Should I Buy a Moped?

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by Ryan

Mopeds are wildly popular here in Honolulu. At all hours of the night I hear the vroom vroom of their tiny little engines as they weave through traffic and narrowly miss colliding with over-sized SUV’s and the ever present Buses.  I live near one of the universities so there are an army of these little guys constantly parading around town.  It’s nowhere near the amount you’ll find in Southeast Asia, but it’s not exactly Kansas either.

Since I have limited mobility through only owning a bike, I’ve been considering purchasing one of these bad boys… Should I buy a moped?

Here are my thoughts:

Why a Moped is good investment

  • Gas Mileage – 60 miles per gallon!
  • Low Initial Investment – I can pick one up for a little less than $1,000.
  • Easy Mobility – Weaving through traffic, awesome parking options, and an awesome turning radius.
  • Parking – I can use bike racks and get rockstar parking.
  • Open Air – 360 degree views of the city!
  • Increased mobility – I can get to other parts of town.
  • No sweating – riding my bike 5 miles gets me a little sweaty and isn’t prime for showing up for a dinner date.  A moped would help alleviate this.

Why a Moped is a bad investment

  • Higher Potential of Serious Injury – If I get hit on it, it’s gonna hurt a ton!
  • Can’t Take on Highways – They’re not allowed to go on highways
  • Weather – No protection from the elements, especially rain.
  • More Expensive than a Bike – My current bike only cost $100 and has very low continued costs, not so with a moped.
  • Lack of Storage – I’ve got some room under the seat, but can’t exactly carry my scuba gear on it.
  • Makes me Look Very Far From Masculine – I’m gonna look like a Suzy riding around town on this thing!

From a financial standpoint here are the alternatives:

Bike: $100 with no continuing costs, maybe some air in the tires!

Moped: $900 plus $325 in gas in registration yearly.

Car: $4,000-$6,000 plus $2,500 in gas, registration, insurance, and maintenance.

Like any big purchase I think I’m going to give this another month or two to really weigh my options, but what do you think?

Should I buy a moped?

Photo from nperiksson

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

David @ MBA briefs January 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm

If your bike can’t get you where you need to go look for a used motorcycle. You should be able to pick one up for somewhere between the cost of a moped and a car, and chicks will dig you on your new hog :-)

BTW, I tagged you to write 8 random things about yourself after EliminateTheMuda tagged me. Seems like a harmless waster of our time.

AlexK January 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm

In my state of Nevada a moped (legally) is under 50cc and not capable of over 30 mph. We don’t have to register or insure them. So it makes sense to have a moped because there are legal advantages. If Hawaii requires a moped to be registered then is there an advantage to a moped over a motorcycle?

I buy and sell (and repair) motorcycles and mopeds for extra income. I have 16 motorcycles and scooters in my garage right now all ready to sell for tax-return season. What I’m trying to say is I know a lot about motorized 2 wheels vehicles.

A 2 stroke moped gets about 70 mpg. A 200cc dual sport 4 stroke motorcycle like a Yamaha TW200 gets the same. I have a 250cc Honda Helix scooter which gets 65 mpg. It can go on the freeway, and has a large trunk that can carry a pizza and a 12 pack. My Honda Helix cost $650. You can get a dual sport motorcycle for $1200 or so, not that different from a moped really. You will look like a bad-ass on a motorcycle. Not so much on the Helix but I’m confident and don’t care if I look like a nerd (it turns out chick digs confidence so it hasn’t been a problem, in fact they love riding on the Helix!).

I say go for a small motorcycle instead of the moped unless the laws in Hawaii make the moped worth it. Whatever you do stay away from the Chinese junk that is flooding the market these days. A Japanese bike will last 10x as long and perform better too. My favorite 50cc moped is the Yamaha Zuma. The Honda Ruckus is nice and gets great mileage (it’s a 4 stroke) but it is slow and can’t carry a passenger. It does look sweet though.

Ryan January 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Alex, thanks for the well thought out advice! That was a really well written comment and hopefully other people reading this article will take the time to read it as well. I don’t have a clue about this subject so it definitely helped. I will look into the Helix or dual sport motorcycle if I do decide to go ahead and purchase something.

hawaii mopeds May 25, 2010 at 7:04 am

If you’re still deciding, this is a pretty straightforward article on some of the benefits on traveling by moped in Hawaii: http://www.pacificmopeds.com/news/2010/03/hawaii-by-moped—a-better-way-to-travel. Check out Pacific Mopeds, a Honolulu based Hawaii Moped and Scooter dealer if you’re looking to buy (free local delivery!).

Casey John July 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

Thanks for this info. Really great stuff. These comments are also great!
.-= Casey John´s last blog ..Jet Propelled Honda Metropolitan =-.

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