Local Motors Cruiser – A Crowdsourced Moped

01/03/2014 @ 3:08 pm, by Aakash Desai9 COMMENTS


Arizona-based Local Motors is a design and engineering company that fosters and utilizes community-sourced designs and ideas to pursue relevant real world solutions to transportation problems.

By leveraging a community of “co-creators” from around the world, the company is able to bring concepts to life through prototyping and fabrication in their micro-factories, and is best known for its Rally Fighter off-road coupé.

The team’s latest endeavor is the Local Motors Cruiser, an attempt at incorporating the vintage board track aesthetics into a motorized bicycle format. Designed by Romanian designer Ianis Vasilatos the Cruiser comes in two powertrains.

The electric brushless system that gets you about 20 miles of range with the option of adding a second battery to get an additional 20 miles (your mileage my vary, of course); top speed is limited to 27mph. Meanwhile, the gas-powered version uses a 50cc Honda motor and a 0.6 gallon tank to achieve a limited top speed of 34 mph and a theoretical range of 70 miles.

At the time of this writing, the project has met and exceeded their $50,000 goal, and is set to deliver its first 13 functional bikes and 1 non-functional prototype by April 2014. So, be warned that the images you see in this article are of the prototypes, and not of the final product.

The market for sub-40mph motorized bicycles is rapidly expanding with entrants from amateur hobbyists to startups like MotoPeds and Ego-Kits. The Local Motors Cruiser is targeting the same demographic that runs out with a plastic bag to cover their Brooks saddle when it rains, fawns over vintage lugged steel frames and calculates their fuel consumption in terms of miles-per-coffee.

It’s an interesting looking thing, but it is doubtful as to whether such a stylized product will enjoy mass appeal in environments where a bicycle reigns as the most hip and socially acceptable means of getting around.

Local Motors Cruiser Gas Model:

Local Motors Cruiser Electric Model:


Source: Local Motors

  • Stony Crane

    Nicely done!

  • Ranger Jay

    Brooks saddles rule! I have one on my bicycle, and after 4 years, it fits my butt perfectly. Never any pain after long rides.

    This cruiser thing is well done, but certainly a niche market…

    Kinda wonder about the legal aspects, though. Some states might see it as a bicycle, but others might frown and call it a motorcycle or moped. Mopeds in many states require a title and registration to be “street legal.”

    I do like it, though I wouldn’t buy one. If I wanted something small/low powered, I’d go for a Grom.

  • Matt Higgins

    I like the design of both bicycles, although for me, I’d prefer the gas powered model for usefulness.

  • Campisi

    For an application like this, electric all the way. An electric powertrain gives it the same maintenance profile as a cell phone, and even just twenty miles is a lot of range in a properly urban environment.

  • froryde

    I like it, but my balls are hurtin’ just by looking at that saddle angle

  • gabe

    It looks very nice, and the Local Motors model is interesting (the Rally Fighter rocks).

    I don’t like motorized bicycles ridden by people too lazy to pedal clogging up the bike lanes :/ happens a lot here…and that stupid buzzing engine, has a terrible exhaust note. I imagine the ICE version will have the same issue.

    to even mention that it is “board track” inspired…gimmicky as hell. Is anyone even alive who would remember board track?

  • ADG


    My first road going bike was my fathers KZ1000 at 15 1/2 years of age. My knock around scoot was a Motobecane mo-ped…which I found out that if a length of re-bar, shoved in the pipe, hit with a hammer and beat the restriction washer out , would increase top speed from US mandatory 30mph to Euro spec 50mph.

    My first speeding ticket…after evading police on a friggin mo-ped.

  • Joe Sixpack

    Unbelievably stupid beyond belief.

    Honda already invented this. The Honda Cub.


    It’s like people who post here are fresh out of the box.

  • ADG

    I’m fresh out of the box, after talking a shower of course.