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Scooter, moped, motorcycle - divisions are artificial

Scooter, moped, motorcycle - divisions are artificial

  • Similarities
    It has two wheels. It takes me outdoors, into fresh air, wherever I want to go. It brings me joy and allows me to see the world.

    The words above - they apply to all 2-wheelers.

  • Relation
    They are all part of the same family - you can see it by following the following tree.

    Let's start with bicycle. Add a motor and you get power-assisted bicycle.

    Make motor a little bigger/faster, add better brakes - there's classic moped.

    Now, remove pedals and possibly change style a little - there you have no-pedal moped or scooter.

    Increase engine size, switch to manual transmission - presto, you got motorcycle!

  • Misconceptions
    In fact, the categories even intertwine. Here's few defitnitions that may lead to the wrong answer.

    • It was made by Honda in the 80s and has automatic transmission.
      Answer: scooter ? Yes, but they also made a motorcycle where you didn't have to shift gears!

    • It has a 50cc engine.
      Answer: moped ? Sure, but could also be a dirtbike.

    • It has engine size over 200cc
      Answer: Motorcycle? Quite likely. But could also be Honda Helix scooter.

    • It was made by Harley Davidson.
      Answer: Surely, ot can only be motorcycle! ... Nope, Harley also made scooter called Topper as well as mopeds.

    • It has top tank frame.
      Answer: Motorcycle? Yep. Or a Tomos Targa LX moped.

  • Brands
    One may say that a brand name is what makes the difference. Well, for one thing, majority of long-time motorcycle makers produced smaller bikes too - in fact this is how Honda and Yamaha started.

    And brand doesn't necessarily imply the unique look and style - unless you have a trained eye, you may not be able to tell a Hog from a japanese look-alike.

  • So, why a division ?
    Well, strange as it may seem, I think that division is actually caused by desire for unity. As Douglas Adams, author of "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" pointed out: "On this planet, people could never get along. They only time they united was when they decided that people of another country were scoundrels, so they'd forget their differences and go to war together".

    Same can apply here. "We, Harley riders are together - against the influx of Japanese clones". "Us, Vespa scooter owners are united - against those who ride no-name scoots". "We, moped owners are joined - against elitists, who don't recognize us".

    But the truth is, all bikes have 2 wheels and they all make us happy. So, why not unite based on that ?

    Andrei Zaitsev
    andy@moped.every1.net
    Moped2.org webmaster