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128 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562160)

frosty piss

Side benefit (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562166)

The thing is so ugly you won't want to do vanity runs around the neighborhood... yet more savings !

Re:Side benefit (2, Interesting)

Keruo (771880) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562206)

looks like they copied their design from old tunturi [mespakka.net] mopeds

Re:Side benefit (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562382)

Way too far.

More like stylistic cues from, say, older MZ motorcycles ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MZ_ETZ250.JPG [wikipedia.org] - which are quite universal of course, being mostly about practical factors) and following overall design of very popular there underbone motorcycles.

Re:Side benefit (4, Informative)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564388)

India had mopeds for a long time and the inspiration for this one seems to be the TVS 50 [cartradeindia.com]
It has been in production for over 30 years and used to be most popular [wikipedia.org] moped in India. This is actually smaller than the Honda cub (which was sold as Bajaj M80 in India) and is supposedly based on an indigenous design - though TVS would later collaborate with Suzuki to introduce their motorcycles in India.
. The MZ through its many evolutions actually became Rajdoot in India, which was a full motorcycle, not a moped. The tunturi and its variants became Suvega mopeds in India.

Whoa! (4, Funny)

hackshack (218460) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562492)

Holy hell, that is ugly. Designers musta said, "we need to take a Honda Ruckus [kitsunenoir.com] , slap a dirt-bike front end on it, and put an ammo box filled with batteries in the middle." Only thing missing is the duct tape!

But for the price... (4, Interesting)

hackshack (218460) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562564)

OK, I actually R'd the FA - you know, the text part of it - and feel like I should amend my comment. Basically they made a hybrid Honda Cub-ish-looking bike for $900. Though hideous, that's pretty sweet!
To non-moto people: in a nutshell, the Cub is sort of the VW Bug of Asia, except it's unnaturally reliable [youtube.com] . (Skip to 5:00 for the dropping-it-off-a-building part.)

Re:But for the price... (2, Funny)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563008)

The engine may be unnaturally reliable, but the tail lights sure aren't.

Luna copy (1)

ShanxT (1280784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562902)

It's actually a copy of another popular light-weight bike in India. The Kinetic Luna [iloveindia.com] . The Luna also has pedals, so that you can ride it like a bicycle when you're out of fuel.

Re:Whoa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30563492)

Ugly doesn't matter. It is the functionality of the bike that matters more. Based on the looks of it, I am sure this is targeted towards folks who would otherwise buy a moped. This new bike is a great replacement for the moped. And if it really gives the mpg that they claim, this is going to sell like hot cakes with the middle class Indian bike buyer.

Developing economies like India are the correct point of entry for hybrid vehicles like these. I agree no one in US would buy this. People here care more about the speed, and the looks. But an Indian middle class person will overlook the boxy design in return for the money savings this can give.

However, the poorly designed website of this company http://www.ekovehicle.com/index.asp?file=products does not give me much confidence that this thing is for real.

Re:Whoa! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564558)

Well, what do you expect for $850!?! ^^
I mean, think about it. It’s very likely cheaper than your computer. And if you buy it used in one year, it’s so cheap, you could wreck it, and not even care much. (Of course in India, that’s a bit different, as they are not so rich. But still. That’s no price.)

Re:Whoa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30564838)

They already have it to say aha !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBqpQySKwcI

This is Just an Ad.

And now My IP (though VPN) is traced From India So Mod me less.

--HayabusaFrenzy !

Re:Side benefit (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562552)

Ugly isn't the right word. We need a new word, a new chapter of the dictionary, for that level of ugly. It will make a great illustration.

Re:Side benefit (1)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564272)

Seems to be the problem with the environment - VANITY.... People must drive their Hummers and Mercedes and Ducatis.... Keep driving them, and your precious roads will be half under water in no time as the polar icecaps melt (ok, maybe not much to worry about with the diesel Hummers, but still). Drive an Eko - and you'll still have roads to ride it on... I'll take two....

Re:Side benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565332)

I doubt it will take off much over there.

Looking at the pic, it looks exactly the same as what I saw in India when I was there for about 2 months early this year (except for the battery box).

Only issue is that, the area where you have the battery is also the place where alot of stuff is put when people are out marketing / going out, etc.

It's normal to see 2 adults and another 100 kg of stuff in such bikes (including side boxes and the area taken by the battery in the pic).

Some of them have 2-3 adults with a child or 2 sitting / standing at the battery area.

So this will actually reduce the capacity they can carry around by alot (I have seen people put about 50kg of grocery in a sack there and riding around in the villages).

Other venues... (4, Interesting)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562170)

I think it would sell well here in Japan, where it's not uncommon to see people on scooters and small motorcycles in smaller cities and rural areas. I've seen uglier ones around here too, though fashion-conscious people might balk at buying it. It could also be a popular bike if it had a spring-loaded rack on the back for deliveries...

