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-   -   Know anyone who's bought a motorcycle/scooter for MPG reasons? (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/know-anyone-whos-bought-motorcycle-scooter-mpg-reasons-3378.html)

MetroMPG 06-27-2008 01:21 PM

Know anyone who's bought a motorcycle/scooter for MPG reasons?
 
You've probably seen the news reports about the dramatic spike in motorcycle & scooter sales. Know anyone who's bought one recently?

I know of two people: one guy in his 30's (got a vintage Honda 175 something something) and another retired guy (Piaggio scooter).

I warned Honda guy he'll probably offset his bicycle use more than anything.

The older guy will offset driving a V8 Cherokee around town.

Blue07CivicEX 06-27-2008 01:25 PM

I have been working on getting a motorcycle since before gas prices hit $2/gallon but I do know this summer I have final gotten around to scheduling the safety course and it's booked up 2 months in advance or more. This is different from last year when I looked at it and it was booked about 2 weeks in advance.

jamesqf 06-27-2008 02:48 PM

I'm just the opposite: I sold my last motorcycle a few years ago because I wasn't riding it much. That was mainly because I got a dog who went everywhere I went for fun, but also because the Insight gets much better mpg.

Blue07CivicEX 06-27-2008 03:37 PM

I am now a NY Motorcycle learner permit holder! Woot!

akcapeco 06-27-2008 04:27 PM

In 1995 after returning from Vietnam, I decided to get my first scooter: the Vietnamese made it look like such a natural thing to do, and I sensed that somethign was up with gas prices. Right after I bought my first scooter, Katrina hit and we had that "first" spike in fuel prices.

I kept developing my two wheeled skills til today -- I now ride a Suzuki Vstrom 650 to complement my Metro. The Vstrom gets slightly better fuel mileage than the Metro!

dcb 06-27-2008 04:44 PM

Yah, I got a motorcycle so I could blow the insights out of the water on MPG :)

silverknight 06-27-2008 05:09 PM

I bought my '04 Suzuki GS500F 2 years ago for fuel econ reasons. I get about 60MPG which is double my acura at roughly 30.

MechEngVT 06-30-2008 09:11 AM

I work with a guy who rode a scooter for a few months and claimed he saw 98 mpg. He'll be out of work for a couple of months while his femur heals and word is he wasn't even hit by anyone.

dcb 06-30-2008 09:59 AM

Yah, my friends mom ran over herself in her van. Like something out of monty python :) She didn't get anywhere near 98 mpg.

FastPlastic 06-30-2008 10:19 AM

I can't say I got my bike originally for MPG reasons. But now that I have it, I drive it as much as I can. It's a little bigger bike (750cc) but I can still push almost 2 1/2 times the mileage out of it then the Cherokee. Not sure with current prices it's "saving" me money, insurance is $600 a year, Plus tires are about $400 a set mounted. But I figure with the amount of riding I do with it it's at least not costing me any extra.

wanna bECO 06-30-2008 11:11 AM

I have had a motorcycle since 94, but I didn't get it for econ. I got it to be cool. d I have been actively looking for an old honda passport c70 though. I love the fact that they use a real cycle size tire, and you don't find that anymore. I have an ad a craigslist and I search everyday. I am also looking into putting a gas AND electric motor on my bicycle. I have very limited mechanical skills so I will need to ask my motorcycle mechanic if he can do the work on my next oil change.

akcapeco 06-30-2008 11:55 AM

Other "big wheel" scoots include the Kymco People series, the Piaggio LT series (nolonger made), the Aprilia Scarabeo (50 - 500 cc's).

We in the US tend to have a "toy-centric" view of scooters that emphasizes the styling of Vespa's and their ilk.... but Big Wheel scoots are the biggest selling scoots in the world...

ebacherville 06-30-2008 01:48 PM

i got 2 - 250cc motorcycles when gas went to 2.50 a gallon, However now my CRX can compete with them for MPG's.. so i drive that..

Also delved into alt fuels like veggie oil too.

groar 06-30-2008 02:03 PM

In France a lot of people are buying scooters. This is a must for teenagers, as smoking when I was young. This is to save time for older people in cities.

The probability of accident and the insurance taxes are so high that I gave up twice to buy one. Also because I can't replace a car by a scooter.

