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If you’ve listened to Episode 16, you’ll know the differences between a moped and a scooter. But do you know what a “noped” is?

If you don’t, this is the episode for you.

Tune in to discover:

  • The definition of “noped”
  • How the ignition system for the very first mopeds worked


Hello, and welcome to another episode of 30 Minute Motorcycling – a podcast for those riders who are at the beginning of their own Dual Wheel Journey, where you’ll discover something new about how your motorcycle, moped, or scooter works – in less than 30 minutes


If you’ve listened to Episode 16 of this podcast, you’ll know the differences between a moped and a scooter. 


But do you know that there’s a special kind of moped called a “noped?” More importantly, do you know what it is?


That’s what you’re about to discover in this episode. 


So – what is a noped?


A noped is like a moped in many ways – except one. It has no pedals. 


In fact, that’s where the name comes from – just like how “moped“ is a combination of the words “motorized” and “pedals,” “noped“ is a combination of the words “no” and “pedals.” defines it as a “motorbike which resembles a moped in many ways, except it lacks pedals.”


An example of a noped includes the Suzuki ZA50.


So that’s the answer to what a noped is. But perhaps you’re now wondering “what is it with mopeds and pedals, anyway?” 


In order to answer that, we need to go back to the 1950s, at the dawn of the mopeds in Europe. 


Back then, most mopeds were bicycles with small two-stroke engines attached to them – certainly a far cry from today’s technological marvels, especially in terms of their ignition system.


There was no kickstart mechanism – and mopeds with electric ignition would probably only exist in one of those 1950s pulp science fiction novels.


So how do you start one of these 1950s mopeds? Here’s where the pedals come in. 


What you would do is you’d start pedaling one of these old mopeds like a regular bicycle, then after 5 meters or more, the engine would kick in and do the hard work for you.


Not unlike today’s e-bikes, except noisier, not to mention smokier. 


Anyway, this type of ignition was commonplace on mopeds until they were eventually replaced by the kick-start mechanism, although some mopeds, like the first generation Puch Maxi for example were still built with pedals.


Despite the advance of kick-starters and later electronic starters, some countries require certain types of mopeds to have pedals. 


As an example, Germany has a class called “Mofa” which requires mopeds with a top speed of 25 km/h to have pedals.


So now you know not only what a noped is, but also why mopeds had pedals in the first place during their infancy.


If you’d like to see a video about how one of these pedal mopeds worked, I’ve included a link in the podcast show notes to a video on YouTube about it


As always, I hope you enjoyed listening, and above all, that you learned something new.  


Until next time, keep your helmet on and your eyes on the road. Bye!