What is the future of economical commuting? The answer to this million dollar question is quite complicated. It basically depends on how you would like to travel.
For those of us with short commutes to work or local travel around town, a bicycle is literally as efficient and as inexpensive as anything known to mankind (besides your own two feet of course). The ability to travel by bicycle long distances or uphill for that matter, puts a limitation on the bicycle. No one wants to show up for work drenched in perspiration, out of breath, or giving the appearance of just leaving the gym. Overall, the bicycle winds up being a fantastic means of travel in many cases but certainly not all.
This brings us to the topic of gas saving motorized bicycles. A motorized bicycle is defined as a bike with a motor. We’re not talking about motorcycles here, but a traditional bicycle equipped with a gasoline powered motor.
Motorized bicycles have begun to appear around the country little by little. They are essentially a standard mountain bike or cruiser bike that has been fitted with an engine kit and fuel tank. They are said to squeak out a respectable 150 miles per gallon. Most commercially available kits however are sold with a half gallon gas tank which actually puts the motorized bicycle’s range at about 75 miles per tank.
The kits are readily available on eBay. They are sold in a variety of configurations and are listed for sale by numerous sellers claiming to be the best at what they do. As for pricing, it varies to a certain degree. They are listed for sale at prices as low as $125.00 and as high as $180.00 depending on the kit.
The kit itself contains everything necessary to complete a project bike. These are simple two cycle engines, similar in size to your backyard weed whacker, coupled to a small carburetor, and basic magneto setup. A twist throttle controls the speed.
The engine is started by pedaling the bicycle to a speed at which the clutch can be engaged to basically jump start the engine. A simple kill switch is used to stall the engine. The rider can also disengage the clutch to stop the powered travel.
Check eBay for the kits that are currently listed or check back here soon as we investigate the installation of the motorized bicycle kit, the legality of riding them on public roads, as well as possible problems with motorized bicycles.