This photo is from a scanned article titled “Motorcycles: What I Like in a Bike and Why” from the November 1966 issue of Popular Science. Steve McQueen reviews six (so called) dirtbikes, today some for the selections would be questionable but its still a great read. Hit the jump and click on each page to […]
The Motoped: What Happens When A Mountain Bike And Pit Bike Mate – Video
The picture above is not photoshopped. What you’re looking at is called a Motoped. Technically a motorized bicycle, the Motoped uses a custom made frame and swingarm and bolts to a Honda XR50 (or Chinese knockoff) engine. The little XR then donates the seat, and tank, while forks, shock, wheels, pedals and tires all come from the mountain bike you have collecting dust in the garage.
Some might argue the Motoped is neither motorcycle nor mountain bike at this point and question its worth. But to me it looks like a better dirtbike than a XR50 could ever be, and the engine allows it to be more versatile than a mountain bike. At least for someone who hates climbing.
It definitely looks cooler than most the bicycles I see riding around, but one main advantage it has is the ability to be legally ridden on the road in most states without a license, insurance or registration (assuming you keep the 50cc engine). Then, when you want to hit the trails or some single track, you can turn off the beaten path and use the engine to fly through the trail with ease.
The jackshaft allows the Motoped to be pedaled like a bicycle or use the engine for power. An optional kit is also available to remove the pedals and install pegs, if your dirt adventures are a little more serious. The kit is highly adaptable, with the chassis able to accept numerous engine choices — even a 140cc thumper and gearbox — and looks to be a barrel of laughs in the dirt.
Each Motoped is currently hand built and costs upwards of $1000. However, the owners of the company want to bring the price down through mass production. To do this, they’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $250,000 by September 6 in order to pump out more bikes. If successful, look for prices to dip well into the three digit range.