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2002 Suzuka Reader Feedback

11264 Views 45 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  torkmonster
Cool story. I had not previously put it into the same basket as the IoM, but now... Must think twice about priorities for future holidays...

On another point entirely, huccome when 'mericans use words that they aren't accustomed to, like say "kilometres", they insist on misspelling them? Actually, more than just those tricky metric words, but things like "Chequered", and its cousin, "cheque". Or as you folks would have it, "check". And since when is the "invoice for food" called by the same name as the "debit my account for this much" slip of paper, from your cheque/check-book?!? What is with that? [/rant]
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Re: Please God, Let the USA have a Gas Crunch

Yes! Please Dare!

Even remotely, what kind of policy are you thinking about there?

How can we hasten the demise of SUVs?
Gotta disagree on that one.....

Well, gotta disagree on that one.

I do not own a car. I also live in New England, and ride year round (in the winter if its not snowing, or take public transportation if it is.)

I realize that's not an option (the pub-trans) up there in Gorgeous VT, but one's back up vehicle can be something that gets good gas milage, no? Plenty of fellow hardy vermonters and mainers are pushin' Subaru's and whatnot, instead of ford Exploders and Heavy Suburbans, etc.

And yes, a 15mpg (some are worse!) SUV is more wastefull than ANY pleasure bike. In resources, wear and tear on roads, gas consumtion, pollution, and space taken up for parking& in traffic.

I hear you on not wanting the gubmint to legislate common sense & whatnot, but damn, people are going to drive these horrible things until it becomes too economically painfull to do so. I'd like that to happen sooner rather than later.
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Re: Please God, Let the USA have a Gas Crunch

The trouble with raising the gas tax is that the gas tax collected all goes into road construction. Road construction has really made a mess of this country. Road construction INCREASES the size of the roads and makes SUVs more comfortable and practicle. Semis too.

We need smaller roads.
Re: Please God, Let the USA have a Gas Crunch

Well, at the risk of being flamed and recognizing that this is a complex topic of which I have not a great amount of direct knowledge, I would hazard a few suggestions.

First, tighten the fleet gas mileage requirements for manufacturers and rewrite the laws so that SUVs and light trucks are either included in the overall targets or subject to targets of their own. In the past, these fleet gas mileage requirements appear to have been very effective in motivating manufacturers to come up with ways to improve mileage, and I think it could work again.

Second, do more to encourage the development of hybrid vehicles. These technologies appear to be on the brink of maturity, but the cost they currently add will not be offset by their increased fuel efficiency unless the price of gas increases many times. Therefore, some kind of subsidies might be in order until the volume of hybrid vehicles brings down the price of manufacture to the point where the vehicles are cost competitive. I think there may be are some subsidies for these vehicles planned, but I'm not sure about it. In any case, there seems to be no technical reason why midsize cars should not be able to deliver 30-40 miles per gallon, and even giant SUVs 20-30 mpg, which would go a long way toward reducing oil consumption.

Third, there may be a place for ethanol or other bio-based fuels. These are currently more expensive than gasoline, but subsidies to make these fuels more competitive might be justified when you consider the total cost of what it's taking to protect our oil lifelines.

Of course, these are only a few tactics and would clearly not solve the whole problem, if the probelm is defined as energy self sufficiency for the U.S. They woudl have to be part of an overall strategic commitment to reach that goal, and I am sure that other technologies and strategies that haven't even been thought of would be required to get the job done.

But then again, maybe it's naive to assume that in this era of global commerce that the U.S. will ever be able to get along without its extensive overseas military committments, so maybe there really isn't any money to be saved by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Maybe the whole concept of energy independence is a chimera and not a worthy policy goal. In any case, though, the above suggestions would at least result in more efficient, if not smaller, SUVs.
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Re: Please God, Let the USA have a Gas Crunch

Ah, interesting. But the money doesn't HAVE to go to road construction, right? Theoretically, it could go to funding alternative energy research, like BioDiesel ( so that trucks aren't using angry OPEC fuel.

Heck, why not spend the money on bike paths, rider education, and increasing awareness of motorcyclists?

Why not lower the taxes/tolls on motos to encourage their use?
now THAT was a fabulous post.

Yes, Yes! Preach On! Testify!

Well said indeed.

But it seems that as a country, we won't motivate to undertake your excellent, and reasonable suggestions, unless we have a gas crunch.

Doesn't it seem logical that it would be PATRIOTIC to drive/ride something that decreases our reliance on foreign oil?

