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Old 10-03-2011, 02:17 PM   #1
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Bring Back the Cycle Car

Pardon me for climbing on my soapbox, but car's are just too heavy. The light and nimble car idea seems to have been obliterated in name of surrounding people with armored car technology.

The 50's and 60's had little 500 and 750 cc cars screaming around. I'm not talking about slugs either, with current motorcyle technology, there could be a flood of little two seaters zinging around town.

Keep it cheap, 5 to 8 thousand dollars. People spend that much on those two seat quad runners anyway. Just scale down that technology into a streetable machine.

Morgan just released the updated Morgan 3 wheeler with a Harley engine. Only problem, its 42 grand.

Cycle cars come under the same rules as motorcycles, so they dont have to have tank engineering. Are they safe? About as safe as a motorcycle. Are they fun, economical, and affordable, you bet. Weigh your dicision.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: Bring Back the Cycle Car

http://www.smartusa.com/

But, this is what we get for going down on costs.... Paying an American worker, instead of some kid they abduct from some alley in New Delhi, you can figure it would probably be right around that $5000-8000 price point you set. Of course, they randomly burst into flames, but, its India, so I don't think most of the drivers care about that kinda thing.

http://tatanano.inservices.tatamotors.com/tatamotors/

Unfortunately, all the cars on the road have to be big, heavy, armored beasts to protect us from all the bad drivers in their big, heavy, armored beasts.

Think about it though... If a quad, with almost no body, a smaller chassis than you can fit 2 people on and really simple suspension costs $5000-8000, do you think you are going to get a car that cheap that doesn't randomly burst into flames like the Tata Nano? New UTVs are up there touching that $12,000 price point of the Smart.

I say, buy a Fiesta. Safer, economical, and about as cheap as you are going to get something that is new and fit to be on US highways. Every time I see one of those Smarts, I want to run the person off the road for driving something so stupid. If we had Nanos on the road here, I would probably run them down and then beat them in the junk with a tire iron so they don't reproduce.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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Re: Bring Back the Cycle Car

Now, stuff like older CRXs or Geo Metros, that would be fine by me. Cars have been getting more and more interior room to haul the same number of passengers. A new Fiesta is mammoth compared to an old Ford Escort, and it isn't just from safety equipment, it is the quest to find more cubic yards of interior space so that your kids can't reach eachother or kick the back of our seat on a roadtrip.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Re: Bring Back the Cycle Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by FIND View Post
http://www.smartusa.com/

But, this is what we get for going down on costs.... Paying an American worker, instead of some kid they abduct from some alley in New Delhi, you can figure it would probably be right around that $5000-8000 price point you set. Of course, they randomly burst into flames, but, its India, so I don't think most of the drivers care about that kinda thing.

http://tatanano.inservices.tatamotors.com/tatamotors/

Unfortunately, all the cars on the road have to be big, heavy, armored beasts to protect us from all the bad drivers in their big, heavy, armored beasts.

Think about it though... If a quad, with almost no body, a smaller chassis than you can fit 2 people on and really simple suspension costs $5000-8000, do you think you are going to get a car that cheap that doesn't randomly burst into flames like the Tata Nano? New UTVs are up there touching that $12,000 price point of the Smart.

I say, buy a Fiesta. Safer, economical, and about as cheap as you are going to get something that is new and fit to be on US highways. Every time I see one of those Smarts, I want to run the person off the road for driving something so stupid. If we had Nanos on the road here, I would probably run them down and then beat them in the junk with a tire iron so they don't reproduce.
lol same haha

id see what states allow you to street legalize a 4 wheeler or even a dune buggy (small flat 4 VW engine on a light tube frame) ive seen a few around with IL plates on them (standard car tires, bumpers, turnsignals windshield wipers etc)
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:52 PM   #5
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Re: Bring Back the Cycle Car

I'm with you Scott.

I've really wanted to get ahold of a "Cushman Truckster." http://www.rokonworld.com/cushman.jpg Preferably an electric version. You can haul just about anything that will fit in the back... most have sealed storage boxes in the back, but lose some valuable space when they do. I'd make a little truckbed in the back to haul a washer or tools or whatever. In Maine they fall under motorcycle rules since they are a three-wheeler. In fact, any 3 wheeler is a "motorcycle." A guy near my town in Camden, ME has made a 90 mpg 3 wheeled car to compete for the automotive x prize. He didn't quite make 100 mpg yet, though. He made it similar to a canoe.
Anyway, cushman's can come with doors/wipers/lights/heated cabin, etc. You can easily drive them during winter with doors/heat. I want one bad... just no extra cash to get it.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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Re: Bring Back the Cycle Car

