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-   -   Traditionally-powered motorcycles vs. hybrid cars (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/traditionally-powered-motorcycles-vs-hybrid-cars-24579.html)

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 01-09-2013 11:17 PM

Traditionally-powered motorcycles vs. hybrid cars
 
I know it's quite a controversial theme, which leads to many arguments about advantages or disadvantages of each vehicle, but environmentally-wise an average small-displacement motorcycle (or a scooter) seems to make more sense. Considering the amount of raw materials needed to make the vehicles and all the replacement parts, hydraulic fluids and lube oils required thru the vehicle's predictable operational life, a motorcycle seems to provide a higher overall sustainability. There is also the road surface occupation ratio for passenger hauled, more favorable to the motorcycles.

workaround ideas to discuss among friends: Motorcycles: the most environmentally-suitable vehicles for Diesel-haters

Grant-53 01-09-2013 11:39 PM

What is true about motorcycles being efficient applies to bicycles even more. A bicycle uses even less material and lubrication. Motorcycles are a good option if you solo commute more than 25 miles and live in a warm climate. The 125cc motorcycle and the school bus are widely used in Third World countries. In temperate regions car pools and buses are efficient when wind chill factor makes riding a motorcycle uncomfortable. For those of us in rural areas a bio-diesel truck or van is useful. Now if we can just get a multi-cylinder diesel motorcycle that gets 500 mpg highway for under $10,000 USD.

Gasoline Fumes 01-09-2013 11:49 PM

I like motorcycles, but it's nice to have a car for the winter. So I chose both!

http://carhumor.net/wp-content/uploa...ear-snow-1.jpg

roosterk0031 01-10-2013 12:04 AM

Motorcycles suck in cost of ownership per mile vs a decent economy car. $15,000 car is easily good for 200,000 miles and get 35 mpg, most multicylinder bikes will get 45-55 mpg, cost $10,000, sold for $6,000 and be to the next owner before they hit 10,000 miles.

If you are going to own a car and bike, just accept the bike is a toy and not (in most cases) going to save any money.

niky 01-10-2013 12:38 AM

We're talking different markets here.

Outside of America, it's not only cars that feature lower-displacement engines, bikes, too.

On the streets of most developing nations, a 250cc bike is already considered huge. Most bikes range between 100-200cc, with a big portion of cyclists driving 125-150cc motors. Delivery bikes are typically between 175-250cc.

Middle-class commuters typically drive 150cc bikes that get 80-90 mpg (US) and cost under $2k. A 150cc bike with one rider will get to 60 mph in the same amount of time as a typical 2.0 compact. A 250cc bike will hit 60 as quickly as most hot hatches and still get you over 60 mpg.

A multi-cylinder bike of 400cc or more will hit it in the same amount of time as a 300 horsepower sportscar. Apples and Oranges.

star_deceiver 01-10-2013 01:12 AM

I have both... But motorcycling in the snow has it's drawbacks....

alvaro84 01-10-2013 02:37 AM

After these years on exclusively 2 wheels I have both now and this winter did not favor commuting on 2 wheels so I'm glad for finally having a cage. I had only 3 days since the 1st of December I risked getting in the saddle and one of them was a clear mistake (I had run into fog after a few miles and everything was covered with ice thereafter).

I have and extensive log about the costs of my vehicles and after 4.5 years I think I can save fuel with a motorcycle (my lifetime is not far from 80 mpgUS (above in the summer) with Teresa - and she's a 650, not a 125!), but money? Not necessarily. In my case maintenance+tax+insurance costs slightly exceed fuel cost, and I still don't have such data about small cars, but I suspect that their fuel:everything_else ratio leans much more towards 'fuel'. We'll see about it.

I still think one could save money by riding a cheap(er) 125cc, and riding it a lot. Because as roosterk0031 mentioned, early replacement of a vehicle is not a recipe for economy (and manufacturing something to be hardly used is a waste of resources anyway). The main thing that makes Teresa competitive cost-wise is that I've owned her for 50k+ miles (after buying second-hand) and don't plan to sell her.

About environmental footprint: I guess it's better with a motorcycle, because of the less used material, and less burnt fuel. On the other hand, older ones (without catalytic converters) are definitely much worse on non-CO2 emissions.

