The Pros and Cons of Driving a 50cc Moped

Lyle Ellerbee

One of the most convenient, cheap and fun ways to get to work or school is by riding a small motorcycle such as a 50cc moped. These are just some of the reasons I think that they are so great for all sorts of people, whether you are getting to work or school.

The main pros of riding a moped:

  • Mopeds are cheap to buy. These little bikes are really cheap to buy. Often times you can get a used one for just a couple of hundred bucks if you look around. If you prefer to get a new one because you want reliability and the certainty of a warranty then you can still get a new one for pretty close to $1000, depending on the make and model you choose. Be careful however when you buy not to get one that is too cheap because some of the imported ones from places such as China have not yet earned reputations for reliability. Spare parts for these may also be hard to find. So it is often best to go with a solid European or Japanese brand such as Piaggio or Honda.
  • Mopeds are cheap to run: Mopeds generally seem to run on just the sniff of an oil rag. Their Little engines buzz along and burn very little fuel. I have found doing commuting every day to work that I spend just a few dollars filling up the tank once a week. That is party because the tank is so small. Mine holds just a few liters of gasoline (petrol for people from the UK) and goes all week between refills. They are also cheap to maintain. This is because their engines are really simple so it does not take a lot of work to open them up for maintenance or repairs. There is also not very much that can go wrong. And because they are so small you spend less on parts compared with a car or a big bike. They have only two wheels, so replacing tires does not cost too much. They have only one spark plug so that is also cheap an quick to change.
  • Mopeds are easy to ride: The other great thing about them is that they are usually really light and easy to ride. Most are “twist-and-go” bikes, which means you just turn the throttle to go and you do not have to worry about changing gears. This makes them perfectly suited to beginners. In many places such as Europe you do not have to take a special test to ride one. If you are allowed to drive a car, then you are generally entitled to ride a moped too. In some places the only formality is that you have to do a one day course of compulsory basic training that is aimed at keeping you safe on the road.

The cons of riding a moped

  • Safety: Motorcycles are not all fun and games. Mopeds are generally safe and fun to ride but you are still more exposed to danger on a bike than you would be in a car. In an automobile you have a seat belt, crash protection and airbags that all come into play if you have a collision. On a bike you generally will only have a helmet and some protective gear such as gloves and a jacket and pants.
  • Weather: Driving in a car means you can turn the heat up when it gets cold or you can put the air conditioner on when it gets too warm. On a motorcycle you are exposed to the elements. That means in winter you will be cold, even if you have warm gloves and clothing. It is also hard to stay dry in heavy rain. And on a hot sunny day you will soon get quite warm, even with the cooling breeze that is generated as you zoom along.

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