nonononon hahaha noooooooooooooo

i drive cushmans all day at work. anything from the 3 wheeled electric to the 4 wheel industrial golf carts to the exact same thing u posted except 4 wheels (ice cube lookin thing)

the gas powered ice cube is lucky to go 20 mph and your shifting gears like mad trying to get there, hills it bogs (im talking like a 1% grade haha) heater sucks in the winter (oh id know, stuck in one crammed with another guy driving interplant roads when its -8 below and windy for 45 minutes...), thier loud, 2 people can MAYBE fit in them granted the passenger if u want to call them that has the gas pedal under thier feet haha heater is like just convection off the engine so half the time u get fumes sucked into there haha.

electric ones are just as bad if not worse, charging those batteries to last maybe 6 hours (thats stop go stop park for hour drive again, so maybe 2 miles if that going 20 tops)when they recharge thier drawing 20-30 amps for more than an hour...

plus any one u find is going to be beat to hell and back
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:06 PM   #7
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Re: Bring Back the Cycle Car

Vette-
My thought was not to use the original motor or batteries/controller/charger etc. They made/make gas models that will do over 45 mph. The ones for company use are generally the cheapest, slowest moving, least option for gearing available.
I'd need one that had the taller gearing and had a blown gas motor. Then, I'd build a pack of deep cycles big enough to get the speed and range that I need. All of that would be able to get to with modifications.
I'd also need to buy an electric heater or find a way to recover heat from the electric motor. I don't think I'd be taking it out in -8 anyway... probably down to the freezing point but not much lower. Additionally, I'd use heated blankets and an insulated box to keep the batts toasty before use in the winter.
Yeah, they'll be pretty beat in the used category. I've got a welder and lots of time!
A work in progress.

Good info on the actual use of them under current configuration. I haven't actually spoken to anyone who has driven/drives them. I'll make sure to look for the taller geared rear end/transmission configuration.

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Old 10-06-2011, 09:33 PM   #8
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Re: Bring Back the Cycle Car

yea they arent great haha, i dunno if i trust them going over 30 personally, they have a very crude leaf spring suspension but no shocks and no way to balance those boat trailer tires. they can get bouncy at 20 and feel like its gonna tip over when its windy.

i think the 3 wheel electric ones (not like you pictured, goggle 3 wheel cushman its the yellow shoe shaped thing haha) weigh like 700 lbs with batteries (3 deep cycle ones, 2 seater golf cart style have 4) ill have to look at the boiler plate of the 4 wheel electrics. oh and u get like one wheel brake maybe 2 haha and only in the rear.

i have seen ONE with full 4 wheel disc brakes. (granted the rotors were nearly the size of each wheel haha i dunno if someone in truck repair got a wild idea one day or if its cushman factory...

oh and they absolutely suck in snow (explains dent #347 haha wood palets 1 cushman 0) got going decided to turn and absolutely nothing. its like i had a solid rear axle haha straight into the pile.

they do come with the little crappy blower fan up in the cornner, a manual movement windshield wiper, freshair vent that pops up on the hood (GREAT in the summer) sliding side windows which you must open so your left arm has somewhere to go when not shifting (3 speed + rev is shifted with your left hand in an H pattern) headlights, turnsignals, "bumpers", brakelights, and i think a rear view mirror and 2 side mirrors...has crude spedometer and fuel gauge on the dash with key start

im glad u got a welder and lots of time, ours look like thier entered in a demo derby daily. (or they get smacked by 3 ton hanging parts on a paint conveyor system when people cant park them NOT under the chain haha) some of them have an abnormal ammount of camber issues
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:24 PM   #9
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Re: Bring Back the Cycle Car

Those cushmans get scary once you are at 20mph... I think my life insurance would drop me if I got within 100 yards of one capable of doing 40, especially a 3 wheeled one.

If I were going to even think of doing this type of thing, I would build it much more like a motorcycle modified into a trike (I'm not saying modify a trike, I am just saying to borrow the idea and some parts of the configuration). One could do a rear engine setup into some type of modified motorcycle-like frame and use a motorcycle front suspension with some type of steering rack to set it up left hand drive with a two passenger configuration. Then you just enclose a driver compartment. The components would put probably put you above your price point, but, it would be almost exactly what you want and probably the safest configuration.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:31 PM   #10
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Re: Bring Back the Cycle Car

LOL yea, the 3 wheel electric ones you can flip, have seen and have seen people nearly tip over haha
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