Moped VS Scooter – What’s the difference?

[The 6 easily confused interchanged names defined here]

Is it a Scooter or a Moped? Or a motorcycle…or a kick scooter…or maybe it’s a motor scooter or mobility scooter? HELP!

There is a LOT of confusion, mixed feelings and opinions, correct and incorrect information concerning this topic out there. We have done our best here to simply define, explain, and give examples and show pictures of each word mentioned above. This is a very simple and easy to understand article that will help you differentiate these words, and how they are most commonly used.


What is a scooter? We really like these two definitions here:

Definition 1. a light two-wheeled open motor vehicle on which the driver sits over an enclosed engine with legs together and feet resting on a floorboard. (pictured below)

Definition 2. a vehicle typically ridden as a recreation, consisting of a footboard mounted on two wheels and a long steering handle, propelled by resting one foot on the footboard and pushing the other against the ground. (AKA kick scooter. See kick scooter below for more info and pictures)

Scooters Pictured Above, Left to Right:

Wolf RX-50 in White- MSRP $1,099 and Vespa Sprint 50cc in Bianco -MSRP 4,049*


What is a Moped? We like this Moped definition and meaning.

A lightweight, low-power motorized bicycle. It has a very small motor AND pedals. “Mo-” for motor, and “-ped” for pedals. Yes, some people do call Scooters (pictured above) Mopeds, but technically they do not fit the definition and are missing the “PED”dle part of Moped.

Pictured Above, Left to Right:

1973 MotoGuzzi Dingo Vintage Moped and a 1978 Honda PA50II Vintage Moped


The word motorcycle can be used quite broadly.

The definition is: a two-wheeled vehicle that is powered by a motor and has no pedals.

So yes, you could technically call a scooter a motorcycle, and they do sometimes get grouped together with motorcycles, in magazines or at events, but only because the scooter market is so small in America. However, it is typically used in the English language to mean a two-wheeled vehicle, that has the gas tank in front of the seat area (unlike a scooter or moped), is usually 125ccs or over, and looks something like this:

Pictured above, Left to Right: Yamaha R6, Honda Rebel 300cc, Honda Grom 125cc


This term is sometimes used broadly and in different ways. See this excellent definition and we’ll give some examples below.

Definition 1. a small vehicle with two or three wheels that is powered by a motor and that has a low seat and a flat area for resting your feet

So, with that being said, we can and do correctly call Scooters- Motor Scooters. “Scooter” is actually the shortened version of Motor Scooter.

Sometimes we also call mobility scooters “Motor Scooters” but that isn’t very common.

KICK SCOOTER (aka a “Scooter”)

A small platform with two or more wheels that is propelled by a rider pushing off (kicking) the ground, also called scooter for short…obviously to make it much more complicated on those of us trying to figure out what is what here lol.

Pictured above:

An array of the ever-popular Razor kick scooters!


Mobility Scooter

The definition of mobility scooter is: an electrically powered scooter designed for people with restricted mobility, typically those who are elderly or disabled.

Pictured above, Left to Right:

A Vita Sport in black and a Pride Pursuit Mobility Scooter in red.

Thank you for reading this article. If you found it helpful, please make sure to share it via your website, Facebook, etc. And don’t forget to leave a comment!

The Wolf Team