Moto-Matic Mopeds started somewhat accidentally by Nate Kiehn and Mike Rafter after meeting at a moped race in San Jose, CA. Mike asked Nate if he could build him a bike. Nate thought about it and said yes. Although it took him a year to build it, Motic-Matic Mopeds was born.
This year, Sapporo USA gave them an order of 25 mopeds. Something they didn’t really know if they could handle, since they had been doing one-off custom mopeds up to that point. For this Sapporo project, they wanted to build a vintage moped that was brand new and reliable. In Mike’s words, “We want things to have the nostalgia of the past, but with the power and performance of the present. With a touch of reliability and style to them.”
In creating these 25 custom bikes for Sapporo (who allowed them creative freedom), Mike says, “We’ve now learned how to make mopeds from scratch.”
This just in from Mike Rafter:
“Hi Wes, Thanks for keeping up with us and giving us some attention. Sapporo approached us in Feb and we built the first prototype in April. So far we have shipped 19 and have till Sept 1 to ship the rest. More long nights ahead. We are doing almost everything in house. Bringing 35 yr old gas tanks back to brand new is a pain in my ass but I love the finished product.”
Love this review of Moto-Matic on Sacramento Yelp:
In these tough times with gas over $4 a gallon, trading in four wheels for two is a must, especially when living in the urban core, where freeways are unnecessary.
If you’re looking for mopeds or moped parts, these are the guys to see. Owners/moped gurus Nate Kiehn and Mike Rafter operate out of warehouse space behind Bows and Arrows, accessible in the alley next to Old Soul. They usually have a line on mopeds for sale and hard-to-find or custom parts.
Be advised that their specialty is mopeds — like circa 1970s retro, pedal-to-start mopeds. Not scooters. They can be a little testy about that at times.