Here in Illinois that is the law, if it has Pedals and UNDER 50ccs it is considered a MOPED and not a motorcycle. If 50cc or higher whether it has Pedals or not it is considered a motorcycle and not an assisted motor bike. Alleyoop
A couple years ago I wondered about the term MOPED being applied to all kinds of higher powered scoots. I did a long search of the web for distributors, manufacturers, what was available, costs, forums on and about scooters. I was really confused about the term MOPED being used on machines with no pedals on them. To me it seemed to be wrong.
In high school days, 1950 time frame, I owned a MOPED. It was a basic heavy bicycle with a motor mounted in it. The brand was Whizzer. The pedals could be used to start the engine or to get home if out of gas or other engine failure. You could even pedal while accelerating to get up to speed quicker. And of course there were several other machines that legally fit the MOPED category
I often wondered why the scooters were not just called scooters or with more power be called step through motorcycles. Step through motorcycles is what they are and what I wanted. I wanted enough power to get out of my own way, to be able to run in traffic on the way to stores or just riding around.
My daughter has a sub 50cc scoot and has no trouble getting around in Denver, but she does have to know the side streets to avoid the heavy traffic running at 50 mph. My daughter also has a 1500cc Voyager but she has not ridden it for a long time now. Maybe it is just more than she really wants to handle. I tried once to get on it and I could not. I am too old to be swinging my leg over the seat, my daughter was holding it upright for me so I did finally get on, it sat real comfortable, but then getting off was worse and I nearly fell over trying to get off.
My sister in law has a sub 50cc that she runs around in Las Vegas. Again she must stay on side streets or streets marked with bicycle paths, to commute to work. This suits both those ladies but not for me as I want to do direct driving to my destinations, not worry about only side streets.
So with all that I was glad to find that these scooters, step through motorcycles, could be had that met my physical limitations and had the speeds available to get me into traffic and on my way to stores, doctors, or just looking around.
I am glad I had a MOPED when I did, but I am also glad I have a good machine that I can ride in traffic now. These machines are not MOPEDS.
I think those laws apply in more places than Canada or Illinois. .
I started out on an Allstate moped in 1962. It had a three speed, hand shift transmission and clutch like a Stella and you pedaled it to start the engine. It also could be pedaled like a bicycle. In New York size isn't the determining factor, speed is. If it tops 30 mph, it's a motorcycle and you need an "M" designation to ride it. I don't know how some 50cc scooters have snuck in under that. Vespa and Zuma 50s are just a tad quicker than that.
2008 Eagle Milano 150- 7874 miles
2009 Honda Rebel 250- 9500 miles (Hers)
2009 CF Moto Fashion- 7801 miles
2009 MC-114 50cc Cub Clone- 3289 miles
Back in 2008 my brother-in law and I ordered two MOPEDs to ride around on. And they were very nice MOPEDS you could start them three ways, electric start, kickstart using the Pedal or push it(HAHA). But we are both disabled and even getting our leg over the HIGH STEP through and not much room between the handlebars and the seat we had a hell of a time. And like you it was harder to get off the damn thing(HEHE). Also we found out rather quickly that we could only use them on side streets they would only do 30mph and that was at wide open throttle and no strong head wind(HAHA). Needless to say we sold them within two months of owning them. The I found the IB Step Through Trikes in Dec of 2008 and we ordered 2 of those in 2009 when they had them in stock. Here is the Mopeds we had they called them LASER back in 2008. Alleyoop