July 4, 2023

What’s the Thing With 1970s Mopeds and Scooters?

Mopeds from the 1970s are experiencing a rapid surge in worth, a trend that is drawing in some nostalgic enthusiasts who are now in their 50s and 60s. Maybe it’s the lure of recalling past youth but there’s certainly a market for these fine little scooters nowadays both here in the UK and abroad.

Popular models like the Yamaha FS1-E, also known as the 'Fizzy,' have witnessed a substantial boost in price, reaching as high as £10,000. A decade ago, you might have found the same splendid two-wheeler for a mere £1,500, while its original price in the mid-Seventies hovered around a tasty £230.

Other moped favourites such as the Suzuki AP50 are now being sold for thousands of pounds. Just a few years ago, one could have acquired the same model for just a couple of hundred.

Mopeds played a significant role in the lives of teenagers at the time due to a law enacted in 1971. This law prohibited 16-year-olds from riding motorcycles with an engine capacity of up to 250cc until they reached the age of 17. As a result, kids were limited to bikes no more than 50cc, allowing the two-stroke mopeds to remain legal.

In response to this legislation, moped manufacturers began producing "sports mopeds" exclusively for the UK market. These fashionable and speedy two-wheelers often resembled full-fledged motorcycles. The Yamaha 'Fizzy' and its rival, the Suzuki AP50, emerged as iconic examples of these mopeds, playing a significant social and cultural not least by granting their owners a sense of freedom, often for the first time.

Moped manufacturer Fantic, known for its expensive yet undeniably iconic models like the 'chopper' design, was a leader in the industry.

The moped boom of the 1970s eventually came to an end in 1977 when the government introduced new regulations limiting mopeds to a maximum weight of 250kg and a top speed of 30mph.

Moped Resurgence

After years of being overlooked, these 1970s mopeds are now highly sought-after collector's items. Acquiring one requires a considerable financial investment, however. The prices are rising dramatically. 

In April 2020, the auction house Cheffins sold a modified Fizzy for just over £4,000. In 2021, another went for an impressive £10,350. There’s no doubt that the growing popularity of these vehicles in recent years has propelled prices into the thousands. 

Iconic Mopeds of the 70s and 80s

The interest in scooters and mopeds is still a pretty niche market but if you’re thinking of investing in it, then here are some of the icons of the period:

  • Tomos, a company hailing from Slovenia, began manufacturing bikes in the 1950s. With a wide range of models, all of which offer unique advantages, their mopes are highly desirable nowadays. The company went into bankruptcy in 2019, but numerous used bikes and an abundance of spare parts can still be found.
  • Puch stands out as one of the most renowned moped makers. These mopeds command higher prices, and they are not sought-after by collectors. That’s most likely down to their distinctive style which sets them as a breed apart in the classic bike world. Due to a dedicated fan base, finding spare parts and accessing help and advice on Puch mopeds is relatively easy.
  • Garelli, another notable vintage moped brand, started producing bikes as early as 1919. Although they still make bikes today, the classic mopeds from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s are particularly desirable. 
  • Motobecane, a French company that operated from 1923 to 1981, produced bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles. Their machines are renowned for their excellence, and with sufficient effort, one can find spare parts to maintain these remarkable vehicles.
  • Trac mopeds were manufactured by a Korean company in the 1980s. There is a pretty big challenge in finding spare parts if you are restoring one of their bikes but it’s a great ride and easy to work on. 
  • Jawa mopeds originate from Czechoslovakia, which later changed to Slovakia. Numerous models were produced, and while finding spare parts may prove challenging, these machines are exceptionally easy to work on, offering reliable performance if well-maintained.

Motorbike Restoration at White’s Bodyworks

While much of our fame comes from working on vintage cars, we also provide a range of services for classic motorbikes, scooters and mopeds. We’re starting to see a few more of these iconic designs in our workshop and they are a joy to work on. 

With more than 2 decades of experience providing quality restorations and repairs, we’re one of the leading classic car and motorbike workshops in the UK today. Whether you need repairs to damaged petrol tanks or a full restoration or even a respray, we’ve got all the equipment and skills available in one place. 

If you’re a fan of 60s and 70s mopeds and scooters and need a reliable garage to partner with, contact the team at White’s Bodyworks today. 


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