Five Tips for Using Your Moped as a Daily Commuter

About two years ago I replaced my car with an electric moped for my daily work commute and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

Below are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the past few years that I would like to share with you. Whether you’re a veteran mopeder, or you’re just testing the waters, the 5 tips below should help make your moped commute safer, more reliable, and more comfortable. To sum it up:

  1. Use “avoid highways” on Google maps.

  2. Get a bluetooth earpiece to help with navigation while riding.

  3. Get some gloves!

  4. Get a moped lock and a cover to keep it safe from the elements.

  5. You can use the bike-lane, at least in the state of Massachusetts.

  1. Using the “avoid highways” feature on Google maps.

Like most states, Massachusetts prohibits the use of mopeds on highways and interstates. So naturally, as someone who was used to taking the interstate to/from work every day, I’d just assumed a moped wasn’t a real commuting option for me. Well, as it turns out, there are plenty of roads other than the interstate and they can often get you where you need to go in about the same amount of time. And with better scenery!

So when I’m planning out a moped trip, the “Avoid highways” feature on google maps is key. To access it, enter your starting and ending locations like you normally would, then click on the 3 dots in the top right corner, click “Route options,” and select “Avoid highways.”


Two additional notes on this:

  • Don’t forget to un-select this feature later when you do want to use the highway. Otherwise a long car-ride could end up being much longer.

  • You might be tempted to switch then navigation mode from car to bike, but I would advise against that. I’ve tried that a few times and Google Maps has ended up trying to take me along routes that include sidewalks, recreational bike paths, and other places where mopeds aren’t allowed.


2. Navigating with a Bluetooth earpiece.

I’ve found my Bluetooth earbud to be absolutely essential whenever I’m taking the moped on a route I’ve never taken before or one that I don’t quite know by heart. I pair the earbud to my phone, turn Google Maps audio navigation on, and – BOOM – just like that, I have turn-by-turn voice guidance directly to my ear without having to constantly look down at my phone to see where I’m at. Navigating by voice alone may seem difficult, but it’s a lot easier than you might think. This is especially true on a moped where you’re typically traveling under 30 mph, so you usually get plenty of notification when a turn is coming up.


There are a few other Bluetooth options, but I prefer the single earbud because A) you can usually get them for pretty cheap, B) it easily fits under my helmet, and C) I can put it in my right ear while still keeping my left ear – which is usually closer to the traffic – free to listen for cars and other sounds of the road.

3. Get some gloves!

I quickly learned not to leave the house in the morning without my gloves, unless I wanted to show up to work with ice-cold, blistered knuckles. Any kind of gloves will do really, as long as they can block the wind. I just advise against shop gloves like the ones in the picture below, which tend to be porous and breathable. This is good for working on cars, but not so good for keeping your fingers from freezing on long moped rides.


4. Get the appropriate gear.

In addition to your helmet and gloves, the two other essential items you will need are a lock and a moped cover. For the lock, there are a few different options, but the ones I see most often are the disc-brake lock (which is what I have) and the chain lock. Both are easy to use, affordable, and can usually fit under the moped seat or in any of the other on-board compartments. But for the love of god, please don’t forget to unluck it before you start driving! Not only is it a jarring experience to get stopped dead in your tracks by a forgotten brake lock, you could also do some real damage to your ride.

Even if you have covered parking, I still recommend picking up a nice moped cover as well. You may have difficulty if you do a search for “moped covers,” so your best bet is to search for “motorcycle covers” instead. The smallest-size motorcycle cover should be good for most mopeds. The important things to look out for in a moped/motorcycle cover are A) that it’s waterproof and B) it can be secured to the moped somehow so that a gust of wind doesn’t blow it away. Just like your lock, a moped cover is something you can easily fold up and tuck away under your seat when you’re not using it.

5. Bike-lane to car-lane.

In many states, mopeds are allowed to travel in car-lanes and in the bike-lane. So for roads with a bike-lane on the shoulder, this can be a huge advantage to the moped driver. Whenever there is traffic or a red-light, I can simply merge over to the bike lane to avoid it. This basically eliminates traffic and gives the moped front-of-the-line privileges at every traffic light. This results in hassle-free commutes and very predictable commuting times. For example, my 11-mile commute to work was always between 34-37 minutes, regardless the time of day, day of the week, or traffic.

That’s it. I hope these five tips help and that you enjoy your moped as much as I have mine. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments about this article…or if you just want to nerd out about electric mopeds for a bit.


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