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Five best mopeds

For 16-year-olds desperate to hit the road the moped in its many and various forms remains a vital first step!

Phil West

Words by: Phil West

Published on 31 October 2023 | 0 min read

Moped, or ‘Ped’, is today the catch-all term for any sub-50cc bike able to be ridden by anyone from the age of 16 up on an AM licence. The term derives from machines that rose to prominence in the ‘60s from brands such as Mobylette and Peugeot as lightweight, bicycle-derived machines that were ‘pedalled’ to get going. In the 1970s a quirk in UK licence law then allowed the rise of ‘sport mopeds’ such as Yamaha’s FS-1E, which were 50cc sports motorcycles 16-year-olds could ride and legal by virtue of their additional pedals.

1 – Lexmoto Echo 50 – the bargain 16-er sports ‘ped’

We’ve highlighted the British/Chinese brand’s entry-level 50cc scoot before, and so little has changed since there’s no reason not to include it here. At currently just over £1,700 it’s one of the cheapest sports peds available and a justifiable best seller. After all, at 16 when you’ve insurance to deal with, new kit and security to invest in and not much in the way of income price is everything. It’s reasonably well-built, a doddle to ride and its only downside is the fact it runs on tiny 10-inch wheels, though a 12-inch wheeled version is also available for slightly more.
Read the review

2 – Fantic XM 50 Competition

OK, at £4,249, this new 50cc Supermoto isn’t exactly cheap, but we’re picking out the best here. Simply, this newcomer from revived Italian brand Fantic should have most 16-year-olds dribbling with excitement. There’s a liquid-cooled two stroke engine, inverted forks, monoshock rear end, ‘wavy’ discs and more. The tall 875mm seat won’t suit everyone and isn’t ideal for novices but, if you like the style and can afford it, you’ll be the envy of your classmates.

3 – WK Bikes Colt 50: the 16-er ‘minibike’

If you fancy something fun and stylish, don’t need to ride far and are put off by full-size bikes, you need a monkey or ‘mini’ bike. And in the 50cc category one stands out – the Colt 50 from UK/Chinese brand WK Bikes. If its dinky proportions and cute style remind of Honda’s Grom and Ducati’s Monster then that’s entirely deliberate, even though it can’t match the class and quality of either. But then, at just under £1,900 and with a ridiculously manageable 760mm seat height, the Colt is also affordable, accessible and has pretty much the same 30mph performance as any other moped anyway!

4 – Bluroc Hero 50 – the full-size retro/scrambler ‘ped’

Bluroc, formerly known as Bullitt, is another European brand bringing in Chinese-built bikes and in particular those bang on the retro/scrambler fashion trend. It’s also one of the few that offers a 50cc version. The result, the Hero 50, is a full-size scrambler powered by a geared 50cc four-stroke single. There are lots of neat styling touches, including wire wheels, ribbed seat and semi-knobbly tyres. Its upright gait makes it easy to ride and, at just under £2,800, it’s good value, too!

5 – Honda EM-1e – the best of the electric scooter ‘peds’

There are plenty of AM-compliant electric scooters currently available, but the EM-1e –Honda’s first production electric commuter scooter – stands out more than most. At £4,999, it’s not exactly cheap, but it’s super easy to ride, cheap to run and the range of just shy of 30 miles should be more than enough for most city dwellers. It’s also built with Honda’s typical attention to detail and quality.
Read the review

What does the law say?

Mopeds only really make sense if you’re a certain age. Specifically, if you’re 16, have the correct provisional licence with AM class entitlement, complete a Compulsory Basic Training course (CBT for short) then you qualify to ride an AM class machine on the road. Of course, you have also to ask yourself how important that is when, at the age of 17, you can ride, under similar circumstances, a 70mph+ capable, A1 class 125…

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