The very reason behind choosing a motorcycle as my primary vehicle was this smaller footprint, and the scary idea of dragging a ton of iron to get my 150-pound arse to my destination. It's a shame that motorcycles are not proportionally efficient to their weight, but they'll probably never be, 'thanks' to aerodynamics.

Ryland 01-10-2013 02:38 AM

I have a gas car, an electric car, a gas motorcycle and a bicycle and my miles are split between the gas and electric cars, my bicycle tends to get used more times per day in the summer and a few times per week in the winter (studded tires and I dress for the cold) while my motorcycle sits... I take it out a few times per summer to use up the gas.

I don't like riding motorcycles at night because it gets cold and my chances of getting hurt go way up, I don't like ridding if there is risk of rain, I can't haul much and taking a passenger with is less then ideal because I'd need to find a helmet for them that fits them and bring it with me if I'm picking them up, you could say the same is true for a bicycle, but bicycles keep you warm while riding them, blinky lights, side streets and side walks keep me safe at night and if someone wants to come with on a bicycle either I can walk with them or they can grab their bicycle.

alvaro84 01-10-2013 02:59 AM

Bicycles are good, though I rarely use mine to commute, only in the summer, when days are long enough to remain visible for 14+ hours (I have 12-hour shifts and my commute takes ~2.5 hours per day). The bicycle's own lighting died after a few times of commute, and I don't want to use disposable battery powered blinkers, because I hate everything that's disposable. These are not enough to see anything at night, either. Neither were the original lights. The other issue would be dressing up for colder weather: I'd sweat to soak on the first long, steep hills, then get cold on the rest of the route. But for short distances (getting to the village and the next town) it's fine even at winter.

On the other hand, motorcycles have (somewhat) decent lighting, so I'm not afraid to ride at night, I don't sweat when I have to climb hills, so when I dress for the cold and the wind chill, I'm fine. And I can dress for colder than I dare to ride anyway, because I'm reluctant to ride in frost lately. I dropped Teresa on a 15-mile long ice 'patch' of freezing fog in -6C | 21F (that was the 'mistake day'), and I wasn't even cold then, low speed helped a lot... the main thing is, riding heavy 2-wheeled things over ice is dangerous.

(Yes, I live out of the city, in the middle of nowhere.)

bschloop 01-11-2013 08:56 AM

motorcycles can be highly efficient, and comfortable. Just take a look at Craig Vetter's work. I am currently working on a fairing which I hope to make available soon. the aerodynamics of my bike are approaching those of a car. with corresponding mpg gains. >100mpg while commuting last summer.

Grant-53 01-11-2013 09:30 PM

A 250cc motorcycle in the US sells for just under $5000 and may last 100,000 miles before an engine rebuild. Fuel mileage is rated at 65-70 mpg. I can use rechargeable batteries and a generator for lights on my bicycle. I have a trailer for the bike.

user removed 01-11-2013 10:51 PM

Got my 2009 Suzuki TU250 for $2300 with 2800 miles last summer. Fuel injected with a cat and oxygen sensor. I rode bikes 816 miles last January in eastern Virginia. While it is certainly not as severe weather as many on this forum, my limits are 40 degrees and daylight. I did get caught in some rain today, which I generally try to avoid on the bike.

Compared to my Fiesta I can drive the same weekday trips, around 200 miles on the bike and save $400 a year in fuel compared to the Fiesta at 45 MPG versus 89 MPG, so the payback period is fairly long.
Today I had my worst tank ever on this bike, $8.25 for 207.3 miles, just over 80 MPG. Best tank on the bike was 98 MPG.

My pickup truck got 31.5 MPG on it's last tank. If I need to haul something the truck is the trick. The car is for me and the wife when we go out in the evening or on weekends.
Miles I put on the bike are miles not put on the Fiesta. The Fiesta has just over 14k miles and it was built in November 2010 so it will last me a very long time, by not being my only form of transportation.

The bike is fun, the truck is practical, the Fiesta is the car my wife will drive if hers is inoperable for any reason.

