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Old 06-24-2008, 06:21 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Aubergine - '94 Ford Ranger 4x4
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I'd pick a catchy title, like "100mpg at 100 mph" or "33mpg with 33 in tires" (two goals of mine). Then I'd get a welder and go to the VW junk yard.

I, too, like tadpoles. I'm trying to figure out how to make something that is legally a Samurai, but mechanically a sidexside UTV - or something like that.

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Old 06-24-2008, 07:12 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dcb View Post
I am having a difficult time with this statement. Most folks who ride motorcycles enjoy them immensely, and enjoy good performance/economy and handling to boot. Add a little trailer and carry all the groceries you want.

You shouldn't rule out the obvious winners due to preconceptions
I have never been on a motorcycle, but I enjoy at least some semblance of a body and more than two wheels. That's just me.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:41 AM   #23 (permalink)
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pimp mobile - '81 suzuki gs 250 t
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It's the cage that induces rage You will be hard pressed to see a biker not paying attention on the road.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:12 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Poor man's Aptera

I was looking at the pictures of the Aptera and it stuck me, its basically a small airplane fuselage. So how about an old cessna cockpit and fuselage minus the wings and tail, with a 400 or 500 cc liquid cooled twin cylinder motorbike drivetrain at the back. Even a single cylinder would work but it would probably rattle your brains out after a while, I wouldn't go any smaller due to the lack of torque and high rpms can't be all that good for fuel efficiency even though they are fun...
Front suspension and steering should come from something light and narrow, a suzuki swift for example. Grafting the front end parts would be a bit of a challenge but it would be light, aerodynamic, and well sealed up to the weather. I guess some cessnas even seat 4 with luggage but I imagine the rear bike suspension wouldn't handle huge loads for too long.

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Old 06-24-2008, 09:46 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Putsaround - '96 Toyota Camry LE
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I would build a trike like was mentioned earlier, two up front and one in the rear with a diesel engine BEHIND the driver, leaving all the room ahead of it for passengers and luggage. The engine would be a three cylinder VW turbo diesel, similar to what is in the TDI new beetle, etc. The interior cockpit would hold three people, one up front to drive and then two staggered back behind him/her on either side. up front would be a storage boot, much like the 550 spyder has. The shell would be made of fiberglass and aluminum re-enforcement. Manual transmission with a 7 speed gearbox, all of them geared a little high so cruising speed can be maintained in a very low RPM range.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:12 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Tadpole configuration with a Caterpillar diesel in the back driving the rear wheel. Before you cough and sputter, Cat makes some very small 2- and 3-cylinder diesels that are perfect for this. Loremo, eat your heart out.

Side-by-side seating for two. I know tandem is slipperier, but I want to be able to talk to my passenger. VW front beams since it's proven and easy to get.

I've drawn so many different iterations of this exact idea it's not even funny. Now all I need is a few thousand buck$ to make it happen.

Lead or follow. Either is fine.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:20 AM   #27 (permalink)
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This goes alone with what folks are saying but it's a pretty good read.
"Judge a person by their questions rather than their answers."

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Old 06-24-2008, 10:55 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I fancy this :-

2cv floor pan reversed , has 602 cc and does 45-55 mpg in a 2cv so should be good for 55-70mpg ? in this without trying to hard ?

regards Paul
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:36 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dcb View Post
Most folks who ride motorcycles enjoy them immensely, and enjoy good performance/economy and handling to boot.
I would really dispute claims that a motorcycle (at least one that I'd ride on the highway - 500 cc at a minimum) is really fuel efficient. I've owned a number in my life - from old 350 Hondas to 850 Suzukis - and never managed to get much over 50 mpg. Aerodynamics, I think (or rather the lack thereof), plus engines configured for power/acceleration rather than economy. Handling is OK until you find yourself in the midst of an unexpected snowstorm (not an infrequent thing hereabouts). And I've never figured out a good way to take the dog along...

But if I were going to build a car, I'd find a wrecked Honda Insight and turn it into a 3 wheeler, with a body as close to the Aptera as the engine would allow. If you insist on not having a hybrid, you could dump the batteries and add an alternator :-)
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:56 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I love all this creative thinking.

So, the general consensus seems to be trikes. I can surely see why! They make good sense. There is also a strong gravitation toward a VW front end with a motorcycle rear.

Does anyone have any drawings of what they have come up with?

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