the MB-Legal Future? Predictions and Wild Guesses.

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by augidog, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. augidog

    augidog Banned

    there's been tons of talk lately about some pretty signifcant things, epa and fair-trade...quality and the disparities between the various options of drivetrains.

    some important the MB'er, surely. but also important to the different agencies I'm sure are watching us.

    "they're gonna shut us down"..."don't let so much info go public"...examples of concerns raised when we talk about stuff.

    well, it's my opinion that as our numbers grow, there won't be one definitive thing we can do or NOT do to change whatever's going to happen

    I feel that we need to keep it out in the open.

    A discussion elsewhere got pretty heated when epa-stuff became a focus. i apologise for my heated part in it but not for voicing my strong views about fair-trade, but as a result i'm willing to concede that legitimate epa/carb-compliance for "SORE's" should be an accepted minimum for our vehicles. note i said legitimate...and if it IS legit the proof should remain on the engine as originally shipped. matter of fact, yes this was a private dig at someone who has actually made this issue so bad because there is info being removed from engines before the end-user gets them. if you make a claim, then don't remove the labeling that backs you up. that's just wrong to let folks go on with seemingly proper assumptions because you're hiding "something else" about the engine. it makes you responsible for the ensuing discourse, which was mostly based on that lack of available info. and...that "missing" label could be the difference between your customer getting in trouble or not.'ll accept my new (and admittedly more realistic) position or you won't. it was conjected that we're asking for too much attention, i think we're gettin' that attention anyways.

    so now i'd like to talk about "where is all this really going?"

    we have many many differnt kinds of bikes and riders within our community, and many many more who never get on the internet but are still out there having some influence on how things go for us.

    so...the numbers are huge, noone's going to be able to keep this under the radar, something is going to happen with the law sooner or later, it could be as gentle as some stricter restrictions on the engines we can use or it can be as bad as complete "revenoor" legislation that makes us a motor-vehicle in every legal sense of the word...

    from a laws & legislation viewpoint: assuming that this movement is so large that we are beyond self-regulation and the ability to choose our destiny...what do you think will happen?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2008

  2. astring

    astring Member

    AZ seems to have settled it to a degree (though the law stills needs some tweeking).
  3. augidog

    augidog Banned

    i love that AZ is trying, but it's also clear the current situation there is "uncomfortable" for us and them...something will change...where do you think those "tweaks" should, or could, go? how do we, can we, influence it?

    from bad to good scenarios, this topic's about "creative interpretation" and wild guesses...anyone?
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  4. Bigwheel

    Bigwheel Member

    If they outlaw motorized bicycles, then only outlaws will ride motorized bikes.
  5. Legal engines, legal operations?

    Hi, well, lets see....... Origionally the US did not care about small engines, then in 05 they threatend all the legal importers....then in early 06 the smugglers sprung up like a crop of weeds in a vacant lot.......still the Legal guys stood tight and did not import.....Now supposedly an EPA legal kit exsists on the ChinaFire/HappyTime format. This is the "New" cat-equipped 66 or 67 cc CF engine. I will test this engine myself, somehow.

    Soooo the 4-stroke comes along, low quantities, and some noisy flakey gearboxes well that is progress eh? The Government continues business as normal and has apparently NO interest in the 4-stroke under 50cc market.

    Then, ON this site, over 14 pages of self-promotion and hype, (in ONE topic alone!!!), talking about the "Worlds Greatest engine and transmission, this invention will make sliced bread obsolete, Made in USA, and raise the flag and we will all salute together"!

    HUH? a Rack-mount when there were already excellent Racks availble, and the population was riding frame mounts......Go Figure?

    Soo, amoung the riding populace complaints about gearboxes, and clutches abound, and here, and other boards, we begin to study what is availble.

    HS with JL gearbox means instant (or almost so) failure on Stage 1 The Grube shage 1 loses it's "engager" mechanism at the gate tho that could be welded solid.

    What is next? I don't yet know. Upon asking the known world for FACTORY specs for the 4-stroke under 50cc engines we found Honda, H/S but no T I T A N. The little Robin-Subaro is also well known but too small for most people to be interested in.

