Quarantine Update

Quarantine Update

Hello from “behind the scenes!”

Just wanted to check in with everyone and share some thoughts about the moped shop during this period of quarantine that certainly allows for lots of reflection. I made the tough decision to abide by a firm closure during the initial stay-at-home period. That means that all staff have been laid off and I have not been accepting new inventory or service requests. Yes, I am aware that we could have probably continued to operate in some capacity without legal consequence. I realize that other small businesses have been doing this and I do not fault them. Economic fear is a powerful and real motivator. It is not that I do not share these fears — I own a low-margin seasonal business, I live on these fears even when there is not a pandemic! — but I believe that the uncertainty and level of contagiousness of this still-not-understood virus is more frightening and more important at this time. I don’t want to facilitate any non-essential contact and, realistically, the customization, restoration, and performance enhancements of 40 year old mopeds is not essential right now.

The latest state mandate (4/24) says that bicycle repair shops can begin to open to the public. We have decided that we will not…yet. Our small, open floor plan and high level of personal contact workplace doesn’t engender a safe environment for me and my staff, some of whom have and/or live with individuals with conditions that put them at “high risk.” Furthermore, we are not convinced that this decision will not result in a spike in infections, and are deciding to “stay-at-home” so as to not contribute to that possibility.

This is certainly not an easy decision to make and I hope that our customers can understand and respect our caution.

We are working behind the scenes to develop safe protocols for service and retail for when we do reopen. Even at that point, business will not be “as-usual.” I am currently working on improved online presence and official appointment only / curbside service protocol so that we can operate in some capacity until this virus is better under control and we can feel safe.

Trust me, each and every time I turn away business it breaks my heart a little bit. But I have to do what I think is right — and right isn’t always perfect, it’s just the best we can do.

Thanks for understanding and when we do feel safe to reopen, trust me, I will be shouting it from the hilltops!

A few quick notes:

  • If you have a bike already in here for repairs, don’t fret; we will complete your repairs and get the bike in your hands at the first possible opportunity.
  • If you have sent the shop an email, Facebook message, Instagram message, text message, Google+ message, etc – I am not ignoring you. I am systematically responding to all messages (which there are tons of) and I will continue to do so until we have staff in to help.
  • We are not currently monitoring our phone system.
  • Filling out the contact form through our website OR sending a message through our Facebook page are the two best ways to contact me at this time.
    • We are working on developing an online system for repair tickets and custom builds in preparation for a curbside drop off / pick up format which will streamline processes, but for now reaching out through the website or Facebook will put you in the front of the queue.

I appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and eagerness to patronize our business and everyone’s contribution to the GoFundMe, but most importantly everyone’s understanding and patience as I work to try to reply to each and every correspondence while planning for what the future at Detroit Moped Works will look like.

In good health,

Alex Samul

Owner, Detroit Moped Works

April 27, 2020

A little help for our staff

Detroit Moped Works has started a GoFundMe fundraiser to raise money to go directly to our mechanics. You can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/a-little-help-for-our-staff.

As a seasonal business, we spend all winter building bikes and living on debt, reliant on a massive March and April to dig us out of debt and propel us into the busy summer season of repairs.  With the current pandemic, that will not happen this year.

As a shop, we can begin to liquidate assets; but with no repair work (and the state’s mandatory shut down), our commission based mechanics are without income.

All money donated will go directly to subsidize the living expenses of our mechanics.

As there are a lot of people in need, we have set a modest goal; but we could use a lot more.

Every little bit helps. Thanks a ton and stay safe.

Detroit Moped Works: CLOSED

March 27, 2020

In compliance with Michigan’s “Stay Home” order and to protect our customers, staff, and the public health, DETROIT MOPED WORKS IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

The Covid-19 coronavirus is spreading faster in Detroit than nearly anywhere in the United States and we want to do our part to stop the spread.

We have mopeds available for sale that can be purchased online and kept in our shop until the lockdown is lifted. If you’re buying a moped for essential transportation, please contact us so we can help you.

Be sure to FOLLOW both our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates.

For inquiries, use our contact page, email sales@detroitmopedworks.com, or message our Facebook page.

