North Texas Daily

Moped army adds to Denton culture

Moped army adds to Denton culture

October 22
03:49 2015

Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer


When Nathan Williams rides around Denton, he gets stares and questions.

As he zips down the road, he weaves around objects in his way, experiencing the sights and sounds of Denton.

Williams does not ride a motorcycle or bike, but a hybrid of the two: a moped. Since he started riding, Williams has been hooked on them. His love for mopeds prompted him to start a Facebook group called Moped Army Denton, which currently has around 120 members. The group allows local moped owners to get together and ride.


Nathan Williams, founder of the Denton Moped Army, poses with his pedal moped. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

“Live fast, ride slow is my motto,” Williams said.

Mopeds were extremely popular in the late 1900s. Williams said the word “moped” comes from a clever combination of the words “motor” and “pedal,” as mopeds have pedals but are also motorized.

On Wednesdays, group members meet at Lucky Lou’s before they go on a ride. They host “wrench nights,” where they work on one another’s mopeds, and they even buy and sell mopeds on their Facebook page.

“It is insane how many people in Denton ride mopeds,” Williams said. “It’s this overarching community that people don’t really think about.”

Kyle Salter, a Moped Army member and owner of Kyle’s Scooter Shop, has been a part of Denton’s moped community for more than 10 years. Most of the people in the group come to him when they need work done on their bikes, he said.


A pedal moped belongs to Denton Moped Army member Brittany Kirkland. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

Mopeds generally cost around $500, but certain models can reach prices up to $1,800 or more. The upkeep is much cheaper than a car, Salter said, estimating monthly expenses at roughly $100. They also get much better gas mileage, and some can reach over 100 mpg.

“Growing up, all the cool kids in the neighborhood had mopeds,” Salter said. “Now, I don’t only ride them, but I get to fix them up and make them like new again.”

When something goes wrong with a member’s moped, professional bike mechanic Jake Knight said members of the Moped Army do anything they can to help fellow riders. After Knight purchased his first moped this past spring, he realized he would need some help getting it into a safe, usable condition.

Knight got in touch with Williams, who helped him fix various issues and taught him more about mopeds. He joined the Moped Army soon after, saying he has taken pleasure in finding a community within Denton interested in the restoration and riding of the vintage vehicles.

“Owning a moped is satisfying because you get to take something that’s old and restore it,” Knight said. “There are no mass manufacturers of mopeds anymore, but there are hundreds of brands of mopeds. You get to make it your own and then share it with other people interested in them.” 

While Knight said many people might look at mopeds as scooters or a type of bike, they are much more to him. Moped Army, he said, is a group that appreciates the distinctive vehicles, sharing the vintage style with the community.

“Mopeds offer a sense of simplicity that other forms of transportation don’t,” Knight said. “They are eclectic and artsy… you can make them your own, and there is always going to be a part of you invested in what you helped create.”

Featured Image: Denton Moped Army members Brittany Kirkland, Troy Berry and Jake Knight display their pedal mopeds. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

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