You might know the difference between a moped and a scooter (and if you don’t, here’s a blog post that explains it), but do you know the difference between a “noped” and a moped?
If you don’t, this blog post is for you, where you’ll discover:
- The definition of a noped
- Why mopeds had pedals in the first place
Here’s why mopeds had pedals
The first mopeds that appeared in Europe in the early 1950s were bicycles with small two-stroke engines attached to them.
Certainly nothing like today’s technological marvels – especially not in terms of the ignition system.
These early mopeds didn’t have a kick start mechanism – and electronic ignition was pure science-fiction in those days.
So how would you start one of these early mopeds? Here’s where the pedals come in.
You’d start it up by pedaling, just like a regular bicycle, and eventually, the engine would kick in and do the most of the hard work for you.
Sometimes, it happened within 5 meters – other times, it took a while.
Either way, the first mopeds worked like a smokier and noisier version of today’s e-bikes or e-scooters.
For an example of what it looks like in action, here’s a YouTube clip of a 1958 Mobylette being started up:
But even in the 1970s, when kickstarters were common on many mopeds, some of them still had pedals, like the first generation Puch Maxi (pictured below):
Some countries even had laws requiring certain types of mopeds to be equipped with pedals.
For example, Germany has the “Mofa” class which requires mopeds with a top speed of 25 km/h to have pedals.
It’s for this reason that the word “moped” is a combination of the words “motorized” and “pedals” – a term coined by Swedish automotive journalist Harald Nielsen in 1952.