Anyway, scooters are big generators of CO2 and I'm saving gas to save CO2 1st, save €uros 2nd.

Denis.

jonr 06-30-2008 02:13 PM

I keep a Yamaha XT225 because it has high MPG - around 80.

PaleMelanesian 06-30-2008 02:46 PM

I know one guy who's commuting on a scooter now. Unsure what model, though.

Another guy bought a used Civic to displace some miles in his 7.3 diesel F250. Says he's more than paid for it in fuel costs.

dcb 07-01-2008 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by groar (Post 39775)
Anyway, scooters are big generators of CO2

Not sure I follow, the old 2 strokes are nasty emitters, but do they even make 2 strokes anymore? I think if you have a 4 stroke, your CO2 output is much more porportional to fuel consumed, be it car or bike.

Of course if you are scooting instead of pedalling or walking, then yah, net increase in Co2, but not as bad as driving instead of pedalling or walking.

jamesqf 07-01-2008 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dcb (Post 39991)
I think if you have a 4 stroke, your CO2 output is much more porportional to fuel consumed, be it car or bike.

CO2 emissions are always proportional to fuel consumed. Unless you're e.g. dumping out a lot of unburned fuel, the HC & CO emissions are very small percentages of the exhaust. So it depends: if the scooter replaces a car, it reduces CO2; if it replaces bike or feet, it increases CO2.

Matt Herring 07-01-2008 02:51 PM

I picked up a 50cc scooter in early June and with about 1/4 left on my first tank I'm at 65 miles driven (projected at 80-85 mpg). I purchased it mainly to commute to work (only a 4 mile one way drive) so the gas savings will take some time to offset the actual $1000 purchase cost of the scooter. Every time I drive it to work I save about $1.50 so it will take a few years to see any savings (of course, gas prices moving towards $5 and above will expedite the savings). At current gas prices I estimate a $200 savings every 1200 miles driven (remember...scooters require 90+ rated octane so you have to use the good stuff and my last fillup with super was at $4.27 where regular was at $4.02 at the time).

My other vehicle is a 2005 Toyota 4Runner and I generally have to fill it up twice a month at the current cost of $180-200 a month. After 1 month of riding the scooter to work 3-4 days a week my first months fuel total cost was $85 (one tank in the 4Runner and 1 tank on the scooter).

I can tell you there is a brief feeling of elation when filling up a 1 gallon scooter tank for a little over $4 and driving away from the gas station! And, with more time on the scooter I am getting better at planning local trips I do not need my 4Runner for.

The scooter is alot of fun to ride and for a 50cc you are only required to register the vehicle - no motorcycle license is required in Massachusetts. In MA, however, you cannot drive it on state rated highways so route selection is essential.

groar 07-01-2008 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesqf (Post 40054)
So it depends: if the scooter replaces a car, it reduces CO2; if it replaces bike or feet, it increases CO2.

I can't find the original document from ADEME but here are the CO2 data from an extract of 2004's study found here :
. 50 cm3 : 50-80g/km
. 125 cm3 : 80-100g/km
. 400 cm3 : 115g/km
. 900 cm3 : 160g/km
The average for cars was 153g/km in 2004.
The prius is rated 104g/km.

Between 2000 and 2004 the HC&CO has been reduced by 6 from 2 wheelers but they are always more important than cars'. People on scooters are driving as rabbits and worse are modifying their scooters to have more power, so they come back to pollution level of 2000.

I found these documents with big tables for cars sold in France :(Hope the URL are working...)

Of course the most important is the way you drive, but in France where cars has lower CO2 emissions, scooters are far to be as efficient.

I do not know anybody owning a scooter or a 2-wheeler to be eco-friendly, they only want to save time.

Denis.

Arminius 07-03-2008 02:34 AM

I know 3 people who bought scooters to get better mileage, but they all bought their scooters last year.

Ryland 07-03-2008 09:14 AM

I bought my tomos arrow so that I could park on sidewalks, ride with the local moped gang and of course it gets about 105mpg, the friend who I bought it from became a dealer awhile back after i suggested it and has been selling hem faster then expected and the wear house is apparently empty with a 3 week waiting list for dealers.
these are still two stroke engines with an injector pump and a catolitic converter in the exhaust, my next one will most likely be a Sachs Madass with a 4 stroke engine.

