Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yup, I see lots more bikes out there now than I ever have. And it seems like the past few months, there has been an explosion of bikes on the road. I hope this trend continues so maybe we in the U.S. can get the awesome variety of choices in motorcycles that Western Europe has.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Wishful thinking. I would not be surprised that Europe had a much higher percentage of riders unfazed by bad weather than the US which is strickly for sunshine bikers. But if you look at the experience of the UK before and after WW2 you will see that the mainstay of the prewar business was the 350cc single. It was exactly the same as the 500cc except for piston and cylinder size. Why buy the 350cc? Milage. However, after the war Britians became more affluent and dropped the bikes for small cars. Meanwhile the British firms were waisting precious capital on developing...commuter bikes. With the advent of the Honda cb750 the market became recreational and the British MC industry was history. Nowdays it is entirely possibe to build small cars that will get very high milage while only the smallest classes of bikes will provide higher milage. IMO, motorcycling will remain recreational and smaller, more fuel efficient cars will return to the market. With the oil shock of the late 70s, VW sold it's diesel Rabbet like hotcakes and when cheap gas returned, they couldn't give them away. I had one and it got 55mpg. Motorcycling ig great fun but risky and basically for the adventurous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Around here, at least, after the initial price shock we had a bunch of bikes on the road. As the prices have crept down, and the weather gotten cooler, however, the numbers have fallen back to the usual. I don't think motorcycles will ever have the acceptance here in the US that you see overseas, due to our somewhat safety-obsessed culture, and the lack some of the advantages for motorcycle commuters (filtering through cars, reduced rate parking, etc) that are present in Europe.



If gas prices continued to climb, it wouldn't surprise me to see, rather than bikes gaining acceptance in the US, bikes becoming a target for heavy fees with an eye towards effectively banning them since they're perceived by the majority of folks as unnecessary 'toys' and unsafe to boot...



-S5
 

·
MODERATOR X
Joined
·
5,449 Posts
Yeah, yesterday some newbie bought my 1971 CB350 (in pretty good shape) for one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). I think that's what it cost new. Hoo hah, time to start dealin' used bikes again...



So come on down to Honest Matt's vacant lot of used bikes. You might not get what you want, but get what you deserve. (anyone for a 1961 Valmobile? only $1,995.00 fob LAX).

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
I agree about seeing more bikes, I even rode in when it was raining the other morning an saw 2 other bikes which is something I can't ever remember. I usually put more miles on mt bike than my car in a given year so I've been doing this a while. Here in Texas we have a huge cruiser culture and I'm glad to see a lot more heading to work monday morning. FWIW the most "hardcore" ride any time people I've ever seen always seem to be on an old 70's or 80's BMW of some kind.



With all that said I read an article in WSJ that said there's a certain subset of out culture (soccer moms) that are addicted to the SUV and even if gas hits $6 a gallon would still not get rid of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Another GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS scenario for the motorcycle world. The increase in the number of bikes on the road will give us additional visibility in the cager world which is good. As a down side will these new riders bother to get any training and will they bring their XM radio and bluetooth cell phone head sets with them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,875 Posts
Mileage is not the only reason that bikes are popular in Europe. Taxes, insurance rates, parking, and lenient traffic laws all come into the equation. I know of a few Europena countries that tax vehicle based on engine displacement and weight.



Until these kinds of conditions exist here in the USofA, motorcycles will never be as popular. Hell, I get ticketed for parking on the sidewalk here. In Germany, I used to park my CAR on the sidewalk!



In addition, there are already automobiles available that approach 40-50 MPG.



I think the riders that we are seeing suddenly appearing as commuters are those that already had a "weekend bike" in their garage, or people that managed to pick up a cheap basher before the prices go up next spring.

 

·
MODERATOR X
Joined
·
5,449 Posts
Well in Athens Greece they drive on the sidewalks with no ill effects.



It's because of all the Gypsies I believe...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
with higher cost of maintenance, more money to performance tires and running high test, my 45+ mpg speed triple is basicly a wash with my civic, from the high road of less petroleum consumption it is a clear winner, though as a form of cheap transportation I could do beter. as a fun form of transportation it rules supreme, while it may not be cheaper than my econobox and all the anemic performance it brings to the table my motorcycle is a world cheaper than a car that has similar performance specs, what kind of gas and tires does a car that can go 0-60 in less then 4 seconds use? not to mention the initial investment price! with a smaller bike that had a less developed engine, ie less maintainance and cheaper tires, you could easily comute cheaper than any modern car, ask any scooter owner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
I remember seeing a lot of Honda 250s in London in the '70s.



There's been a bit of uptick in bikes commuting to work here in Sacto, CA. But, an article in today's Bee was about how commuters felt about lane-splitting.



"If there was a vote on it, it would be banned for sure".



I think the car drivers are jealous someone's getting through traffic and they're stuck. We had better not loose that priveledge!! You morons who have to hear your exhaust pipes at speed are going to screw things up for the rest of us!!!



Gas at $3/gallon. Good! Let it go to $5.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Things aren't so rosy for bikers now in Europe.

From Two Wheels Only, in Germany riders are restricted to 34 hp until age 21. Result there are very few young riders. By 2011, new EU regs will make it impossibe for anyone under 24 to own an open class bike. France has laws similiar to Germany

in order to curb the numer of 18 to 21 yos getting killed on big bikes. It has worked. Not surprising if they are not allowed to ride them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
A new HD dealership opened up last spring (here in Elk Grove) and I finally went in Sunday morning to buy primary oil. It was the nicest HD store I've ever seen. What a change from the old days of Matthews HD in Fresno.



It's all so wierd. It's like going to a costume theme boutique. There were about 30 people there nearly all of them looking at clothes and trinkets for their bikes. I feel no kinship to any of these people and only indifference from the metric bike crowd. I miss the old British bike shops - there were real bikers then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
I've also noticed an in crease of rider. Good, I say! I could get much better mileage than what my Goldwing gives (about 37MPG) but then I have a heavy hand.



I am not opposed to getting a smaller, 'commuter' bike - say a 750 standard or even a UJM...



Since June, I took the truck to work a total of 5 times...
 

·
MODERATOR X
Joined
·
5,449 Posts
Re: The upside of the downside?

...and a '71 CB350 with 21,000 miles. Never raced. Owened by a little old lady who used it for riding to bridge club meetings. Greed forces sale.

Wonder how much I can get for the CL? The CR? The DT1 & 2? Egads, I may be sitting on a gold mine here.

The KZ750 only brought $500.00. Funny how that works. The better bike goes for peanuts.
 

·
MODERATOR X
Joined
·
5,449 Posts
Yeah, guys with grease stained hands and tools in their jacket.



...shop rags stuck between tanks and steering heads...



And a black English tire spoon in the back pocket for beating on the Amal when the float stuck.



Ah yes, heady stuff indeed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,415 Posts
That's kind of the way I see it. Crank it up to five bucks a gallon and put the money into road maintainance. I don't mind sharing the road with a bunch of small cars, it's the single driver/ large SUV that's causing problems, put them all in Mazda 3 based minivans and we're the biggest thing on the road.
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top