Local Motors Ariel Cruiser Brings Mopeds Some Mojo

Typically, mopeds and motorized bicycles have as much style and sex appeal as a cube of tofu. Just lacking the speed and range capabilities of full-fledged motorcycles would be bad enough but, to our eyes at least, they tend to look dorky, too. Fortunately, the folks at Local Motors (the company behind the radical muscle car/trophy truck mashup known as the Rally Fighter) are ready to give both the gas and electric moped scenes a steampunk-scented kick in the trousers.

Conceived by Romanian Ianis Vasilatos (who beat out numerous other designers from around the world you sent submissions to Local Motors), the Ariel Cruiser takes its aesthetic inspiration from board track racing motorcycles of the 1920s, with low slung handlebars, shortened fenders, extensive use of leather straps and, at least on the examples pictured, extensive use of white, including the tires. As alluded to above, Local Motors will be offering the Ariel Cruiser in both gas (with a 50 cc Honda single, a 34 mph top speed and 70 mile range) and electric (with an on-hub motor, a 27 mph top speed and 20 mile range), though both have pedals to allow you to keep going on muscle power.

No word yet on either pricing, colors and other options or when they’ll be available, but we imagine both the battery and petrol models will prove quite popular with fashion-forward-types looking for an agile way to get around dense urban environments. A far cry from the fibrous high-banked death bowls these two-wheelers’ design muses inhabited a century-or-so ago but, hey, time marches on and whatnot…

Source: Local Motors