Thank you for your continued support and stay safe!

What is my moped worth?

What is my moped worth?

We receive daily phone calls and emails from people asking what they should sell their vintage mopeds for and/or if we want to buy their mopeds. Here are some generalizations about moped values. (There are always going to be exceptions… but yours probably is not one.)

Click a topic below to jump to that point in the page.

Non-running mopeds are worth $100 USD
Running mopeds sell pretty quickly for $200-300 USD
Running mopeds sell less quickly for $500+ USD
The “right buyer” may give you up to $800
The value of modified mopeds
The value of our mopeds (why our mopeds cost so much)



  • If it can’t be ridden down the road, there is no way to tell what the moped needs. These bikes typically have 40 years of unknown history. Riding them allows you to hear and feel the bike’s functionality. If it cannot be ridden, it cannot be properly diagnosed. There are a lot of costly and/or time consuming repairs that may be needed on a moped so most people will not bet more than $100 on that gamble.
    • If the seller says it “just needs a carb clean” or “just needs a spark plug,” they are lying. If they have the ability to accurately diagnose that, they would have the ability to do those things and double or triple the value of their moped.
  • This price is very standard on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Moped Army, garage sales, scrap yards, etc. We do our best to both buy and sell at “market rate.” Since we typically buy non-running mopeds for the standard $100 market rate and it would be wrong of us to sell non-running mopeds for more than $100, we just don’t sell non-running mopeds. We restore them and add value before selling!
  • There are always exceptions, like:
    • Top tank mopeds (the ones that look like little motorcycles) usually sell for a bit more.
    • If the buyer REALLY REALLY wants a specific moped (See “RIGHT BUYER” info below).
    • If we are low on inventory and you have a super common moped that will be cheap for us to restore.
    • If your non-running moped has some weird specific part that someone really needs.
    • The upper end of what someone will pay for a non-running moped is $200-$300.
    • These scenarios are not common.




  • If it can be ridden down the road, someone who does not care too much about the individual unit will pay this much and you will sell it in less than a week. It may be to a person looking for cheap transportation, someone looking for an “easy” restoration project, a moped hobbyist (hoarder), or us!
  • This price is very standard on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Moped Army, garage sales, scrap yards, etc.




  • There are a lot of moped hobbyists, collectors, hoarders, and flippers scouring the standard peer to peer market (Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Moped Army, garage sales, scrap tards, etc.) ready to jump on those sub $300 mopeds.
    • Please note that we as a shop only purchase mopeds that are brought into our store. We do not go after the peer to peer market at all; we leave that open to you guys and gals. We want you to purchase project bikes so that you can come to us for parts and/or repairs!
  • People who are looking for $300 transportation but keep getting beat out on the sub $300 deals will often pay up to $500 for running mopeds.
    • As a seller, if you are “not in a hurry” to sell, maybe hold out for $500. Your buyer will come around in about a month or two.
    • As a buyer, this is an OK price. It’s not a great deal, BUT if a $500 moped is in your budget, if you like it, if you have fun on a test ride, and if you don’t want to mess around trying to be the first one to the best peer to peer deal, go for it!
  • We have hundreds of mopeds between our facilities, so we are not the buyer who just really wants a moped and has got beaten out on all of the cheap deals. We are not going to buy a typical moped for anywhere near $500 (sorry!).




  • NOTE: This is not normal in the peer to peer market but there are always exceptions.
    • You’ll need to find the right person. This buyer is typically someone who had the exact same moped as a kid. The same year, the same color, all of that. Maybe they were using that moped to get to their sweetie’s house for their first kiss. Maybe they used it to get to their first job which taught them the work ethic that made them wealthy today. Maybe they didn’t have a moped at all and they were jealous of the neighbor kid, so now is their time to have that perfect example of the model they didn’t get as a kid.
    • A moped hobbyist may also have some weird obsession with a specific rare-sub model of a moped or something and be willing to pay more than the moped is “worth.” Even as a shop that currently has hundreds of mopeds in our shop and has had thousands pass through our shop, there are about a half dozen mopeds that we have never seen and would pay $1,000+++ for our personal collection. If a moped is so rare and desirable that we hold a moped as mythological, you probably don’t have it… but it sure would be cool if you did!
  • As a seller, to get these prices in the peer to peer market, you’ll need to have a really really nice bike and it may take you a few years to find that perfect buyer BUT when you do find them they’ll be appreciative that you took the time to list the bike and maintained the listing long enough for them to stumble across it.
  • As a buyer, IF YOU REALLY WANT IT, BUY IT AND DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT PAYING EXTRA FOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT. Seriously, “worth” is objective so if it is in your budget & you really want it, go for it!



