“The Lazer lost in time”
We first came across the term “cafeped” through the Instagram account of the same name, @cafepeds. The account features café inspired mopeds from across the world, including customized makes from Minarelli, Puch, Jawa, Cobra, and more. Since we don’t have much experience with mopeds, we looked to the definition from the Cafepeds t-shirts ?:
- A small motorcycle that can be pedaled like a bicycle.
- A completely badass, headturning, noise-making, awesomeness on two wheels.
We quickly got in touch with Sam Gressel, who runs the account. Sam is a huge fan of the moped, who believes that these machines are “lost in time” and “cannot be forgotten.” Although we love a high-powered Honda CB750 build as much as anyone, there is something about these two-stroke, small-displacement cafe racer mopeds that calls up a vision of Italian teens racing cafe to cafe on modified speeders.
Below, we’re proud to feature Sam’s own 1978 Lazer Sport 50.
Lazer Sport Cafeped: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Sam I am a 21 year old mechanical engineering student with a lifelong passion of beautiful machines on two wheels. I was riding bikes at a young age, mostly dirt bikes, but I’ve always had an eye and love for all things vintage. My workshop like most, is my garage (with some mediocre lighting)
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
This moped is a 1978 Lazer Sport 50 with a striking bright orange color and an Italian engine for its heart.
• Why was this bike built?
This bike was not built it was recovered. Recovered from an older gentleman who had it sitting in his garage since 1981 when he stopped using it. I saw it there with dust and thankfully not rust and I had to take it. It was a personal build since I added my own flare to it to keep it original but also threw on a little cafe racer spice to this old machine.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The influence for me was to bring back a machine that was lost, lost in time. Mopeds are a thing of the past. I believed these amazing machines cannot be forgotten about and just sit in some grandpa’s shed for the next 50 years. I wanted to bring it back in time. I also loved cafe racer motorcycles and I wanted to bring that similar design to my moped.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Just the basics, nothing crazy. Lowered Handlebars, bigger and jetted carburetor to give it some kick, as well as a slightly bigger intake for a little more noise and better air flow. Nothing done body wise as I wanted to keep the original dings, dents and small scratches.
• How would you classify this bike?
This is a bike is a cafe racer inspired build. A “cafeped” as I call it.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
It’s not what I’ve done to this bike that I’m proud of, I am most proud of being the owner of such machine. Everywhere I ride or park someone somewhere asks me “what is this thing” or tells me “I have not seen one of these in years.” To me that brings joy and a smile to those admiring my bike and that makes me most proud.