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The things with wheels around Puget Sound

Post in 'The Green Room' started by wg_bent, Jul 31, 2007.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I spent last week in the Puget Sound area (Was that you eating next to me at the Space Needle BeGreen?) and I noticed an amazing number of Scooters. I see one of those things maybe once a week or maybe once every two weeks around here, but in that area you can't swing a dead cat with out hitting one.

    Mostly Vespa's. I know it's mostly a "Cheap to get on the Ferry's" thing, but they do get great mpg and the rest of the country could learn a lesson from the folks in the Pacific NW.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sorry we missed ya Warren, but that wasn't me. Hope you had a great time.
  3. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Scooters do very well on mpg and some are getting larger engines and capable of freeway speeds. You won't find me on one. The small wheels are great for tight turns but will fall into a pothole and get stuck. I am currently researching switching my offroad motorcyle for a dual sport. A street legal dirt bike with full sized wheels and tires, freeway speeds, and 60 mpg. I've had my endorsement since I was 16.

    It rains a lot up here and the city people are much more likely to ride scooters than the rest of us due to parking contraints, maneuverability, cargo storage, and just ease of use with an auto tranny.

    I think that the motorcycles of all types with smaller engines will become more numerous. Unfortunately that also means more crashes and deaths. Sure beats riding a bike 20 miles per day.
  4. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Your right about the safety of motorcycles and scooters. It's largely why I don't ride one. I like the idea of riding one... they're fun, but I've see too many people get into accidents and get very badly hurt. I don't hear of anyone getting as hurt on Scooters, but that might be because there aren't many of them. Given the number in the Seattle area it might be interesting to know if they are safer or not than a motorcycle. I might guess that Scooters vs Bullet Bikes might not exactly be a fair comparison, or it might be very telling.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I think that the bullet bikes fall under the "attitude vehicle" category. I have ridden one for about a week after ungumming all four carbs for a friend of a friend and let me tell you that they are unmatched in acceleration and adrenalin production. I refused to keep it or ride it any longer for fear I would end up dead or in jail.

    The scooters have high maneuverability which does help them dodge things and the speeds are slow meaning that more of the accidents will be injuries rather than fatalities. On the other hand an urban environment is IMO the least safe place to be on a two wheeled vehicle since there are so many more cross streets, drivers, and potential for unexpected things to happen. Freeways are fast but wide and predictable.

    My worst fear is the guy in an oncoming lane making an unexpected left turn in front of me. This seems to be a common wreck.

    The dual sport motorcycle that I fancy is the KLX250s which is only a 250cc machine that returns nearly 70 mpg on the roads.
  6. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Some quick accident info. Seems to me that most cycle accidents are cuase not by the motor cycle but by the passenger vehicle. So (and this is a crude assumption) if you increase motorcycle usage and therefore decrease car usage then you should have fewer accidents per rider. heres a link to the study, there are lots more results then the few I posted.


    http://www.clarity.net/~adam/hurt-report.html


    1. Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile.

    2. Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.

    3. Vehicle failure accounted for less than 3% of these motorcycle accidents, and most of those were single vehicle accidents where control was lost due to a puncture flat.

    4. In single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slideout and fall due to overbraking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.

    5. Roadway defects (pavement ridges, potholes, etc.) were the accident cause in 2% of the accidents; animal involvement was 1% of the accidents.

    6. In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.
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