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THE Motorcycle, Moped and Electric Bike Thread (merged)

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Increasing motorcycle sales?

Unread postby eastbay » Wed 10 May 2006, 20:19:50

TJ,

I hear you loud and clear regarding the relatively high cost of MC maintenance. I've put 125,000 miles on four bikes in the past 8 years or so and replacing rear tires at $175.00 a pop (including labor) every 6 to 10,000 miles gets old... and it's a new front tire for every two rear tires too!

Plus, the darn things seem to need 'something' every few months unlike a car which, if my Civic is a good example, seems to require no costs at all other than oil changes while getting 45 mpg (about the same as most freeway-capable bikes) and depreciation is nowhere near as harsh. Try unloading a bike with 30,000 miles on it.

On a side note, one issue with the Yaris is that it has a serious face problem. I mean, if you buy one and back it into your driveway so everyone can see the front can you be cited under a public nuisance ordinance? And don't forget it would take decades to recoup in gas savings your loss of home property value resulting from parking that ugly car in your driveway.
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Re: Electric Sports Bike: envirohoonmobile? YES!

Unread postby wildilocks » Wed 10 May 2006, 21:04:57

Yeah, batteries are sucky but it's the first EV I've seen that's available at a reasonable price that actually seems to perform at a reasonable speed! Anything that helps mitigate liquid fuels crisis is a good thing, especially and most importantly when it's in *the same kind of price band* as regular sports bikes.
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Re: Increasing motorcycle sales?

Unread postby dogf » Fri 12 May 2006, 18:38:45

eastbay wrote:TJ,

I hear you loud and clear regarding the relatively high cost of MC maintenance. I've put 125,000 miles on four bikes in the past 8 years or so and replacing rear tires at $175.00 a pop (including labor) every 6 to 10,000 miles gets old... and it's a new front tire for every two rear tires too!

Plus, the darn things seem to need 'something' every few months .


Ya, just like my Road King. Damn chrome add-ons keep adding up LoL
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Re: Increasing motorcycle sales?

Unread postby oilfreeandhappy » Mon 15 May 2006, 01:37:13

Why not ride a Power-Assist bicycle? They're a fraction of the price of a motorcycle. They don't have to be licensed, and can be ridden in the bike lane, so it's more affordable, and you can zip by cars in traffic. Here's a pretty good source about a bicycle with Lithium Ion batteries, that has a 40-mile range on a charge.

http://hybridtechnologies.com/products.php?sec=1&id=4

They ride between 15 and 20 MPH without pedalling.
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Re: Increasing motorcycle sales?

Unread postby kam30en » Mon 15 May 2006, 04:06:18

If you could get 6 people in an economy car, like a Yaris, it'd beat any motorcycle hands down. When I was in India (rural India), I saw they made good use of there cars (or buses, tractors, etc). Almost every single vehicle was full to the brim. If it wasn't, they'd stop on the road and offer walkers a lift (for some cash). I think motorcylces are terrible when it comes to weight/mpg ratio. Your better off driving a hummer thats pulliing a cart full of people. And what I am describing is PUBLIC TRANSPORT. You will never get better mpg than public transport.
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Re: Increasing motorcycle sales?

Unread postby OVerLoRDI » Tue 16 May 2006, 02:09:20

Wow I was considering looking into a motorcycle for getting from point A to B within town, but what some people are saying it isn't economical because of high maintence and tire costs. Are maintence costs generally much higher on motorcycles compared to cars? and if so why?

Also the weather question. Having never driven a cycle I can only imagine how much it would suck to ride in the rain but, what about in just wet weather, like after rain or dew. Where I live we don't get a lot of down pour but things are some what wet and gray for a majority of the winter. Are Cycles still "useable" safely in these conditions given a little caution?

Also insurance, I'm soon to be 18 and I'm male. What are the insurance rates roughly for my group?
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Re: Increasing motorcycle sales?

Unread postby Mesuge » Tue 16 May 2006, 06:03:12

As mentioned above the efficiency of motorcycle is not that big to offset the increased collision risk, elements exposure etc. You can see that the same energy would be better spend in efficient electric car or assisted bicycle if you can take it for part of the trip on the train/subway/bus for more distant commutes..

Crunching some numbers:

EV assisted bicycle:
12-20Wh/mile ~ 2466mpg (15Wh/mi) and substract some food for the biker, train commutes if any applicable etc..

