The term “moped” is often linked to a small, urban-oriented amalgamation of a bicycle and motorcycle. This was the initial idea of mopeds, complete with pedals. However, in the present Asian market, mopeds have progressed into a completely distinct category of motorcycles.
The latest trend in two-wheeled vehicles increasingly blurs the line between scooters and motorbikes. Machines featuring an underbone frame, similar to the iconic Honda Cub, are becoming more popular. These bikes are typically powered by small engines ranging from 100cc to 125cc.
However, the “super moped” is the new player in town, offering the performance of 150cc motorcycles. It has become popular in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. One notable example is the Y16ZR from Yamaha, based on their YZF-R15 sportbike.
It’s interesting to see how the major players in the Asian motorcycle industry are expanding their portfolios and exploring new territories. One of the latest developments in the partnership between Kawasaki and Malaysian company Modenas.
Kawasaki and Modenas
The two brands have a strong history of collaboration, having previously launched premium and commuter models in Malaysia. According to reports from Malaysian automotive journal Pandu Laju, the duo is currently testing a new supermoped model, which is expected to go into production soon. It’ll be exciting to see how this latest addition to the market performs and what it brings.
Although all we have to show for now is this rendering, it’s safe to assume that the final product will differ significantly from this Kawasaki-inspired concept. However, with the success of other super mopeds such as the Y16ZR and the Honda and Suzuki Raider, we can confidently predict what Kawasaki and Modenas have in store.
When will we see it?
Based on the report, the release of the new moped may not be happening for some time. As per Modenas’ CEO, Roslan Roskan, we will likely not see the new model hit the market until 2025. However, it’s anticipated that the unveiling will occur during the second half of 2024.
The upcoming Modenas x Kawasaki model is expected to be a high-performing vehicle, featuring an engine with a displacement of approximately 150cc to 175cc. To maintain a competitive edge, the vehicle will showcase advanced features like liquid cooling, variable valve timing, and a dual overhead camshaft.