Public attitudes are so set against fuel efficiency/alternate fuel research right now. But as a country we're like a big junkie, and the OPEC is the pusher-man.

Regardless, thank you SO much for your thoughtfull post. That is just what I was hoping to stir up.!

keep ridin! it's good for you/good for your country!
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Re: Please God, Let the USA have a Gas Crunch

I don't fall for those "hurt the other guy" politics. I don't want special exemptions. I think that such proposals are evil since they are merely a subterfuge to pit one group of citizens against another. Sooner of later the power that is wielded against others will be used against those who acquiesed in the misuse of that power. It never fails.

In any case, as long as the political power of the major nations and corporations are tied to the use of oil for our energy production these entities will fight bitterly any attempt to actually switch from oil dependency. They engage in campaigns to raise the cost of energy because it enriches their own pockets while squeezing Joe Sixpack. But, switch from oil? Never.

I've got an idea. Try assessing heavy taxes in your own State. See how it goes.

The Earth's current average temperature is still below the mean temperature for the last 2 thousand years. The worst predictions of the CO2 warming model are still lower temperatures than those that human civilization has already comfortably survived. (ref. Medieval Climate Optimum). Oh wait. The CO2 model has been discredited, as are the predictions of the new Ice Age that the same doomcriers were screaming about in the 70's.

Weren't we all supposed to starve to death by 1980 according to these same experts?

Frightening the public is the main method by which the govt amasses more and more fascist control.

Maybe if you like the way things are done in Europe or Japan, you should emigrate. I've lived in Japan so myself I'll say, "No thanks."
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Re: Fantastic article

Thanks for the info. Rossi is a terrific rider the Schumaker (Formula 1) of MotoGP.
I think MotoGP would be fancinating since they don't come to the U.S. right?
Re: Please God, Let the USA have a Gas Crunch

Hear! Hear! Death to the fascists! For further info, read "The Road To Serfdom" by Hayek (sic). By the by, I do commute on my Beemer.
Excellent Post

I agree with all of your ideas but I would add a tax incentive for motorcycles and scooters but I am sure some will be against that. Also folks need to factor in the political and military costs of Middle Eastern Oil. My opinion is that we have to comprimise our ideals too much for oil. We end up getting in bed with the Saudis and other Arab monarch like states who opress women and other minorities. We spend a fortune in keeping the miltary on site in the Gulf. The cost of foreign oil is not totally reflected in the price per barrel I am a conservative by the way and a vet. I don't think we can afford running around the globe fighting wars to protect oil (Iraq, weapons of mass destruction is a cover for lets protect oil). Eventually we are going to get burned by that strategy. I don't want to have young kids die over something like oil. Especially when we can do something about it.
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I totally agree with you on the doomsday stuff. I was beginning to think everybody in this thread had bought into the global warming bit.

If somebody wants to drive an SUV the size of my bedroom, let 'em. I seriously doubt that there is any way that my day-to-day life is being compromized for it, and it makes them happy (though I don't think I would ever drive something that large just for posh appeal).

But anyways, lower gas prices! Return of big cars! I'll ride a bike whenever I can anyways.
dagnabbit, I live in Lancaster, CA... right next door to Palmdale!!

and yes, this is the land of wind and ghosts.

frickin west-end mojave desert.
In reviewing merican english history, it appears that those words that you mentioned started to be misspelled right after the Boston Tea Party? Since that time, I think we do it just cause we can .
Re: Please God, Let the USA have a Gas Crunch

No, it HAS to go to road construction. It goes in the various state Road Funds, by law.
Re: Please God, Let the USA have a Gas Crunch

Maybe I chose the wrong word. "Idiotic" would be more accurate. Wishing a gas crunch on the USA just so the SUV will become extinct, for the sole purpose of satisfying someones distain for the SUV is at best idiotic thinking. I got news for you, you are outnumbered. How would you like it if the SUV drivers decided to ban motorcycles because of a few hooligans lane splitting and such. If you think about the odds for a moment one name comes to mind, "Custer".

A gas crunch, not only would it have potentially catastophic consequenses on the economy, it would devastate resale values of larger vehicles.

I cannot believe this anti SUV thing to begin with. It seams some of you feel that bad drivers are all driving mini vans and SUVs.

Fine, lets pass a law that every SUV and Mini Van driver must go to the nearest Honda dealer and turn in their current ride for a new Civic. When those same drivers cut you off, pull out in front of you, make the famous left turn etc. and cause you to crash and die, you can go to your eternal rest with the comfort that it was NOT an SUV that caused your demise.

