The case for motorcycles. Why not use one? - Page 2 - Fuelly Forums
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dkjones96 View Post
Too many idiots on the road here to get a bike. I mean, I'd LOVE one. 50-60mpg driving to work would cut my expenses enough for the bike to actually pay for itself, but I can't bring myself to buy one with the way people drive here in New Mexico.
Likewise. So far, I've personally witnessed two accidents - one high speed on the highway. Watched a truck merge into the guy (this truck was going a lot faster and weaving through traffic) :/

My TA for a class I took this past semester go in a pretty bad accident - someone in a silver honda something or other merged into him on his way to teach our lab! It was a hit and run too

Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.

Bike Miles (Begin Aug. 20 - '07): ~433.2 miles

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Old 12-11-2007, 11:30 PM   #12
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beatr911 -

I used to have a motorcycle and I tried to use it to save mileage on my car. It was great for easy FREE parking at UCLA and I could squeeze between the bad traffic when needed.

I consider the danger factor to be the "price of convenience".

But besides the danger, there was the overall wear and tear on my body. The act of riding my motorcycle in LA traffic wore me down. For my 30+ mile round trip commute, I was dog tired at the end of each leg. Too much stress.


Old School SW2 EPA ... New School Civic EPA :

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Old 12-12-2007, 05:31 AM   #13
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I've been riding on the street for 27 years almost continuously. I don't ride when it gets below freezing in the mornings which is about 3 months out of the year. As for safety, everyone has thier threshold and thier own ability to manage the risks of riding. I takes focused attention during the ride to stay alive, and that is part of the appeal to me. It takes my mind off of work, family stress, etc. for a while.

I tell my wife it's a matter of when, not if, I get into an accident. Fortunately my life has been fairly accident free in all respects. I continue to learn safe riding methods and do everything I can to keep it safe. I just love riding and hope others can share the enjoyment.

I've strongly discouraged friends that wanted to ride, solely because something always seems to happen to them. On a bike it obviously can be very serious. It's better off that they are in a cage (car). If you have a fairly accident free life you may be fine on a bike. Everyone rider should take a motorcycle safety course every 10 years or so to keep the knife sharp.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:36 AM   #14
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I rode for about 15 years. The first was a CB1100F and the second an ElectraGlide. I don't remember what mileage the fastbike got, but the best I ever made in the Harley was about 45mpg. I usually got around 41-42. I can get that, and better, and have four tires, a windshield, a stereo, A/C, and a cup holder.

My biggest fear was having a catastrophic failure while surrounded by bigtrucks. Leaving this world as roadkill is not on my list of things to do. You've got be sharper than the average bear to stay untouched on a bike.

I'm getting older, and am lucky to still be upright and mobile after the things I've done. My Tempting Fate account can't have much in it any more, so I gave up on two-wheelers. It's scary enough driving a CRX in fast, heavy traffic.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:22 AM   #15
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Got one a couple months ago. Mostly it was the parental units (*ahemMOMahem*) who kept me from getting one, but she's reluctantly backed down since my Dad and I got our M licenses together. Gotta love 50mpg, but my hands get too cold too easily and the season's turning to the cold and soggy one...I ride whenever I can, though.
'67 Mustang - out of commission after an accident
'00 Echo - DD
'11 Kia Rio - Wife's DD
'09 Harley Nightster - 48mpg and 1/4 miles in the 12's
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:26 PM   #16
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It could be useful for the city. In Australia, you can buy the used postie bikes (Honda CT110) that get 1l/100km highway, which indicates that when driven with FE in mind they can probably do better than that in a combined cycle.

From what I've seen of motorcycle fairings, I'm not very impressed with their attempts at drag reduction. Consider how large an area the wheels are wrt the whole frontal area. Compare that to a car, where the wheels account for about 20%. I would not be surprised if they account for 50% of the drag.

I'd fair most of the front of the wheel like an aircraft wheel pant, and attempt to do the rear. After that a bubble for the front. In my drawing I should have made the top of the wind shield closer to horizontal, oh well.



The point of that is a good reduction in drag coefficient, while keeping the addition to the side area increase to a minimum (to reduce buffeting from crosswinds). Note that the wheel fairings will hardly hurt in sidewinds because spokes have a huge drag coefficient anyway, a flat plate would hardly be any worse. You could also stretch lycra from the front and low part of the fairing to the back, streamlining a large portion of the frontal area without increasing the side area.

Of course, the other option would be to go the whole hog with basically a modified HPV design, see here. Better drag coefficient from the front, at the expense of more buffeting from the crosswinds.

With a 105cc motor the fuel used in the glide portion of a pulse and glide would be negligible. But I'm not sure if you'd achieve a better CdA than the vw 1 litre car with those modifications.
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:40 PM   #17
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I leave my motorcycle in the garage when rain is threatening or its under 50.

There are safer modes of transportation and I think this scares many people away from bikes. I have had cars pull out directly in front of me twice- but managed to find an escape route both times.

I sold my 650 Honda after I snapped my ACL in an embarrassing 5mph accident (all my fault- no other vehicles involved).

When I was in college, I recall seeing a guy on an old BMW boxer go down on an icy road. He just skidded to a stop, picked it up and drove on- just a little slower than before- he had more guts than I do.
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:11 PM   #18
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When I lived in California motorcycles were my main (nearly exclusive) mode of transportation for about 20 years. For several years my commute was 80 miles per day, always by motorcycle, rain or shine. Now that I live in Bend Oregon the snow and ice keeps me in the car for nearly half the year, but the car I have now gets better mileage than my trusty CX500 motorcycle. I now have a 200cc motorcycle that gets better mileage than the car so it'll be the choice for next summer.

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Old 12-12-2007, 04:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mighty Mira View Post
From what I've seen of motorcycle fairings, I'm not very impressed with their attempts at drag reduction. Consider how large an area the wheels are wrt the whole frontal area. Compare that to a car, where the wheels account for about 20%. I would not be surprised if they account for 50% of the drag.

Of course, the other option would be to go the whole hog with basically a modified HPV design. Better drag coefficient from the front, at the expense of more buffeting from the crosswinds.
Agreed. Motorcycle fairings are about styling primarily, and then some amount of buffeting as a secondary concern. Recently, yeah, there has been a bit more attention as there hasn't been many huge strides in MC engines for a while. They are making them more powerful with more rev's, but ti valves can cause problems over the longevity of the bike.

Crosswinds are pretty rough on bikes. In road racing they were outlawed from the international bodies in the 50's/60's as they led to some deaths on track. Yes, they did allow better acceleration and higher top speeds for those that worked on such designs, but they never really moved much into the main stream production market.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:58 PM   #20
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Over the years I put about 70k miles on motorcycles but where I live now I am just afraid of the cars. I take risks. I just chose different ones.

My wife and I road down to the store a while back on bicycles and the next week a woman on some medication had some sort of problem and ran over a bicyclist with her SUV. Same road we had been on. It does make one stop and think a bit.

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