MoeDeeB 07-03-2008 11:29 PM

I bought the MadAss 125 4 stroke, 2 months ago. Have been averaging 80 mpg, 35 kml or 2.88l per 100km great bike, although expect that to get better, had aproblem with speedo cable, it has adigital readout so could not accurately get distance travelled, all fixed now. Replaced a 50cc 2 stroke scooter, MadAss is much better, to ride! Decided a car was a waste of money only doing about 6000km/3700miles a year. Gets a lot of interest when out riding. Fuel economy, I think is pretty good. I love it!

PA32R 07-04-2008 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by groar (Post 39775)
In France a lot of people are buying scooters. This is a must for teenagers, as smoking when I was young. This is to save time for older people in cities.

The probability of accident and the insurance taxes are so high that I gave up twice to buy one. Also because I can't replace a car by a scooter.

Anyway, scooters are big generators of CO2 and I'm saving gas to save CO2 1st, save €uros 2nd.

Denis.

How, in an internal combustion engine, can rate of generation of CO2 and rated of consumption of fuel not be linearly related? If the combustion is less efficient, I could understand proportionally increased production of CO (not a good thing, obviously) but perfect hydrocarbon oxidation would yield CO2 and H20. So it seems to me that there's no way to minimize fuel consumption and not minimize CO2 production.

PA32R 07-04-2008 12:13 AM

I've been contemplating the Zapino. I've figured it would pay for itself in about 10 months, but the downsides (longer commutes on city streets, hassle of plugging it in at each end of my commute, difficulty in carrying cargo, danger, wondering if the charge will take me up that last hill to my house, etc.) are daunting.

AndrewJ 07-04-2008 12:17 AM

A fellow merchandiser recently sold his 8mpg pickup truck for a Kawasaki ZX6R. He claims that he gets at least 35mpg on his new bike (he's not exactly the featherfoot-type.)

Another merchandiser who drives a F250 diesel is considering a motorcycle...
Though she has mentioned that she "just feels safe" in her truck.

I've also noticed that people around the warehouse have stopped driving their trucks & SUV's to work. There are suddenly a lot of smaller cars in the parking lot. Seems like energy prices are finally having an effect.
About time.

groar 07-04-2008 03:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PA32R (Post 40937)
How, in an internal combustion engine, can rate of generation of CO2 and rated of consumption of fuel not be linearly related? If the combustion is less efficient, I could understand proportionally increased production of CO (not a good thing, obviously) but perfect hydrocarbon oxidation would yield CO2 and H20. So it seems to me that there's no way to minimize fuel consumption and not minimize CO2 production.

I don't know how gasoline and CO2 are related.

I know that scooter's weight and speed are far smaller than car's, but consumption isn't far smaller. Why ???

Ex: my car weight 1120Kg and I weight 80 for a total of 1200Kg. My friend's scooter weights 120Kg and he weights like me so it's a total of 200Kg. I'm consuming less than 6l/100km while he's consuming more that 3l/100km. Why is the scooter consuming 1/2 of the car and not 1/6 ?
From technical data he's emitting more CO and HC than me...
His scooter is a couple of years old while my car is 11 years old.

In Europe 2-wheelers' efficiency is far smaller than cars' efficiency.

In the absolute you reduce consumption, but not as it should be reduced for the reduced speed and weight.

Scooter's insurances are high : my friend is paying the same amount as I do for my car. You may not save money because you may keep an old car or regularly rent one.

Accident risks are higher for scooters : road are narrower in Europe so when a car is passing over you it's dangerous. I will not change my car for a scooter because I don't want to have an accident with (or without) my 14 months old son.

Denis.

bryn 07-04-2008 04:18 AM

i bought a honda rebel 250cc in april for $400. after about a thousand miles, i averaged 70 mpg. top speed is about 80 mph, more than fast enough. it was great transportation. but i broke the bike and my ankle as soon as the first animal ran in front of me. no real savings in the long run. even with a safety course and all the right equipment its hard to change gut reactions.

