The Future ... ?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Scooterwolf, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. JerryH

    JerryH internal combustion rider

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    It seems so odd that most people don't get it. They get it on the Sportster and vintage Vespa forums I belong to. On the Sportster forum there are a lot of very angry threads about Harley possibly selling an electric bike. Many feel that Harley is going to abandon them. The only company that still makes motorcycles that look, sound, and feel like motorcycles to them, and me.

    Look up at the top of the page. You'll see a rider on a heavily loaded bike out in the middle of nowhere. Take a closer look at that bike. It is a Royal Enfield Bullet, designed by the British in 1954, and now made in India. I have one. It is most definitely a machine. It has a single cylinder long stroke engine that sounds and feels something like a jackhammer. Especially with a non EPA aftermarket pipe on it, which mine has. It is about as crude and primitive as any new bike can get. I wonder why this forum chose that bike for the picture instead of the latest greatest thing from BMW or KTM? To me it is a true motorcycle, totally and completely unrefined. Scooters used to be very unrefined too. The first Vespas were barely rideable. But people rode them anyway. Todays Vespas feel electric, and there is no sound while you are riding. All you hear is wind. I am hesitant tom modify such a high quality scooter, but I am looking for an aftermarket pipe that will give me some engine noise. When I was a kid, I cut up wire clothes hangers and wrapped the wire around the frame, and left a little bit to stick into the wheel, so it would hit the spokes while I was riding and make a noise. Wealthier kids actually got battery powered fake motors to bolt on to their bikes, that would make an engine sound when you twisted the throttle. Love for the internal combustion engine has deep roots that go back well over a century.

    But I can see I'm not getting anyone to understand my attraction to them, so I might as well give up trying to explain it. I'm just saying the same thing over again. I can understand young people that were given an iPhone when they were still in the crib not getting it. But there are a lot of people my age or older that grew up with internal combustion engines, and they don't seem to get it either. I was born with a wrench in my hand and gasoline in my blood, and I'll always be that way. But for everyone else, enjoy whatever makes you happy. I may not understand, but I guess I really don't need to.
    #41
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  2. Phipsd

    Phipsd Older but not wiser.

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    Actually electric bikes and cars are the future right now in China. For their traffic density electric is perfect; especially since they don't like to drive long distances.
    #42
  3. GerrNP

    GerrNP Mr. President we must not allow a mine shaft gap

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    Jerry, sometimes I wish I had your mechanical gifts, there are times I feel more than married to the internal combustion engine. I farm and ranch, have 5 diesel tractors, couple trucks and couple other larger pieces of equipment, not to mention SUV, pickup, ATV, UTV, chainsaw, weed whacker, zero turn mower, and a few stationary motors. Have spent thousands of hours operating this stuff and I have the ears that go along with it. I like quiet stuff now. Sometimes I have to rely on people who have more mechanical skills than I have. A good mechanic is worth allot to me. A mediocre one not so much.
    #43
  4. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    I like to ride. Stella (LML now defunct) and Royal Enfield are built for 40mph markets unable to pay the price needed to build dependable high speed motorcycles that require minimal maintenance. They use antiquated technology combined with poor metal casting and zero quality control and thus offer minimal performance with high risk of failure to operate. They live in a world of romantic longing that is out performed even in India by engines of modest capacity produced by Honda Hero.
    If you get up in the morning anywhere in the world and need to get to work Royal Enfield is a poor bet.
    #44
  5. JerryH

    JerryH internal combustion rider

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    I bought them for fun. I don't need to depend on them, and have never ridden them further from home than the 100 mile towing limit of my road service plan. But I agree, they are definitely not dependable transportation bikes. But they are used as transportation in many Asian countries and in India. Their quality may be poor, but these people have become quite adept at keeping them going. They are basic, simple machines that lend themselves well to improvised repairs.
    #45
  6. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    I've seen people doing maintenance and use things on scooters and bikes in Asia that scared the crap out of me, but they were doing those things because their choices were very limited. Poverty and crowding and lack of education and security change all the rules, and until you have spent some time living elsewhere it's really hard to imagine. Scooters and small displacement motorcycles play a big day to day role in keeping things moving for billions of people and they have to be sturdy and reliable. Performance is not a key issue, function is. When you see a person on a 90cc bike hauling three live pigs strapped across the frame and rear fender you begin to understand what that bike is for. And it's not pleasure.