    Stay tuned, keep aware, keep in touch, and we shall see what is next?

  6. astring

    astring Member

    they have to take away the possibility of those huge fines for no regs, no ins and no license.
  7. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Well, would that that were true.

    Fact is, they don't have to do any such thing. Government is about control, and mechanisms of control are thoroughly entrenched in society - growing ever more entrenched with each passing day. Mandatory registration, mandatory licensing, mandatory "minimum" equipment for your "safety", mandatory insurance, etcetera are all backed up by force - which is what gov't really is. Coercive force, pure and simple. Sure, we may agree with most of it, and happily cooperate in our own control - if we didn't, society could not function at all - but it is still control by force.

    No government of which I am aware, in all of human history, ever relaxed control of the people except when they were forced to by a massive resistance to the coercion. So, what you have to ask yourself is - is it worth the risks? Arrests, fines, imprisonment, forfeiture of property, even death should you continue to resist - all are out there as real risks for any behavior construed as criminal.

    So, should we debate and attempt to reach a consensus on what is reasonable as a level of control? Of course we should - it is much easier to inflence governmental actions before the controls are imposed than after they are codified and enforced.

    As I see it, first we need a proper definition of what constitutes a pedalcycle - be it one, two, three, four, or however many wheels/riders. Second, we need a reasonable standard as to what would constitute acceptable levels of power assistance for such conveyances. Third, we need reasonable rules regarding minimum necessary equipment - lights/horns/etc. Fourth, we need minimum standards on what constitutes safety equipment for your person as a rider - helmets? Fifth, we need to set reasonable standards for maximum speed capabilities - lots of states use 20 mph, which isn't really reasonable, given that full size automobiles are allowed to travel at 35 mph on most city streets Sixth, what things should be expressly forbidden (e.g - motorized handtruck pushers, maybe)? Seventh - what minimum level of competence is needed to be considered safe to ride?

    Keep in mind, in the abnsence of hard and fast rules regarding some specific types of patently unsafe modifications/behaviors, it leaves a large gray are. Authority must be served - if the rules aren't specific enough, then anything might be a violation.

    Any of the enumerated points above (a by no means comprehensive list) will generate debate, and no matter how loose the rules are set, some are going to break them. So, what are reasonable penalty levels? With what level of force may those violations be addressed?

    Lots to think about.
  8. I honestly think as far as Motoredbikes go were gonna remain the same and this is why.
    Gas won't go down any time soon. Out of those that want to save gas and still get around without much hassle in time or whatever I think more than 50% of those guys will buy a motorcycle.
    Why do I say this?
    There's a Motorcycle safety class down my street held daily it seems. It used to be I saw bikes there on the parking lot riding around the cones only once or twice a week.
    It's been EVERY DAY I see them there now. And classes of over 30 bikes. I'll try to take a pic next time I see them. I don't ride on the weekends for I got my host home guy. But maybe on Monday I'll snap a few pics.
    Then out of the pie another 40% will choose a scooter. It's slower but you can still stay with traffic but you cannot go on the highway so that's a problem. But it's managable so there you are. And under 50cc your good to go.
    Then there's the remaining 10% which is us guys.
    Out of those 10% I would say 80% of those that choose a motoredbike would try to commute with it but find because the bike is too slow it can get down right DANGEROUS because cars don't care about little old us and they are not fully trained on the importance of regular maintenance so they will have a bad experience and look at scooters and Motorcycles.
    Those 80% are usually the ones you find lurking here. Those are the ones that would have one or two pictures of their rides in the picture gallery but never post an introduction. Those guys like their rides but it's in no way their primary transportation.
    They are cool though,don't get me wrong,but those guys you won't see riding every day.
    Then the other 20% are all the wonderful people here that posts mass quantities of joy in our wonderful forum. We are the TRUE DIEHARD MOTORED BIKE RIDERS!!
    And were hardly in the top one percentile when it comes to total number of people that need to travel daily.
    Our revolution is happening. But the players are the scooters and Motorcycles.
    Our rides right now are just plain too impractical to the eyes of the average Joe.
    They don't know anything,yo. And sometimes that's okay.
    They don't know that with proper upkeep our bikes ARE practical and they get great gas mileage.
    Compliance is very important. Yes. I completely agree here. But again honestly I don't think it would come to that when it comes to the law.
    I ride like I am on a BICYCLE and for that I don't get bothered.
    How you ride determines our future. We get enough guys tearing up the roads keeping up with cars on a bicycle not designed for this type of treatment then were gonna get the heat. But if you stay cool,so would generally the cops too.
    Here's just one you tube video of the many video's of what traffic is like in other countries.
    This is how bad things have to get for us before we will see the right legislation come around for all of us.
    And I don't see a mess like this happening to us any time soon.

