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THE Motorcycle, Moped and Electric Bike Thread (merged)

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Mopeds?

Unread postby Cool Hand Linc » Mon 19 Jul 2004, 02:26:57

Are mopeds going to help if we began using them? The fuel used in American could be cut down a huge degree if we moved over to more fuel efficient forms of transport. Bicycles, mopeds, smaller economy cars.

I really only need a moped for work and food from the market. So why doesn't all American grasp these Kawasaki 250 street bike or Vespa's or Honda's little bike?
Peace out!

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Unread postby OilBurner » Mon 19 Jul 2004, 03:30:31

I spent a couple of weeks in Italy last year where the moped is king and my god, what a scary place that was.
There was kids of 16 wizzing around like lunatics in every direction on noisy buzz boxes at all times of the day and night.
I don't know what it is about those things, but anybody under 21 riding them seems to be possesed by the devil. It's the same in the UK with the (thankfully) few moped riders we have here.

I'd much rather we all get on our bicycles instead - then we won't all be so damn fat - myself included!! :lol:
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Unread postby AlCzervik » Mon 19 Jul 2004, 08:51:31

That's funny, I had similar thoughts this weekend when I noticed all the mid-teen kids riding around my neighborhood on mopeds, and it hit me that adults may soon be following their lead.

I apologize for the tasteless joke, but this is the thread for it. You know what they say about mopeds, right? They're like fat women. Kind of fun to ride, but you wouldn't your friends to see you on one.
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Bought a Honda last week

Unread postby DoctorDoom » Mon 19 Jul 2004, 11:02:03

I just bought an 80cc Honda. It won't go freeway speeds, but it will get me to work and to the market no problem. Gets at least 70-80 mpg, triple what my car gets. I suppose I could use a bicycle if it came to it, but it's a bit slow to be convenient. It's kinda scary being in traffic with the hulking SUVs you see around here. But I'm betting I don't have that worry for too much longer heh heh heh.

This mode of transport isn't for everyone. For starters you need some skills that the average person doesn't have. Here in California, you also need a special motorcycle license. Another thing is that a lot of Americans could never operate something like this; I'm fortunate to be fit and able-bodied. Finally, it won't do for transportation of passengers, i.e. most family requirements.

The comment that you wouldn't want your friends to see you on one made me laugh - I'm sure I look pretty ridiculous and I've already had one mid-life crisis crack. Well, big deal! I'll take the ribbing, no one I really care about is going to drop me as a friend because of it!

I'm still thinking the hybrid's the way forward for most people. I'll be replacing my car with a hybrid as soon as a better selection of vehicles is available, probably in 2 years.
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Unread postby Aaron » Mon 19 Jul 2004, 11:06:55

I'm still thinking the hybrid's the way forward for most people.


Let's hope that a billion or so of our Chinese friends follow your lead, or we won't have the resources for even that solution.
The problem is, of course, that not only is economics bankrupt, but it has always been nothing more than politics in disguise... economics is a form of brain damage.

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Good alternative

Unread postby Cool Hand Linc » Mon 19 Jul 2004, 11:47:26

More and more percentage of income is being spent of fuel to get to work. Small 2 wheelers is an alternative.

I am curently looking at a Honda.

http://powersports.honda.com/motorcycle ... d=CMX250C5

The big bike rides laugh about these bikes but they do have a good cost and are economical.
Peace out!

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Weather and road conditions

Unread postby DoctorDoom » Mon 19 Jul 2004, 15:31:03

Some other factors I missed out of my previous post: weather and road conditions. Here in sunny California it's easy to forget snow, rain, lightning, high winds, etc. I'd hate to be out on a scooter in such weather. Road conditions are also a factor - my scooter has pretty low ground clearance and small wheels (like most scooters), and this is very un-good when you have big potholes and other obstacles to navigate. Hilly terrain would also require a more powerful machine (I live in a flat area, but in San Francisco, you'd want at least 150-250cc).

About those 1 billion Chinese, we shall see. Scooters are very popular in India.

That 250cc Honda is nice - it's a real motorcycle though, even more complex to operate (due to the clutch and shifting).
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Unread postby Atreadon » Mon 19 Jul 2004, 18:08:49

Hello all. I'm new here (although I've been lurking a bit) and this is my first post.

I've finally got my car paid off, but peak oil has got me thinking about alternative / back-up means of transportation. What do you folks think of electric-bikes? Such as:

http://store.yahoo.com/grooveskootz/syn ... cycle.html

I'm a neophyte so I could be WAY off-base here, but it seems to me that if one could obtain an extra battery (or batteries, as the case may be) for this sort of bike, and had a modest home PV system, then this might be a fairly sustainable way of tooting around town.

