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MotoMatic’s “Step Up Your Game”

Posted on July 2, 2012 by Andrew in Moped. 25 comments

Whenever we post a moped it usually polarises our readers. You either love it or hate it, and you never hold back – that’s why we love you guys. And when it comes to mopeds we don’t really know anything about them. To be honest, I didn’t even know what a batavus hs-50 was until I googled it. All I know about mopeds is that when I see one I like, it’s usually a stripped back piece of rolling art. Like this stunning Batavus moped built by Nathan Kiehn and the guys at Motomatic. Their philosophy is pretty simple “we want to build bikes that have the nostalgia of the past, the power and performance of the present with a touch of reliability and style to them.” Sounds like a pretty good combination to me.


Over to Nathan to tell us about the build and a little more about Motomatic… “So I have been into mopeds since 2000 and started working on them for a living in 2006. I had heard about some moped racing going on in San Jose that summer and went to check it out. That day I met Mike Rafter (ex pro skateboarder) and he asked me to build him a moped. It took another year until it was finished and “step your game up” is what I came up with. The bike started out as a batavus hs-50. I made the motor mounts, rear end and seat. At the time I only had an oxy acetylene welder so all of the welding on this bike was done with that. I bent all of the tubing with a vice and torch. There is no body filler on the frame and I did all of the powdercoating also. I built the wheels out of parts from 4 different bikes and trued them myself. The only things I didn’t do on that bike are cover the seat and paint the tank.


Mike and I became friends and we decided to start Motomatic together in late 2007. Moto Matic Mopeds specializes in custom mopeds and hand made moped parts. In June 2011 Mike got a different job and left moto matic so now it’s just me. It can get a bit overwhelming at times but I love building custom bikes and parts. I have always liked small vehicles and there is something about mopeds that appeals to me more than motorcycles. When I build a bike I try to upgrade anything I can and still keep the look of a moped.”

So you like what you see? Got you thinking about buying a little moped as a side project? It’s ok, you can tell us…

[To see more from Motomatic, check out this sweet little vid]



  • arnold

    The twin exhaust pipes seem to tap off of the front of an expansion chamber with no stinger. Yes? I have not seen that setup before, and wonder at it.

    • arnold

      Good presentation.ald

    • Charlie

      At a guess this would be to widen the power-band, as it means there’s two regions of the tacho in which the gases will be bounced back in time with the port closing. Could just be for looks, though.

    • Zeke rigg

      it is a center bleed pipe they are awesome. the fact that he has two stingers doesn’t do much different than one larger stinger would do, other than look cool.o yeah awsome bike

      • arnold

        My limited knowledge of expansion chambers comes from a Gorden Jennings article in the 70’s. “Stingers” at the front end are ineffective (or cosmetic as you say),but they look good. My wonder is if there is a 21 st century reason for the design, ie: catalytic converters, emissions controls, or just plain good handling of an awkward situation?

        • Zeke rigg

          wee ok here is my bad explanation of a center bleed. a normal pipe bounces back sound waves to shove air and fuel mix back into the cylinder. however about 20% off those sound waves don’t bounce back because there is a hole in the middle of the cone they are bouncing off of, the stinger. a center bled pipe has a back cone that is complete bouncing back all sound waves. so more power because more gas gets pushed in. and because sound waves aren’t shooting straight out your tail pipe quieter. one bad effect though is heat because exhaust gasses don’t flow right out. and if you don’t know how an expansion chamber works this won’t make sense. this is a good read on how one works

          • that’s a good simple explanation, zeke. centerbleed pipes seem to hit harder at the beginning of their powerband. i’m running one of nate’s SF pipes with a centerbleed and it’s great. it does run hotter than a standard pipe, though.

          • Exhaust flow isn’t straight through on a chamber. The exhaust doesn’t care where it exits, and the stinger can be partially internal. Not sure on two silencers though. Never seen dyno numbers for that and/or never seen that on a race or GP bike so I would think, they’re just for looks.
            This bike appears to have a ton of work in it. Seems that effort could have been put into just about any full sized bike and yeilded a more versatile rider, meaning faster with suspension, range, comfort, etc. I guess that wasn’t the object though. The object was…? Looks pretty and cute though.

          • Fun

            @Mule: Fun is the only object when it comes to mopeds.

  • GuitarSlinger

    Well with the ‘ Moped Marauders ‘ being in my city I’ve become quite a fan of customized and hopped up Mopeds . I don’t want one , but have gained an admiration and appreciation for the breed . And this one has to be one of the best . Oh …. its a little too futuristic looking for my personal tastes .. but there’s no doubting this is a mighty fine little buzz bomb ( assuming it runs as well as it looks ) I’ve said this on HFL and now I’ll say it here . Cast aside all your dispersions towards the Custom Moped scene my fellow M/C enthusiasts . Its bringing youth that will at some time ‘ graduate ‘ to a ‘ real ‘ M/C down the road and without that up and coming Youth our M/C Love Affair may be brought to a swift and sudden end . So encourage these kids , not condemn them . They’ll be in your shops and Ateliers before you know it , spending their time and money on the Big Boys bikes .

    • revdub

      You’re completely right. Most of my “moped marauder” friends and I are also motorcycle owners and riders as well.

  • Drunkandgreasy

    That’s dope. So, slinger, all of thepeople I know that are over forty and ride mopeds through downtown Atlanta will some day grow up?

    Most of them own bikes, but everything has its place. Mopeds like this rule.

    I want one.

    Cheers and beers

    • GuitarSlinger

      Hey !!!! Nothing other than getting the young folks into the fold intended by my comment . If you’re still enjoying Mopeds over 40 …. have at it . Setting I hope a good example for the youngsters coming up the ranks . FYI though … here all the Moped Marauders to a number are in fact 18 – 30 somethings …. Scooters …. adults ride here . Mopeds . Not at all . Hmmmn

  • davmo

    Nice job, Nathan. Now go wear those nubs off your tires.

  • revdub

    Awesome to see Nathan and Motomatic here. They are great guys and build inspiring bikes, this one included. Kudos!!

  • Van Bo!

    I love this build….mopeds rule.

  • this is one of the best mopeds ever built. period. i’ve had the honor of riding it a few times over the last couple years, and can assure you it performs as amazing as it looks. incredible work, nate.

  • cab305

    What moped? I don’t see anything but a very small displacement motorcycle.

    • Nash

      yeah. most motorcycles ARE single speed with centrifugal clutch and have pedals. you’re right.

      • You mean like the first Harleys, Indians, Triumphs…

  • Nash

    classic build, cool to see it getting recognition on pipeburn after all these years!

  • The ‘YUBA’ ped is just as cool. I can see why you can get unsociably obsessed with this kind of stuff. There is just no pigeon-hole, in contemporary psychology for the kind that does this and as such, there are simply no boundaries. Let me rather hit Ctrl + F4 very quickly…

  • StephenDiaz

    anyone who’s gettin the moped itch i have a cafe racer style puch magnum for sale, reliable, light, and way too fast for a moped. google me and let me know!

  • steve

    Anybody know where I can buy one of these mopeds?

  • Vlad

    Very nice, except for that dual pipe. It’s an overly complicated and unnecessarily big part that draws attention from otherwise beautifully simplified bike. A simple resonating chamber with or without muffler would do much better, IMO.