Hello. I'm Nate.
Right now I have a motorbycicle that I built with the goal of avoiding the legalities, taxes, and hassles of having to deal with automobile ownership. It's not so much that I can 'avoid' it... I still want to drive a car occasionally. But I can deal with the state on my own terms instead of theirs. No drunk driving, speeding tickets, or anything like that. I've basically had a perfect record for the past 10 years (and only relatively minor infractions before that). But it's still irritating. Government mostly blows. The 50cc moped laws offer me a escape... for a while at least.
Besides a virtual small fleet of automobiles over the years I've owned a couple mopeds and a motorcycle. The mopeds are the most relevant to this forum.. a Honda Hobbit with a CVT and a 2-Speed 1970's Puch. Both are fantastic, but the Puch is the fastest by far and I still own it.
The 2-speed transmission on the Puch already means that it's faster then other mopeds you can get. A 80cc(-ish) piston/cylinder kit, performance carb, and expansion chamber means that I can reach speeds up to 50 mph. (clocked by my brother following on my motorcycle). But the thing is beat to **** and is in serious need of a entire-bike rebuild. Bad forks, bad springs, back breaking shocks, leaking carb, gas tank that regularly gets water in it, electrical system put together by goblins (not my fault!), rear wheel held on not by 2 nuts, but by a nut and a hose clamp, no rear brake, bad front brake, etc etc. It's a exhilarating death trap.
Plus I've moved to a new state in search of gainful employment and all my toys are left behind in my house with a friend renting it. So now I am challenged by Georgian traffic (Atlanta area), rising gas prices, and a 20 mile commute.
The obvious solution is some sort of scooter. A scooter is far more useful vehicle then a motorcycle. Cheaper to buy, more efficient, more reliable (typically). It's easier to ride, easier to carry stuff in, etc etc. The Chinese scooters lack performance, but make up for it in price. I can get a 800 dollar 150 or a 600 dollar 50cc locally. 150cc and 50cc scooters are some of the most common vehicles in the world and can be made to be dead-on reliable as long as your capable of preventative maintenance. Japanese/Korean scooters are easily 2-4x more expensive, but can be reliably driven and maintained by a eggplant... not to mention are quite a bit faster.
I almost had 150cc Chinese scooter. Practically had money in hand, but i decided to hold off a bit. After looking up motorcycle licensing requirements, insurance costs, registration costs, taxes, etc etc. I decided 150 was too much hassle compared to a 50cc.
However 50cc is going to be slow and is not going to be able to keep up with traffic.....
After thinking about it for a bit I decided that if I am going to buy a slow vehicle like that then I'd get one that would be recognizable as being slow and be easily acceptable by the general public without a second glance... not to mention the ability to pedal in case of failure or used up gas... AND health. I LIKE pedaling and having the ability to move around on my own power. Since I stopped smoking pot decades ago in high school and no longer have any desire to drink alcohol (dreadful stuff, except the occasional 2-3 beers) the best way to get high for me is to pedal my fat butt up a 3/4 of a mile hill as fast as I can. Fantastic stuff!
Hence a bicycle. but with a 20 mile commute....
Hence a motorized bicycle.
I love it.
Last edited by nate-m; 05-30-2011 at 03:44 PM.