See caption
Lady Florence NormanBritish social campaigner and suffragist. using her Autoped in London in 1916
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Autoped was an early motorised scooter, developed and manufactured by the Autoped Company of Long Island City, New York[1] from 1915 until 1921. It was also manufactured under licence by the German company Krupp from 1919 until 1922.[2]

The scooter is powered by an air-cooled 4-stroke engine mounted over the front wheel, driving the wheel via a circular clutch. The original American version uses a 155 cc engine, whereas the Krupp variant makes use of a slightly larger 191 cc unit.[2] The vehicle is controlled entirely through the steering column: pushing it forward engages the clutch; pulling it back operates the internal expanding brake on the front wheel; and twisting the left grip operates the throttle.[3]

The Autoped had a claimed top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) on a level road.[4]



National Museum of American History. Autoped Motor Scooter, 1918.
Ritz, John, and Fan Szu-Chun. “The Scooter: Evolution and Impacts.” Technology and Engineering Teacher, vol. 74, no. 5, Feb. 2015, pp. 30–35.
Staff writer. “The Autoped – A Compromise Between Skates and a Motorcycle.” Scientific American, vol. 115, no. 10, 2 Sept. 1916, p. 215.
Wilson, Hugo. The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle. Dorling Kindersley, 1995.