I think it is the Peter Pan Effect, It kind of gives us a way to hold onto something we loved as kids... Bikes; and gives us the ability to enjoy them in a way we didn't back then. With the added bonus of giving us a reason to pick up a wrench once in a while.
Anyone can buy a motorcycle and ride it, that is not really impressive, but I think it takes a special kind of person to be able to take a kit of random parts and transform it into a smooth running machine that will take them where they want to go and back with no trouble.
I'm not talking about those who slap a kit onto a Craigslist bike and then resell it, I am talking about those who can port and polish and fabricate their own parts, tweak and tune for maximum performance, etc.
For some, it is the attention they get from riding a motorized bicycle, seeing everyone's head swivel around and follow you as you go by.
For others, it is the satisfaction of building something with your own hands, and showing off your work.
I think I can speak for quite a few members here who have been involved with some form of motor sport for most of their lives. Some have flown airplanes, driven boats, cars and motorcycles, none of which are getting any cheaper or less restricted by legislation.
There is a certain attraction to taking a vehicle as innocous as a bicycle and altering it to end up with a means of transportation that is unlike most of what you see out there.
They, motorized bicycles, offer a way to get from point A to point B in a way that is fun, inexpensive and attracts attention in mostly a positive way. Just consider the reaction that most people have to your bike and compare it with what you might get with a motorcycle or the latest thing from Detriot or Tokyo. They are completely unique and conjure up memories of our youth when sticking playing cards in the spokes or making engine sounds with our mouths was the closest we could get to motorized bicycling.
Every now and then I'll steal a clothespin from my wife, take a couple of cards from a deck and clamp them to my fork and pedal down the street. When I reach the bottom of the hill and have to pedal uphill to get back home I just let out the clutch lever and 'Varoom' a real engine starts and I'm doing what I always fantasized I could do when I was eight or nine years old.
What other means of transportation could offer me that?
Most of the guys on this board seem to think of their MBs as little motorcycles. I think of mine as a fast bicycle.
I am a life-long bicycle addict. I love bicycling. My MB with its little 32cc motor still feels like a bicycle. I pedal it just like a bike. I get the joy of riding and pedaling a bike with the added fun of zipping around faster than any bicycle should be able to go.
I love the speed! Without a motor I pedal at 15 mph on the flat. With the motor I go twice as fast - 30 to 32 mph. Pedaling up a big long hill, I will have a long hard struggle at 6 - 8 mph. On my MB, I zip up the hill at a fast and easy 25 mph. Hills are hard on my pedal bike On my MB, hills are easy!
I love being the fastest bike on the road. I’m 68 years old now, but I can easily pass any of fast strong young bikers that I find on the road. I can pass them like they’re hardly moving. Makes me feel like superman.
I love the extra distance that I can cover! A 50-mile ride is a long tiring ride on my pedal bike. On my MB, I can ride 100 miles in less time, I won’t be nearly as tired, and I’ll still be ready to ride more.