Mopeds generally come with smaller engines, which also impacts their weight limits. The average weight limit is between 200 and 350 pounds, but this depends on other elements as well, such as brakes and shocks, which is good to know if you are going through Swagtron scooter reviews.
Given that cities are becoming more and more crowded, it’s only normal that people have started looking for alternative modes of transportation to get to their destination without spending hours stuck in traffic. Bicycles have been around for quite some time, and so have mopeds and scooters.
Starting with the early 2000s, kick scooters which have then turned into electric models have also gained huge popularity among adults, so there are actually a lot of options for you if you live in a city and you don’t need to cover extremely large distances for the commute. If you are certain that you want to avoid using a car every day, then a moped might be the right choice.
However, these handy units also come with some restrictions, one of them being the total weight they can sustain. Before going into more technical details, let’s first see what mopeds are, since it’s pretty easy to confuse them with other similar vehicles.
A bit of history
You might not know this, but the word “moped” was first coined in 1952 by Harald Nielsen, a Swedish journalist that combined the words “motor” and “pedaler”. The first mopeds had both elements in their construction, so it’s really not that difficult to understand what inspired this term.
However, things have changed in time, thanks to the multiple technological developments mopeds went through to become a more comfortable way of getting around. In fact, except for vintage models, there are no real mopeds on the streets anymore, given that these units no longer include pedals.
They do look exactly like the original models, but things got a lot easier in terms of handling them. Now that they no longer come with pedals, mopeds are defined by their speed, engine size, and output. That’s why, when you are going through the various models available in this category, these are the main characteristics you should check out.
Of course, it all depends on your riding needs, such as the distance you need to travel and the landscape, since this can determine everything about your future vehicle, including its cost. On the other hand, having a moped can be very efficient, especially if you want to get to school but you’ve just turned 16.
Mopeds are one of the lightest alternatives to “motorcycles” that you can choose. Their engines are usually of 50cc (or even less in some cases) and they can attain a top speed of 28mph. Since we’ve mentioned that they were upgraded in time, it’s a good moment to say that they oftentimes come with a Twist & Go construction, which means that they are automatic.
These vehicles look smaller than the average motorized scooter, even though their wheels are bigger, and they also tend to cost less which makes them an affordable and handy solution.
In terms of their weight, it can range somewhere between 160 and 180 pounds, which means that you can easily take a moped around, even if you are not carrying it. If you are a strong person and have some help, you may even be able to lift it up some stairs, which cannot be said about most scooters or motorcycles.
Of course, it’s a heavier alternative compared to electric scooters, but mopeds are also larger and more comfortable. Before settling on any model that you might want to purchase, you should take a look at the specifications provided by the manufacturer, since the unit’s weight can differ, depending on what extra features it comes with.
Weight limits & risks
Now that we’ve covered the unit’s average weight, we should get to this article’s main question, namely weight limitations. There are several aspects that you need to consider when it comes to this matter. The first one and the most obvious one is the rider’s weight. Then, if the vehicle is going to be used on a daily basis, you need to think about whether the rider will carry stuff.
Even a large and heavy backpack could have somewhat of an impact on a moped’s performance, especially if you have hills around the city. On average, the weight limit can go from around 200 to 350 pounds. This depends on the engine’s capacity as well. As you probably know, the larger the engine, the more weight it can carry.
Depending on how the unit is built, you may be able to upgrade it in case you notice this is necessary. The shocks are the first elements that need to be considered when it comes to weight limitations since these are exposed to all kinds of road conditions and thus can get damaged in a rather short amount of time.
If the rider is a big and heavy individual, then going for a scooter or even a motorcycle is probably better since this means safer rides and a more reliable unit. You might also think about riding with a passenger on the moped. In this case, the model should have a dedicated seat for a second person. Otherwise, carrying a passenger is illegal in pretty much any state.
Following the manufacturer’s indications on weight limits is, first of all, a matter of safety, which should be paramount. The carrying weight has a direct impact on braking distance, so in case any potentially dangerous situation appears in traffic, you need to be able to rely on the vehicle. Besides this, using a moped the right way is also a matter of efficiency.
When more weight is added than the limit, the gas mileage is impacted and so is the unit’s speed. Not to mention that you may need to start replacing parts if you do this daily.
When can you ride a scooter?
We know that teenagers and young adults are always looking for convenient ways to get around the city, so it’s a good thing that mopeds can be used by those who have just turned 16. Once the rider completes basic training, he or she can legally ride these vehicles as long as they have engines of up to 50cc, without a passenger.
Those who have turned 17 can ride a 125cc vehicle, so it’s really all up to the rider’s age and level of experience. On the other hand, before going out on public streets, you should check with the local administration and see if any particular regulations apply in your area. After all, you should always make sure you comply with the law since fines are never fun or cheap.
You may also want to know that choosing a light vehicle, such as a moped or a scooter is usually cheaper to ensure, given that they are seen as less risky compared to other more powerful alternatives. And this is accurate, as mopeds usually attain speeds of 30mph, which is a lot less than a car or a motorcycle.
Furthermore, they tend to be more cost-effective compared to a full-sized motorcycle, from the cost of insurance to that of maintenance.
Mopeds vs. scooters
When it comes to scooters, things are not always very clear. You can find electric scooters that are increasingly popular these days or motorized ones which are very similar to mopeds. In this section, we are going to talk about the latter since the differences between these two types of units are important, but not crucial.
Just like mopeds, scooters have a step-through frame and they feature an engine. Their power can range from 50cc to 750cc which means that there are a lot more options you can choose from, but also that there are more age and experience restrictions that might apply.
In fact, the engine’s power is the main difference between the two types of vehicles. Legally, if we’re talking about a platform that you can put your feet on while riding that comes with a 50cc or less engine, then it’s classed as a moped.
Since scooters are generally more powerful than mopeds, they also tend to be more expensive. Their wheels have smaller diameters, and they feature a mix of both automatic and manual transmissions.
If you are not sure which alternative is right for you, then you should first check what legal requirements apply in your case and then get advice from a specialized store that might also allow you to test a couple of units.