Don’t you dare call this one a scooter– the 1978 Mean Spirit moped doesn’t scoot, it screams. It’s custom built from the ground up by the San Francisco moped mavericks at 1977mopeds.com, a boosted beast capable of 55mph on the open road. For those new to the moped renaissance, the 1978 Mean Spirit is the perfect introduction.
In the late 1978, Sears Roebuck began importing and re-branding a popular moped produced by the Austrian motorcylce manufacturer Puch. This “Free Spirit” moped was a 2-stroke, 49cc moped with a rounded frame that was an offshoot of the Puch Maxi moped of the same year. 1977mopeds built the Mean Spirit moped from the ground up, using top-of-the-line aftermarket parts designed for the re-branded Puch and its E50 engine.
The Mean Spirit features a raised suspension, low handlebars, powder-coated mag rims and a black-and-silver motif with the rest of its parts. The boosted power of the Mean Spirit comes from a larger, custom racing carburetor, a wider engine chamber, a heavy-breathing air filter and a racer exhaust. For the layman, these upgrades push the Mean Spirit to 55mph, more than double the top speed of the original 1978 Sears Free Spirit.
We here at TheCoolist bought ourselves a vintage 1978 Free Spirit back in June, having taken it from a junker that didn’t run to an instant-start street screamer. We’re working on upgrading ours in the direction that 1977mopeds took with their Mean Spirit, and are amazed at their craftsmanship. While vintage mopeds have reached a cult status in cities throughout the U.S. and the world, there are few who have produced custom bikes as bad ass as this Mean Spirit right here… [$2200 at 1977mopeds]
1978 Mean Spirit Custom Moped Gallery
(Sears Free Spirit pics courtesy of the wonderful, fantastic community at mopedarmy.com)