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Objects of irrational desire: the Motoped

An engine on a bicycle is the thing you need to speed up that tiresome commute

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Useful, efficient, lightweight, clever. These are all the good reasons to like Motopeds. But better than that, they’re just damn cool. Kind of a cross between a mountain bike and a moped, they come in three flavours: Cruzer (kind of retro-styled boulevardier), Pro (like a weeny Moto-X bike) and Survival (utilitarian/military-inspired - check out the ‘Black Ops edition’).

Full of clever, fun details, they come with a 49 or 125cc motor, kicking out either 2bhp or 7.8bhp (careful now), and have fully-adjustable shocks, proper brakes, and essentially look like super-butch MTB pedal bikes. Some 140mpg is achievable, and even though a top speed of between 24 and 38mph isn’t going to break any records, it’s plenty fast enough to buzz through traffic. And you can just pedal the 49cc version through cycle lanes. At 123lb, they ain’t heavy, either, so transport on a decent bike carrier on the back of a car isn’t unreasonable.

Priced between about fifteen hundred quid for a basic version ($2,299), to about £2,600 ($3,799) for a full-spec (without options), they’re not outside the realms of a useful toy. After all, people spend that much on a mountain bike, and for urban commuting, it’s more stylish than a traditional ‘ped.


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