Japan Post uses tons of motorcycles for its mailmen -- perhaps they would be a good market as well.

Re:Other venues... (3, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562306)

I don't really see how it's ugly, it's simply function over form; very similar to underbone motorcycles which are widely popular in Asia, just with battery pack in place of cargo rack (btw, that's where it is in such motorcycles more often, not at the back; and it surely will be like that in this hybrid one, even if there's somewhat less space there)

Re:Other venues... (3, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562572)

I don't really see how it's ugly, it's simply function over form; ...

I presume because most commenters here are from U.S. where cars long time ago stopped being a transportation media and have become a way to boost your ego. But I guess that is the case all over the G7 countries.

Re:Other venues... (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562644)

Yeah, we are a bunch of morons here in the USA. Akin to spoiled rich brats we want style over function, and damn the expense. F'in stupid asses.

Re:Other venues... (1)

KingJoshi (615691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563444)

What the fuck is with this need to bash countries? Especially when it's so far off the mark.

People are MUCH more superficial and image conscious in southeast Asia than the US. I live in Nepal and you would be hard pressed to find one person to buy that based upon its looks. In Nepal, cars are damn expensive since they're taxed 250% as luxury items as imports. A "cheap" Hyundai would cost $18K-$20K. But the roads in Nepal are filled with middle class families buying cars for status.

If someone wants fuel efficiency, they'll buy a model of Hero Honda Splendor [maxabout.com] or Bajaj XCD [maxabout.com] . Both of them give over 60-70 km/l. But even then, people don't buy low powered bikes that save fuel.

Nowadays, in Kathmandu, people seem to prefer 180cc to 220cc even though they will never use the power. Personally, I have a Bajaj Pulsar 150cc [wikipedia.org] . Based upon my own weight, road conditions, hills and so forth, I figured 150cc is plenty. I rarely go over 55 kmph since it's hard to find a straight stretch much less clear roads. During the day, it's usually 20-30 stop and go traffic and occasionally 40. While most of India doesn't have the hills of Kathmandu, it does have the congested traffic.

Re:Other venues... (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564014)

What the fuck is with this need to bash countries? Especially when it's so far off the mark.

What the fuck is with this habit to slap "ugly" on everything what is purely functional?

I live in Nepal and you would be hard pressed to find one person to buy that based upon its looks.

That was precisely my point.

Re:Other venues... (1)

KingJoshi (615691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564088)

What the fuck is with this need to bash countries? Especially when it's so far off the mark.

What the fuck is with this habit to slap "ugly" on everything what is purely functional?

I live in Nepal and you would be hard pressed to find one person to buy that based upon its looks.

That was precisely my point.

Maybe you misunderstood. It is ugly. And that is why people in Nepal would not buy it. Looks matter A LOT. However, even if something is ugly, if it can raise your status and image because it is expensive or rare, then people might buy it.

Re:Other venues... (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563586)

But Americans all drive butt-ugly SUVs, how can they criticise this motorbike?

Re:Other venues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30564938)

Funny since I drive a cruiser motorcycle and a honda accord, and I'm American.

Why? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562896)

Most of your deliveries are fairly close. As such, a pure electric, perhaps, lower costs, with say 50 km range would probably serve better.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30563000)

But how long can you wait to charge it between deliveries? Postal deliveries might be doable with a pure electric, but not pizza or other food deliveries. I don't have a good enough feel for how far postal deliveries actually go - they are never far away from the post office (assuming urban scenario), but may exceed that mileage on a route - it also depends on the density there as well. Then again, cargo capacity would seem to be rather limited on a motorcycle, so short routes may be the norm in Japan.

Re:Why? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563144)

Actually, small deliveries is EXACTLY what I would target. The reason is that it would be very easy/cheap to have swappable battery packs. Much lighter weight. Smaller, cheaper. greater ability to carry more items.

Say, you make these delivery vehicles have a 20-50 KM range. The batteries are going to be fairly light. Then a simple device for exchanging them becomes doable and easy. That means affordable by the businesses directly. That also means not selling one or two vehicles at a time, but a whole sale switch.

Moped, not Motorcycle (4, Informative)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562188)

Wired has slightly better coverage [wired.com] .

This is at best a moped, a far cry even from 2-stroke 125cc motorcycles. The ET-120 has some 70 ccs of displacement, producing (that's according to TFA) enough power to reach a top speed of 40 mph, no actual numbers on power or torque given. A modern 125cc 2-stroke motorcycle will produce some 33 bhp of power, 20 Nm of torque and reach top speeds in excess of 100 mph. At 280 mpg, its fuel consumption is quite nice, though, especially when compared to some 45 mpg one would get out of a standard 125cc motorcycle.