EV motorcycle
100-200Wh/mile (scooter-motorbike regime)

EV efficient light coupe like Loremo, GM EV-1 etc. (there was EV1 4seater version in the pipeline with 200mpg before the Bushoilies killed the entire EV programme)
130-160Wh/mile (55mph) ~ 230-280mpg

EV eurosized sedan
200Wh ~ above 150mpg

EV SUV
320Wh

--------------------------------------------------
1 US gallon ~ 37kWh of energy, 21.6mpg US CAFE for 2006 personal cars segment

Also EV motorbikes have very small radius that's by their design
and not easily mitigated unless by expensive battery technology..
The scooters perform better in this area but are confined to city streets more or less..
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So if you want make a meaningfull difference, appart from public transport, get an EV/car and as efficient as you can get, 50mpg motorcycle is not solving anything. Although I agree it appears to be a notch better than US 21.6 CAFE mpg for 2006 personal cars but to commute in motorbike on SUV occupied US highways all year would take a lots of courage..
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Re: Increasing motorcycle sales?

Unread postby TommyJefferson » Wed 17 May 2006, 12:56:58

OVerLoRDI wrote:Are maintence costs generally much higher on motorcycles compared to cars? and if so why?


Yes. Because the parts are more expensive and they wear out quicker.

Typical car tire goes 30,000 miles and costs about $75 to replace. (x4)

Typical MC tire goes 8,000 miles and costs about $120 to replace. (x2)

MC chains cost about $100 and must be replaced every 15,000 miles. Cars, not so.

Car air filter goes 20,000 miles. MC air filter goes 12,000 miles.

MC helmets cost $200 and must be replaced every 4~5 years.

MC protective clothing costs $500 and must be replaced every 5~6 years (boots, jackets, armour, gloves, earplugs, facesheilds).

MC valves require adjustment every 12,000 miles. Cars, not so much. This can be negated by doing it yourself.

Car: $13,000 divided across 200,000 miles of depreciation.
MC: $9,000 divided across 80,000 miles of depreciation.

Regarding bad weather, good rain gear and cold-weather gear take care of that. It's uncomfortable, but doesn't prevent you from riding.

The only days I cannot ride to work are the 2 days per year here when the roads ice over.
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Re: Increasing motorcycle sales?

Unread postby gnm » Wed 17 May 2006, 13:09:02

jato wrote:I highly recommend the KLR650:
50+ MPG, MSRP $5199. I have had 2 different ones in my lifetime. They were great bikes. I currently have a street converted XR600R which is better for off road than the KLR.


I'll second that Jato... I have one. I use it as a commuter frequently. Regarding maintenance they are cheaper than most motorcycles as well. Even tires are cheaper. Tough, cheap, and reliable.

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Re: Increasing motorcycle sales?

Unread postby dogf » Wed 17 May 2006, 13:20:49

As for parts on either type, if we look at Cuba as the end result of the upcoming WTSHTF, parts should be available for some time as folks will simply leave their out of gas car in the middle of the road and keep walking. Lots of recyclable materials left for those knowing to grab them.
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Scooter Talk

Unread postby eastbay » Mon 11 Sep 2006, 18:55:57

Can we talk scooters for awhile??

I went out last Friday and bought a sweet little slightly used -hecho in Spain- 2003, 150cc Derbi Boulevard scooter with 900 miles on it. I rode it all around running errands from Friday until today and filled it back up with .7 gallons at $2.19 earning me around 75 mpg. I even went 60 mph ever- so- briefly.

I understand I can expect 80+ if I'm more careful on the throttle. Any scooter owners around here? Any thoughts on the Derbi??? I understand if I stack this ride up and shatter some plastic I can expect a bit of a wait for parts. Better be careful. Vespa drive train so go-parts should be easy to get.

The ride of the near-term future. Oh yeah!
Last edited by Ferretlover on Mon 16 Mar 2009, 16:32:21, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged with THE Motorcycle, Moped & Electric Scooter Thread.
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Re: Scooter Talk

Unread postby eastbay » Tue 12 Sep 2006, 00:11:16

..... ok fine. If everyone would rather endlessly rehash 911 and debate every possible facet of the assorted ME conflicts on thread after thread go for it.

I'm gonna ride my new scooter on a few errands tomorrow and enjoy the fresh air and the 80 mpg instead.
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Re: Scooter Talk

Unread postby rwwff » Tue 12 Sep 2006, 00:24:51

eastbay wrote:..... ok fine. If everyone would rather endlessly rehash 911 and debate every possible facet of the assorted ME conflicts on thread after thread go for it.

I'm gonna ride my new scooter on a few errands tomorrow and enjoy the fresh air and the 80 mpg instead.