As for transport of the dinosaur/rapeseed powered variety, how about something like this:

http://motorcyclecity.com/Military-bike ... wasaki.htm
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Unread postby gg3 » Wed 21 Jul 2004, 02:33:17

Way to go, Marines! Figure another 2 years before it's fully in service with the Corps, and then another year or so before it comes to a civvie dealer near you. If it's good enough for combat...

Back to mopeds vs. crappy roads etc.: Rather than counting on one solution for all conditions, best bet is to do an and/both, promoting as many as possible and letting people choose what works in their regions.

If you want to see what can be done in this regard, see also:

http://www.microcarmuseum.com/virtualtour.html

http://www.microcarmuseum.com/tourindex.html

(the first URL takes you through the entire museum, the second is an index so you can go back and look up specific cars)

Frankly some of those are cool as hell and if anyone had the guts to manufacture them today they'd probably do well for that reason alone.

Typical fuel consumption was in the range of 60 - 90 mpg. and most of those were 1950s or earlier technology.

Here's an idea I've seen somewhere on the web. Basically it comes down to building a 3-wheel car with a moped power train.

In some places e.g. California, a 3-wheeler can be registered as a motorcycle. And, if the motor is below, I think it's 80 cc, then a 2-wheeler is a moped, and there's no reason an equivalent 3-wheeler wouldn't be also. In which case, no license or insurance requirements.

Ideal case might be: 80-cc diesel (if any such thing is made; I know you can get low-HP diesels for construction site applications, but I haven't heard of an 80-cc diesel yet, though there might be prototypes in certain hobbyist fields), driving a generator, powering an electric motor, and charging one or two 12-v car batteries in a PHEV configuration. This contraption drives a single rear wheel (no differential).

Then you have a tubular aluminum frame with two front wheels and conventional steering, and plain aluminum or similar bodywork whose only purpose is to keep the interior dry. Add a few amenities such as opening windows, a hatchback, a radio (radio, not "home entertainment system" transplanted into the car), etc. And of course extensive LED lighting all over the place so other drivers don't squish you.

Something like this could be sold as a "kit-car" with a fat disclaimer:-) It might only do 25 mph, but for buzzing around town it would be fine. Then at night plug it into the wall socket to recharge, and put another gallon of biodiesel in the tank every two or three months!
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cool

Unread postby Cool Hand Linc » Fri 23 Jul 2004, 01:48:51

I like the Desiel Motorcycle the marines are working on. I would buy one today if they were available.

I posted about mopeds but was looking at all smaller bikes really. I have a friend at work from the Philippines. I became interested in her country. Many motorcycles are ridin there. little bikes with side cars. 90 cc bikes, 125 cc and such.

True mopeds have pedals. This isn't really required today.

http://powersports.honda.com/scooters/m ... d=NSS250S4

Look at the brochure to the left.
Peace out!

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Honda unveils three green scooters

Unread postby JayHMorrison » Sun 05 Sep 2004, 20:24:08

link The hybrid scooter is based on a standard 50cc model. It weighs 20 pounds more than its gas-powered sibling, Honda's Dio Z4, but the electric motor helping the gas engine means 1.6 times the fuel economy. Honda said it also produces 37 percent less carbon dioxide, a gas that many scientists tied to global warming.

Honda's all-electric Moped-EV scooter, the only one with a name, uses a long-life battery and can climb hills up to a 12-degree incline, Honda says. Several all-electric scooters have appeared in recent years, most from China, but none by Honda, the world's largest motorcycle maker.
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Unread postby JayHMorrison » Sun 05 Sep 2004, 20:28:59

Here is more on the all electric version of the scooter. I cannot find the range in miles or km.
link August 24, 2004—Honda has developed an environmentally friendly electric moped prototype designed for convenient city driving and commuting. One step closer to a production electric bike for the general public, the prototype could eventually lead to a mass-market vehicle.

With a length of 1,290 mm and weighing 44 kg, the Moped-EV is compact and light. Its nickel hydrogen battery, located inside an aluminum frame, is extremely light, dissipates heat efficiently, and, at 360 watt-hours, offers exceptionally long life. Powerful enough to climb a twelve-degree incline, the electric moped offers performance comparable to that of an internal combustion engine bike of the same class.

Unlike most other bikes, which employ a grip throttle, the Moped-EV features a two-stage lever throttle located beneath the right handlebar. Worked easily by the thumb, the lever throttle helps make riding easy even for less-experienced riders. The Moped-EV features a unified module in the rear swing arm that integrates the motor with a controller, which regulates the driving functions and the discharge and recharging of electricity.

