Motopeds started in Santa Cruz, CA back in 2008 when the first prototype rolled out of our garage and started tearing up the streets, trails, and MX parks alike.
No one knew what to make of it at first.
Was it a dirtbike? A downhill bike? A scooter?
Whatever it was, one thing was clear: This bike meant business.
Burly double-crown forks, fat knobby tires, and a long travel rear shock told anyone that saw the Motoped it was ready to get rowdy.
The sleek single-piston engine was accompanied by a set of bicycle cranks and pedals, which meant that whatever this thing was, it was just as comfortable riding down the street as it was cruising up the sidewalk.
It wasn’t long before videos started surfacing online of these wild-looking bikes clearing doubles at local motocross tracks or ripping down steep single-track trails only to climb right back up the mountain with ease.
Within a few years, the Motoped prototype has expanded into three production models, and the rest is history.
While the Motoped is no longer in production, Motopeds.com is still providing customer support and supplying parts for the three production models, the Motoped Pro, Motoped Cruzer, and Motoped Survival.
If you’re new to the Motoped scene, here’s a quick breakdown of the machines we invented and the parts they use.
Light weight, low mass, pure thrills.
The Motoped Pro is what happens when you leave your downhill mountain bike and your motocross bike together unsupervised in a dark room.
Weighing in at under 100 lbs with a full eight inches of suspension travel, the Motoped Pro is your ticket to ride every trail, send every jump, and climb every hill with or without a single crank of the pedals.
However you choose to ride a Motoped Pro, many states will allow it to be used on public roads (often without a motorcycle endorsement or even registration), because it can be outfitted with pedals and/or a 50cc engine.
Good times are imminent.
Classic boardwalk cruiser cool, plus internal combustion.
Throw a case of beer on the rear rack, mount up your surfboard, and head down to the water. The Cruzer was built to be the perfect beach day companion.
Strip it down to just the brushed metal tank and classic bomber-leather seat, and you’re sitting on stylish around-town transportation that is endlessly customizable to fit your style.
Even better, the Cruzer can cruise all day thanks to its 100 mpg fuel economy and the comfortable ergonomics of its rear-swept bars.
Motoped Survival Black Ops
A bug-out bike that’s ready for the zombie apocalypse.
Go ahead and load down the oversized rear rack with all the essential hunting and survival tools: This rugged two-wheeler is built to carry everything from your weekend camping gear to your chainsaw and boomstick.
The Motoped Survival is even compatible with dual Rotopax gas and water cans, which means you can get as far away from civilization as you want before building your underground bunker (or just setting up camp in the backcountry).
Engine Options For The Motoped
The Motoped frame is built to use a wide variety of horizontal single piston engines, and will accept any of the Honda mini-trail 50, CT-70, SL-70, trail 90 and 110, as well as the XR and CRF 50 and 70cc engines built from 1969 to 2021.
The Honda horizontal OHV engine platform is so popular and long-lived that there are also countless well-known copies on the market that will mount directly into a Motoped frame.
That means just about all of the Chinese clone engines built for trail or pit bikes are Motoped compatible. Lifan, Jailing, YX Works, GPX, and SSR all produce engines that are direct bolt-ons for Motoped frames.
And if you really want to get serious about your Motoped performance, Takegawa and Daytona both produce high-performance variants of the Honda OHV engine in both SOHC and DOHC configurations that are sure to deliver all the speed you need.
Most customers opt for a clutchless engine model so their Motoped can be set up like a traditional downhill bike (brakes on both handlebars). We also manufacture and supply a foot control kit to relocate the rear brake to the right footpeg, allowing customers who want a full moto-style experience to add a clutch to the bars and utilize a standard transmission.
Mountain Bike Parts
The parts used on the Motoped include forks, brakes, rims, tires, spokes, cranks, and pedals borrowed from the mountain bike world.
Considering the explosion in popularity that mountain biking has seen in the last five years, it’s safe to say that the parts list for the Motoped has become longer than ever.
The suspension you select for your Motoped will have a huge impact on its performance, so the sky is the limit here.
Up front, you’ll need a dual-crown mountain bike fork with at least seven inches of travel.
The Motoped was originally designed to utilize a 26” front wheel, but any modern 27.5” and 29” sizes that fit your fork of choice will work as well.
The headtube of the Motoped frame is 1 ½”, but can be dropped down to 1 ⅛” with reducer cups. The head tube measures right at 4.5”, so we recommend a tall crown for whatever fork you choose as well as a steerer tube at least 8” long for most applications.
Out back you can use just about any mountain bike shock with a 9.5” eye to eye spec, as long as it is a standard mount. Trunnion mount shocks are not Motoped compatible.
The rear wheel will be a 24” unit, and requires our custom 36-hole rear hub.
Brake rotors should be at least 8” in diameter to ensure ample stopping power. As for the brakes themselves, any of your favorite disk brakes will work with the Motoped frame so long as they will fit a 51mm International Standard mount.
Cranks and pedals are entirely up to personal preference, but we generally recommend a shorter MTB or BMX crank (around the 160-170mm mark) to ensure ample ground clearance. Motoped bottom brackets are built to accept any cranks with a square taper JIS interface.
Last but not least are tires.
The tires you use on your Motoped will depend on the model you buy and where you plan to ride, but as a rule of thumb we recommend a minimum 2.4” width tire front and rear.
Many customers will obviously prefer wider tires, and because options can be limited for the 24” diameter, the Duro Razorback 24×3.0 is the go-to for many offroaders.