I hear what your saying. Unfortunatley as a contractor I need a pick-up to earn a living. Although, I don't think it's fair to blame SUV owners for funding Osama. My bike doesn't burn alot of gas sure, but I don't use it for transportation to work. I ride for the fun of it, so I'm really burning gas for nothing. Is it fair to say we shouldn't ride unless we're going to work? Just because we don't pollute as much as SUV's, it isn't right for us to blame them for the pollution, or funding of terrorism.Honestly, would you ride a battery powered sport bike; I know I wouldn't.
BTW, I have to agree. Most of my riding, on or off road is purely recreational. Heck one of my favorite rides is my old RZ350. It's modified and gets about 21 MPG. My KTM 300 gets about the same. My Celica does a whole lot better that that!
Anyway, can you imagine the carnage if the rest of the non-riding public started riding to help the war against terrorism? Ohmygawd!
I figure the sooner we burn up all the old dinosaurs the better. Then we'll have some real incentive to generate true, viable alternatives.
Hey, why not build some more nuclear powerplants?!
Geezus -- from all the Fed-sponsored public service ads, I had understood that it was buying/smoking pot that was responsible for terrorism -- our government would't lie to us about a thing like that, would they? ;-)
I got to agree, you're right. As a contractor you need one of those big mammas. I have no grief with you, a pickup for a contractor is a business vehicle. But I doubt 10% of the gas-suckers are driven by people who need them for their business. So maybe we should get rid of 90% of the SUVs. Then again there's the point that we get only 17% of our oil from Saudi Arabia. If we stopped importing from the nations that fund terrorism, intentionally or unintentionally, we'd still have plenty to run our bikes and fuel efficient cars, as well as the SUVs that are needed for work.
Lie? The government? No. Never. But look at it this way: If you smoke pot but ride a motorcycle, it's a wash.
This post does remind me of the news blip on here a few weeks ago about the AMA taking the "Detroit Line" on new emmisions standards. I didn't think that was the best approach. If you're trying to reduce emissions, motorcycles are good. Even without sophisticated emissions systems, motorcycles pollute less than cars. (Am I wrong, engineers?) So if the goal of the government is to reduce emissions, they should encourage motorcycle use. That means not tightening up emissions on motorcyces and therefore making them more expensive. Not that I'm biased.
Just my $.00002. (Sorry, it's all I've got left after a tough day of fighting The Man.)
Jesus was a progressive guy (so knock off harley and moto guzzi)... and he wasn't about pretension or social status (goodbye ducati, aprillia, benelli, MV Augusta, BMW). Jesus wouldn't be on a triumph, because after all, he wasn't looking for a worldy triumph. All we have left are japanese manufacturers... We'll have to take off metric cruisers, because he clearly didn't teach complacency or imitating one's neighbors. Standards have to go because he was about establishing a new standard. Naked bikes in public, like naked people, are obviously a no-no anyway. Jesus would never ride an open classer because he wasn't here seeking power, but then again he wouldn't ride a twin because he wasn't weak. He wouldn't ride an r-6 because they are much too flashy and he wasn't about image. He wouldn't ride a GSX-R600 because they are too unreliable and he was into dependability. He wouldn't ride a 6R because they are clearly for old people and he said 'suffer the little children'...
Excellent Sean. You shold submit this to the NY Times, LA Times etc OpEd. Of course they may want to tone it down a little. From my experience, all 10,000 miles of riding, the driver I fear the most next to me is short, female, wears glasses and is driving an Expedition. All three of my close calls involve this type of driver (one was driving a Tahoe and the other two were Expeditions.)
let's see - 12.3 tons is 27,060 lbs. even if each pound of gasoline transformed with 100% efficiency into greenhouse gases, it would take 4,510 gallons to do it. at an average 15 miles per gallon your mr gas sucker would have to drive 67,650 miles per year (and that is if indeed each pound of unleaded indeed produced a pound of gases). somehow i find that hard to swallow and it doesn't help the rest of your arguments.
