When I stopped at the coffee shop this weekend with the mb, one guy I was talking to was talking about how popular these got here in the US post-WWII. I wonder if we got some ideas over here from all the guys that were stationed in Europe.
All the Europeans were of necessity pretty inventive of small transportation goods after WW ll. Living in Germany and traveling around France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany I saw a lot of this type of vehicles well as Vespa and knock offs and small cars and small trucks. The wars left them pretty tore up and is why America went there and helped rebuild. Necessity is the thing that inspires invention. That is a great shift-able motor bike using dérailleurs. I wonder how well it worked. Sick Bike Parts revisited..
Nothing like a little war to get you to stop driving obnoxiously large vehicles, eh? Not that I would like the US to have war-torn cities, but it would be nice if people would just stop with the SUV's and large trucks already. I'm sorry but the 600hp 10mpg dually really is just not necessary unless you own a farm and need to haul huge loads of hay and whatnot.
People here need to get off of the "bigger is safer" kick and start driving smaller vehicles already. I've heard sooooo many people say that they would never drive that Smart fortwo because it's so small and they wouldn't feel safe. Well if more people were driving small cars, they'd feel perfectly safe.
When I stopped at the coffee shop this weekend a lady commented on my bike. She said that she had recently gotten a survey phone call about what she was doing to help with the environment/gas price situation. She said she hung up, but then said to me she's not doing anything, while pointing to her 16mpg Honda Ridgeline, and then refers to her minivan at home as well.
We need to pay more attention to what the Europeans are doing.
This is a very interesting thread to me. I like vintage, study it, and draw ideas from earlier efforts which fit the "marketing matrix" where the benefits of newer processes, materials, and technologies may make it feasable today where it was
too far out on the cutting edge back then. But just as I enjoy history, I like the science fiction of the future as well. (just imagine our wheels on future motorbicycles being horizonal spinning to make anti-gravity so we can whiz along over any surface.....wheeeeee!)
Has anyone seen the TV advertisements of CSX Transportation where they explain that a freight train can carry something like 125,000 tons a mile on a gallon of Diesel fuel ? They translate that to how many Big Trucks that that would take off America's highways. (those trucks are generally around 15 tons)
Thus making it safer for smaller/lighter morer fuel efficient cars.
CSX of course isn't explaining that most packaging companies encourage manufacturers to ship by motor freight (trucks) if the goods are going less than 300 miles as the roads are smoother that the rail and not as damaging to the goods carried in freight cars. For bulk items such as coal, chemicals, flowable solids in bulk Rail Frieght is practicle or for shipping manufactured goods for great distances. (but in that case the packaging has to be extra
durable (and costly) to protect the goods contained within them) Notice on eBay how people often question the packaging in their feedback ? And eBay sellers urge customers to buy insurance ?
As for the Big Car = Safer for the Kids.......that's justified the purchase of a lot of statusy Big SUV's to soccer mommies. In the 70's & 80's it was a Volvo or Saab wagon until the Mini Van was introduced. It wasn't long before the Stand Up comics where hired to "swift boat" those things. No man or woman wanted one after that, but like the VW Bus proved itself in the 60's as a very practicle vehicle so could have the American Mini-Van......except they weren't as profitable to sell as Conversion Vans and big SUV's. The 80's was a time of Ego Goods and Fronteer Consumerism so that's why the SUV's and big 4X4's reigned. And that habbit is why we are where we are now. Our motorbicycling will no doubt catch on as more people learn about he fuel milage. Those in huricane struck areas may consider themselves blessed if they had one to run errands on and if I were building and marketing such bikes
I'd be taking them there now and advertising in those areas. Especially custom trikes, or bikes like that "Cargo Bike" I've posted photos of as it could carry ice, water, and basic necessities efficiently on ounces of gas where fuel is almost non existant.
Science fiction often shows a hint of what could be. Look at Star Trek. Although we are a bit far off from teleporters and such, we now have communicators (cell phones).
Just like clothing, verything becomes recycled as to what is in fashionable or popular. SUV's are starting to be replaced by economy cars or they are just getting smaller. It usually comes back bigger in advertising and hype. Motorized bikes have always been around. But with the addition of the internet, we are sharing it around the world and showing everyone what we have and can do with it. It's only a matter of time before PRADA has one of our bikes on the runway. I mean take a look at Vespa and some of the builds here definately rivals their style, grace, and elegance