Do You Ride In The Middle of The Street?

Discussion in 'Motor Bicycle Safety And Stolen Motorized Bicycle ' started by Mikey_, May 22, 2016.

  1. Mikey_

    Mikey_ Member

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    Odd question but I was just thinking about this. With a motor on your bike do you ride in the middle of the street or closer to the curb where non-motored bikes typically ride?

    Which is safer, middle of the road or on the side?

    I was also thinking about the safety of slow motored bicycles vs faster cruising motorcycles.
     
  2. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Motorized or not, it's still a bicycle. Ride it like one and stay out of the way of faster traffic. There are few streets or places that have speed limits that most motorized bicycles can keep up with. Holding up traffic isn't going to win many friends or admirers and certainly isn't going to do this hobby any good. Stay to the extreme right and pretend you're invisible because you are to most other drivers.

    Tom
     
    #2 2door, May 22, 2016
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  3. Mikey_

    Mikey_ Member

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    Thanks! This is what I was thinking. I was also looking at the alternate routes I would take to get to place in the neighborhood to avoid a lot of traffic and to reduce left hand turns into traffic.
     
  4. mogollonmonster

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    At the risk of catching major flak, I ride the sidewalks a lot, but there's nobody on them where I live, and it's safer for others for me to stay off the bike path with all it's blind curves. When I ride on the street, which is most of the time, I hug the white line in fear.

    We, i.e. you and I and everyone else on a motorbike is invisible. Drivers simply don't see you, and if they do, don't realise how fast you're going. I ride where I am safest at that immediate moment, without regard to others sensibilities. I don't care who was offended by my noisy twostroke on the sidewalk, I'm going home in one piece. So long as I'm not endangering others, or being a nuisance, I don't see a problem with it.

    In all fairness though, most of my riding is on open highway, with little to no shoulder, so I'm basically IN traffic moving three times my speed. Fun stuff.
     
  5. kevyleven007

    kevyleven007 Active Member

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    Stay as far to the right as you can and stay out of cars way as much as you can. Ride it like a bicycle you don't have to pedal (because that's what it is) not like a motorcycle. If you have to, stop, and wait until its safe to go.
     
  6. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    It depends on the state (and the kind of road you're on too). Here in SC, a motorized bicycle is considered a moped. It has to be 50cc or less, have a top speed of 30, and it's required to have a mirror, headlight, tail light, and a brake light that operates when you apply the brakes. You apparently do not require a "moped" tag if it has pedals. Those tags are for scooters without pedals. Anyway, I find that if I ride along the white line, even with the lights on, that motorists will get as close to you as possible. There is a 3' law here for bicycles, but most people don't obey it. Riding on the sidewalk is illegal, even without a motor. Even bike trails (which this area is riddled with) do not allow motor vehicles of any sort.

    Around here, your options are to ride on the sidewalk and get a ticket (which happens), ride along the white line and have regular near-death experiences, or ride in the middle and hold up some traffic. It forces people to actually change lanes to go around you, and I'm fine with that.

    I'll also say that in the Charleston area, mopeds are very common, so people are used to them. You can ride them on a suspended license for 6 months, and you also can not get a DUI on one (somehow). They're referred to as"liquor-cycles". This makes it very desirable to ride one to some. I don't feel bad for holding up traffic. It's perfectly legal to ride, it's my damn right to do so, and if I inconvenience someone by having to put their turn signal on and move their steering wheel 1", then they shouldn't be driving anyway.

    And no, I don't ride drunk. I wear a helmet, gloves, jacket, and boots, which is the same gear I wear on my motorcycle.
     
  7. Chaz

    Chaz Active Member

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    I can keep up with traffic so I ride it like a motorcycle and wear full gear. If there is a marked shoulder I'll ride in that. Riding over to the right is an invitation for idiot drivers to pass you within inches. I also have to avoid road bumps and holes etc. so I need room to maneuver. I always signal etc. and will pull over to the right when needed. I am a very courteous rider.

    Never under power on the sidewalks in my city.

    over 40 years motorcycle riding street experience
     
  8. Tyler6357

    Tyler6357 Member

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    There are some one way streets that have a 35mph speed limit here and I often ride in the lane with traffic on those streets. Also, I will cut across the road when it's clear to get into the turn lane if I need to turn sometimes, but for the most part I ride in the bike lane or close to it moving over into the road to pass peddlers. Always use hand signals in traffic.
     
    #8 Tyler6357, May 22, 2016
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  9. Mikey_

    Mikey_ Member

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    I was just thinking that if 50cc scooters are allowed and typically are always in the middle of the lane, then why not motorized bicycles?

    I've decided that I definitely want running lights on the front and on the back so that I'm more visible. I also want a strong enough motor to keep up with traffic, at the very least be able to do 5 mph under the posted speed limit.
     
  10. Tyler6357

    Tyler6357 Member

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    My bike tops out at 33 mph on level ground and if the road is slightly downhill I can go 38 mph pretty easy but cars have a tendency to speed too. If you want to go much faster than this make certain you have a strong steel frame with good welds, upgraded brakes, and mag rims or something extra and above a standard bicycle rim. Never forget that these are bicycles not motorcycles.
     
  11. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    I'm a firm believer in the saying "If you want to go faster, buy a motorcycle".
     
  12. Mikey_

    Mikey_ Member

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    Is this because the frame isn't designed for a heavier motor and the torque forces that are put on a high speed strong pulling motorized bike?