also keep in mind that for every dollar spent on gas, a significant portion goes to your government (whether that's good or bad is a matter of opinion), and a much more significant portion goes to profit the multinational but at least partially american oil companies, and to some degree their american employees and stockholders - as well as all the americans who supply, run and maintain all the necessary equipment, etc.
further, of all the oil america uses only a portion comes from the arab world. and it's done in no small measure to preserve our own reserves so that when there's less of the stuff around, we'd be the ones who still have some.
now, all that said, i do agree that SUVs are an abomination before common sense and whatever deity you choose to worship. the biggest problem is that it takes about 10 times as much energy to manufacture a vehicle (think melting lots of steel, for one) than it would use in its total service life. and THAT is why SUVs suck - it takes that much more industrial pollution to PRODUCE the damned things.
my personal solution to the problem - i only drive for pleasure, which is a couple thousand miles a year and mostly at track days (both car and bike). i telecommute 99% of the time, i walk to grocery store, movies and restaurants. i haven't wasted even an hour of my life in rush hour traffic in the last 10 year.
if you want a solution, do something that really changes things - not shuffling numbers around. one liter or six, pollution is still pollution.
While you are feeling so anti towards gas guzzling SUV's could you feel sorry for us poor Kiwis, we still don't quite get 50 cents US for every buck of our own money and I've just renewed my subscription to keep reading this stuff which at $11.94US has cost me about $20NZ. Remember we don't earn at US rates either. Merry Xmas to you all.
I agree with many of your points regarding our dependence on oil and the connection to the Middle East. However, there are a few things that need a bit of clarification regarding exhaust gas emissions.
CO2 emissions are directly related to the gas mileage a vehicle gets. A Ford Explorer getting 19 mpg will emit about twice as much CO2 as the Honda Civic getting 38 mpg for a similar distance traveled. This is a definite plus for motorcyclists.
However, this relationship does not follow for other pollutants like CO, NOx and HCs. The 38 mpg Civic is held to the same emission standards at the 25 mpg Cadillac sedan. Each engine meets the requirements with a combination of electronic engine management systems, oxygen sensors, mass air flow sensors, catalytic converters and the like. By design, the Civic might be less polluting than the Cadillac, though maybe not. It certainly has nothing to do with the fact that the Civic has a 1.6 liter engine while the Caddy has a 4.6 liter motor. Certainly, the Civic is not 25/38ths less polluting than the Caddy. Trucks are also held to certain standard (less strict than cars, but still reasonably strict). Motorcycles, on the other hand, are held to an even lesser standard than both cars and trucks. As a result, they are pretty stinky. The new CARB regulations are designed to address that (though seemingly at the expense of not allowing exhaust pipe mods) sometime in the near future.
Just because I could, I borrowed a photo-ionization detector (calibrated for gasoline range hydrocarbons, which I will abbreviate as HC) from work and did a little emission tests. My 1999 VFR emitted about 100 ppm HC at idle when warmed up and spiked to 200-300 ppm when the throttle was blipped. A 2002 VFR emitted 25-50 ppm HC at idle (warm) and not much more when the throttle was blipped. That bike conforms with the CARB 2008 (I think ) motorcycle emission regulations. I then tested the 2001 Ford Ranger (4 liter V6) work truck I was borrowing. From cold start, the truck was emitting over 700ppm HC. Within 30 seconds, however, the Rangers catalytic converter had warmed up to the point that HC emissions dropped to 0 (below the detection limit of the PID, which is 0.1ppm). Revving the engine still got a 0 result. Same story for my girlfriends CR-V. Of course, this was a very unscientific test as anyone who knows about PIDs can attest to, but should be a good approximation of relative stinkiness with regard to HC emissions.
The bottom line is that bikes are a good solution to our dependence on foreign oil (or domestic oil, for that matter). However, in current form, they are in general greater polluters than the SUV herd is.