    So how many motoredbikes do you see?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2008
  9. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    While motorcycle and scooter sales/usage are skyrocketing, it won't take very long for the government to start regulating them out of existence. Motorcycles and scooters still have rather crude emission control standards when compared to passenger cars. Once they represent a significant amount of traffic, they will tighten up emission regulations making them more expensive to purchase and more complicated to maintain. Motored bikes may suffer the same future if they become popular enough.

    Todays lawn mowers and other power equipment run hotter and probably don't last as long because of strict emission standards. Manufacturers are forced to jet their carbs lean to pass emissions, and they provide virtually no adjustments so we can't even adjust the carbs to get them to run properly. Hard starting and rough running seem to be the norm for a lot of new power equipment.

    Two stroke equipment has suffered the most, since they get their lubrication from the fuel/oil mix. Being a tad lean with 50:1 fuel/oil ratio means short engine life and/or seizure. I guess I should be happy that they still make 2 stroke trimmers, blowers, and saws. (at least for now)
  10. Zev0

    Zev0 Member

    Huh? The Tanaka 2-Stroke 33cc has been known to run 10s of 1000s of miles at that very LEAN mixture.
  11. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    One thing to keep in mind is the effect of traffic saturation. The reason that the automobile has become so expensive to keep legal is because there are so many of them on the roads getting in each other's way. And, yes, there are instances of states suddenly increasing registration fees for the sake of general revenue. My state did it several years back. A pretty hefty raise, too. It still burns me. But this is more the exception than the rule.

    But let's start with one assumption; America is going to have to give up the automobile for most personal use. I know this isn't absolutely certain, but it seems likely. Let's imagine it happens overnight. The roads will be a lot more clear. There will be less friction between cars, motorcycles, scooters, motor assisted bicycles, etc. It'll be even better in winter because some of those vehicles simply can't operate. Those people will take a bus. There'll be people who latch onto the motor assisted bike but can't face the winter. They'll be on a bus, too. There might be variations; maybe those who won't face up to riding in winter will scrimp and save enough to operate their cars. Some of them, anyway. But the general trend will be toward clearer roads.

    This will undermine society's justification for regulating our vehicles so heavily. Right now our status is marginal precisely because society doesn't really want us riding these things. The car is still king. When this changes (and it looks like that's about to happen), then very small-engined personal conveyances will take over. And any village council, county board or state legislature who tries to stifle it will be looking for a butt-kicking in the next election.

    There's nothing wrong with setting minimum standards for equipment and operator competence. But at this point in time, that won't help us much. When we've managed to kill the automobile, then we'll be the only game in town. But until then we'll be tolerated at best. Maybe there's already been some improvement; I have a notion that respect for our fuel saving ability is one reason that the cops don't hassle those of us who ride maturely. Maybe we all should put those signs on our bikes that say "150 mpg".
    At a point in time that it is getting very painful to keep a car on the road, things like this might be just what it takes to "kick it over the edge".

    And good riddance!
  12. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Yes, and we're supposed to control the gov't, but people nowadays are slave to the system -- whoores to the system, if you will. We're the system's biznitch if we don't slap *them* around every once in awhile. And I think that most people do agree with the majority of the laws that are passed... but for the most part, we just don't know of the st00pit and outdated laws until it hits us. That's when we have to go to court to convince a judge that we weren't in the wrong, or maybe even convince a jury that the law is what's wrong.

