Our tags describe motorcycles as a "A self propelled two wheeled motor vehicle with an engine larger than 50cc's".

Describe scooter as a "A two wheeled motorized vehicle with a cylinder volume less than 50cc"

Describe moped as a "A two wheeled motor vehicle which incorporates pedals similar to a bicycle as a component of it's final drive system."

Why are we using these descriptions?

I would argue that these are unusual distinctions. To my personal experience the term moped is used for any 2 wheeler with engine less than 50cc rather than scooter. Some scooters can have engine volume up to 600s. Also, the current description of moped sounds just wrong but I wouldn't trust myself a lot on it. I would argue that distinction between a moped and the other two is usually in the engine volume and legal requirements. I have seen manual transmission, tank between leg bikes that register as mopeds because of the engine volume (cf. kuba rx9). The distinction between scooter and motorcycle is much harder to define rigoruously in my opinion. Motorcycles can have automatic transmission and can have driveshaft final drive. I also haven't heared of any legal difference between a motorcycle and a scooter. Hence the rigorous distinction I would suggest would be "where the tank is located?". I must emphesize that I do not imply the only difference between a scooter and a motorcycle is where the tank is located but I do mean for taxidermic purposes it should be the distinction.

2 Answers 2


The great thing about Stack Exchange tagging is, if you don't like the description, you can improve it. If you don't have enough reputation to do it outright, then it gets peer reviewed for accuracy and concurrence.

In this case, I agree the tags are weaksauce. I'd suggest you edit them and improve them.

There is a clear distinction between motorcycles and scooters which you didn't acknowledge. This has to do with how the vehicle is ridden. A motorcycle you straddle. A scooter you sit on with feet together on a running board. A moped is easy, with the crank pedals like a motorized bicycle.

Please, feel free to edit the tags, but remember, they will be reviewed. Ensure they are clearly written and are a step above what they are now. We want to improve the tags/wikis, not just change them.


Part of the problem is that such terms don't always have an 'official' definition - Wikipedia describes a 'moped' as:

A moped (/ˈmoʊpɛd/ MOH-ped) is a type of small Motorcycle with bicycle pedals, generally having a less stringent licensing requirement than real motorcycles or automobiles because mopeds typically travel only a bit faster than bicycles on public roads. Mopeds by definition are driven by both an engine and bicycle pedals.

But then also says:

In some countries a moped can be any motorcycle with an engine capacity below 50cc

It then follows with a huge table giving the different definitions in each country! (most of which seem to use the <50cc definition)

The difference between 'scooter' and 'motorcycle' seems much clearer to me - as Paul says, a scooter has a step-through frame, and a motorcycle a sit-astride one.

Perhaps we should replace both 'scooter' and 'moped' with a single tag for "small-motorcycle" or similar?

  • "Perhaps we should replace both 'scooter' and 'moped' with a single tag for "small-motorcycle" or similar". I am not sure if that would be practical. Ultimately, the aim is to clasify questions about repair and maintenance. I do not know how the internal workings of scooter and scooter-like moped compare but pedalled moped probably will have somethings different from a scooter like moped. If someone can clarify the difference I am glad to try and rewrite the tags. Jan 22, 2019 at 10:25

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