I think I went to quite some length to defend the scooter as alternative position in several earlier threads. But because I used them to defend what some would consider as a bastion of right wing extremism, the points were actively ignored, 'no no; no one will ever ride a scooter, they'd all rather starve to death, enroll in substandard schools, and live next to crack dealers than ride a scooter'.

Bout what I got.

At 80mpg, it would take $20 / gallon gasoline to impinge upon anyone's commute. The fact that I've seen people in other countries commuting significant distances on high mpg scooters was apparently irrelevant.

Any part of American life that is dependent upon moving a human body and a few essentials can be adequately handled by the lowly scooter at any forseeable fuel price. After all, its not miles away from a job that is the evil; it is the gallons and pounds of CO2 away from a job that is the evil that needs to be addressed.
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Re: Scooter Talk

Unread postby BlisteredWhippet » Tue 12 Sep 2006, 00:29:00

Scootin' is the shit.

75 sounds about right. If you want you could probably bump it up to 90. That would mean pumping up the tires, and going easy on the throttle and minimizing brake use.

I have a 244cc Honda elite 250, it gets ~65mpg.

I also have a 125cc Yamaha Riva that gets 80-95mpg, currently looking for a buyer.

And last but not least I have a little Yamaha Jog 49cc 2-stroke and it is a piece of shit as are all 50cc 2 strokes... currently looking for a buyer.

And yep, the plastic will crack and shatter on impact. Depending on the manufacturer, some of the better brands design panels to protect the scooter and absorb energy, most of the cheaper ones are just eggshell. Cracks can be handled pretty easily, I've found, with regular packing tape. Just use rubbing alcohol to get the surfaces super clean and then apply packing tape to both sides and squeeze out all the bubbles. Repeat if desired. Makes a solid bond.
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Re: Scooter Talk

Unread postby Eli » Tue 12 Sep 2006, 08:46:14

I have seen a lot more people riding Scooters around town. They are a great mode of transportation.

I would buy one but swmbo won't let me get one.

It was funny how quickly they showed up around here with the high gas prices.
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Re: Scooter Talk

Unread postby TommyJefferson » Tue 12 Sep 2006, 09:33:29

For goodness sakes wear a helmet and armored clothing.

I took a spill a couple of months ago at 5mph. Had I not been wearing my leather jacket, I would have gone to the hospital to have the meat sewn back on my arm.

Imagine falling onto a belt sander. That's what it's like when you go down on pavement.

This girl posts on one of the Sport Touring forums I frequent.
Image

Get some of those cheap, fingerless gloves. They prevent this:
Image

Wear a helmet.
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Re: Scooter Talk

Unread postby eastbay » Tue 12 Sep 2006, 10:36:44

rwwff,

I used to own large bikes. a few HD's, Aprilia's and a BMW. I got tired of the 30 to 40 mpg and excessive prices to acquire them and to keep them on the road.

This is my first really small bike and so far it's a blast. I bet these little rides will get very popular over the coming years. I'm a little concerned about parts availability, however. Anyone here, especially Europeans, have any knowledge or thoughts about the no-longer-sold-in-the-USA Derbi line? Did I error in buying this brand?


TJ,

Crash-porn pictures like that can be assembled for bicyclists and pedestrians too, in fact for any human activity such images can be assembled. Why put them here? We all know what injuries look like. :shock:

Blistered whippet,

I weigh 205 and the dry bike is 217. I'm told the mpg will be better for smaller people, but if I get 75+ I will be quite happy, but if it's under that by much I'll get rid of it in the spring and find one with better mileage.

I'll up the tire pressure to near the maximun today... ty for the tip. :)
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Re: Scooter Talk

Unread postby WisJim » Tue 12 Sep 2006, 10:37:01

One of my sons has a early 1970s Honda 125 motorcycle, and gets 70 to 120 mpg with it depending a lot on how long of trips, where he is going, etc. It goes 55+, and it is possible and legal to carry a passenger if necessary with it. Also have a moped and a Honda Spree scooter that my wife rides sometimes, but the 125 is a real motorcycle and feels safer. Of course we always wear gloves, helmets, long pants, jacket, and real shoes.

It amazes me to see people on scooters or cylces with sandles, shorts, no shirt, no helmet,etc. They call them "organ donors"
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Re: Scooter Talk

Unread postby eastbay » Tue 12 Sep 2006, 12:20:11

pstarr,

I agree scooters are best suited for tight urban areas, mostly. When I lived in the 'outer reaches' of the Bay Area, for example, a small scooter would have been impractical. But I'm now in Portland and it seems like the ideal way to move a body around the generally flat and generally ice-free city.

We shall soon find out how it does in the rain... heh.
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