When we hear the word "moped," chances are we think of a small, commuter-focused mish mash between a bicycle and a motorbike. Indeed, this was the case with earlier mopeds, pedals and all. However, these days, mopeds are a whole different segment of motorcycles in the Asian market.

Blurring the lines between scooter and motorbike, these machines feature an underbone frame – think Honda Cub – and are usually powered by small 100cc to 125cc engines. That being said, there's been a growing popularity of so-called "supermopeds," or mopeds with the performance of 150cc motorcycles, particularly in Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Yamaha, for instance, has quite a formidable contender in the form of the Y16ZR, a supermoped based on the YZF-R15 sportbike. 

Kawasaki And Malaysian Firm Modenas Are Co-Developing A New

As such, it's no surprise that dominant players in the Asian motorcycle market are building on the supermoped platform. The latest of which is Kawasaki, in partnership with Malaysian company Modenas. The alliance between Team Green and Modenas is a long-standing one, with the two brands launching both premium and commuter models in Malaysia. According to a report published by Malaysian automotive journal Pandu Laju, a new supermoped from Kawasaki and Modenas is currently undergoing testing, and is ready to hit production soon. 

At present, however, we have nothing but this rendering to show for. It's clear that the finished product will probably look much different from this Kawasaki Z1000-inspired concept. However, given the popularity of other supermopeds like the aforementioned Y16ZR, as well as the Honda RS150R and Suzuki Raider, we pretty much have a good idea of what Kawasaki and Modenas have in store. 

The Yamaha Y16ZR Is A Sporty Little Commuter
RS150R Repsol Replica

According to the report, the new moped isn't set to launch anytime soon, however. In fact, the CEO of Modenas, Roslan Roskan, is eyeing a 2025 launch for the new model. As such, we can probably expect it to be unveiled in the second half of 2024. In terms of performance, we can expect the new Modenas x Kawasaki model to be powered by an engine with around 150cc to 175cc of displacement. In order to be competitive, it'll have to flaunt technology such as liquid-cooling, variable valve timing, and maybe even a dual overhead camshaft. 

It's worth noting that in Malaysia, premium commuters with engine sizes 150cc to 175cc have seen a marked increase in sales. Approximately 40 percent of motorcycles sold in the country occupy this displacement range. The smaller-displacement models, meanwhile (100cc to 125cc) have seen a decrease to about 10 percent. 

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