Sunday, September 13, 2009

Moped Madness - TIME (circa 1977)

Here's what Time magazine though about those new moped things back during the moped craze of the late 70s:

July 4th, 1977

Mopeds are the near-beer of the motorcycle world. They are more than bicycles but less—far less—than the roaring machines straddled by Marlon Brando in The Wild One and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider; no self-respecting Hell's Angel would be caught dead on one. Yet mopeds (from motorized-bicycle-plus-pedals) are coming on like Scotch after Repeal...

...Honda led an earlier attempt to put the U.S. on two wheels. In the mid-'60s it sold lightweight, brightly colored machines that helped strip motorcycling of its greasy, violent image. But sales fell off, largely because state laws turned ownership of the little bikes into a hassle. The current moped madness was touched off by new laws in 31 states that class the machines as bicycles or "motorized bicycles" instead of motorcycles. Result: moped owners in about half of those states do not have to register their bikes. In many states they do not even need drivers' licenses. In most states, the minimum age to drive a moped is 15 or 16; Indiana, Ohio and South Carolina impose no minimum at all. No state's moped law requires crash helmets, or calls for liability insurance —recognition that mopeds are only slightly more hazardous than ordinary bicycles. The biggest danger comes from the fact that American car drivers, unlike their counterparts in Europe, are not accustomed to sharing the road with mopeds...

via the TIME Magazine Archives

Some things change, while others stay the same.

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