¯\_(ツ)_/¯ THE VALUE OF MODIFIED MOPEDS ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • A modified moped may have $500 OR $1,000 or $1,500+++ worth of performance parts on it, so how does this affect value?
    • If a person did a bad job installing the parts and the bike does not run right OR is not safe OR is too powerful and will destroy itself soon OR just looks ugly now OR all of those things, the bike is probably worth WAY less than it was worth before all of the money and time was spent on parts and time was spent on labor.
    • BUT there are some really wonderful, caring, careful, intelligent, artistic moped builders out there who have invested lots of time & money learning mopeds and building specific bikes. When these people sell mopeds, OF COURSE it is fair and “worth it” to pay them a price that is equal to the value of the moped before modification PLUS the value of parts invested PLUS the value of their time for the work they have done to the moped.
  • As a shop, we do not generally buy modified bikes because we warranty all of our work and if we did not do the work ourselves, we cannot warranty someone else’s work – even if they are an exceptional builder.




  • Simple Answer:
    • Everything that we sell has *AT MINIMUM* New tires, New tubes, New fuel petcock, New fuel line, New fuel filter, New NGK Spark Plug, Working headlight, Working tail light, Working kill switch, full tank of premium gas with Amsoil Saber full synthetic 2t oil, & new full synthetic transmission fluid; PLUS it has been polished up and it comes with a 60 DAY WARRANTY.
      • $700-$900 at our shop *typically* gets you a moped with our minimum restoration described above. Although it is more expensive than a $300-$500 CL moped; we feel the new parts, professional work, and peace of mind make our mopeds a better value for a rider. From there, the more time and money and parts we spend on the ped, the more speed and safety and looks you get.
      • $800-$1200 at our shop typically gets you a moped with the minimum stuff described above plus other wear items such as grips, chains, cables, shocks, pedals, seats, etc. replaced with new. Mopeds in this price range also typically have minor performance work done to them to get them in the 33-40mph speed.
      • $1200-$1700 at our shop typically gets you a moped that has everything above replaced AND some extensive motor work involving part to get the moped in the 38-48mph speed AND some modernized suspension and wheels to accommodate ether increased speed AND maybe even custom paint and/or powder coat and/or decals.
      • $1,700-$2,500+++ is not the norm for pricing or for mopeds. This is an exceptional moped at an exceptional price. At our shop means that we invested a TON of both time and money into the moped. When bikes at this price come up you can be assured that the moped will be as good looking and safe as a moped can be PLUS it will be as fast of a moped as we feel comfortable putting a customer on.
  • Complex Answer:
    • When you buy a moped from us, whether it be $700 OR $2,700, you are getting more than a professionally serviced moped with some fancy new parts. Honestly, if that’s all you were getting from us, it wouldn’t be that great of a deal.
      • Because each bike is unique, we work to pair you with the right moped for you. When you come into our store, you get the opportunity to explain your goals with regards to looks, budget, target speed, intended use, etc. From there we put you on a few different bikes that we think would work well for you for test rides. Once you know what you are looking for; we will make final adjustments for speed, comfort, and aesthetics so that the bike is really right for you.
    • After you take the moped home, we are your support system.
        • During the 60 day warranty period, something will probably go wrong… but that’s OK! These things are 40 years old with an unknown history. We are bringing them back to life for the first time in who knows how long. Even though we fix everything that is wrong with it, then test ride it 10-20 miles; then fix everything that goes wrong on the test rides, then put on 10-20 more test miles until we feel confident, we can’t know what will go wrong in 100 or 200 or 500 miles. For this reason, we want you to use the moped and shake out any additional problems that happen as it comes to life and we want to fix them under warranty. We typically find that once these problems that arise bringing the bike out of dormancy are corrected, these mopeds are good for a long time with minimum effort. We just need to get there together. You don’t get this support system with a peer to peer sale.
        • After the 60 days, we are here to complete your spring tune ups, performance upgrades, wear item replacements and more. All of these things will go faster (and cheaper) if we know the bike.
        • We are also available to our customers for parts and troubleshooting advice if our customers decide to take on the DIY experience.
        • For better or for worse, buying a moped from us means establishing a relationship with us;  We know, love and appreciate our customers. Without you, we wouldn’t be who we are.
  • OH YEAH – Also when you buy a moped from us you can use a credit card and you get 25% off all retail such as helmets, gloves, locks, apparel, etc. with your purchase.