Mopeds have pedals... (3, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562222)

This thing is closest in form to underbone motorcycles (contrary to what you might think, engine power doesn't define "motorcycle")

Re:Mopeds have pedals... (1)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562292)

Well, at least in my country of origin, most mopeds don't have pedals, and that doesn't just apply to the legal definition, but also what people use in common day-to-day speech.

I think this is a case where the definition of the word has been extended over time, and there's nothing wrong with that. Wikipedia seems to agree with me too:

Traditionally, mopeds are equipped with bicycle-like pedals (the source of the term, motor-pedal), but moped is sometimes applied by governments to vehicles without pedals, based on their similar engine displacement, speed, and/or power output.

Re:Mopeds have pedals... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562356)

From your quote - "sometimes". Besides, Wikipedia agrees more with me, because this hybrid machine certainly surpasses the speed/power limits present in legal definitions of "moped", in most places. "Legal definitions" being the key phrase here - scooters are not mopeds. Underbones (which this thing is) are not mopeds. They are just often thrown into that category for legal convenience.

Re:Mopeds have pedals... (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562304)

To me, it [blogcdn.com] looks closer to a moped [wikimedia.org] than a motorcycle [wikimedia.org] , performs (70cc displacement, 40 mph top speed) closer to a moped (50cc displacement, 35 or so mph top speed) than a motorcycle (125+cc, 100+mph) and seems more similar in cost ($855) to a moped ($$2000).
Duck typing [wikipedia.org] tells me it's a moped.

I don't mean to disdain it; used within it's scope (commuting a couple of kilometres through a busy congested metropolitan area) it's probably superior to a fully-grown motorcycle, but I don't see where, how or why it should be one.

Re:Mopeds have pedals... (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562330)

It looks closest to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underbone [wikipedia.org] - "An underbone, or underbone motorcycle, is a small motorcycle"

Speed and displacement don't play much of a role in those definitions. Besides you wrote yourself that it surpasses what is sometimes the legal definition of a "moped"

Re:Mopeds have pedals... (0)

chdig (1050302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562996)

While it may officially be an "underbone", I've never until now heard of this word (and I've been riding for 8 years). 40mph top speed, 70cc utilitarian-looking motorized bikes are called scooters over here (North America).

There may be other words that match what law and wiki writers would like you to use, but this thing is definitely a scooter, slightly reminiscent of the Honda ruckus, which is sold here.

Re:Mopeds have pedals... (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564340)

Damn, I totally skipped over that underbone in front of your motorcycle there. Hadn't even heard of that class, so thanks for the info :)

Re:Moped, not Motorcycle (2, Insightful)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562284)

Having spent much time in urban India, I don't see the need for a motorcycle to be able to reach speeds in excess of 64 km/h. Most of your time is spent weaving through gridlocked cars.

Even going on the freeway in a car is not a high-speed endeavour. There are just too many vehicles and people.

I can see this vehicle to be a perfect option for a lot of people.

Motor driven cycle, not motorcycle. (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562296)

Around here (Alabama) this would be classified as a motor driven cycle. A motorcycle has greater than 150cc displacement. A motor driven cycle has 150cc or less engine size. Weight is a factor as well. A motor driven cycle must weigh less than 200 lbs. They are prohibited from interstate travel. I believe this classification is in other states as well.

In the USA, a moped has pedals and can be propelled like a bicycle. However, a moped also meets the criteria for a motor driven cycle.

Re:Motor driven cycle, not motorcycle. (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562714)

In the Uk a moped originally had pedals and a capacity of 50cc or less and was a rite of passage as you could ride one at the age of 16 (a motorcycle or car required a minimum age of 17).

This led to sports mopeds like the fs1e , and AP50 2 strokes and the SS50 4 stroke which had pedals which could be moved into a position like foot pegs.

Fantastic speeds were claimed for these bikes but realistically 45 mph flat out was good.

in 1976 the law changed power output was restricted (designed for 30mph top speed and 5 hp). This also removed the nod to being pedal assisted. Derestricting was usual but the 1974 - 1976 registered bikes kept their value due to the legendary top speeds.

They were not great bikes I used to ride an SS50 from Lincoln to Sheffied a distance of 50 odd miles with one or two stops to let the engine cool down, it tended to seize if you pushed it too hard but if you let it cool down it would recover.

SOmeone mentioned MZ motorcyles and quite simply they are tough as old boots. I've seen them used for dispatch bikes normally the main bearings go but can be pressed and replaced. There is no oil pump (petrol/oil mix ) and the gears and clutch splash oil around for lubrication. The electrical system is pretty impressive I had one burn out the resistance wire and lead to the regulator , i unwound the wire coated it with nail varnish and rewound it, chopped out the burnt wire from the loom with some flex and it was up and running again. Another time the condensor which helps regulate the spark failed miles from anywhere I just took it out of circuit and wired directly to the heel of the points. (it ran a bit rougher but only lost 10 -15 mph from the top end keeping up about 45 - 50 mph. (I had a suzuki fail like that and had a 5 mile push).

