Bike displacement vs. Usefulness - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-07-2001, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Bike displacement vs. Usefulness

I just read this article at http://www.motorcycledaily.com

I think it sums up what a lot of us have been preaching for years now. Check it out.
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In Search of Utility: The Over-Kill of Modern Motorcycles
by Dirck Edge

Ever wonder why scooters are so popular? Yeah, I know, there is a bit of a sales slump in Europe right now, but scooters are big, and big fun.

Scooters have two wheels and a motor . . . just like a motorcycle. Most scooters, however, have relatively tiny engines and tiny power outputs. They might do zero to sixty in nine seconds (if they can even get to sixty), while your garden-variety Hayabusa does it in three seconds flat. The scooter rider might just have a bigger smile on his face, however.

"Bigger is better" seems to have pervaded every aspect of motorcycle manufacturing.

Open-class sportbikes were roughly 900cc for years, but now all of them are creeping towards 1000cc. Sport tourers on the lighter end of the scale are also now 1000cc, typically. We all think we need more power and torque. We need to feel like King Kong on our bikes, blithely dismissing the cage drivers with a quarter turn of throttle.

Does anyone remember when Honda's CB350 twin was a big seller? It had style, performance and utility. It could get you where you wanted to go, and you could have a lot of fun getting there . . . okay, so you don't remember. Just trust me.

The point is this. Good, cheap transportation can be plenty of fun. You don't need mega displacement and mega horsepower. Maybe, it took the resurgence of scooters to remind us of this, but it's true. Now, if the manufacturers would just start making new, modern, small displacement, lightweight, simple machines that are easy on the pocketbook, while providing plenty of utility and fun. Hey, there might even be a market for bikes like this.

ęCopyright The Edge Family Trust 1999-2001. All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced, reprinted or republished in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without written permission from The Edge Family Trust.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-07-2001, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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P.S.

just for the record, I am not advocating scooter-riding on ANY level. It's the principle of the article that I think is important.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-07-2001, 01:38 AM
 
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Re: P.S.

Quote:
Originally posted by CBR Brutha
just for the record, I am not advocating scooter-riding on ANY level. It's the principle of the article that I think is important.
It's okay, Nick. You can advocate scooter riding. I do, they're a frickin' blast! Last year at Road Atlanta we had 2 of the Aprilia SR50's. One was a Corser Replica, and the other was the super modified (75cc big-bore kit, exhaust, clutch, etc). Both could do wheelies and stoppies, and the latter had a top speed above 80mph! Everybody that saw them gave a huge thumbs-up. I wouldn't have one as my primary ride, but for an around town, goofy little ride, they're worth it! John and I want to get a couple to rip through The Dragon. Now that would be cool (and possibly embarrassing for a lot of sportbike riders)!

Thanks for the post, Nick!
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-07-2001, 02:20 AM
elo
 
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I just can't wait to read the responses to this one!

*insert devil horned smiley here!*
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-07-2001, 02:39 AM
 
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If it weren't for the fact that they drive me nuts on road trips, I'd be on a 600 right now. Once I started going to the track quite a bit I sold my XX for something smaller. But freeway cruising at 7000RPM drives me apeshit. So I bought something that handles much like a 600 but with gearing that's a little more subdued on the road trips. The increase in power was only necessary to handle the taller gearing. Honest!!
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-07-2001, 04:49 AM
 
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Re: Re: P.S.

Quote:
Originally posted by Paul748S

John and I want to get a couple to rip through The Dragon. Now that would be cool (and possibly embarrassing for a lot of sportbike riders)!

The weekend we left from the Gap this summer they were having some kind of scooter convention. Beatnik Central. But hey, to each his own...
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-07-2001, 07:54 AM
 
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Re: Bike displacement vs. Usefulness

Quote:
Originally posted by CBR Brutha
I just read this article at http://www.motorcycledaily.com

I think it sums up what a lot of us have been preaching for years now. Check it out.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
In Search of Utility: The Over-Kill of Modern Motorcycles
by Dirck Edge

The point is this. Good, cheap transportation can be plenty of fun. You don't need mega displacement and mega horsepower. Maybe, it took the resurgence of scooters to remind us of this, but it's true. Now, if the manufacturers would just start making new, modern, small displacement, lightweight, simple machines that are easy on the pocketbook, while providing plenty of utility and fun. Hey, there might even be a market for bikes like this.

ęCopyright The Edge Family Trust 1999-2001. All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced, reprinted or republished in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without written permission from The Edge Family Trust.
This bike already exists. Its the Kawasaki ex250. Fits the description pretty good. Small displacement (250), lightweight (305 lbs), simple (even I can maintain this bike and I am mechanically challenged), easy on pocketbook ($2999 brand new and gets 70 mpg), and it can break any speed limit in the US.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-08-2001, 09:37 AM
 
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I think we'll see a drastic increase in sales of scooters and small dispacement motorcycles over the next few years, both in rural and urban areas. They are the perfect cheap alternate mode of transportation in just about any setting. As the population increases and finding a place to park your cage becomes more difficult and frustrating, people will look for another way. You can park 4 scooters in the space it takes for a car and you can drive for weeks on what it takes to fill a car tank once. Some even have fairly generous on-board storage.

At this stage, it might be a little embarrassing to be seen riding a scooter by your sport riding buddies, but what if everyone rode them for everyday transportation? Not so uncomfortable if everybody's doing it.

Plus, they are a blast to ride.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-08-2001, 11:22 AM
 
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My buddies little brother has had so many DUI's that he's lost his license for the next ten years, if not indefinitely. His dad bought him a bad-ass Derbi scooter, that'll run about 55 mph. It looks very similar to the Aprilia, but not quite as expensive. (hpjunkie, you know what I'm talkin' about). Anyways, after a drunken wreck on the scooter, dad's taken the thing away from him, and has it sitting at his shop. My buddies and I go over there all the time and ride that thing, and when I say that we ride it, I mean that we BEAT on it!

It's a blast to jump it like a dirt bike, do stoppie's on it, stand-up wheelie's, (you gotta work for your money on those, though), etc. It is an out and out riot!!

Two thumbs up!!
That is all.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-09-2001, 02:58 AM
 
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My buddy Jim brought an XR50 to a couple track days for a pit bike. I took it out in a field next to the pits for a while. That little thing was vicious!! I'd pitch it around and try to powerslide it and it'd try to highside my ass into next week! I don't think I've laughed so hard in my life. It was a blast, but it didn't keep me from going back out on the track.

Last edited by Birdman; 11-09-2001 at 04:46 AM.
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