Friday, November 13, 2009

A Fun Two Wheel Alternative

Below you see two modes of two wheel transportation which is an affordable alternative to high gas prices, the first is a new version from ezmotorbike with a four stroke engine. The second is the old Whizzer type built from from 1936 to 1964 which ran a two stroke engine.
A friend, and former business partner of mine, has started his own business selling these cool mini steeds and has offered me my own territory. He is even going to give me a unit to test out and play around with to see what I think. He even said he would be willing to help me get up and running. That is a huge plus in my mind as to his faith in these machines.

So why would I be posting about these bikes? First off, it just has the ring of all that is supposed to be about two wheel transportation, cheap, reliable, fun and practical for people from all walks of life. Second, for someone who feels a motorcycle is to large and expensive or plain afraid of can feel right at home on one of these. Third, you need no license, insurance, tags or property taxes on one of these unless it exceeds the top speed law in your state. Most times it is 20 miles miles per hour or under but some states are now up to 30 miles per hour. Who cares really, most cities and towns for short distances you can't go much faster than that anyhow.

I have had a fascination with these machines for some time now because of the roots they have to the first motorcycles. The earliest motorcycle manufacturers actually started out as using bicycles to attach their little engines to. As these companies grew they needed heavier frames for support of the ever increasing horsepower and demands of the road on the bicycle frames. Also as the companies grew the prices began to go up on the machines. So as years went by the concept of a cheap mode of transportation came around once again and the popularity of attaching a small assist engine reared it's head. Whizzers became all the rage during post war because motorcycles and automobiles were stagnant mostly because the plants had almost all been producing vehicles for the war effort, the same was true even more so after world war two. Whizzers took hold even though their first engines were anything but reliable long term solutions with their pot metal crankshafts. However, they still sold well enough for the company to continue and the engines became more reliable. They even allowed the lessor engines to be traded in for an updated version - how many companies would do that now? - for people who had bought one of the earlier versions.

Now fuel prices and commuting has come around to be quite an expensive ordeal yet again. Only now we have better technologies with greater reliability to bring these jewels of cheap, more environmentally friendly modes of transportation to the forefront all over again. Bad news is most of these little engines, 49cc 2 strokes, are to be fazed out by the EPA. Two strokes give great power to weight performance and have less moving parts to go afoul but face it, they just do not burn the fuel in the most practical way. Most people don't know how to mix the fuel and oil properly and this results in smoke. A properly tuned and mixtured two stoke should not have any visible exhaust smoke from the pipe. To much oil belching out means unburnt oil that clogs up mufflers and ports, fouls plugs and is just plain smelly. On the flip side, if the mix is correct this is much less a problem and maintenance issues become less, the cost of running the engine is less and mileage goes up. These little motorized bikes get anywhere from 150 to 200 miles per gallon so in the long run it is better for the environment with far less impact when tuned correctly. And you never have to worry about changing the oil like the four stroke version. They both have advantages and disadvantages like anything else.
Four strokes have come a long, long way with more efficient operation and power in the small displacements. Four stokes last a good long time and are reliable under adverse conditions. I feel they are more forgiving in the less than perfect maintenance side of things to.

Another plus for me is that the interest for my saddle bags for bikes has been met with approval for these machines. So when my friends sales options are announced the saddle bags can be included, nice little bit of change for me in the pocket.

Will I jump on board with this offer from my friend to get me started? Right now I am thinking I would have to be one crazy stupid fool not to take a chance on it. How many times in ones life do you get an offer like this to help get you started? This whole thing sounds like a bunch of fun not work, and it can be my jumping off point for other things I have had in mind.


RecycleBill said...

I see you've come 'round. ;-)

Today 50cc, tomorrow...

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Very cool looking bicycles.

Ann said...

Those are pretty cool! I'd take the chance if I were you! Go for it! ;)

WooleyBugger said...

RecycleBill: I can't stop thinking about them and the possibilities.

IowaHarleyGirl: They are pretty cool looking aren't they.

Ann: You know what Ann? I think I will. Might have to sell the Sportster to help finance the beginnings of it though. A short term sacrifice,if you will, for a long term goal. I can see the future of the Tuck Yourself INN in there to.