I can't say I ever liked MZ motorcyles horrible ugly slow noisy smoky vibrating like I don't know what but so tough and simple (even the screws were flat head which meant you could usually get somewhere with a pocket knife and no other tools).
     

Re:Moped, not Motorcycle (1)

ph0rk (118461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562980)

You can get over 50 mpg out of a 500cc 430lb road bike, even an old-tech carburated one. Some small 250cc road bikes are in the 70-85mpg range, but they also tend to top out at about 75 mph.

Re:Moped, not Motorcycle (1)

blue_teeth (83171) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563686)

A modern 125cc 2-stroke motorcycle will produce some 33 bhp of power, 20 Nm of torque and reach top speeds in excess of 100 mph. At 280 mpg, its fuel consumption is quite nice, though, especially when compared to some 45 mpg one would get out of a standard 125cc motorcycle.

I don't know from where you got these figures. I spent my life owning two-stroke motorcycles. Yamaha RX100 (100cc two stroke, single cylinder) - not more than 16 bhp with ~40 kilometers per liter of petrol. Yamaha RD350 (350cc two stroke, twin cylinder) - 30 bhp with ~18 kilometers per liter of petrol. Jawa (250cc two stroke, single cylinder) - 18 bhp with ~35 kilometers per litre of petrol (agreed, Jawa is old technology - 1965 from Czechoslovakia) Two stroke engine may give instant power compared to four strokes, but mileage is worst. Also, they are more polluting. You will need to mix 2-stroke oil with petrol. My brother has a Honda 150 cc (four stroke) which is 18 bhp and gives 60 kilometers per litre of petrol.

Re:Moped, not Motorcycle (2, Informative)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564322)

I don't know from where you got these figures

From an Aprilia RS125 [wikipedia.org] , for example. There are quite a few similar models around.

Re:Moped, not Motorcycle (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564402)

I'd call it a moped-class motorcycle. It's comparable to a derestricted 50cc moped or scooter in terms of power. It's a little too powerful to qualify as a "moped" for licensing purposes in most of the United States. which means you'd have to register it as a motorcycle and get a motorcycle endorsement on your driver license to ride it. My 50cc scooter does 40mph like this does and meets my needs very nicely, but gets "only" 90mpg.

To sell it in the US, it'd need a styling make-over to give it more of a "fun" look. But that's less than half the price of a good Japanese/Taiwanese moped-class scooter, and a fraction of the price of a Vespa. At that price and with those specs, I would give it some serious consideration if I were in the market (and then a paint job and decals to make it look less purely "practical").

Re:Moped, not Motorcycle (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564544)

In the UK, 50cc mopeds are the norm as you can ride them at 16 years old and with only a little basic training. They are also limited to 30mph (although the kids tend to remove the restrictor in the exhaust pipe and carb (I also had mine bored out to 65cc because I was extra naughty))

125cc motorbikes are restricted to 70mph but few people bother to mod them.

Mopeds are cool for bombing about town where the speed limit is often 30mph. These hybrids sound just the job.

Naturally, Not in America (1, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562254)

Leave it to the USA not to be first in streeting high mileage motorcycles. Yes, it angers me to see other nations developing products that the US will not or can not. Supposedly we are the big assed , number one, creators of all times. Yet we constantly see product development in nations that are so poor that they are lucky not to be in starvation. What will we see next? Maybe superior electronics from Uganda or polar bears building better cars than we can.

Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (4, Informative)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562388)

As a Bike rider since 1969 I can attest to the worsening fuel consumption figures in modern bikes. My 1969 650cc Triumph TR6 in touring trim gets over 80mpg. My 2004 780cc Triumph Bonnieville gets 50mpg My 1963 650cc Bonnievile gets 60mpg with 10.5:1 Compression pistons and race tuning. Many high performance bike these days have worse consumption than many cars. This is a crazy situation. I'd probably plump for a leccy bike rather than a hybrid for my commute to work (Some 30miles each way) Seeing them racing round the "Island" in june was really great.

Re:Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562950)

However, you are missing the fact that the new bikes are much cleaner than the old ones. The old ones put a LOT of pollution into the air, where as the newer ones put up less pollution (cleaner burn), but with more CO2 due to the higher power.

What really needs to happen is more on the electric motorcycles. They are coming, but still pretty pricey. The funny thing is, that motorcycles would be a GREAT place to do battery swaps at stations. The reason is that designs COULD be standardized and then used. I do have to say that the idea of doing a battery swap on a car makes zero sense due to weights and large design differences. Each car model will need to be radically different.

