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Motorized bike, anyone have one?
#1
So, here's the deal: I'm waiting on the pink slip to my 2006 Rio (I owe the loan company $1.62 as of yesterday), which I will have to sell for the $$ to buy my van/RV/box truck/camper/sleigh with flying reindeer... y'all know how that goes when you are prowling Craigslist ;-)

My original plan was to buy an eco-friendly Vespa-style gas scooter to get me around until I find the right vehicle, then keep it as an UnToad- errand runner mounted on a carrier. Not a bad idea in theory, then I thought about registering another vehicle (the DMV hates me, this I know), M1 license, insurance, loading and unloading a heavy-ass scooter, etc. Ugh, headaches I don't need.

Come to find out that (at least in Cali), a motorized bicycle under 50cc requires no license, registration, or insurance, and is pretty much like owning any other bicycle as regards the law, with a few exceptions. Looking into it further, I found that gas powered bikes get 100-150 MPG and that some come with micro 4 stroke engines (no mixing oil/gas, quieter and more reliable than a 2 stroke). Add to that the light weight and ease of transport, no matter what vehicle I buy... yeah, I'm hooked. I know I won't win any races riding a thing like this (and may look silly doing so), but it seems that it will get the job done for short trips to the store and whatnot with a big savings on gas.

As it happens, I just got a love note from Uncle Sam (AKA income tax refund) that will cover most of the cost of a brand new 49cc, 4 stroke motorized cruiser, and I decided (between shopping sites) to ask if anyone here has one of these and, if you do, what kind and how is it working for you?
'It's not that I condone facism, or any ism for that matter. Isms, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself.'
-Ferris Bueller
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#2
Built my own motorized bicycle.  blew up tires constanatly.  The weight on the bike from engine, plus the rider, is too much.  You need fat neumatic tires.  A scooter is $1000 including a one year warrentee.  Yes its harder to move around, but not impossible.
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#3
My electric bicycle wears out the tire in about 3 months.
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#4
If you do, get a good lock and maybe more than one. Also, get an alarm for it. I built my own and just a few days after getting it right, someone stole it off my front porch.
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#5
Here:  http://motorbicycling.com/  ..Willy.
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#6
Another possibility is a bike trailer with a motorized hub. Only hook up when necessary. Another advantage, since laws vary from state to state, is you can't tell by looking there's an assist, if you keep the battery concealed. In Ohio, any assisted bike caple of speeds of 20 mph is a motor vehicle - just like a car. Requires tags, licensed driver, etc. we built a trailer rig that pushed the bike at 29 mph - unintentionally.
"It's always darkest just before lightning scares the crap out of you."
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#7
Thanks everyone! I knew there would be a drawback or two (tires & risk of theft), and that someone here would know. Got some thinking to do before I decide now. 

Seraphim- I'm considering the trailer option, seems like it may work. The law here in Cali is the same on over 20MPH, but it seems that if you aren't using excessive speed, the police just see an MB as a bicycle. Wouldn't want go blowing their doors off while they are stuck in traffic, though
'It's not that I condone facism, or any ism for that matter. Isms, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself.'
-Ferris Bueller
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#8
I have a Yamaha Vino 125 that I am going to be pulling in a raised mesh side trailer behind my van. It's gonna hurt already low mpg but due to how I am going to live/travel, it'll help offset the van's low mpg when I'm stopped for extended periods.

Depending on what you weight, you might look into getting an old Honda Spree 49cc 2 cycle scooter. It's about as small as they come but have full front and rear lights, horn, etc. It's small and pretty light. Does about 20-30mph depending on how heavy you are and gets anywhere from 80-100mpg depending yow you ride it.

I had one and loved it but I was concerned about taking it out of state for riding. My current 'home' state (Arkansas) requires no registration either for 49cc and under and I had no title to it (Bought it in Dallas) but the cops never bugged me in the 800+ miles I put on it while I had it. So I sold it without a title too.

There's plenty of cheap, good, used 80's to early 2000's 49cc Honda and Yamaha scooters and mopeds out there for under $1000. 2 cycles will be smaller and lighter due to the engine size/weight but will be nosier and you either have to trust oil injection if it has it (which the Spree does) or premix your fuel and oil and keep the oil reservoir empty.

I also had a 244cc Honda Helix trike (which I I loved) but it was super wide due to the trike kit. In a way I wish i had kept it and gotten a 6ft wide trailer to haul it with since I ended up getting a 5ft wide trailer for the Vino 125 anyway which wasn't my original plan. I may get a trike kit for the Vino 125 some day which will fit on the trailer I have.

Here's some photos. The scooter's top box was added last month. The trailer is being painted black (slowly.. buying a few cans of black spray paint here and there) and I had a new axle and leaf springs added as the old axle (as seen in the photo) was fixed to the trailer without any suspension.

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#9
If I do opt to go with a scooter (and go through registration, license, insurance, etc), I will definitely be getting more than a 50cc engine. I'll bite the bullet on cost and get something more versatile that can at least go a few miles on minor freeways without me getting run over

One of my college roommates had a (150cc, I think) scooter that she left with me for a year after she graduated, and I LOVED that thing! It was a little Honda that was perfect for cruising town and quick trips to the grocery store. I never got up the nerve to take it on the freeway, even though it would do about 60-65MPH pretty easily. If I go with a scooter, I will be looking for one that is 150-250cc.
'It's not that I condone facism, or any ism for that matter. Isms, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself.'
-Ferris Bueller
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#10
A 250cc may be more your speed if you want to do 70 easily. Generally I think a 125-150 does about 60-65mph very top end, not factoring in wind, hills, etc. A 250 is about 100lbs heavier than a 125-150cc, however. But it will get you up to 70mph on level roads.

I wouldn't take a 150 on a freeway. I took my 244cc Helix on some and you can be doing the limit of 70 and a lot of people act like you're doing 50. They follow you too close for comfort, pass you angrily and cut you off close in front. Some will do this even in a 55mph zone but at least there's generally less traffic on such highways and you can hang back at 50mph if you feel like it, as I do much of the time around here.

My Vino 125 does about 55mph top end right now on level ground but then again it needs new rollers pretty bad. It might do 60 after I replace them with little to no cross or head wind. But even at 60mph top end, it's too slow for freeways. Up steep hills you'd be doing 45-50mph on a 125-150cc.

I found that a 250cc is too heavy for me to deal with on 2 wheels which is why I ended up triking it. I had the Helix call over on me once when I first got it. I was at a standstill in deep gravel. I was testing repairs I had done to the fuel system for top end speed and I turned onto an unfamiliar county road to turn around and go back. Luckily I only suffered a bruised foot from center stand's side post catching my foot when I tried to jump off while holding the front brake to let it go down easier as it was falling.

I like that I can keep my Vino 125 up at low speed if I start to tip due to gravel. There's almost way to do that on a 250 unless you have legs of steal.
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