Can a motorized bicycle replace a car?

DavidCP

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Dec 28, 2017
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I was finally able to measure the MPG I am getting on my friction drive motorized bicycle.
I have a 49CC 4-stroke engine mounted in a friction drive setup. I'm currently getting roughly 180 MPG which is freaking awesome. The bike has a one gallon tank on it.

I should note that I use the bike as a motor assisted setup to greatly extend my physical cycling capabilities. I manually bike to get up to speed and use the engine to hold the speed for prolonged periods of time. It holds 30 MPH quite well.

I'm trying to replace my car with my motorized bicycle as often as possible. I was raised to believe that every household must have a car but i'm curious if that's really true. Can a person get away from the insurance + license + yearly taxes on things you already own fiasco.... Hmmmm. To operate and maintain my car, I am spending a few thousand every year.

The estimated max lifespan on these types of engines is 40,000 miles if treated with care. I totaled up the costs to replace all the common wear parts to be roughly $140: Wheels, Drive Roller, Piston, Rings, Clutch, Bell Rotor, and Spark Plug.
 
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KCvale

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2010
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Phoenix,AZ
I was finally able to measure the MPG I am getting on my friction drive motorized bicycle.
I have a 49CC 4-stroke engine mounted in a friction drive setup. I'm currently getting roughly 180 MPG which is freaking awesome. The bike has a one gallon tank on it.

I should note that I use the bike as a motor assisted setup to greatly extend my physical cycling capabilities. I manually bike to get up to speed and use the engine to hold the speed for prolonged periods of time. It holds 30 MPH quite well.

I'm trying to replace my car with my motorized bicycle as often as possible. I was raised to believe that every household must have a car but i'm curious if that's really true. Can a person get away from the insurance + license + yearly taxes on things you already own fiasco.... Hmmmm. To operate and maintain my car, I am spending a few thousand every year.

The estimated max lifespan on these types of engines is 40,000 miles if treated with care. I totaled up the costs to replace all the common wear parts to be roughly $140: Wheels, Drive Roller, Piston, Rings, Clutch, Bell Rotor, and Spark Plug.
 

KCvale

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2010
3,967
54
48
Phoenix,AZ
I'm trying to replace my car with my motorized bicycle as often as possible.
I was raised to believe that every household must have a car but i'm curious if that's really true.
That would depend on who's in your household and what if you ever you need to carry something like a friend to the hospital, and don't forget weather.

I couldn't do it now, but when I was briefly a bachelor it was pretty easy and how I got into Motorized Bikes to begin with, but I was located within easy distance from what I may need, food, TryMeBicycle shop that could always get me where I wanted, a welding shop across the street from that, and a few bars around the corner ;-}

I'm back with the wife (30 some years now) and we have a car and a 3/4 ton truck for moving things, and I can't ride anymore :( but thats OK, I just got a new riding mower to ride ;)
 

Tony01

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Nov 28, 2012
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sf bay area
its the time that you put into it also. mine costs about $500 a year to maintain. That's quite a bit. I have been changing my rear tire every month!

tires $250
brake pads $200
disc rotors $30
oil changes $25
chains $60
clutch $30-50
sprockets $30

so that is already much more than 500 and i didn't even mention all the stuff I forgot.
 

DavidCP

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Dec 28, 2017
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its the time that you put into it also. mine costs about $500 a year to maintain. That's quite a bit. I have been changing my rear tire every month!

tires $250
brake pads $200
disc rotors $30
oil changes $25
chains $60
clutch $30-50
sprockets $30

so that is already much more than 500 and i didn't even mention all the stuff I forgot.
How far do you travel every month? I've put almost 300 miles so far in 40 days and there's no noticeable tire wear yet. A new tire every month seems bizarre to me. I would be surprised if I have to change mine twice a year and even then replacement tread is only $40 a tire on my bicycle.

But even then, $500 a year is what I am paying for car insurance alone. Just for insurance.
 