IndyIan 07-04-2008 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bryn (Post 41001)
i bought a honda rebel 250cc in april for $400. after about a thousand miles, i averaged 70 mpg. top speed is about 80 mph, more than fast enough. it was great transportation. but i broke the bike and my ankle as soon as the first animal ran in front of me. no real savings in the long run. even with a safety course and all the right equipment its hard to change gut reactions.

Hope you heal quickly, that is the trouble with 2 wheeled transportation, I used to ride on the backroads all the time with my dirtbike and got used to running over small animals and birds but I never hit anything bigger than a squirrel. I don't know what would happen if I had hit a raccoon and I don't know if I could train myself now just to hit it without trying something extreme to avoid it.
Anyways, I keep posting that people need to practice practice practice on motorbikes or pedal bikes because thats your only defense to kissing the pavement or worse. If I had the climate to ride a motorbike all year I still don't know if I would even with 100's of hours playing on a dirtbike, will I do the right thing in an emergency situation?
The high grip tires also scare me, the difference in traction between clean dry pavement vs wet or sandy pavement is hard to compensate for in all situations... Semi knobby tires on a dualsport bike is what I would start with as everything about that setup is forgiving, you are up right, high enough to see and be visible and a patch of sand isn't going to affect the bike as much.
Just my 0.02,
Ian

bryn 07-04-2008 11:43 AM

thanks IndyIan, still haven't decided wether i will fix the bike and ride again, or not. the dualsport does sound like a safer ride.

IndyIan 07-04-2008 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bryn (Post 41039)
thanks IndyIan, still haven't decided wether i will fix the bike and ride again, or not. the dualsport does sound like a safer ride.

Bryn,
Well, you've learned a lesson the hard way, I've got some scars from doing that too! I don't even have an animal to blame for my worst crash which was on the road, just me being really really dumb all by myself!

I forgot to add that with a dual sport you can play in the dirt too! Fun but also good training, and a better place to get an appreciation for what laying down a bike is about at 20 mph, instead of 50 or 60 or 70 mph.
It also shows you how fast 60 mph really is, and how far ahead you have to look, and what situations that are no problem at 30 mph can ruin your day at 60. 60 mph offroad feels very very fast and not so much fun if you come off the bike! Tall grass will rip your feet off the pegs, and twig on the knuckles will make you bleed without gloves... It makes you appreciate the amount of energy you are dealing with and how you'd rather dissipate that energy using the brakes instead of a road sign.

metromizer 07-10-2008 09:33 PM

Check out what Craig Vetter is doing these days! He's trying to design an aerodynamic shell for a 250cc Honda Helix scooter with the goal of at least 120mpg riding across country at hiway speeds. Check out the designing oft he project and the recent instalments, it's a great read from someone who is a proven 'doer'

Craig Vetter, designer and inventor of the Windjammer fairing and Triumph Hurricane Motorcycle

MetroMPG 07-10-2008 09:42 PM

Just to update this thread: I saw my friend's Honda 175 for the first time on Tuesday. It rocks! Old school cool. The Piaggio, not quite so much.

MetroMPG 07-10-2008 09:48 PM

metromizer - that Vetter story is fantastic! All the detail of his construction methods too... thanks for posting.

It's been a while since I've been back to his site. Lots to read up on.

dann_04 07-15-2008 12:12 AM

My gf and i bought scooters april of last year. We are big environmentalists and energy conservers so it made sense. Mine is a 93 honda elite 80, and hers is a 2005 honda metropolitan(50cc. I see~75-80 mpg in mine and she sees a consistant 100mpg on hers. As for emissions, the epa actually tested my model and year scooter and here are the figs:

g/km

Nox .72
Hc .72
Co 7
Co2 32.2

And here is prius:
Co2 104

and hummer h2:
Co2 432
(all shown in g/km)

So don't tell me my scooter puts out more CO2 than driving a car because it doesn't, and normally scooters are kind of bad on acid rain emissions, and mine is slightly higher than new cars(lower than 80's cars that are still on the road) and my hydrocarbon emissions are actually lower than those shown as i have the california model(in illinois lol) with the carbon canister for the vapors and recirculation system to burn them off. As for 2 stroke scooters i won't touch them, they are horrible for the environment(save a few i have seen with very complex emissions systems that get comperable to 4 strok but they are expensive). Plus who wants to add oil to the gas or a seperate tank for that matter. I say for anyone who can use a scooter in their area safely and practically, go for it they are fun. You just have to see all the idiots that don't see you, and wear a helmet!!!!!! Ok I'm done lol.

metromizer 07-16-2008 02:16 PM

preface: I used to ride street motorcycles back in the late 70's when I was a teen, worked at three MC dealerships while in high school. I had two riding buddies get KIA, and myself had a VERY close encounter with a within a couple months. I swore them off at that time, and have only riden half-dozen times since.

