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NSU Quickly (1953)
Puch MS 50 (1954)
Simson SR1 (1955)
Peugeot Cyclomoteur BB (1957)
Hercules 219 (1958)
Kreidler (1959)

The moped ( loanword from Swedish, a portmanteau word from the Swedish words mo tor and ped aler) was on 23 January 1953 by the Association of bicycle and motorcycle industry set (VFM) after the word was searched in a contest. The small motorbike, one or two-seater, limited to 50 cm³ displacement, should be equipped with pedals for starting the engine and with a coaster brake.

According to the EC vehicle class , the moped is now classified under the category of small motorcycles ; the driving license class AM is required for driving purposes . Mopeds are license-free in Germany and require an operating license and an insurance license plate to be used on public roads . The term moped ("Mopped") has long been used jokingly for high-performance motorcycles .

Moped in Germany

In the first few years after the Second World War, there was a great need for vehicles for private transport. Bicycles were first produced on a larger scale . Since a motorcycle or even a car was unaffordable at that time, motorcycles with more than 50 cm³ displacement as well as add-on motors for normal bicycles were initially used for mass motorization . One step forward was the installation of small motors in bicycle-like vehicles that were structurally adapted to the motorization. For the designation of these, several terms were initially proposed, including Eilrad, Flitzer, Eiler, as well as Brummrad and Brummer based on the full Dutch image as well as Knallrad and Knaller based on Danish influence. Such two-wheelers, later referred to as mopeds , were first built in Germany from 1951 by the Rex-Motorenwerke . At around the same time, Kreidler also brought out such a vehicle with the K 50. Such two-wheelers began to spread rapidly in 1953. On the one hand, in a new regulation of the StVZO from January 1, 1953 , the legislature had defined the class of bicycles with auxiliary engines that did not require a driving license . On the other hand, at the beginning of 1953 , the ILO brought out an add-on engine FP 50 , which could be delivered in large quantities, purchased from bicycle manufacturers and used for the short-term development of our own mopeds. The term moped , which was already in use in Sweden and was found in a competition initiated by the ILO factory at IFMA 1953 , also goes back to the ILO . The term should enable a sales-promoting differentiation from normal bicycles with add-on motor, which also succeeded. Other small engine manufacturers such as Mota , Victoria , Sachs , Lutz , Heinkel and NSU quickly took up the new moped trend. Mopeds spread within a very short time in the license-free class. In early 1954, 26 companies in West Germany were already producing 44 types of moped.

The main legal framework - the class of bicycles with auxiliary engines - was limited to vehicles with an empty weight of a maximum of 33 kg, so that the Kreidler K 50 , which had been in production since 1951, with an empty weight of 45 kg, fell out of this class. On August 24, 1953, the legislature therefore added the class of small motorcycles requiring a driving license , which also included mopeds such as the Kreidler K 50; the reform later went down in traffic history as "Lex Kreidler". This paved the way for mopeds to become heavier and more powerful vehicles.

In the GDR , the series production of mopeds began in 1955 with a single Simson SR1 model , which, however, was produced in comparatively large numbers. A driving license and insurance requirement for mopeds was only introduced in 1956.

One of the first mopeds that could be ridden with the typical motorcycle knee grip was the Mars Monza in 1955 . A bench for transporting two people was first available at Victoria in 1957 on Vicky L, Kreidler with the Florett (1958) and Dürkopps Dianette (1959) followed suit.

The Jawa 550, presented in 1954 and mass-produced from 1955, was equipped with footrests and a kick starter. These vehicles, derived from mopeds, were later referred to as mokicks . In Germany, mopeds did not spread until the early 1960s, when the development of mopeds went in two directions. On the one hand the classic moped with crank and on the other hand the moped. In 1965, the single-seat, license-free moped was developed from the two-seat moped . At the beginning of the 1980s, also due to the driver's license reform, the moped was almost completely displaced from the market by the moped.


Mopeds usually have a two-stroke - engine , which via a gear and chain drives the rear wheel. The gearbox has two, more rarely three gears.

On a moped, pedals are used to start the engine , to brake ( coaster brake ) and as footrests while driving. But they can also be used for pedaling if, for example, the engine is defective or the fuel has run out. Sometimes the pedals are used on inclines to supplement the power of the engine with muscle power.

Manufacturer of classic mopeds



Web links

Commons : Moped  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Moped  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Professor Arne Olofsson: Makten över etymologin, In: Humanistdag-boken nr 15, 2002 ( Memento of February 5, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Frank O. Hrachowy: Kreidler. History - types - technology. Verlag Johann Kleine, Vennekate 2009, ISBN 978-3-935517-45-4 , pp. 25-26
  3. Mopeds and mopeds now need green license plates ( Memento from January 19, 2018 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Iris Walli: How the moped got its name. August 3, 2018, accessed April 26, 2019 .
  5. a b Changes in motorcycle construction . In: Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift . 10/1953, pp. 276-283; 11/1953, pp. 316-317 and 12/1953, pp. 340-341.
  6. Bicycle with add-on motor or moped? In: Motor vehicle technology, 4/1954, p. 123.
  7. See § 18 (2) No. 2 of the StVZO of August 24, 1953.
  8. Frank O. Hrachowy: Kreidler. History - types - technology. Verlag Johann Kleine, Vennekate 2009, ISBN 978-3-935517-45-4 , pp. 26-27.
  9. Motorrad, 4/1980, p. 38.