Honda has long conducted research into the development of next-generation power sources that reduce noxious emissions and help slow global warming. In 1994, Honda developed the CUV ES, an electric scooter leased to government institutions. Following in the tracks of that revolutionary vehicle, the Moped-EV is designed to offer quiet, clean riding both for commuting and recreational use.
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Unread postby JayHMorrison » Sun 05 Sep 2004, 20:37:50

In the event that gas starts getting to be $5 to $10 per gallon, I could easily see something like this taking off as a huge movement. It is cheap to produce and purchase for the average person. If a single re-charge can get you through the average day (40 miles?) then this is a realistic option for people.

Not sure what the average speed is. I cannot seem to find it. I suspect about 40 mph to 50 mph. I rented a gas scooter for a week in Bermuda and that did 50 mph. According to Honda, the EV scooter has equivalent performance to the gas versions.
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Unread postby Yavicleus » Sun 05 Sep 2004, 21:44:48

I am drooling already at these hybrid scooters. The fuel cell one looks the coolest thus far, but my guess is that the hybrid ones will be the more practical ones that actually succeed in the market.

I already have an Aprillia Atlantic 200. It gets 65 mpg in town, 72 mpg highway. Max speed is about 85 mph. With the helmuts and the rear trunk, I got it for around $5000. Because of it, I only drive my car like once a week, and only when I need to haul stuff that won't fit in the rear trunk on the scooter. I'm hoping that by the time it dies hybrid scooters will be the norm. The idea of getting 100+ mpg on a scooter is just awsome.
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Unread postby JayHMorrison » Sun 05 Sep 2004, 23:19:17

Yavicleus wrote:I already have an Aprillia Atlantic 200. It gets 65 mpg in town, 72 mpg highway. Max speed is about 85 mph. With the helmuts and the rear trunk, I got it for around $5000. Because of it, I only drive my car like once a week, and only when I need to haul stuff that won't fit in the rear trunk on the scooter.
I'm hoping that by the time it dies hybrid scooters will be the norm. The idea of getting 100+ mpg on a scooter is just awsome.

I definitely see this as a viable option for most people. A scooter for individual daily use just makes too much sense once gas gets really expensive. If you are getting 70 mpg and Honda is saying their hybrid scooter gets 1.6x the fuel mileage of typical gas scooters, that would be about 112 mpg.

I am just wondering what sort of range the all electric version will get. Imagine the all electric scooter with cheap Nanotech solar panals all over it. It would re-charge while sitting in the parking lot at work for 8 hours. Two options for charging, plug-in or solar panel. Cool concept and realistic if the nanotech solar technology continues.
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Unread postby AdvocatusDiaboli » Sun 05 Sep 2004, 23:44:26

Jay, solar panels are so weak it would have to sit there for weeks. It would probably never charge because below a certain level of charging no capacity is built up.
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Unread postby JayHMorrison » Mon 06 Sep 2004, 00:12:02

AdvocatusDiaboli wrote:Jay, solar panels are so weak it would have to sit there for weeks. It would probably never charge because below a certain level of charging no capacity is built up.

link
If that car can maintain an average speed of 40-55 mph continuously, then I suspect an EV scooter sitting in the sun all day could build up some charge over the course of a nice sunny day. Especially when it has a nifty solar panel cover that unfolds for parking lot duty.
Either that or re-charge outlets will have to become common in parking lots. That is feasible. While you are shopping at our store, here is a validation ticket for your EV re-charge for 2 hours.
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Unread postby fred2 » Mon 06 Sep 2004, 06:19:33

Developments like these, available now, and which clearly could lead to big reductions in oil consumption, demonstrate that mankind does have solutions available to address the peak. As oil supply problems develop there really could be a huge take up of vehicles powered this way. And as interest becomes mainstream, massive further investment would likely follow leading to improvements in these technologies.

Coupled with conservation and greatly increased electricity generation through technologies we have today (nuclear, solar, wind), developments like these give us the means to easily avoid a hard landing when the peak comes.
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Thanks

Unread postby DoctorDoom » Mon 06 Sep 2004, 09:51:14

Thanks for posting this, Jay. I'll definitely be looking at these when they hit the market. I'm currently using Honda's 80cc Elite, and working on getting the motorcycle license. One problem with my scooter and the ones pictured is that they are fairly small, with 10 inch wheels and low ground clearance. This makes them somewhat rough to ride and more difficult to control, verus (for example) the larger Aprillia that Y rides. What would be ideal would be a hybrid scooter the size of the 150cc Aprillia with full-sized wheels. Have a great labor day, dude.
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Re: Thanks

Unread postby JayHMorrison » Mon 06 Sep 2004, 10:05:40

DoctorDoom wrote:Thanks for posting this, Jay. I'll definitely be looking at these when they hit the market.

I will likely get one just for backup in case gasoline prices spike. I will likely get the hybrid version and wait to see how the EV version develops.
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