As far as the economic and environmental issues go, the marketplace will decide all of that as it allways does. All this talk of trying to legislate peoples wants and desires is borderline socialism, people vote with their wallet. Trying to control it is futile, proabition, yeah that really worked.

Is that clear enough?
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Praying for Devastation of Large Vehicle Resale Value...

Well, I'd say it was forcefull. I'll give you that.

In the scenario you put forth with all the SUV drivers trading in their big rigs for Civics, it sure would be better for visibilty, for parking, for the environment, for decreasing US oil consumption as well as wear and tear on the roads; I guess that is comforting.

you said:

"A gas crunch, not only would it have potentially catastophic consequenses on the economy, it would devastate resale values of larger vehicles. "

I gotta tell ya, that cracked me up. Anyone with me? Devastated resale values on gas guzziling behemoths? If that was phrased instead as:

"after the gas crunch, no one will want new or used SUVS anymore"

then yes, that is part of my dream.

Okay, so we have different dreams, opinons and priorites. Fine.

Combining your opinons expressed here and in the excellent pro/anti SUV argument thread after Burns' article "Friday Fanatacism" (4/12/02) I can see that:

*)you don't get why people see SUVs as gluttonous and wasteful: "I cannot believe this anti SUV thing to begin with"

*)you boast of your boat with a "Supercharged intercooled big block ($100 a day in gas cost),"

*)you advocate that others "come over to the Dark Side, were having fun!"

I'm not advocating outright prohibition of SUVs and big loud fast boats, and don't wish to have the gubmint legislate away gluttony. You have your dreams and ambitions, I have mine. Reinstating the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards and giving that legislation teeth, and taxing gas to support a national effort to kick the US's addiction to middle eastern oil would still let you persue your right to the rapid persuit of happiness, and be for the greater good.

I realize advocating long term thinking and a retreat from gluttony is quixotic in the current climate. (I think Custer deserved to be massacred, so I won't use your example,)

The US has a chance right now to lead the way (again), to show the world the path from oil dependence with our R&D capabilities to develop alternatives and increase efficiency. Oilmen in the whitehouse and ever more, ever larger SUVS on the roads here showcases our failure to do so, and it enrages me. Sound socialist? With GDubs in office, and **** "Bum-Ticker" Cheney telling him what to do, you got the oil men in your corner running the big show.

But ever so many scientists are joining the consensus that that climate is going to get warmer and warmer; it seems plausible that the house of cards relationship we have with OPEC will eventually crumble, especially if we kick sadaam's ass again against all the Arab world's wishes.

It is not news to me that I'm "outnumbered" by the masses that disagree with my opinions. I take that as a badge of pride, just as I do the fact that I ride and the vast majority of people don't.

I won't come over to "the dark side."

I believe history will show the minority was right.
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Re: Praying for Devastation of Large Vehicle Resale Value...

*)you boast of your boat with a "Supercharged intercooled big block ($100 a day in gas cost),"

You know, I hate to burst your bubble, but $100/day in fuel for any boat bigger than a ski boat is *&^% GOOD!!! Let's see.....most of the boats I sell average around 15-20 gal/hr. - gas or diesel. Gas runs about $2.50/gal, diesel about $1.75/gal. 8 hours x 18 gal/hr=144 gal. For diesel that about $252; gas=$360.

Hmmm...could it be you are ranting about things you don't understand?

I would love to see fewer SUVs on the road. Seems to me that most of the people out there would be better served with a minivan or sedan. After all, how many people are really using them for anything but commuting?

That said, I'm not going to try to legislate them out of existence. That's a slippery slope my friend. The next thing you know they'll want to take away my pickup, my gun, my boat, and my bike 'for the public good'.

I don't like it; I may tell you I don't like it; but I'm not going to force you to get rid of it.
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Re: Praying for Devastation of Large Vehicle Resale Value...

I don't (and didn't) claim to be knowledgable on pleasure boat fuel consumption. However, you're telling me the boats actually suck fuel down even faster than I thought. This is not weakening my argument about consumption of fossil fuels.

That being said, I'm glad we agree on SUVs. I also hope it's evident from my posts that I don't think SUVs or big-ass boats should be legislated out of existence. If gas gets way more expensive (either through taxes or political trouble in the Middle East) people rich enough to pay 350 clams a day for gas in a boat that costs 60 grand or more will keep on truckin', I'm sure. Hopefully the masses will start driving smaller vehicles though.

Also, nice website you got there. Damn some of those boats are big.
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