Re:Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562994)

However, you are missing the fact that the new bikes are much cleaner than the old ones. The old ones put a LOT of pollution into the air, where as the newer ones put up less pollution (cleaner burn), but with more CO2 due to the higher power.

And yet, the average motorbike is about 10 times more polluting per mile than a passenger car, light truck or SUV [latimes.com] . That's right, I'm polluting less in my 3/4 ton diesel pickup than one of these new Triumphs, or even a CBR or what have you.

Emissions controls for motorcycles now. Especially since the way they're actually driven, the average sportbike is not hitting even 40 mpg, especially not 2-up. I can haul four people and thousands of pounds of cargo (in addition to the thousands of pounds of truck) for around 15-18 mpg. And trust me, I make an effort not to drive. Who wants to go out and navigate through the masses of asses?

Re:Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (1, Insightful)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564220)

I can haul four people and thousands of pounds of cargo (in addition to the thousands of pounds of truck) for around 15-18 mpg.

Except most of the time it's just you hauling nothing but your own ass around at 15mpg.
I drive my car any time I need to get something that won't fit in my side cases or backpack and last year I put 10,000 miles on the motorcycle and about 1,000 on the car.
As for pollution, anything a bike puts out is insignificant [guardian.co.uk] .

Re:Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564470)

The amount - and type - of pollution varies a lot among motorbikes. A 2-stroke 50cc engine may put out more smog-producing particulate matter than your truck, but far less CO2 (aka "greenhouse gas") per passenger per mile. California already has pretty stringent emissions standards in place (it's why 2-strokes are hard to find there), and they're getting tougher in the rest of the US too, so I don't know why you're calling for them as if they didn't exist.

Re:Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30564748)

That's because there is no emission controls on motorcycles. You have those "choppers" with no controls at all. Most modern road motorcycles (ie. not customs) will have catalytic converters and control to prevent hydrocarbon emissions. I know my motorcycle has it (75mpg).

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2009/05/motorcycle-smog-check-proposed-for-california.html

Now, if you really want to tackle emissions, go after small engines. Gas lawnmowers are much more ubiquitous than motorcycles. Requiring catalytic converters, or banning gas mowers (except riding mowers for now, but require catalytic converters and emission checks) would reduce emissions more than most of anything else that can be done in near future with road vehicles. At least that is speaking of California.

Re:Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (1)

afroborg (677708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564982)

Depends how you cut the stats. When you say "more polluting" and link to that article, you are talking about one single type of polluting - NOx emissions. Yes, it's true that motorcycle engines - in general - emit greater levels of NOx than automotive engines, basically because the space available for packaging a catalytic converter is smaller. But the CO2 emissions are much lower. CO2 emission is pretty much proportional to fuel consumption.

So while you can feel smug that your NOx emissions are low, don't kid yourself that your SUV is saving the planet...

Re:Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (2, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565654)

When we count environmental impact we shouldn't externalize the other costs involved.

Producing a truck takes far more resources than does a motorcycle, and the truck will generate more waste oil/waste fluids/waste lubricant over its life cycle. It will require more effort to scrap and generate many pounds of plastic waste (seats, interior,some body parts, bedliner). Unlike a motorbike, trucks have air conditioning which usually means at least one full load of refrigerant either leaked or dumped into the atmosphere. (Yes, I know about recovery pumps, I'm a mechanic....) Trucks weigh more and produce more wear on roads, They have twice as many tires which are larger and require recycling as well as more resources to produce.

I'm fond of my trucks (and argue that retaining a properly tuned big block is less impactful than buying replacement trucks) but let's remember that what comes out the exhaust is not the total impact per mile travelled of any vehicle.

Re:Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563110)

"Many high performance bike these days have worse consumption than many cars."

They are also amazingly quick and powerful.

Old Triumphs are beautiful, easy to work on (necessary since they are quite delicate), and fun to ride. They are also slow, require frequent maintenance, and not comparable to modern bikes which often have better specs than road racers of ancient times. The most successful motorcycle based on such an old form-factor is the 883 Harley Sportster, which only exists as "bait" for people who want a Harley but can't afford a Big Twin. (They are decent bikes one can keep for decades, but they aren't "performance" machines.)

Re:Motorcycle Fuel Consumption (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565614)

Two years ago in Sturgis, I saw a number of bike builder projects. There were quite a few bikes with powerplants that got as little as 6 miles to the gallon. There's no point in that.

Also saw a guy (Allan Lee) who claimed his bike was running on gas and water (using the same engine) and getting about 12mpg. It was a damn sexy bike, but I'm unsure of whether it was doing what he claimed.

Naturally (0, Troll)

The Creator (4611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562418)

Supposedly we are the big assed..

Well, maybe that's why you guys can only invent bigger and bigger Hummers and stuff?

