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Old 08-30-2008, 10:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The Eco-Mobile is much better. The side wheels retract and allow the Eco-Mobile to corner like a motorcycle.

I was on a motorcycle ride last weekend and had to follow a 650 Burgman with fixed side wheels. Even in Indiana corners (90 degreesxwith a stop light) he looked like he was on the edge of a high side every time he turned. Such is the Owosso pulse. Those sidewheels need to be retractable.

A guy in New Orleans used to make hydraulically operatedc"landing gear" for Honda Gold Wings. These bikes are tall and heavy andcan get away from you at stops. The "landing gear" lowered at 5 MPH and raised once that speed was exceeded. Nobody has heard anything from him since Katrina.

Got a link on the Eco-Mobile? One of those with a VW TDI diesel should get killer MPG.

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Old 08-30-2008, 11:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Uh-oh! Forget the Eco-Mobile. An $80,000 BMW motorcycle? He must have a wealthy clientele.

Its like the little mega-expensive VW sex toy. Made out of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and unobtainium. But you do walk away unscratched after laying it down.
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi,

Here's a link:



There are several brief videos on the site, and the narrator says they get "nearly 60mpg". They are fast: up to 250kph, so with a smaller more efficient engine, then could do very well. Years ago, I read about then in Cycle World, and they were quite expensive: $100K sticks in my memory, but I could be wrong.

[Edit: the site says $79,500.]
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Seems to me that making an affordable "Eco-Mobile Clone" should be duck soup for Honda. They have a well-proven Gold Wing drive train. Hona is also looking for a replacement for the gorgeous commercial flop that was the Rune.

Go back to 1200 cc four with fuel injection. Make the plastic look more like the Eco-Mobile. It is clearly a motorcycle, so the crashworthiness standars are less stringent.

Too bad the diesel is dead in the USA. A 1200cc turbodiesel might easily make this a 100 MPG vehicle with dazzling performance.
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Why do you need 1200 cc? Use the 1000 cc engine from the Insight. It'll give 70+ mpg shoving 1800 lbs of car around, so should easily do over 100 in a vehicle that weighs half as much.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Why do you need 1200 cc? Use the 1000 cc engine from the Insight. It'll give 70+ mpg shoving 1800 lbs of car around, so should easily do over 100 in a vehicle that weighs half as much.
Probably a 1200cc inline 4 motorcycle engine wieghs half as much when you include the transmission. I'd imagine the insight engine has more torque and much lower rpms which would be better if the gearing could use that torque.
Ian
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'd use the 1200cc engine because it is off-the-shelf technolgy. Honda already has transfer lines set up to make Gold Wing engines. I'm trying to do something about the unrealistic $80,000 price to make this a practical vehicle. Re-inventing the wheel is dumb, particularly when the wheel is as well-developed as a Gold Wing engine/transmission.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyIan View Post
Probably a 1200cc inline 4 motorcycle engine wieghs half as much when you include the transmission.
Somehow I doubt that, given how much work Honda put into removing excess weight from the Insight. If the Gold Wing drivetrain was lighter, why wouldn't they have used that instead? Then there's the other FE technology, like lean burn. Bottom line is that I'll get upwards of 70 mpg in highway cruising in the Insight, which I don't think the GW can match. I've never ridden a GW (I always preferred bikes in the 600-850 cc range, if not smaller), but have never gotten the impression that they're designed with FE as the primary goal.

The Insight engine (and I mean just the IC engine, not the whole hybrid drivetrain) should be pretty much off-the-shelf tech, too.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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There used to be one of those that ran around in my hometown. I guess it was titled as a motorcycle, because you would see it driving around quite a bit.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:39 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Somehow I doubt that, given how much work Honda put into removing excess weight from the Insight. If the Gold Wing drivetrain was lighter, why wouldn't they have used that instead? Then there's the other FE technology, like lean burn. Bottom line is that I'll get upwards of 70 mpg in highway cruising in the Insight, which I don't think the GW can match. I've never ridden a GW (I always preferred bikes in the 600-850 cc range, if not smaller), but have never gotten the impression that they're designed with FE as the primary goal.

The Insight engine (and I mean just the IC engine, not the whole hybrid drivetrain) should be pretty much off-the-shelf tech, too.
I am confusing the issue a bit. A Honda Goldwing after 2001 has a 1.8L flat 6 which I doubt is much lighter than any 1L ish car engine or more efficient, it does have a drivetrain with reverse which makes it appealing to some for car projects. Older Goldwings have slightly smaller engines which are probably much cheaper than an Insight engine but not lighter or more efficient.

Now can a GW engine beat 70mpg in a body with half the total drag of an Insight? Probably easily with the right gearing. I think thats the point, I'd imagine 500cc twin would be even better but may lack the torque and clutch to get something bigger moving reliably and also has no reverse. The GW engine and drivetrain are easily capable and I imagine cost far less than an Insight drivetrain even though the Insight engine is more efficient.

Ian

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