    I believe our court system really is what makes this country today, and of course the people who rebelled from their oppressors and created fair laws because they held some certain truths to be self-evident!!

    Exactly!! The problem with bad laws is that some goofus is going to have to enforce it, because they can't think for themselves... and don't care to change the laws themselves. Why would they? They're getting a paycheck to follow orders. If we can convince legislators that we have the answer to all their problems, they will help us... and we will in turn help them by re-electing them, and telling others to re-elect them. If they believe enough people will like just one good piece of legislation, they will have the support of those directly affected by the legislation... and the support of those who are friends of those directly affected by the legislation. Word of mouth is the #1 advertiser, I hear. :cool:

    I feel this is the most important thing... all other additional rules are mostly inherent. And as long as each state defines a pedacycle / MB as something different from a motorcycle, we've at least spared every rider the hassle of hearing a cop threaten them with no reg, no ins, no brake light, no tail light, improper braking equipment, etc. Once we get the definition down, the law ENFORCERS will accept us for what we all know we are -- a bicycle with a motor attached. At that point, a state can make up any other laws which it deems necessary, IMO, like having a license, riding 20mph or riding 30mph, riding at certain hours of the day, etc... but the definition is key. Headlight, helmet, & 50cc limit are pretty standard, tho. I think every reasonable person would expect a MBer to abide by these minimum rules... so if we push our legislators to start here, we win.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  13. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Ya know... I'd really be interested in how the "good" states' legislatures became aware of MBs. Did someone ask a friend in their state's congress to write the law? Did a congressman just see an MBer riding and think, I should help that guy out? Did lots of people in one state push for the change? Did they just make it up before they ever heard about MBs?

    I would really appreciate it those in the MB-friendly states could answer this question for me, even if it means calling/emailing/writing your state's legislators. It could save us in the "bad" states a good bit of trouble.
  14. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Sparky, I haven't really looked into the history of motorized bikes, at all. I do think that the odds of some legislator just wanting to help a rider out are pretty slim - you are talking about a politician, you know. That said, motorized bicycles have been around well over one hundred years, and they were the evolutionary roots of every other form of motorcycle. It was the "need for speed" coupled with cheap fuel that led to the travesties of 1200+ cc 4 or 6 cylinder water-cooled "bikes" we see today.

    During that whole period, motorized bikes never went away, and they enjoyed several periods of resurgent popularity in the US. One of those periods resulted in the Whizzer - and I frankly don't care how they view themselves, they buid light-duty motorcycles. You may have noticed the relatively huge number of us older guys on the board - most of us can remember seeing/reading about the gas engine motorization kits (mostly friction drives) that were briefly popular in our youth, and thinking how COOL they were.

    Now we have very REAL reasons to want such - gas is $4+/gallon in most of the country, most cars are doing well to get 20 mpg, and that really hurts. My car gets 30 mpg, around town, and I buy about one (10 ga) tank of fuel a month - every month it costs more to fill up, but my income stays the same "(pretty marginal, as is).

    I NEED cheaper transportation, and I can't ride a two-wheeler. Nor will my numb from the knees down legs pedal a trike very far, and I live in a hilly town - the intersection my apt sits at is downhill from 3 directions (in a gully-washer it gets waist deep, quick). Being severely diabetic, I'm subject to getting really hot, really quickly, when exercising. Another problem with pedalling, in 90+ degree heat with 99% humidity.

    So, a motorized trike is my best bet - in fact, it is the only bet I have any hope of affording.
  15. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    I think you may have misunderstood me, while the 50:1 fuel/oil ratio itself is not problematic, the limited adjustment carbs are. A lot of two stroke power equipment doesn't run correctly right out of the box. I purchased a new trimmer that ran horribly until I cut off the plastic limiters and slotted the adjustment screws and enriched the mixture a little bit. (more than what the limiter would let me do) If I had continued to run the trimmer that way, the engine would have seized up, or at the very least had a severely shortened service life.