Mopeds at the 2018 Old School Minibike Show

14th Annual Old School Minibike Show

Sunday, May 6, 2018
8:00am – 3:00pm
Royal Oak Farmer’s Market

For the second year, Detroit Moped Works will have a booth at the Old School Minibike Show at the Royal Oak Farmers Market. We will be selling mopeds, accessories, apparel and more.

The event starts at 8:00 am with vendors, a swap meet, food, and awards for various classes of vehicles (INCLUDING MOPEDS!). Full info about the event and showing your vehicle can be found at the event’s official Facebook page.

Gate entrance fee is $5. FREE ENTRY AT 1:00pm FOR ANYONE WHO RIDES IN ON A MOPED!

Royal Oak Farmers Market
316 E. 11 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48067


Video Tutorial: Does my moped turn over? How to start a vintage two stroke moped

This is the first Detroit Moped Works video tutorial, with many more to come. We will be starting very basic and progress into more advanced topics. We believe that understanding HOW things work is crucial. We will focus on that to make your moped ownership and maintenance experience as fun and interesting as possible. This tutorial teaches you how to figure out if your moped “turns over” through demonstrating the various ways that vintage mopeds start.



This information will be helpful with the following mopeds:

• Mopeds with a Morini motor such as Pacer, Bianchi, Motomarina, etc.

• Mopeds with a Puch motor such as Maxi, Newport, Magnum, Series B, Korado, Austro Daimler, Dart, Sears Free Spirit, Murray, JCPenney Pinto OR JCPenney Swinger.

• Mopeds with a Minarelli motor such as a Cimatti, Motomarina, Testi, Aspes, Fantic, etc.

• Garelli

• Sachs

• Batavus

• Solo

• Trac

• Vespa Piaggio

• French mopeds like Motobecane and Peugeot

• Indian mopeds like Kinetic and Hero Majestic

• Honda Hobbit

• Suzuki FZ50 and FA50

• Honda Express, Express II, Urban Express

• Yamaha QT50, Chappy, Champ

• Tomos

• Solex

Our YouTube channel is in its infancy so we want YOU to let us know what you want to see. Moped tutorials, product reviews, moped culture shenanigans, visual tours of Detroit on mopeds, advice for small business owners; you tell us!

The more likes, shares, and comments we get, the more we’ll be driven to put out new content.

Detroit Moped Works is now on YouTube!

For a while now, we’ve had dreams of a YouTube channel, but kind of overthought it to the point where we never pulled the trigger.
We are currently in the process of applying to Retail Boot Camp at TechTown Detroit. Part of this application is a short video requirement: “Recommendations on what to include in your video: pitch your business, excite us about your vision. Upload video to YouTube and provide link.“
Sometimes that extra incentive is all you need to get things rolling, so we are using this as the catalyst to launch our channel. Pretty neat eh?!?!
Our YouTube channel is in its infancy so we want YOU to let us know what you want to see. Moped tutorials, product reviews, moped culture shenanigans, visual tours of Detroit on mopeds, advice for small business owners; you tell us!
The more likes, shares, and comments we get, the more we’ll be driven to put out new content.

Watch our first video below!

Breaking in and maintaining your moped

Why should I break in my moped (cylinder) safely?