I also have 4 other bikes in my garage, I seem to accumulate them when they are in a bad state of neglect, and nurse them back to good operating condition. 3 of the bikes are antiques and have permanent tags, no taxes, and insurance is less than $100 a year each.

regards
Mech

niky 01-12-2013 01:26 AM

The payback in terms of fuel only may be long, but I think those miles saved in terms of maintenance and depreciation on the car will more than make up for the cost of the bike, after you tie in the resale value of the bike at end of term. (assuming you will sell it, which you probably won't)

christofoo 01-12-2013 02:04 AM

Everytime I notice this conversation I got to repost this:

'MythBusters' asks: Are motorcycles greener than cars? - latimes.com

Quote:

Motorcycles were indeed more fuel-efficient than cars and emitted less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, but they emitted far more smog-forming hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, as well as the toxic air pollutant carbon monoxide. For the most recent model year vehicles tested -- from the '00s -- the motorcycle used 28% less fuel than the comparable decade car and emitted 30% fewer carbon dioxide emissions, but it emitted 416% more hydrocarbons, 3,220% more oxides of nitrogen and 8,065% more carbon monoxide.
Now, there are parts of the world where smog is of little concern, like Seattle. Small displacements bikes maybe make sense if you keep them in the rainy zones (enjoy) or away from smoggy cities elsewhere.

I live in an area where smog is a big deal and little ICE's sans emission controls of all kinds (bikes, mowers, blowers) are no-no's in my book, environmentally speaking.

I'm not sure which of them are which, but I understand there are such things as (newer) ICE motorcycles that include little cats and O2 sensors and fuel injection. Find one of those, and you might be doing as good as my ECOrolla89, (edit) which is 24 years old, which I paid $1,100 for in 2005.

alvaro84 01-12-2013 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by christofoo (Post 350583)
I'm not sure which of them are which, but I understand there are such things as (newer) ICE motorcycles that include little cats and O2 sensors and fuel injection.

Teresa (9-yo, EFI, with a cat) is in the EURO2 emission class, and can't be too far from EURO3, because all the F650s needed was a second spark plug to comply the stricter norm. And the new bikes here comply the EURO5 rules.

It's true though that I payed for her about twice as much as for my (13-yo) car :D She was younger (5-yo) back then, though.

Lazarus 01-12-2013 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by christofoo (Post 350583)
Everytime I notice this conversation I got to repost this:

'MythBusters' asks: Are motorcycles greener than cars? - latimes.com



Now, there are parts of the world where smog is of little concern, like Seattle. Small displacements bikes maybe make sense if you keep them in the rainy zones (enjoy) or away from smoggy cities elsewhere.

I live in an area where smog is a big deal and little ICE's sans emission controls of all kinds (bikes, mowers, blowers) are no-no's in my book, environmentally speaking.

I'm not sure which of them are which, but I understand there are such things as (newer) ICE motorcycles that include little cats and O2 sensors and fuel injection. Find one of those, and you might be doing as good as my ECOrolla89, (edit) which is 24 years old, which I paid $1,100 for in 2005.

As you stated not all small displacements are polluters. I had a Yamaha C3It was fuel injected and had a cat. 140+ MPG. Paid $1500 for it. I live in a warm environment so don't have to deal with snow. I spent less than $300 for insurance/gas/maintenance for about 10k miles/ year.

minimac 01-12-2013 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Mechanic (Post 350551)
Compared to my Fiesta I can drive the same weekday trips, around 200 miles on the bike and save $400 a year in fuel compared to the Fiesta at 45 MPG versus 89 MPG, so the payback period is fairly long.

How can you put a price tag on the "fun factor"?!!!

alvaro84 01-13-2013 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by minimac (Post 350712)
How can you put a price tag on the "fun factor"?!!!

I think he didn't. Costs and fun are the two sides of the same coin (it has even more sides, because it's not a real coin, see the opening post :D), and he just talked about the other.

The 'fun factor' side is what makes me suffer from withdrawal now that it's always freezing and snowing :D

renault_megane_dci 01-13-2013 07:02 AM

Depending on country, a motorbike is also a good way to make your commute last a repeatable time (traffic).

Also, taking numbers for the "average" bike is very much irrelevant as the spectrum of what poor people money can buy is much wider for bikes than for cars (there are plenty more % of performance bikes than performance car on the streets)

In the end we will probably all ride cheap FE oriented bike rather than other oversized vehicles ...

user removed 01-13-2013 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by minimac (Post 350712)
How can you put a price tag on the "fun factor"?!!!