    One reason why I want a motorized bicycle is because they aren't as fast as a motorcycle, although I have looked at old 200cc motorcycles like the CB200. Someone has a CB750 for $600 in my town that needs a lot of work and my first thought was actually--- How can I make it slower!
     
  13. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    Not just the frame, but think about the forces on the tires. Wheels that spin at 40+ mph get balanced so the wheel doesn't wobble. Enough wobble, and the tire can unseat itself. The tube can pop if that happens. Even if that doesn't happen, the centrifugal forces alone can blow the tire. Bike tires aren't meant to spin that fast.

    Most bicycle brakes are v-brakes, which stop well at vike speeds. Much past that and your stopping distance goes down tremendously.

    But yeah, the frame can give out, which is equally disastrous. Play it safe, and get yourself a small motorcycle if you want to go car speeds. Learn on something small at first. I learned on a Yamaha XT250 enduro. I worked up to a Yamaha Bolt (950cc twin).
     
  14. Tony01

    Tony01 Member

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    I ride in the lane like a motorcycle. My bike will top out around 45 give or take, if it's colder it will top out 50. The edge of the road always has all sorts of debris and it's easy to get a flat... From my bicycling days I used to get a lot of flats all the dam time.

    Mikey, don't buy the cb750 that needs work. A similar bike in excellent condition is fine. The reason is that there are 4 cylinders, and 4 carbs. The inner two carbs are very hard to reach and therefore hard to tune. Better to find an inline twin. To make it slower you can put inserts in the carbs that limits the airflow and adjust your mixtures to match (less fuel/air = less power).

    Agreen, where do you get this info about over 40 etc? People who ride downhill mountain bikes often exceed 40 and subject their frames to far worse shocks than we do with our motors. My bike frame HAS cracked in the chain stay due to my own error, I had modified the frame in that spot and it weakened it. However most frame cracks that happen are in the chain- or seatstays, and they don't cause an immediate accident. I just noticed it on my bike when the rear end felt a bit soggy.

    The attraction of building high powered motorized bikes is in the handling and versatility. It is awesome to ride and throw around at under 120lbs, it can be pedaled, and you don't have to ride in the bike lane with high risk of flats and getting hit by a car going 20mph faster than you. I take my space in the lane and no cars get close to me like they did when I was a bicyclist sweating in the bike lane. Also, maintenance is very cheap, new tires cost $15 and the riding experience is easier than a motorcycle (automatic). Probably this year, my bike if not sold will go through a major do-over, more power (20hp), full suspension, and possibly the same weight or less. The DMV calls this a "motor driven cycle" which is legal for a small lightweight motorcycle, or a very high powered motorized bike with no pedals.
     
  15. Tyler6357

    Tyler6357 Member

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    I can say one thing, ever since I put a license plate on my bike drivers seem to give me more room and more of the road than they used to.
     
  16. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    Those aren't your typical bikes. And there are most definitely videos of downhill bikes breaking and having magnificent crashes.

    Ever experienced a tire balance problem on a car below 40? On a bike? The weight of a bike rim is very low, so vibration on it can be pretty negligible. But cruiser tires and anything much larger than a hybrid 700c wheel can start shaking at speeds faster than pedal power. And yes, the tire does begin to deform and balloon as centrifugal force acts on it. That's one reason why cars have steel belts in their tires.
     
  17. TheNecromancer13

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    I ride in the center of the lane unless the speed limit is above 40mph, because at or below 40 I'm not inconveniencing anyone as I can keep up with the traffic. I also ride in the center on roads with faster speed limits anywhere where it is unsafe to pass, so that people are less tempted to do it anyways. Any road with a 45mph speed limit or above and I'm in the bike lane or off to the side.
     
  18. Tony01

    Tony01 Member

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    I think you're 'ballooning' :D this a bit out of proportion. Car tires run belts because they are very wide with no sidewall pulling the middle of the tire in. Our tires are (relatively) thin, light, short sidewalls, and the better MTB road tires run higher pressures. They are always out of balance but only by a few grams. We are definitely good to 40mph and above that, generally the tire soaks up the imbalance for the most part.

    The worst balance problem I have felt in a car was at 62mph from dirt stuck to wheels from rally drifting. This imbalance amounted to several ounces of misplaced weight!! not the grams we deal in.
     
    #18 Tony01, May 24, 2016
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  19. Cylon

    Cylon Member

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    Damn I really want to move there! Legal bar hopping w00t!

    Anyways on topic, my bike tops out at 39 mph on flat land and 43 down hill so I ride in traffic always. Here in the city max mph is 35 and I can easily break the speed limit and keep up with the flow of traffic or pass them if I feel like it.

    If theirs a bike lane its great you can scream past the cars on the right hand side.

    Helmet is optional here, I wear one when I'm traveling far or going to work. Other then that I don't wear one cause I don't hammer down when I'm just going for a beer run or troubleshooting the engine.

    Tbh, I prefer hitting the old dirt logging roads and raising **** out in the woods where I cant get in any trouble. Wait scratch that last time I was on a trail a game warden tried to bust me for not having registration but he had never seen one in the middle of the woods before so let me go because he didn't know the laws of the motorbikes on private ATV trails.
     
  20. Tony01

    Tony01 Member

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    I was gna put a pic riding in the middle but it failed.
     

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