MARKETING: Moped Madness

Mopeds are the near-beer of the motorcycle world. They are more than bicycles but less—far less—than the roaring machines straddled by Marlon Brando in The Wild One and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider; no self-respecting Hell's Angel would be caught dead on one. Yet mopeds (from motorized-bicycle-plus-pedals) are coming on like Scotch after Repeal.

Lenient state laws are being passed favoring mopeds, instead of treating them like bigger motorcycles or cars. A quarter of a million mopeds could be sold this year, about four times the volume of 1976; one Department of Transportation study estimates that three million mopeds could...

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