The only thing that does not have a price tag is the wife. With 15 different vehicles so far in my garage, the odds are I will sell everythng fairly soon.

Last week I had my buddy bid on a water damaged Prius C, but others bid higher than myself. I always watch CraigsList for anything interesting and cheap. I'll try to sell 3 of the 5 bikes this spring but they aren't going anywhere unless I can get my price. Some people here would think I was crazy to sell some of the vehicles I have owned in the last 5 years but I don't like to run then into the ground, rather sell them when I get bored.

Maybe just a different definition of "fun factor". I do love the classic style and seating position of the CB and the Suzuki. fairly similar even with a 37 year age difference.

regards
Mech

razor02097 01-14-2013 01:37 PM

Really depends on circumstance... If someone goes out and buys a $10,000 motorcycle fuel economy is likely not why.

I bought my bike for $740 and put $1586 in new parts (almost every consumable part as well as all factory services done to the mileage). I now have a low mile, very reliable form of transport that gets 60MPG for $2326. As far as cost of ownership. Other than the oil filter there are no parts to buy until 10,000 mile intervals. Other than engine oil there are no fluids to buy. I use acar app to keep track of everything.

Last year I rode 1,950 miles. If it didn't rain so much I would have rode more. Basically if I ride to work and back for one day instead of drive I save $1.82 per day if gasoline is $3 per gallon and $2.12 per day if gasoline is $4 per gallon. That is just in fuel alone.

Motorcycles are cheaper to insure and cheaper to register. I can hold off on registration until I am ready to ride and there is no late fee which depending on when it's registered could be pro rated. (can't do that with a car...$20 late fee for cars in ohio...stupid tax man)

Motorcycles have other benefits also. I can push my bike up the street to the main road and nobody cares (imagine pushing a 2000lb car up the street to save fuel lol). I can EOC on my bike without having to fear losing braking function if brakes are needed multiple times (no brake booster).

renault_megane_dci 01-15-2013 06:54 AM

Anyway, posting this question in the motorcycle section is a good way to get a biased answer.

Motorcycle is not a reasonable way of transportation and that is why those who use it like it.
Actually, motorcycling might be one of the last patch of careless freedom in this Big Brother (in training) world of ours ...

niky 01-15-2013 09:37 AM

Not reasonable for some, but for many, it's the only form of motorized transportation that they can afford to purchase.

renault_megane_dci 01-15-2013 10:32 AM

When you have very low income, is the personal ownership of a form of motorized transportation reasonable ?

(I play with the different rating of what can be called reasonable)

mechman600 01-15-2013 11:25 AM

There's more to motorcycling (at least on this continent) than getting somewhere. I commuted on a motorcycle year round for a whole bunch of years. I kept tricking myself (and others) into thinking I was doing the economical thing, but now that I think of it, I just really love to ride motorcycles. People thought I was nuts for driving to work in January 1C (33F) pouring rain. I probably was, but I sure was having fun.

The best moments were on my CB400T. Here in BC in winter, if the rain does actually decide to stop, it gets colder. I found that -6C (21F) was the threshold at which the previously accumulated water in my throttle cable would freeze solid about halfway to work. Careful modulation of the brakes and clutch still got me there.

Now I have the Ninja ZX-7R. Not the best commuter. Actually, it's a terrible machine for a 4 mile commute, but I don't care. And now it's winter and I happen to have the Electric Booger, so the Ninja patiently waits till spring.

razor02097 01-15-2013 12:00 PM

When you live in a city a car is unreasonable. Over a 5 year span it costs less than a dollar a day to own, insure and ride a small motorcycle or scooter. If you can get a ride all over town here using other means of transport for a dollar a day I will eat my shoe. There are many places where bicycles and motorcycles can part free. Cars can cost anywhere from $1 per hour up to $30 per day to park.

Sure you can just buy a bicycle too. However the hills suck. At least on a scooter or motorcycle you can wear normal clothing and not arrive drenched in sweat.

niky 01-15-2013 09:31 PM

Depends on the motorcycle. If you've got something 400cc and over, that's a lot of motor to just move one man.

But with 250cc and under, or better, with a 150cc or under scooter, a motorcycle is often cheaper than public transportation over its lifespan, and it gives you more flexibility.

razor02097 01-16-2013 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by niky (Post 351355)
Depends on the motorcycle. If you've got something 400cc and over, that's a lot of motor to just move one man.