When your moped was new, the factory instructions were to not exceed 15mph for the first 300 miles.   A two stroke motor receives all of its lubrication from the oil and gas mixture.  Until the oil and gas mixture has run through your motor for a while, the motor is insufficiently lubricated for wailing on.  Although your moped is not new, the original components likely have not been lubricated through operation in years and will likely need a secondary break in for this to occur.  If you have a freshly built motor and/or new components, for break in purposes, you pretty much have a factory fresh motor.   It is important to run through 3-4 tanks of good gas / oil at low / variable speeds to get everything sufficiently lubricated / seasoned.   This is extra important if your moped has been modified to exceed the factory speeds.  

A secondary and maybe more important aspect of a proper break in is proper ring seating.  Breaking in an engine helps seal the pistons rings into the cylinder surface. Without a proper seal you end up with engine issues, sometimes sooner rather than later, but almost always inevitably later.  Your two stroke motor is an engine with lots of tiny parts moving at high rates of speed & you want it to last a long time, so break it in right!  

How do I break in and operate my new moped (cylinder) safely?

  • For the first 300 miles (3-5 gallons), run premium unleaded gas mixed with SABER® Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil at a ratio of 80:1 (1.6 oz of oil per gal of gas).
  • After the first 300 miles, run premium unleaded gas mixed with SABER® Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil at a ratio of 100:1 (1.3 oz of oil per gal of gas).
    • If you are in a pinch and must buy cheaper oil; run it at 2.6 oz per gallon
  • For your first tank of gas, you will be running heat cycles; do not run your moped for more than 15-20 minutes consecutively before letting it cool down for 20-30 min (or more)
  • For the remainder of the first 300 miles, you can/should take as long of rides as you want, but be sure to run a variety of speeds.   For example two miles at 25 mph; a half mile wide open;  a mile at 15 mph; etc.  The variable heat cycle will be best for breaking in your moped with today’s oil and gas; and it will be a lot more fun than 15 mph the whole time.   
  • If you have a performance modified moped, you may want to consider purchasing a Trail Tech digital 30-500°F temperature gauge ($40).  Monitoring your temperatures to ensure you do not exceed 400°F should keep your motor performing optimally and sudden spikes in temperature can help to identify problems such as air leaks, fuel flow issues, etc before severe damage occurs.   
  • After the first 300 mile break in period it is recommended to give the bike a once over and complete final adjustments.  This service is complementary on any bike purchased from Detroit Moped Works.
  • If anything sounds crazy, bring your moped in.  Catching issues early will drastically reduce major issues and down time during the riding season.    

What are some good moped maintenance procedures?

  • Follow the moped break in guide above (run good gas and oil!)
  • Store it out of the rain
  • During the winter, store it with the gas tank full to the top with mixed gas to avoid rust
  • Bring it in to DMW every spring for a tune up!  
  • In the hottest months, the air holds less oxygen and you may run a bit “rich” and “foul” a spark plug.  Keep a spare NGK spark plug on hand in case of emergency
  • Have fun!

How do mopeds work?

Mopeds are a great way to get around but can appear confusing to someone who’s never started one. They don’t start with the turn of a key but with the turn of the pedals!

How Do They Start?

  • The pedals are basically only to start the mopeds.  You can pedal it as a last resort, but you’ll have a really bad time.
  • Mopeds start in a variety of ways, but in all cases, the pedals serve to provide forward momentum which allows the crank shaft / ignition to turn and begin combustion.
  • Once the engine has begun combustion, it’s just a little motorcycle.
  • There is a twist and go throttle on your right.  You twist it back to accelerate and return it forward to slow down.
  • You have brake levers on your right and left hand, just like a bicycle.  Compress them evenly when stopping.

How Does the Motor Work?

Like every other two stroke motor!

  • Two-stroke engines do not have valves, which simplifies their construction and lowers their weight.
  • Two-stroke engines fire once every revolution, while four-stroke engines fire once every other revolution. This gives two-stroke engines a significant power boost.
  • These advantages make two-stroke engines lighter, simpler and less expensive to manufacture. Two-stroke engines also have the potential to pack about twice the power into the same space because there are twice as many power strokes per revolution. The combination of light weight and twice the power gives two-stroke engines a great power-to-weight ratio compared to many four-stroke engine designs.