Moped Scooters or Scooters Mopeds?

What's the Difference? Is There One?

Moped scooters... Isn't that kind of an oxymoron? I mean scooters mopeds... what does that mean?

moped scooters
Typical moped scooters...

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I research every page I put up on this site to see what other sites are publishing related to certain keywords. I knew that thousands of people every day are searching for information on "moped scooters", "moped scooter" and "scooters mopeds", so I wanted to know what they were finding when they did so.

What I found is that most sites seem to be using the terms moped and scooters in combination to basically mean motor scooters or gas scooters.

But that's not quite right. In fact, scooters and mopeds are really 2 different entities, just as motorcycles and scooters are.

Moped Defined

So, I did my homework to find out more about official definitions and I found that both Wikipedia (the Web encyclopedia) and the Idaho Department of Transportation spell out the differences pretty clearly.

black moped scooterThe term moped comes originally from a Swedish journalist as a shortened combination of motor and pedal. And that dual designation describes that most mopeds can be both motor-powered and pedal-powered.

These are the features of a moped vs. a scooter:

  • Low-powered motorized vehicle
  • Usually has 2 wheels, never more than 3
  • Often has pedals that can be used in lieu of or to assist the motor
  • Engine displacement of less than 50cc
  • Usually gas powered, but may be electric powered
  • Usually limited to speeds of 19 to 31 MPH

To my eyes, a true moped looks a lot like a bicycle with a motor.

Governing Laws Often Differ with Mopeds vs. Scooters

Blue moped

Depending on where you live, there may be other legal definitions for a moped in your area. Moped owners are sometimes privileged to not have to be licensed, although that's not true in Idaho, where I live.

Here, anything with a motor on 3 or less wheels that travels on public roads must be licensed. While in Connecticut and other states, you may be able to get away with no governmental oversight as long as you pick a 49cc or less powered scooter. Go figure...

And not every moped can be considered street legal either. Sometimes, especially the electric mopeds, they are little more than kids' toys that can only be ridden on private property.

In Summary...

Definitions in some countries, and even some states within the US, may blur the lines between scooters and mopeds to the point where the term moped scooters actually makes sense... at least to them!

As for me, I'll continue to think of them as 2 different things... but you can do as you like.

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ATTENTION! I have had to delete the Scooter Forum for this site, unfortunately. Despite my best efforts, I could not adequately prevent daily attacks by hackers and spammers. Even though most of their posts did not go public, they still cluttered up my website host's server space, jeopardizing my account. I appreciate everyone's contributions over the past few years and I apologize for having to do this.

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