A moped is a motorized two-wheeled vehicle subject to local speed regulations. Typically, mopeds are restricted to 30-35 mph (about 50-55 km/h). Some localities require pedals, thus making them hybrid transport using both human power and machine power. The earliest mopeds, introduced in the early 1950s, were nothing but bicycles with a helper motor on top of the front wheel. These were commonly called autocycles. An example of this early type is the Solex brand.

The word moped is a Swedish short form of the word motorvelociped. Velociped is an older Swedish word for bicycle, imported from the French word v�locip�de formed from the Latin velocispedis meaning "fast foot". However, it is also likely that the term is merely an abbreviated combination of the two key elements of a moped - a MOtor and PEDals.

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A picture of several mopeds from a ride sponsored by the Moped Army. In the front is a Garelli, followed by a Motobecane, and in the rear is a Sachs.

In the United Kingdom, Hawaii, and some other jurisdictions, the term "Moped" describes any low powered motorcycle or motor scooter with an engine capacity of less than 50 cc. A further category of low powered two-wheelers, called cyclemotors exists. These are literally bicycles with small gasoline or electric motors attached. Many countries allow these power-assisted bicycles to be classified together with normal pedal bicycles, provided their power outputs are restricted. In the United Kingdom and Australia for example, a power-assisted bicycle may not produce more than 200 watts of power - approximately a quarter of a horsepower. Today, there are quite a large number of companies, particularly in the USA, selling kits that can be attached to bicycles.

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Russian moped ZiD-50 "Pilot"

In Russia, the moped is legally defined as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with engine displacement no more than 50 cm3 and maximum speed no more than 50 km/h. Such vehicles require no licensing. They are not allowed to carry passengers except the driver.

In Alberta, Canada, mopeds and scooters require a class 7 or a class 5 license and must have engines under 50 cm3. They are allowed to carry more than one person. Mopeds and scooters are subject to all of the same traffic laws as other vehicles, and all riders must wear helmets.

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