Go Back   EcoModder Forum > EcoModding > Motorcycles / Scooters
Register Now
 Register Now
 

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-27-2017, 06:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: East Midlands
Posts: 180
Thanks: 13
Thanked 76 Times in 49 Posts
Electric bycicle/moped/scooter

Hi guys,

Ill be moving to Arizona soon for a six months work assignment.
I'm planning on getting something to commute and would like some feedack to make a informed choice:

Over here, in old England, a bicycle suffices. Temperatures are cold and the sun doesn't bite your skin! Terrain is more or less flat.

I just cant imagine myself doing the same under the sun over there.

So the options I seen are:

Lightweight scooters with lithium battery

Heavy scooters powered by lead acid batteries (obviously the Li-Ion would, at least, double this). I used one back in 2008 which was retired after being a commute bike for 8 months, 12 miles a day. Was working fine, but as I changed jobs the 7 mile range was not enough anymore. Technically these weren't legal here in Europe due to the 250W motor limitation, hence changing to an electric bicycle



Dirt Bikes - I know these are small but they look really good and have nice suspension, brakes and a powerful motor. They also have storage compartments useful for a second battery and are a bit too heavy to be easily stolen. They are 24V, so at 36, I imagine I can get at 30MPH easily!



Electric bicycles:
I like a good old fashioned bicycle.
A good option, but anything above 250W seems overly expensive and I know I need 500W as I own one. They are easy to get stolen Since most are 36V, overvolting generally requires a rather expensive 48V battery.
Mostly overpriced
Conversion becomes messy due to lack of compartments to store a custom battery


Things I want to know are regarding how legal all these options are, insurance requirements and any other problems you guys may see.

Very Thankful for any help!

  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 03-27-2017, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
Eco Sol
 
Shortie771's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Paradise, TX
Posts: 333

Scarlet - '94 Honda Del Sol Si
90 day: 39.15 mpg (US)
Thanks: 23
Thanked 82 Times in 46 Posts
Today, I was actually looking at the laws (in Texas) for electric bikes. As it turns out if it has more than a 250W (I think) motor and can travel over 20mph (32km/h) without pedaling, it is considered a moped and must be registered, inspected, insured, have lights, etc.

You should check the laws for electric bicycles for Arizona. The laws vary from state to state.
__________________



Best Tank = 42.72 mpg

Current Mods:
Mudflap Delete, Fully Synthetic Oil, Max Sidewall PSI, Warm Air Intake, EOC Kill Switch, MPGuino, Lowered 1", Vacuum Gauge.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017, 09:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Stubby79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 668

Topoff (RIP) - '92 Geo Metro LSi
90 day: 48.54 mpg (US)

'91 Miata - '91 Mazda Miata
90 day: 27.11 mpg (US)

'86 Fiero GT - '86 Pontiac Fiero GT

Purple Penny Pincher - '95 Pontiac Firefly Base
90 day: 43.68 mpg (US)

Jett-Black - '01 Volkswagen Jetta
90 day: 39.32 mpg (US)

Firefly EV - '98 Pontiac Firefly EV
90 day: 108 mpg (US)
Thanks: 32
Thanked 205 Times in 149 Posts
It seems your main concern is that it can't go more than 20mph in Arizona, or else it has to be classified as a moped, and needs licensing. No power rating, other than if it's gas-powered, it has to be limited to 48cc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electr...e_laws#Arizona

If it's anything like around here, a new electric bike will cost you as much as a half decent 10-year old car. On the other hand, you can pick up a used one with dead batteries for a couple of hundred, and throw in new batteries for another couple of hundred, and you're off to the races. Or a grand if you go lithium.

I'd think finding a 500w+ one wouldn't be too difficult.

OTOH, if you don't care about burning gasoline, you could probably get a used (or even new) "moped"/scooter for less. Get the right one and you'd still get 100mpg.

PS: You could probably pick up an electric conversion kit for a bike for two or three hundred, and just have to source out some batteries of your choice to go with it.
__________________

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017, 09:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: East Midlands
Posts: 180
Thanks: 13
Thanked 76 Times in 49 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortie771 View Post
Today, I was actually looking at the laws (in Texas) for electric bikes. As it turns out if it has more than a 250W motor and can travel over 20mph (32km/h) without pedaling, it is considered a moped and must be registered, inspected, insured, have lights, etc.

You should check the laws for electric bicycles for Arizona. The laws vary from state to state.
I have found this regarding the Arizona laws:

An "M-Class" license is required for any street-going vehicle with fewer than 4 wheels that does not have functioning pedals.

What I'm unsure is: how do I get a moped license? I have an European drivers license for ordinary cars, would that be deemed acceptable or will I need to conduct some exam?

Seems like a lot of hassle, essentially i would like to get one of the portable scooters so I can take them in a plane or a small car. The provisions are also very confusing as they mention 50cc as base of comparisons, rather than a specific horsepower.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017, 10:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: East Midlands
Posts: 180
Thanks: 13
Thanked 76 Times in 49 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubby79 View Post
It seems your main concern is that it can't go more than 20mph in Arizona, or else it has to be classified as a moped, and needs licensing. No power rating, other than if it's gas-powered, it has to be limited to 48cc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electr...e_laws#Arizona

If it's anything like around here, a new electric bike will cost you as much as a half decent 10-year old car. On the other hand, you can pick up a used one with dead batteries for a couple of hundred, and throw in new batteries for another couple of hundred, and you're off to the races. Or a grand if you go lithium.

