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

Noped Definition

According to, a “Noped” is a “motor bike which resembles a moped in many ways, except it lacks pedals.”

Yes, you read that right – “pedals.” But why did mopeds have pedals at all?

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):

Image by Paolo2710, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

To recap, here’s what a “noped” is:

The easiest way to explain the difference between a moped and a noped is to take a look at the pictures below:
If you look closer, you’ll notice that the Honda PA50 Hobbit (pictured on the left) has pedals. However, the Suzuki ZA50 (pictured on the right) has no pedals. Just like “moped” is a combination of the words “motorized” and “pedals,” “noped” is a combination of the words “no” and “pedals.”