I am noticing a lot of new riders on the road these days, and seeing and hearing about a lot of motorcycle accidents. I am not going to climb up on a soapbox here, just know the risk before you jump on one of those things. Know you are almost naked in safety terms. Know that the risk of serious injury goes way up, a car fender bender type accident becomes almost life-threatening if you are on a bike.

MetroMPG 07-16-2008 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by metromizer (Post 44583)
I am noticing a lot of new riders on the road these days, and seeing and hearing about a lot of motorcycle accidents.

The noon news today reported that 7 motorcyclists in Ontario were killed over a 72 hour period on the weekend.

One of the biggest reasons I got a motorcycle (since sold it) was for the challenge of learning how to ride - safely.

metromizer 07-16-2008 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 44588)
The noon news today reported that 7 motorcyclists in Ontario were killed over a 72 hour period on the weekend.

One of the biggest reasons I got a motorcycle (since sold it) was for the challenge of learning how to ride - safely.

The last thing I want to do is sound like a reformed smoker... I absolutely LOVE to go fast, and love being out in the open air while traveling from A to B, and love that we all have that freedom to choose. Seems like 9 out of 10 a mc accident is the fault of the car driver, not the mc rider... a small consulation if you are the one layed up with injuries.

I was just reading about a colleague of mine who recently won an award, which in turn jogged my memory about my old honda cb125, that I sold to his brother 20-some years ago. I was remembering how (the brother who bough my bike) had a serious crash in the first three months of owning it. A Brain surgery, a skull patch-plate and months of hospital and home sheet-time later, he was good as new. Well, sort of :o What did he do with the lawsuit money? Bought a Harley... :rolleyes:

The thing that intrigues me about what Vetter wrote, is his observation regarding poor FE of today's motorcycles (dispite advances in tecnology) after factoring in weight to displacement to frontal area and cd. Seems to him (and now me) there is a lot of 'low hanging fruit' in terms of improvements that yeild a very fuel efficient bike. It seems to me many of the same 'tricks' could be applied to 4-wheeled transportation as well.

truckncycle 07-16-2008 03:42 PM

I bought a motorcycle about three years ago to get better gas mileage and it does. In the summer I get about 40mpg on the bike compared to 18 for the truck. That being said, if I could do it over again I would buy a 250 (Ninja 250) instead of a 600 since the 250s get about 65mpg and are still freeway legal. Out of the bigger displacement bikes, the BMWs with boxer engines seem to get the best mpg.

As for motorcycle safety, my recommendation would be to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) safety course in the US or a Canada's Safety Council course (Welcome - Canada Safety Council's Gearing Up - Canada's National Motorcycle Training Program) in Canada and wear the proper gear (helmet, leathers, boots, gloves). There are definitely some scary drivers to avoid. I saw someone texting while driving a couple of weeks ago. Other drivers often misjudge the speed of motorcyclists and they will turn left in front them. Other drivers can't be blamed all the time though. According to msf approximately 50 percent of motorcycle fatalities only involve the motorcyclist.

I am sure that my motorcycle is fairly environmentally dirty. Even though it is the California version it has carbs and does not have a catalytic converter. When I stop, I can almost always smell exhaust and some fuel. Many of the new motorcycles (CA model) are fuel injected, liquid cooled, have cats, and meet both CARB and Euro III requirements.

dcb 07-16-2008 07:08 PM

It sure would be nice to have a discussion about bikes without the concern trolls though. 4 wheelers do a lot more damage in an accident (that's why my liability on the bike is like $60/year). 4 wheelers have more frontal area, that's why the bike IS low hanging fruit.

nanny forum :(


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