused by the idea of installing smaller wheels on an existing set-up.

Not on the result you get when you design a product from the start.

(which is what this was about... scooters vs peds and smaller wheels being an 'advantage' )

Heres a scenario.

two motor-bikes ...

... we'll call one a scooter (with 8 inch wheels ... tire OD is 12")

... the other we'll call a moped (20 inch wheels ... tire OD is 24").

... twice as big ... (outside diameter)

... the both have the same exact motor ... the same centrifugal clutch on the end of the crankshaft .. with the same sprocket on clutch.

We put a 30 tooth sprocket on the back wheel of the moped with the 24"OD tirees.

We put a 15 tooth sprocket on the back wheel of the scooter with 12" OD wheels.

The two bikes will have the exact same top speed.

... and the exact same RPM at any speed.

Now... are the small fat wheels lighter than the large thin wheels ? ... (you'd have to weigh them)

They might actually be heavier ... the thin spoked wheels and tires .. on say my Hobbit... are very light... maybe just as light or even lighter than the fat stamped steel wheels and tires on scooters.

So we'll assume the two sets of wheels equal weight.

This leaves ONE small advantage for the small wheels... that is ... the 'center of rotational mass' of the small wheels is closer to the center ... therefore they are easier to accelerate.

A very small difference ... probably the equivalent of one rider weighing 5 pounds less than another.

The reason scooters are 'faster' in general is ... they are much more modern designs .. and many of them are not designed with the 30mph limit that mopeds were supposed to live with.

They have higher compression ratios and more aggressive cylinder porting and better designed exhaust pipes and more advanced variators.

It ain't the wheels.

Re: wheel sizes and gearing and speed

My 'scenario' example bikes have no trannies... just a direct chain drive from the cent clutch to the rear wheel.

Re: wheel sizes and gearing and speed

david f martin /

Well, a larger wheel definitely would have more of a "flywheel effect", even if both wheels weighed the same. Also, I think the closer you get to a 1:1 ratio (engine/wheel), the less energy you lose to friction/vibration through the extra gearing.

The trans on my bike is just the variator (which is mounted directly to the crank), clutch, and a single reduction gear at the rear wheel. Much less complicated than a Tomos trans. I'm sure it has to be more efficient.


Re: Quality Moped

Jon Dalton /

I would look for a Honda C70 or C50. Not a moped, but very similar in design and their 3-speed semiautomatic transmissions will allow you to go up hills easily. These Honda 4-strokes are also reliable and long lasting. I used to take me and my wife everywhere on a single Honda PC-50 with only one gear. We live in Hamilton, a city built on a big escarpment. That PC-50 would get the two of us up the hill most of the time although sometimes it was awfully slow.

Re: Quality Moped

John, Thanks for the info! Jeff

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