The humble moped has gone a long way ever since its inception as a simple, no-frills point A-to-B machine over a century ago. Technically speaking, a moped is defined as a small motorized two-wheeled vehicle with a low-power engine and bicycle pedals. However, commuter motorcycles, especially in Asia, continue to be referred to as mopeds even if they no longer come equipped with bicycle pedals.
In fact, a quick Google search of the term 'sport moped' will show you a whole array of sporty-looking machines that look like caricatures of bigger sportbikes. As it would turn out, sport mopeds are all the rage in Asia, thanks to their versatility, affordability, and aggressive styling. Yamaha has gone ahead and launched a new commuter which really puts the sport in moped, and it's called the Y16ZR. At first glance, this sporty little commuter could have you scratching your head. Is it a scooter? Is it a sportbike? How many cc's does it have?
Well, for starters, in Malaysia, it falls under the 'sport moped' category. As you can see, it comes with an aggressively styled fairing complete with angular lines and pointy edges. It does, however, sport very upright and comfortable ergonomics, thus lending itself to a relaxed riding position. As far as performance is concerned, Yamaha has crammed a 155cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine into this little bike. Pumping out the better part of 17 ponies, the Y16ZR has some get-up-and-go, which is aided by a six-speed transmission and an assist slipper clutch.
It's interesting to note that on paper, the Yamaha Y16ZR seems less like a moped and more like a small sportbike. No doubt, in the markets it will be sold at, this bike is one of the most capable in its class. Even better, it retails for just south of the equivalent of $2,500 USD in Asia. Do you think a machine like the Y16ZR could serve a purpose in the U.S. and Europe?