Re:Naturally, Not in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562422)

From the fine article: "... developed the vehicle with assistance from U.S.-based Emerging Technologies."

Designed here though, but big deal; it won't be built here because VCs can't rake in 80% profit in two years from their investment.

Re:Naturally, Not in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562444)

Mandatory USA bashing

Re:Naturally, Not in America (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562578)

Who but the US supposes that the US are number one creator of all times? By the way, there are a hundred or more other countries that didn't develop it.

Re:Naturally, Not in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562614)

It is a huge bit of NIH (Not invented Here) Jealosy.

As NIH applies to every country but the actual place where it was invented IMHO, Americans have got a bigger NIH chip on their shoulder than any other place.

Re:Naturally, Not in America (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563046)

Who but the US supposes that the US are number one creator of all times? By the way, there are a hundred or more other countries that didn't develop it.

Are there any other countries that didn't develop it after prototyping it four or more years ago [hyperlogos.org] ?

Re:Naturally, Not in America (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563198)

For most of the twentieth century, the USA invested a lot in R&D and, although they weren't always the first in the world to do things (e.g. first stored-program computer or supersonic passenger aircraft), they generally lead the way. The USA has a very large population compared to other first-world countries. The USSR and China were larger, but both had a massive underclass to support and couldn't devote, proportionally, as much to technological development. Countries like Brasil and India were sufficiently far behind in terms of technology that they could be effectively discounted. Much of Europe was at a similar standard, but the smaller populations meant that they couldn't compete in terms of scale.

If you go back to the '60s or even a bit later, it was quite unusual for the USA to not produce the first, first commercial, or best in any given category, and often they produced two or all three. Now, it is a lot less common, but there's still a perception in the USA that American innovation ought to be world leading.

Re:Naturally, Not in America (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564504)

US leadership in engineering and design is a well-documented historical fact.

Note the word "historical".

Re:Naturally, Not in America (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562870)

Leave it to the USA not to be first in streeting high mileage motorcycles.

Mopeds (things that look like this bike) have been for sale in the US for decades. They have traditionally not sold well. Why build for a market that doesn't want them?

Oh, and for the US not being able to invent cool stuf like this? Go here [zeromotorcycles.com] . Made in Santa Cruz.

slowpeds (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563314)

Mopeds sold fairly well back in the 70s - 80s when we had the oil/fuel price hikes. After the prices dropped way down, they stopped selling as well. Today those cheap 50cc scooters with no pretense of pedaling are fairly common. Technically not a moped, but I see a lot of them, and I live in pickup/suv country so I know they must be way more common in the cities now.

I've had both kinds of "moped", the motor assist real bicycle (Aquabug/Tanaka/Sears) and the "you can sort of pedal it, too, but it is stupid" small motorcycle kind (Puch/Sears), and I think the assisted bicycle route was a better idea for this sort of transportation, way more of a true "hybrid" human-engine. The one I used to have was a front mounted (on about any bicycle at all, had mine on an older steel framed 10 speed) small engine that was easy to bump start on and off so you really could pedal most of the time and just bump it for like hill climbing or serious cargo hauling, etc. It was light weight enough so you could still hoist your bike on your shoulders and bring it inside upstairs say if you lived in an apartment and had no garage, etc. That was dang spiffy and helped with "moped retention security". Those things were great and got 200 MPG. That was a gas engine two stroke I believe around 22cc. I tried some electric assist versions back then as well (talking 70s again) but the battery tech just wasn't there to make them useful, they were neither fast enough nor had any sort of credible range, they used like sealed lead acid battery tech, like the original bagphones had or like you see in home UPS systems still. Just not enough oomph there.

I think a true three way multi-hybrid (fuel engine/electric assist to the drive train/batteries/still a normal bicycle you could pedal) could be built today and come in even more efficient because of lighter weight materials, etc., and even make use of regen braking, or perhaps even hydraulic/pneumatic regen tech for take off boost using in-the-frame compressed air storage.

Re:Naturally, Not in America (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563060)

Most people in the US don't need them, and if _you_ want a slow motorcycle then go ahead and buy or build one.

There are plenty of small four-strokes you could fit with smaller carbs (or homebrew EFI ), a taller set of sprockets for lower RPM at cruise, narrow ribbed tires, and a fairing to reduce drag.

There are people doing diesel conversions if you want higher mileage, but those who prefer performance will buy accordingly.

Re:Naturally, Not in America (0, Flamebait)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563076)

You want to putz around at 40 MPH? Good for you. You can go be a faggot, but the rest of us have standards.

Re:Naturally, Not in America (3, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563210)

Want a high-MPG bike in the US that has been available longer than most Slashdotters have been alive?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Super_Cub [wikipedia.org]

They are simple. tough, easy to work on, and the most successful powered vehicle in history to the tune of SIXTY MILLION so far.

