Motorcycle Bike Rack
Don’t worry, Todd, it will. I have been riding my bike to work much less–when I work at 5:30 in the morning I can get an extra 20 minutes of sleep, and when it’s really hot or humid, I don’t have to get sweaty riding.
Well, I’m lucky that my commute is short and mostly downhill, and the only uphill is at the start. So, I don’t have to get too sweaty, and I honestly can’t get there any faster by scooter (or car). Any time I lose on the uphill I make back by being able to cut the corner at 5th and Penn and not having to deal with the parking garage. So, at least I don’t have *that* much temptation to do it.
But, I did have an absolute blast riding the scooter home and I can’t wait to go ride it some more…
hmm…. ok please forgive me if I ask a stupid question here, but as I am feeling exceedingly dense this week – Nick, after those mods it gets 80-100 mpg? And what would those mods set me back if I paid someone to do them for me? (not even gonna pretend to go for it myself, not my bag)
A vehicle that could get up to 45 mph and ALSO get 80-100 mpg is worth a lot to me, all bedazzling aside. (assuming it doesn’t require more effort/cost in maintenance than my current car)… I think I need to add some additional columns to my commute calculator spreadsheet.
edited to add: I think I picked up inaccurate use of “moped” from bastardized other languages where it meant “two wheels but motorized” (roughly). thank you for the correction!
My commute is only 3 miles, but it’s mostly uphill and takes around 15 minutes plus 10-15 minutes to cool down and change. The scoot gets me there in 5 minutes.
Where’d you get yours?
@ejwme–From what I’ve read, the unmodded SR50s are a little better on gas–better than 80-100mpg. Nick will be able to provide a much better explanation later though.
Just an FYI for those who work in Downtown, there is FREE motorcycle parking under the bridge here:
Fills up VERY quickly in the morning though, fortunately a Vespa doesn’t take up much space.
that reminded me Lou, (W) has “priority” parking for “green” vehicles. My diesel that gets 50 mpg doesn’t qualify (but some hybrid SUVs that get less than half that DO), but a scooter would. There’s a couple motorcycles that get there early and park across the line sideways, ensuring that at least three more motorcycles get priority spaces (there is NO motorcycle parking, a need expressed very strongly to the architect and then ignored). I could totally see people getting irritated that my little moped took an entire priority spot from their (relative) guzzler, or getting a laugh from parking it beside the Harleys.
Could be worth it just for that.
@lou I usually park in that lot – when there is a space. Do you have any recommendations of alternatives on that side of town that aren’t too expensive for when it is full?
kayla – I got it at Mosites on 30, I think Nick said that’s where yours came from too?
ejwme – a lot of scooter types seem to track their mileage online, i.e. fuelly.com. You’ll see various small scooters claim 80-140 mpg but I don’t have a good feel for what the reality is. I’m sure much more so than a car it depends on the rider’s weight and terrain. The bike I just bought is listed at 90mpg (and “60+ mph”) but I’m sure it’s not going to get that kind of mileage with me on it.
That is indeed where it came from. That’s a fun little ride back to the city.
The most I ever got on the SR was 111 mpg. The mods are mostly for speed and acceleration, but they do help with efficiency. I’ve heard of stock ones getting up to 100 and modded ones getting up to 120.
As for cost, you may be able to negotiate derestriction into the price. Exhausts are usually between 200-300, but sometimes they pop up on eBay cheaper.
Other parts vary on price. One of the only downsides to the SR is parts availability is lacking in the states. Beyond basic mods, most parts need to be imported from Italy or Germany (Germans are real big on “scooter tuning”-google it). Although, most of what you would be interested in can be sources from AF1 or Highgain Tuning, both in the states.
I would happily help you with labor.
That being said, if you get one, you should touch it (mod-wise) until its broken in. It’s a pretty high-revving precision engine, and not breaking it in properly will not be good for it at all.
Heh. I struggle with the scooter/bike dilemma every day it is nice out. Much like Kayla, I can get to and from work faster, and I don’t sweat. And last night, I managed to convince myself to ride my bike today, but now….I’m not so sure.
My impression was that is legal to park a scooter anywhere you could park a bicycle. Can anyone speak to that?
@bjanaszek Maybe if its under 50cc you can park anywhere, but don’t take my word on it. If it is a licensed motorcycle (classification) then no.
@hoffmannj I have no other options on that side of town. I have been lucky in that there are maybe 4 spots left when I get there in the morning and I have to squeeze in. I have seen striped motorcycle parking at the SW corner of Grant and Forbes in that lot so it might be considered paid parking.
The only thing that stopped me from buying an SR50 was the fact that it really wasnt any more financially practical than driving. I figured it would save me ~$100 a month on gas assuming that I didnt drive my truck at all, I have to have my truck so theres no other savings to be had as far as insurance and such. So about 24 months and it would pay for itself. Then I factored in that I wouldnt be able to ride it for more than a total of about 4 months a year, it made less and less sense to buy it purely for commuting. They arent fast enough for me to consider it a toy so at this point Im probably better off buying a motorcycle.
A coworker told me: do not park a scooter on the sidewalk in the city unless you want a very expensive ticket. I don’t think displacement matters. Mopeds might be OK, not sure. But, its definitely up to local laws.
