If you are aged 17 or over, you have the choice to ride mopeds capable of speeds greater than 30 mph, and with an engine capacity of greater than 50CC. But what does this choice mean in real life?
For my money, a 125CC moped is a far safer option than the 50CC alternatives.
Why? Well, it’s all a matter of being as unobtrusive as possible while on the road.
At first sight it might seem that riding slower is the safe option, but there comes a point where you ride that slowly that you are a nuisance to other road users.
Drivers behind you will get impatient, and will overtake at any opportunity. There will be an unfortunate expectation that you should simply drive in the gutter as they will give you very little room as they whizz past.
A bike restricted to 30 miles an hour will experience this a lot as it rides around most roads.
Riding close to the gutter has its own dangers, as this is where most road debris is, as well as rain gratings and pedestrians stepping on and off the curb.
You will also feel obliged to ride closer to parked cars as you pass them, running the risk of knocking into wing mirrors, and passengers as they open car doors.
However, an unrestricted 125CC moped will suffer far less from this phenomenon. Having a moped capable of speeds in excess of 50 miles an hour, will ensure that you are not a nuisance to other road users, and that you ride at a speed that is appropriate for the traffic you are in.
It’s important to remember, that even an unrestricted 125CC mopeds will rarely be capable of more than 60 mph. It will have the acceleration however, to get you out of trouble quickly should you need it. The only proviso being the extra wear on the brakes. So testing your brakes regularly should be a priority.
But having said that, this should be a priority on any motorised transport.
My advice, if you have to have a 50CC mopeds, is stick to residential and built up areas where your speed will be sufficient to allow you to move with the general flow of traffic.
However as soon as you are comfortable, and of legal age, I strongly suggest moving to a 125CC moped.
Not only will it get you to your destination a little bit quicker, it will also allow you to get their in a much less flustered manner.