I'd think finding a 500w+ one wouldn't be too difficult.

OTOH, if you don't care about burning gasoline, you could probably get a used (or even new) "moped"/scooter for less. Get thr right one and you'd still get 100mpg.
I was pondering this one:

There is a similar version with front suspension and 6 gears but that adds another $300.

It seems I get a whole lot better in terms of suspension with the kids bikes and 24V means I can take my 10A, 10C rated cells.

How are roads over there, generally? Here in England trying to ride on the side of the road to let the cars go, there's a huge number of holes and patches that makes rides very uncomfortable without full suspension...

Another one I would like is this one, but unsure about legal issues due to not having pedals.

Last edited by cts_casemod; 03-27-2017 at 10:13 PM..
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017, 10:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
Eco Sol
 
Shortie771's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Paradise, TX
Posts: 333

Scarlet - '94 Honda Del Sol Si
90 day: 39.15 mpg (US)
Thanks: 23
Thanked 82 Times in 46 Posts
I would definitely get something with pedals. The more it looks like a regular bicycle, the less likely you are to be stopped. Here is the law I just found, regarding electric bicycles.

Arizona
Under Arizona law, motorized electric bicycles and tricycles meeting the definition under the applicable statute are not subject to title, licensing, insurance, or registration requirements, and may be used upon any roadway authorized for use by conventional bicycles, including use in bike lanes integrated with motor vehicle roadways. Unless specifically prohibited, electric bicycles may be operated on multi-use trails designated for hiking, biking, equestrian, or other non-motorized usage, and upon paths designated for the exclusive use of bicycles. No operator's license is required, but anyone operating a bicycle on Arizona roads must carry proof of identity. A "motorized electric bicycle or tricycle" is legally defined as a bicycle or tricycle that is equipped with a helper motor that may be self-propelled, which is operated at speeds of less than twenty miles per hour. Electric bicycles operated at speeds of twenty miles an hour or more, but less than twenty-five miles per hour may be registered for legal use on the roadways as mopeds, and above twenty-five miles per hour as a registered moped with an 'M' endorsement on the operator's driving license. However, mopeds in Arizona are prohibited from using bike lanes on motor vehicle roadways. The Arizona statute governing motorized electric bicycles does not prohibit local jurisdictions from adopting an ordinance that further regulates or prohibits the operation of motorized electric bicycles or tricycles.
__________________



Best Tank = 42.72 mpg

Current Mods:
Mudflap Delete, Fully Synthetic Oil, Max Sidewall PSI, Warm Air Intake, EOC Kill Switch, MPGuino, Lowered 1", Vacuum Gauge.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Elmira, NY
Posts: 1,396
Thanks: 194
Thanked 234 Times in 197 Posts
Go for something with wheels at least 12 inch diameter. Liability insurance may not be required but a good idea for any motorized vehicle. Any streamlining done will help, especially a tailbox. State and county roads tend to be in good repair.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2017, 05:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
Two weels Zero sparkplugs
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: NL
Posts: 92
Thanks: 0
Thanked 38 Times in 25 Posts
Most of the time if you have a car license it also includes mopeds but ymmv.

I wouldn't go for an electric folding bike, especially on the cheap side they do suck and will only last you a few years.

If you only want to commute on it go for something like this instead of a racing/mountain bike:



Way more comfortable and excellent for commuting, but since you're from the UK you'll probably already know that. Biking is still the fastest way to get around in cities like London.
  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Erasmo For This Useful Post:
Stubby79 (03-29-2017)
Old 03-29-2017, 08:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
Eco Sol
 
Shortie771's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Paradise, TX
Posts: 333

Scarlet - '94 Honda Del Sol Si
90 day: 39.15 mpg (US)
Thanks: 23
Thanked 82 Times in 46 Posts
That is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind. I doubt anybody would hassle you if you were riding around on that. As long as you are following traffic laws and not going like 35mph on it lol
__________________



Best Tank = 42.72 mpg

Current Mods:
Mudflap Delete, Fully Synthetic Oil, Max Sidewall PSI, Warm Air Intake, EOC Kill Switch, MPGuino, Lowered 1", Vacuum Gauge.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2017, 12:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
vskid3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 823

Civic DX (sold) - '97 Honda Civic DX
90 day: 34.15 mpg (US)

GTO (sold) - '04 Pontiac GTO
90 day: 22.62 mpg (US)

Green Brick (sold) - '06 Ford Escape Hybrid
90 day: 31.93 mpg (US)
Thanks: 144
Thanked 220 Times in 163 Posts
A full ebike will be much more versatile, especially nice if it's going to be a car replacement. I wouldn't even consider the little circus scooters unless you're only going a couple flat miles and can do it all on sidewalks. An ebike with 20" or bigger wheels will allow you to ride without fear of gutters and cracks.

Do you have any idea how far your commute will be or the route? Storage options at home and work? That'll play a big role in figuring out what ebike will work for you. If you have some big/steep hills you'll have to conquer, a mid-drive or geared hub motor would probably be best, while a direct-drive hub motor will be fine for more level riding. Minimum battery size will be decided by the distance, hills, and whether or not you can charge at work. An easily removable battery would be good for security and to keep it from baking in the heat.

A lot of the prebuilt ebikes, especially cheap ones on Amazon, are made of pretty poor components. This site has a good selection of prebuilts using good bikes and ebike parts. https://lunacycle.com/e-bikes/

__________________
Current cars:

Prius Thread

Volt Thread


E-Bike Thread
  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread


Thread Tools




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com