All I can say is it’s a very slippery slope from bike commuting every day to basically spending 10 years off your bike. There is a good reason the majority of the population drives to work – it’s very tempting. I don’t want to go back, I feel like I lost an important part of my life when I stopped riding and didn’t really realize it until I started riding again.
That being said, if everyone rode a scooter instead of driving a car, I think the world would be a lot less messed up, though bicycling is still way better in my book.
I generally ride from early March to November. Who only ride 4 months a year (besides Harley guys)?
It is deinitely illegal to park a scooter anywhere you wouldn’t park a car (unless its private property). I think if its a true moors they can be parked and locks to racks/meters without issue.
My riding time is roughly the same, but I found with the right layering, I could ride on dry days in the winter, as long as the temps hovered right around freezing.
I was researching the parking thing and discovered that in Toronto, motos and scooters don’t need to put money in the meters. Score!
While on the (off-)topic, does anyone know the rules about sharing on-street meter spaces with cars in Pittsburgh? I do it sometimes and haven’t ever had a problem but I’ve never seen anything saying explicitly whether it’s allowed or not.
I’m not sure. I’ve never parked in a spot with a car already there, but I have gotten back to my spot to find a car sharing it with me (usually a small car that the driver had to really squeeze into the spot).
I meant 4 months as if you were to add up all the days they would probably total 4-5 months. Riding in rain isnt something I would really do, especially since I have to wear a suit 5-6 days a week.
ah, see, I’d ride in rain to save the gas. And the cold. It’s like a bike, that, sometimes, I wouldn’t have to change after (but sometimes would).
The modding and tuning though sound way beyond me. Gonna consult w/hubby and may PM you Nick, thank you for all the advice/information!
In the city I used to live in, motorcyclists would complain because when they shared a metered space, the meterperson wouldn’t know who paid and who didn’t (obviously they both couldn’t plug the meter for the same period of time!) so they just ticket both of them.
How do you deal with the machines that print out tickets when you ride a motorcycle? You can’t really lock the ticket under your windshield…
Unfortunately there is a strap on my seat that they neatly tuck it under.
The Aprilia doesn’t have a strap, just some handles. I’m not sure what the alarm’s tolerance if, but if the meterperson poked around enough looking for a place to put the ticket I could maybe see the alarm going off. Not sure though.
Unfortunately there is a strap on my seat that they neatly tuck it under.
Lou, I mean the ticket machines that have replaced the coil-op meters around Schenley Plaza and in the parking garage in Sq. Hill. You stick your credit card in, it prints a ticket out with a time on it that you put on your dash to prove you paid for parking. If you have no ticket showing, or its expired, they fine you. Would you just stick this on your seat and hope nobody nabs it?
Well, strangely enough my morning commute took me 16 miles instead of the usual 2. Maybe the odometer is just off.
ejwme – you could skip modding and tuning and just buy a bike with a bigger engine. AFAICT it doesn’t affect mileage that much – you’re mostly paying for air resistance regardless of engine displacement.
dwillen – I’d probably do that, and snap a cellphone pic just in case.
I’d just park farther away where it’s free… salty, larger is an option, it just changes the licensing/registration scheme a bit.
true, but getting a permit is painless (aside from the 3 hour backup at the penn hills DMV) and as everyone else said taking the (free) safety course is an excellent idea and yields a license. so, as multiple people told me, don’t base any decisions on that.
that being said, these things are cheap and fun and there’s not much downside to playing around. and i know for a fact that Mosites has a SR50R factory in-stock – go putt around their parking lot and see…
(sorry back off topic)
EJ, I took the free safety classes two years ago and now have an M designation on my license even though I never went ahead and bought a motorcycle. The classroom stuff is brain-dead boring, but the on-bike training in the parking lot is way cool. They teach you how to do panic stops, deal with debris in the road, tight turns, etc. I had only been on a motorcycle once as a passenger prior to taking the class, but I found my bicycling skills transferred well to most of the drills they had us do, and it wasn’t too intimidating. I highly recommend taking the class even if you are just considering the purchase at this point. It might also help you make up your mind about scooter vs. full motorcycle. I suggest the hubby take it too.
Holy Cow, I like the Vespa (Stella) outrigger bike rack better than anything, excellent! I have desired an orange Stella for some time now.
Funny MSF story – I took the Experienced Rider refresher course several years ago, on my GSXR. Had gotten used to braking with 2 fingers on the lever, because that’s all you need, ever, but the instructor insisted that I have all 4 fingers on the lever. We did panic stops, and I promptly put the rear wheel 2 1/2 feet in the air right in front of the instructor, and calmly set it down. He allowed me to return to 2 fingered braking.
X2 on getting a ticket for sharing a spot.
What put salt in the wound is that the ticket must have blown away and the simple parking ticket inflated to around $50.
I also got a ticket for parking at the end of the block. It was a $50 something ticket on it’s own. Glad that one did not blow away.
keeping this off topic:
Is anyone thinking of signing up for the training classes? they don’t give these in the city, and are a PITA to get to the burbs without a car, so if anyone plans on signing up and driving out there, let me know and i can give some gas money or something
you mean the motorcycle classes? i’m definitely going to sign up but i need to figure out the dates after my wife stops putzing around and gets her permit. i’d probably drive since there are 2 (or 3) of us going so i could give you a ride.
@salty, she doesn’t need her permit. you’re doing all the driving on a closed course and you get licensed at the end, so no permit required if she’s not going to be driving outside of class.
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