    Royal Enfield and Stella and Bajaj are working in a market of one billion people. What they make and sell is mostly designed for those people, not us. All those millions of scooters using a GY6 engine are built for Asia and Latin America and Africa, not for us.

    Jerry, you and I and a few others here enjoy messing with wrenches and fiddling with carbs and points. A machine that runs without some involvement with me is boring. My wife has a CR-V that's about as charming as a new refrigerator. It does the job, but fun? Not even close. I think we're in the tiny minority. I'm happy here, and I think you are, too, and I gave up long ago trying to convince other people that what I was doing made any sense at all. My father collected all the variations of all the postmarks of all the German post offices in their colony of German East Afrika from the 1880's to 1918 when they lost everything at the end of WW1. Now, there might be 10 people in the world that care at all about that, but it tickled his imagination and gave him pleasure, so what the heck. That's how I feel.
    #46
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  7. CanineCombatives

    CanineCombatives the sound of inevitability

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    Once you've been in a tesla in ludicrous mode from a dead stop you'll grasp the concept that eventually electrified will be the highest performance attainable in both 2 and 4 wheel machines, question is how much more development do the battery systems need to make them lighter and last long enough to make the transition a no brainer, the other question is price of admission, once those factors are overcome the rest is inevitable, and hey, I'm an old timer who's been racing motorbikes for about 43 years, current bike is KTM 1290 SAR.

    I've been browsing the scooter forum cause I've always enjoyed them as pit bikes and am planning to buy the BMW C400X as soon as it arrives in dealers.
    #47
  8. Scooterwolf

    Scooterwolf Been here awhile

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    I like to ride. I've nothing against motorcycles, but I prefer scooters over MCs as they give me more of what I want or need. Engine noise doesn't really matter as long as it's healthy, and the same with vibration where I like less or more. I'm more interested in the ease of handling of a bike over any kind of hardships. It's about riding for me and the fun of getting to places.

    The world is changing. We've polluted the planet on a phenomenal level. It's not surprising that electric vehicles - cars and 2-wheel versions -- are on the rise, but they have a lot of work ahead of them if they hope to replace what past and current riders enjoy about their bikes. I hope they can do this. I want to continue riding in the near and far future, with no loss of what made it great.

    - Wolf
    #48
  9. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    I have to wonder sometimes about how much cleaner electric is since that electricity has to be produced somewhere. Might be more about moving the location of pollution more than on overall reduction. Especially since even the so called "clean" energy sources have their environmental tolls.
    #49
  10. bikeridermark

    bikeridermark Long timer

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    :D:D
    Fixt it for you. Jerry, many of us get it. I'm older than you, have ridden two strokes, four strokes, singles, multi cylinders. I've got a Sportster that I really enjoy.
    Many people just want to ride something smooth and reliable. I enjoy bikes I can take farther than 100 miles from home without worrying about them. I'd rather enjoy the ride than work on stuff. Just keeping up with tire changes and oil changes on six bikes and four vehicles, plus my dad's farm equipment is more work than I want to do.
    Speaking of my dad, who's 91, when we talk about the good old days, he says these ARE the good old days!
    #50
  11. JerryH

    JerryH internal combustion rider

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    You are correct. The pollution IS coming from somewhere else. But not only that, it makes more pollution to manufacture an electric vehicle, plus you have toxic batteries to deal with when they wear out. Most electronics are dirty. Remember the big scam several years ago, when thousands of tons of scrapped computer equipment, TVs, etc.. were being sent to China? CRT monitors and TVs are highly toxic. Without the fuel in gas powered vehicles, they are far less environmentally damaging than an electric vehicle just sitting there.
    #51
  12. bikeridermark

    bikeridermark Long timer

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    In Arizona, you should able to put up enough solar panels to charge an electric scooter!

    Personally, if I lived in the city, I would just ride a bicycle for most trips. Help the environment and my physical conditioning.
    #52
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  13. JerryH

    JerryH internal combustion rider

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    I believe there is enough fossil fuel to last for thousands more years. Us humans couldn't have possibly used it all up in just over 100 years.