The US didn't build them because it didn't and doesn't need to. This guy did it so well that there was no point in trying to compete given US labor costs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soichiro_Honda [wikipedia.org]

Re:Naturally, Not in America (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563342)

US has many high mileage cycles, just the savings over 50 MPG is diminishing. IE if you drive 1000 miles a month, 25 MPG to 50 MPG saves 20 gallons of fuel a month. going from 50 to 125 mpg saves 12 gallons of fuel a month. So a ugly slow battery power scooter would never sell, when (for example) my 600cc enduro is lighter, faster (100 mph), goes anywhere and gets 65 mpg. I would never hall around 100 pounds of batteries to save $20 worth of fuel a month, it already costs me ~$20 a month for tires. Not sure what hybrid means on this bike, but I would never shutdown the bike motor, the constant noise make them noticeable and any additional delay getting to max power can be difference from life to death, without any surrounding protection from idiots, only agility.

Re:Naturally, Not in America (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563740)

Leave it to the US to build something I want to ride. There is no way
on earth I would buy that ugly looking bike. My harley easily gets
60 MPG and looks darn fine while doing it.

Why Hybrid but not full electrical? (4, Interesting)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562294)

In China where electrical scooter is so common that could be bought in USD $100 to USD $300 depends on the performance.
Supermarket carries a large selections that looks like anything look like a bike, to something in between, to something that looks exactly like a gas scooter. 30mph is norm but I think they have model going up to 40.

Most model has detachable battery, so you could take it out and just bring the battery box indoor for plugin charging. A single charge should give you 20+ miles range (Sorry I don't own one so it's a bit guessing for this number). Some models include traditional bike padels for backup.

I don't exactly see the point of hybrid if full electrical scooter is just so mature. Do you really want to maintain two set of systems? Or unless you really need 200 miles driving range, I guess.

Re:Why Hybrid but not full electrical? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562840)

Numerous human hybrid bicycle systems exist. A ton of chinese firms will sell you brushless motors and controllers with regenerative braking, I'd very much like to build a 2WD mountain bike and have actually secured a frame for this purpose already... but nothing else :) GIANT built some very nice bikes, but they were too good and were discontinued in favor of a model that breaks down more often and sells more parts, I shit you not. A company called BionX sells a very nice system for a huge pile of money. Hopefully more of this stuff will start to come out of China, where it's crazy cheap.

Double weight (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562936)

I don't exactly see the point of hybrid if full electrical scooter is just so mature.

Even more so, as you have to basically cram 2 engines :
one gas-based *and* one full electrical motor and assorted batteries instead of the small starter that usually goes into motorcycles (if they even have one and don't rely on a kickstart and a diminutive battery charger).

For vehicles as light as motorcycles, scooters or mopeds, this is a significant proportion of the total weight, and you won't expect as much MPG gain as on a car (where the additional engine weight is a smaller percentage of the whole).

Re:Double weight (2, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563058)

well you can scale back the gasoline engine, as it will just be there to keep the batteries topped of and/or drive the electric motor thats really the one powering the whole thing.

this removes a fair bit of gearing and similar. Hell, one may even hook the electric motor straight on the back wheel if one wants to, and just run wires, rather then some chain or similar.

Re:Why Hybrid but not full electrical? (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563382)

Full electric scooters [evfuture.com] have been available in India for a couple years, actually. They've not become widespread for the same reason that electric vehicles haven't in the US. Too expensive, not enough range.

Re:Why Hybrid but not full electrical? (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564036)

In China where electrical scooter is so common that could be bought in USD $100 to USD $300 depends on the performance.
Most model has detachable battery, so you could take it out and just bring the battery box indoor for plugin charging. A single charge should give you 20+ miles range (Sorry I don't own one so it's a bit guessing for this number).


If you are running a delivery service then you could presumably have more batteries than vehicles and make sure the driver puts in a fully charged battery when they load up with letters, parcels, pizzas, etc.

I don't exactly see the point of hybrid if full electrical scooter is just so mature. Do you really want to maintain two set of systems? Or unless you really need 200 miles driving range, I guess.

When you are using one "engine" the other is effectivly ballast. In an urban environment you'd want to avoid using the noisy and fume producing ICE (even when stopped) as much as possible.

Re:Why Hybrid but not full electrical? (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564270)

It might be nice if they could supplement the "noise and fume-producing ICE" with something that's quieter and more efficient, even if not quite as powerful as a motorcycle is used to, and then you could keep it running quietly the whole ride to stretch out a battery charge. Then everyday people going down the street wouldn't loathe your presence because of the obnoxious noise.