    A nice Tanaka or Mitsubishi two stroke probably has a nikasil (or other) lining plated to the cylinder bore, and a quality alloy piston and quality piston rings and is designed for hundreds of hours of use. Your typical "big box" two stroke trimmer runs the piston in a plain aluminum bore, and uses lower quality parts to hit that $69.95 price point. The end result is an engine that is intolerant of lean running conditions. I regularly tune the carbs on my two stroke power equipment from season to season because what runs good at 90F will be too lean at 60F. (I have removed the limiter caps on all of them) My 4 cycle push mower has no adjustments at all and will refuse to run properly below 60F. (runs hot, surges, etc) I keep an old 70's lawn boy around because it has a fully adjustable carburetor, and can be tuned to run great regardless of the weather. (sounds cool too, if you are a two stroke fan)

    In any case, my main point was that once the motorized bike, motorcycle and scooter population explode, they will be regulated as tightly as automobiles. This will make them much more expensive and people will just continue to drive cars. Then again, maybe a company can engineer a magneto driven, computer controlled electronic fuel injection system that will not cost a lot. (it may happen, remember when DVD players were $500?)

    I just bought a 110cc motorcycle (about the same wheelbase as a Vespa) for less than $1000. It can cruise at 50 mph, and gets around 100 mpg. Imagine what it would cost if the government tightened up emissions to the point where it needed electronic engine management, catalytic converter, etc. It wouldn't be cheap transportation anymore. Quite a few cycles are sporting EFI nowadays, but they are all pretty expensive. They should allow anything with less than 250 cc to run looser standards IMO. The reduction of fuel use trumps the additional pollution IMO.

    Motorized bikes might be outlawed altogether in some states. All it would take would be a kid to get killed in an accident to spawn a knee jerk reaction by the govt. If the kids name was James, it would be called "Jimmy's law" and who wouldn't want to support "Jimmy's law"? If you don't, you're obviously anti-children. Outlaw motorized bikes! :p (hey, you might put an eye out with that thing!)
  16. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    That would be sooo awesome. A 33-40cc diesel injected engine is what I'm after. I'd hook that up to a NuVinci hub... and then I could die happy.

    Hear, hear. Stop using so much fuel, America!!
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  17. Alan

    Alan Member

    When too many are breaking the law, it's time to change the law.
    I see a big future in MB's. At 120-180 miles per gallon, and fuel running over 4.00 per gallon, what logical explanation would prevent their (MB's) acceptance ?
  18. augidog

    augidog Banned

    ummm...underage riders (read: bad parenting) can kill the movement as fast as they can kill themselves on MB's...and altho underage riders without helmets is horribly bad parenting, we'll be penalized for that too...

    illegal engine-sizes will definitely have an impact, too. i also believe multiple gearing and higher speeds will quickly convince the lawmakers to regret any wiggle-room they've been allowing us so far. if we want to retain our MB-status, we have to retain an MB-image.

    so, even tho i fear we may be beyond responsible self-regulation, it seems we'll have to find a way to pull it off...
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  19. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    I'm pretty much OK with a 12 year old kid riding a motorized bike, provided he wears a helmet and rides responsibly. Like you said, it is the parents that are responsible for allowing their kids to do it, and to make sure they do it in a responsible manner. When I was a kid, me and my friends rode Briggs & Stratton powered minibikes (some had real Honda 50's and 70's) all over the neighborhood and wooded areas where we lived. We were extra careful about tangling with automobile traffic, and we kept out of trouble knowing that we'd get our butts kicked if we were up to any mischief.
  20. augidog

    augidog Banned

    not debate or criticism, but only discussion

    i was there for "rupp's" glory days, too :) ...those days are gone :(

    the feds and states with definitive laws are pretty much NOT ok with kids riding motoredbikes, tho...they say 16yo as consensus i, my point about the futility of self-regulation becomes more evident as the topic moves on, and imo it WILL bite our MB-butts sooner or later.

    remember, adults with jobs need these things...and kids using them as toys will quickly change the legal arena.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008