    Solar panels are pretty worthless. They don't generate nearly enough power for their size and cost. They use light to generate power, and that is not where the energy is. It's in the intense heat we have here for 6 months out of the year. We have enough energy in the form of heat here to power the entire state for half the year. The problem is how to harness it and put it to use. I have no problem at all with using alternative energy sources (except nuclear) to provide power for homes, businesses, and everything else except for motor vehicles.

    Our environment where I live is just fine other than the heat, lack of rain, and summer monsoon storms, which were here long before anybody ever used fossil fuel.

    I am disabled and cannot pedal a bicycle. I even looked at electric bicycles (which I don't have a problem with because bicycles are human powered vehicles anyway, I have motorcycles, scooters, and old cars to enjoy internal combustion engines with) but the cost was insane. I would buy one right now IF they cost about half of what they do. I have been watching electric bicycles for some time, and I have not seen the cost coming down.
    #53
  14. Tromper

    Tromper Sagaciously Annoying

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    Kinda hit a point of debate there. With only a couple exceptions in the country, your plug in electric is essentially coal powered.
    Even here, one of the exceptions due to lots of hydro, geothermo & wind power, there's a chunk of your power in the dense metro areas that comes from gas, NG, or coal.
    The anti ICE folks jigger the numbers to show that the electrics are cleaner everywhere, but if you look at what they're counting and how they're counting it as well as what they're not counting you'll find some room for doubt in most areas.

    Jerry, there are more than a few schemes taking advantage of things like the heat in your area, including at least one nifty "solar" plant in Spain I read of a number of years back that focuses the heat on a central pillar that liquefies a medium which then runs through generators, like steam but more so. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_tower is the 101 on that type of thing. Much more effective than the current generation of solar panel.

    Solar panels are getting better https://news.energysage.com/what-are-the-most-efficient-solar-panels-on-the-market/. Take the numbers with a grain of salt or 20 since they don't show how they got 'em.

    Also the term "Aerothermal" has been bouncing around a bit https://www.energynews.es/en/aerothermal-the-new-renewable-energy/ for instance.

    From a rider perspective. I don't need sport bike acceleration, or really even want it, I prefer a usable top end, good acceleration & range vs. balls to the walls 0-60. I will be interested in the electric enfield. Living in a mountainous area I do appreciate the idea of a motor that doesn't care much about elevation, & that is where ICEs fail most noticeably vs. electric.

    #54
  15. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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    Boy. Lots of opinions here...
    #55
  16. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    The amount of money involved in these questions is beyond understanding, but the amount of BS that surrounds all sides of the debate is even greater.
    #56
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  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I'm my own mechanic and have no great love with all the mechanical bs I've thru the years keeping gas engines running.

    -oil changes
    -spark plug changes
    -valve adjustments
    -fueling adjustments & cleaning
    -oil leaks and seal updates
    -bad fuel
    -muffler tweaking
    -starting issues

    -remove body & engine parts to do all said things

    ....and so on

    When "fueling" is as easy, fast and every where and plus maybe cheaper than gas I'm ALL in.

    Give me a simple twist and go DeWalt motor machine w/o out the the mechanics bs of gas.
    #57
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  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    There is no mystery the electric takes generation & battery materials are big nasty destructive mines for rare elements.
    #58
  19. vortexau

    vortexau Outside the Pod-bay

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    I seem to remember that they actually solved that problem already.
    [​IMG]
    I seem to recall that "vintage 2 strokes" usually ooze much more than just character - due to the total loss pet-oil combined fuel + lubricant.
    Then there can be that pale of smoke assulting all riding behind that one. Hmmm! Not always a "vintage 2 stroke" either:

    [​IMG]
    #59
  20. vortexau

    vortexau Outside the Pod-bay

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    While all oil refineries are so clean, and in non-contaminated locations.

    [​IMG]

    Nigeria's booming illegal oil refineries

    ' "Here is our business place," a man, who did not want to give his real name but asked to be called Edward, told me as we walked around a remote, heavily polluted palm-tree fringed creek in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta.

    The work is dangerous.

    They have to be extremely careful to ensure the waste product - gas - does not ignite and cause an inferno.

    "It is so dangerous but there is nothing else we can do in order to make a living," said a 25-year-old man who asked me to call him Andy.

    "Many of our brothers have died and are injured. We also get diseases from it and get rashes on the body."
    '
    #60