I started riding at the ripe old age of 15. Got my permit and my Vespa P200E the day I turned 15 1/2. Back then, we didn’t have all these fancy motorcycle training courses. You just bought a bike and figured it out. Or had someone help you. There weren’t even any YouTube videos to show you what to do. But you had to get a license. Such a drag. Mopeds have always been a great point of entry for a lot of riders. No license needed, light, easy to ride… So great that some countries require motorists to ride a moped before they can even drive a car. Recently I was invited to take the Monday Motorbikes Gen 7 for a spin.
Mopeds are an excellent gateway drug to motorcycling because they look so innocent. They’ve got pedals, just like a bicycle. But unlike a bicycle, they’ve also got a throttle. And a motor. In the case of the Monday Motorbike, a 750/5,500 Watts (Econ/Sport Mode) mid-drive motor, to be precise. Much more fun to ride than some high-maintenance two-stroke vintage princess. Plus it’s a proper Class 2 e-bike, buuuut… when you set it in “sport” mode, it can go up to 45mph. Faster than most city car traffic these days.
I’ve had my eye on Monday since it first popped up on my Instagram feed. They’re cute. But they’re also cool. They’ve still got that vibe of the Puch 50 they’re modeled after. But they also have a modern feel, all black-clad. They follow the Henry Ford Design School — you can have any color you want, as long as it’s black. Definitely the perfect vehicle for heading to the beach, or to work. And if you exceed the battery’s 50-100 mile range (yes, EV range varies that dramatically. Ask me how I know), you could pedal home. It wouldn’t be easy, but it’d be a killer leg workout. There have been times I wished I could pedal my Zero FXS…
I took one for a little spin near the company’s HQ in Torrance, CA. Accustomed to “big boy” motorcycles, it felt really strange to be riding so fast on such skinny tires. Granted, some Tour de France riders double the Monday’s top speed (45mph off road only, in sport mode) on any downhill on much skinnier tires. But then, they’re not riding the mean streets of LA, with some of the worst pavement in the country.
I can’t compare it to other mopeds, as I’ve never ridden a moped. But I can say that based on their rapid sales growth, they’ve found the right niche. People want a vehicle that can handle city traffic, with wheels big enough to handle the horrendous pavement. After all, the main reason all those scooters are always on the sidewalk is their 4” wheels really suck for streets designed for cars.
Riding a moped past miles of drivers stuck in traffic can bring you an unparalleled sense of freedom, a freedom not even afforded to motorcyclists in most states in the US. The moped fits into narrower spaces, and can go on the sidewalk (only when pedestrians aren’t present, please!), and of course you can park it at the bike rack. Monday’s are assembled in the US and have seen a higher sales growth rate than any other segment of motorcycles, particularly among women. Maybe now that California has hired the right women for the job, we’ll even have more safe infrastructure for bicycles and electric mopeds…
I’m glad that so many people are embracing personal electric vehicles, whether they be push scooters, Lime bikes, or this fierce Monday. As the numbers swell, one can only hope this will inspire more cities to BAN CARS.