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Tony01

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Nov 28, 2012
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sf bay area
I ride about 100mi a week right now. my bike is much heavier and faster though. I shoulda gone with a moto rear tire.
 
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DavidCP

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Dec 28, 2017
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I ride about 100mi a week right now. my bike is much heavier and faster though. I shoulda gone with a moto rear tire.
Well that's still only twice as many miles compared to my travel distance. Hmmmm.
My whole setup is only roughly 40 pounds and I only weigh 130 pounds.

Could be different ways that it's ridden though. I use the engine more as a backup rather than a primary. My engine doesn't really have to be fast for my ideal setup. Just has to be reliable as it has been. It works great for holding 30 MPH for long periods of time even though its low end torque is not that great.
 

Nashville Kat

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Apr 20, 2009
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Jacksonville, Florida
I think a gasbike makes a great supplement at least, and gets you thinking more about logistics of motoring. I discovered it nine years ago now after losing everything in a flood in Indiana and then relocating to more urban Jacksonville. Living alone in my 50's already then- I was in an apartment for several years where every bit of furniture I had except the matress I slept on was acquired from the garbage discards of the neighborhoods around me.

After a lifetime around bikes, the motor bike gave me the option of not taking the car for every trip- and by the time the bike evolved with a front basket and saddlebag baskets and trunk bag- I could just as easily get most of my stuff from the same area I was a couple of miles away from. I eventually did two builds a 66 and a 50 cc and was moving them up and down a flight of stairs from my apartment to use them.

Then I moved into a home another mile farter away.- so time and more distance began slightly ebbing away at my use- the summers here are so rainy now too- it's often very hard to judge if I can make my usual trip without being rained on- so I'm using the bikes less frequently, although having just finished an electric build- which is even lighter in weight:
https://motorbicycling.com/threads/technically-do-i-even-need-a-controller.63730/

Florida and Jacksonville are especially good places where someone in their youth could reasonably do more without a carrot and become less of a donkey chasing one dangling in front of them. So I think weather and location are definitely factors of influence in consideration of the topic of this thread. Don't expect a whole lot respect for being practical though. We live in a pretentious age!
DSCF2205.JPG
 
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DavidCP

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Dec 28, 2017
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I think a gasbike makes a great supplement at least, and gets you thinking more about logistics of motoring. I discovered it nine years ago now after losing everything in a flood in Indiana and then relocating to more urban Jacksonville. Living alone in my 50's already then- I was in an apartment for several years where every bit of furniture I had except the matress I slept on was acquired from the garbage discards of the neighborhoods around me.

After a lifetime around bikes, the motor bike gave me the option of not taking the car for every trip- and by the time the bike evolved with a front basket and saddlebag baskets and trunk bag- I could just as easily get most of my stuff from the same area I was a couple of miles away from. I eventually did two builds a 66 and a 50 cc and was moving them up and down a flight of stairs from my apartment to use them.

Then I moved into a home another mile farter away.- so time and more distance began slightly ebbing away at my use- the summers here are so rainy now too- it's often very hard to judge if I can make my usual trip without being rained on- so I'm using the bikes less frequently, although having just finished an electric build- which is even lighter in weight:
https://motorbicycling.com/threads/technically-do-i-even-need-a-controller.63730/

Florida and Jacksonville are especially good places where someone in their youth could reasonably do more without a carrot and become less of a donkey chasing one dangling in front of them. So I think weather and location are definitely factors of influence in consideration of the topic of this thread. Don't expect a whole lot respect for being practical though. We live in a pretentious age!
View attachment 98168
Well I live in an area that it really only rains consistently for about a month during the spring. Most of the time it's dry here. It's about two miles from my home to my work and about four miles to the grocery story.

I've been using the wacky contraption completely for going places for about two months now. I've gotten plenty of "you're crazy" remarks and ran across one hostile/reckless individual in a van (some peoples road rage against bikers borders on homicidal) but some people were incredibly fascinated. So much so that i've helped others build their own here in town. Might be starting a motorbike movement amongst people my age. :)