Re:Why Hybrid but not full electrical? (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564362)

sorry, it's too early in the morning. It would be nice if they could replace the "noise and fume-producing ICE" with something that's quieter and more efficient, even if not quite as powerful as a motorcycle is used to, and then you could keep it running quietly the whole ride to stretch out a battery charge. Then everyday people going down the street wouldn't loathe your presence because of the obnoxious noise.

Re:Why Hybrid but not full electrical? (2, Insightful)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565254)

There's also the issue of frequent power cuts, particularly in Bangalore where it's become almost a way of life. In many rural parts of India, power is only available for a few hours a day, just enough to run agricultural water pumps. With a hybrid, you just find the nearest petrol pump and you're good.

FUCK YAH! (-1, Offtopic)

t0qer (230538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562390)

FUCK YAH SLASHDOT IT'S A MOTOCYCLE!!
I'M GONNA EVIL KENIVIL THAT BITCH!
I'M GONNA JUMP THAT THING OVER 20 BUSSES
THE GRAND CANYON!
WHILE ON FIRE AND THROUGH A FLAMING HOOP!
WITH THE SILENT POWER OF MY HYBRID MOTOC-y...Scooter?

Nice way to give me misleading title blue balls. At least the picture of a man/woman in full sarong shittily photoshopped in front of a quickly passing bridge gave me a laugh.

Great (2, Insightful)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562420)

For less than $1000, it's a steal! I'd buy it even for $2000, if it had a better looking frame.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562924)

It also means that no one would bother stealing it which might not be a bad thing.

Re:Great (1)

KingJoshi (615691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563550)

There are lots of motorbikes in India that are under $1000 USD. And they use regular petrol/gas so you can use them like any other vehicle. Pay a few hundred more and the bikes can go fast enough for highways. Bajaj Pulsar [wikipedia.org] is one of the most popular models. This site [maxabout.com] has prices as well. But it's in Indian currency. You can use Google to convert INR to USD [google.com.np] .

I heard one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562652)

It makes a noise like "putt putt putt". Or was that the rider?

meh (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562658)

They would have been far better off with building a better pure electric motorcycle.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562776)

They already have electric scooters - this is a first attempt at a hybrid.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562880)

BFD. Even the mileage stuff on hybrids is a total joke. It counts on having a battery charged and then not counting the energy against the mileage calcs. It is better to develop a better electric (lower cost; faster, longer distance, etc) than junk like this. All this did was create lots more complexity and then sell it.

Re:meh (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564552)

The company does make pure-electrics. They're broadening their line to include a hybrid, presumably for performance/range reasons.

Re:meh (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566252)

And the cycle is one of the last places that I would want to buy a hybrid at. To be honest, I think that cars are marginal at best. Instead, the place for hybrids would be RVs, trucks, carriers, tanks, firetrucks, ambulances, etc. Basically, the need to haul items long distance, or the need to generate lots of electricity for various systems. The tanks, firetrucks, ambulances could easily use much lighter weight electric motors to drive the vehicles. But, this idea of putting multiple complex systems into a cycle, or a general purpose passenger carrying vehicle makes ZERO sense. The initial energy into the system most likely is fairly high.

Figures... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562666)

The ugly piece of shit has stinking, curry-soiled jingly written all over it.

ET-120 (2, Funny)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562942)

The Indian company Eko Vehicles has announced the development of the world's first production hybrid motorcycle, called the ET-120. In a short time this motorcycle will run on the Indian streets, offering about 280 miles per gallon with a top speed of 40 miles per hour...

...and will seat eight.

2-stroke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30562966)

Hopefully these are actually 4-stroke engines that operate somewhat cleaner.

All we need in the world are 10^9+ people using 2-stroke technology.

Rat Bike! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30563238)

Its a great step in the way to make rat bikes mainstream......

My unrestricted 80cc 2cycle scooter.. (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563500)

Will go about 60mph on the flat and gets about 70-80mpg depending on conditions and riding style. Cost about USD$1500 but I can get it serviced. Technically it should be registered but since it's an over bored 50cc it doesn't have to be insured, plated, licensed or inspected.

An unrestricted 50cc 2 stroke 'should' be able to get 90-105mpg while topping out @ 40mph on the flat. Of course 2 stroke pollute a lot more than hybrids.....

Given the RPMs possible with electric motors (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30563860)

and the torque possible with even a small lithium pack as a L2 power source, how much you want to bet this ends up being modded into an asphalt burner.

You can easily crank that sucker up to 200KPH, if you're willing to pay the traffic tickets. :-)

how pedals to charge? (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | more than 4 years ago | (#30564122)

Maybe they should put pedals on it so you can cycle with it. Also, it can be used at home as fitness equipment charging the battery at the same time!

Re:how pedals to charge? (1)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565280)

More important than that, you may want the pedals to get over hills. This is not an exaggeration, previous mopeds sold in India with displacements less than 50 cc needed the rider to do just this to get across steep inclines.
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