But with 250cc and under, or better, with a 150cc or under scooter, a motorcycle is often cheaper than public transportation over its lifespan, and it gives you more flexibility.

I agree. Although I miss having extra power on tap 299cc does scoot along pretty well. Although 250cc is minimum if you ever need to use the expressway for any reason.

Many will never need to but that is something to consider :thumbup:

niky 01-16-2013 10:42 AM

I don't ride a lot, but I've always wondered why anyone would ever need more than 250cc. A good 250 bike will hit 60 mph in seven and a half seconds. Which is a few seconds faster than anyone would need to get there without losing their license to the next cop hiding behind a billboard.

And if you want to go faster, all you need is a willingness to shred tires everywhere you go. That should get you in the sub-six second range, easy, without having to buy a two-ton muscle car.

Of course... buying a bigger bike is hardly ever about needs. At least in this case, this one selfish act isn't as silly as a 400 horsepower "sports car" with the aerodynamics and mass of a brick wall.

Not that I'm immune to the allure of speed. :D All that sheer grunt is definitely pleasurable, though I can't imagine ever needing it on a daily basis.

razor02097 01-16-2013 11:06 AM

There are scooter people that wonder why anyone would need a 250cc motorcycle. To them 150cc is plenty. You can get up to 50mph and get 80+mpg.

If you are a larger fellow or ride 2 up a lot 250cc isn't going to be enough. I'm not talking about morbidly obease either. There are tall people that want to ride and are between 200 and 250lbs. Also riding 2 up on a 30hp bike isn't fun at all. Even if the total human weight and gear doesn't exceed the bike's capacity.

niky 01-16-2013 11:18 AM

A good 150cc with about 17 hp can hit 60 in the sevens, if you're willing to launch aggressively. Speed tapers off at about 80 mph. But I don't know if you get the more aggressive scoots Stateside.

But yeah, if you need to ride on the highway two-up, they're not ideal. Too light, too little frame support, too little grunt.

alvaro84 01-16-2013 11:33 AM

A few reasons for anything bigger: riding 2-up (Teresa got her fair share of it), accelerating uphills (it's hard to do with a 250 like Ciliegia, even in 2nd gear when it gets steep), or passing something there (like a lumber truck).

OK, they're not really city usage. But real world usage. And they have nothing to do with top speed at all.

Not that 250s are not good or anything :)

TedV 01-17-2013 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by niky (Post 351434)
I've always wondered why anyone would ever need more than 250cc. A good 250 bike will hit 60 mph in seven and a half seconds.

I have a mid 90's CB250, Rebel 250 and a 2007 BMW F650GS Dakar. They all get between 53 and 74mpg depending on twist of the wrist. The Dakar thumper will haul a lot more stuff a whole lot more comfortable. Ive done a saddle sore 1000 on the CB250 and ran a Craig Vetter fuel economy run on the BMW. The only place the CB250 is better is around town if I don't have to haul much. I actually have picked up a small cart full of groceries with the BMW and the check out lady didn't beleive I could fit it on the Dakar. I had room left over.

I don't ride to work since I have to be socially acceptable at work. Hot, humid or rain, etc takes its toll. I get 48mpg +/- commuting with the airconditioning on in my TDi Jetta. I have rode motorcycle in 104 Degree F. I now know what a turkey feels like on Thanksgiving day.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 01-25-2013 02:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by renault_megane_dci (Post 351227)
When you have very low income, is the personal ownership of a form of motorized transportation reasonable ?

(I play with the different rating of what can be called reasonable)

Some small 100cc motorcycles are advertised in Brazil as a cheaper alternative than public transport :D

alvaro84 01-25-2013 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr (Post 352849)
Some small 100cc motorcycles are advertised in Brazil as a cheaper alternative than public transport :D

When you go 2-up, even my not that small 650cc BMW is cheaper than public transport. Including fuel, tires, belts, all the maintenance, insurance, taxes, and the purchase price. OK, I bought used for half the price and ride >10k miles a year.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 01-28-2013 07:36 AM

Back here in the Republic of Bananas the road tax for motorcycles is actually more expensive :mad:


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