How often do you encounter other motored-bike riders?

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by AlphaGeek, Oct 24, 2008.


How often do you encounter other motored-bike riders on the road?

  1. Daily or close to it (at least 3-5 times/week)

    7 vote(s)
  2. Just about every week (1-2 times/week)

    7 vote(s)
  3. A couple of times per month

    9 vote(s)
  4. Infrequently -- a few times per year

    37 vote(s)
  5. Only at pre-arranged meetups or special events

    7 vote(s)
  6. Does looking at yourself in the rear-view mirror count? (i.e. never)

    84 vote(s)
  1. AlphaGeek

    AlphaGeek Member

    Today is the first day I've seen someone else with a gas motor on their bike -- on my commute home today, I looked over and saw a teenager putting along on a cruiser bike with a Happy Time type engine in Redwood City as I was buzzing along at 32.1mph. (Er, I mean 30mph, because that's the legal limit in CA. Yeah, it must have been 30mph. :cool:) He was even wearing a legal Bell half-shell helmet. Granted, it was stuffed on over his baseball cap, reducing its protective abilities (sigh) but at least he was wearing one.

    To that point: how often do YOU see other motored-bike riders? Feel free to include friends, disciples, admirers, and other hangers-on you have converted to the cause -- it doesn't just have to be random strangers you see riding buzzbikes.

    Discuss amongst yourselves.


  2. AlphaGeek

    AlphaGeek Member

    Another thought I've been wanting to bring up for discussion: the wildly varying demographics of people you find on motored bikes. There are a couple of archetypes (groups who can be easily characterized by a simple profile due to similarities) that I've seen involved in motorized bikes, either in person or online:

    * The weathered-looking blue-collar guy with, shall we say, license and insurance issues that keep him from getting behind the wheel of a car/truck/motorcycle. Likely to be spotted riding an inexpensive low-speed/short-range electric bike around a particular city or town.

    * The teen or college-age rider for whom a car is not a good option due to expense or practicality of owning/parking said car. If asked will generally admit that parent told them that a motorcycle was Right Out and that they were a Very Bad Idea. One or both parents may be mechanically inclined and supportive of building a motorized bike, or even actively involved in the build. Typically found in or near suburban and college-campus environments.

    * Hard-core eco-geeks on battery-powered bikes. Given the short range of e-bikes, it takes a special kind of lazy to justify needing motor power for a local commute -- especially when most of these critters live near where they work to keep their carbon footprint down.

    * Retirees with more time than pedaling power. What's better than a nice bike ride on a fall day? How about one where you don't have to power-pedal up the hill to your house with both knees twinging from arthritis/tendonitis/etc.? Not likely to be spotted doing anything excessively stupid.

    * Practical types (of all ages) with an inclination to tinker with and/or build stuff on their own. Lots of tools in the garage, likely to own a proper air compressor. Subscribes to MAKE magazine. Could be found anywhere, but more common in states friendly to motorized bikes.

    Have I missed anyone?

  3. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    I encounter other MB riders pretty regularly.Some are idiots,but most are good....just trying to find a sensible/fun way to get around.
  4. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    NEVER IN NY, The traffic Nazi keeps the street clean!

    I'll have you know I object to your stereo-typing Alpha! Unless like the forementioned by myself!
  5. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch New Member

    I've never seen another gas powered bicycle. Saw an electric one in a bike shop once. Anyone I ever see is pedaling.

    I have a car and a valid license. I wish I could afford a real motorcycle. I ride a Happy Time like a maniac.
  6. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I think you've covered the likely types pretty well. But I can't be sure because I hardly ever see one. One time in this past summer I saw a guy with a yellow engine mounted rack-style. He was going away from us. I was on a pedal bike and my daughter was on my motored bike. I pointed and told her to catch up and introduce herself. But she was too shy. I haven't seen him since.

    and I came across another guy sitting by his mini-van playing the guitar. In the back of the van was a stretch cruiser with a happy time on it. I stopped and talked with him. It was clear he was a local. So I didn't pin down just who he was; I figured I'd see him around. Haven't seen him since. I do recall, though, that he was one who had had driver's license issues.
  7. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    I have seen one young man on a MB and talked with another --- two total

    the first -- younger guy -- I have seen four or five times now
    there is this place where I hang out at times down in town
    many of us spend time on the large front porch of this business
    there is a four way stop -- right there in front of us
    this guy has a Happy Time -- so I always hear him coming
    as he slows down a little -- then blows right through the stop sign
    amazing -- I guess he has not received a ticket ----- yet..

    the second young man yelled hi to me one day as I rode past
    I turned around and stopped to talk with him
    he told me that the next town over (pooolice) had stopped him and impounded his MB
    impound cost were 3 or 4 hundred dollars -- he did not get MB out of impound
    he also stated that he did not have a drivers license
    he said that his MB was also a HT
    not that I don't -- but -- he looked a little rough around the edges

    off the subject a little --- gas powered scooters --- are VERY LEGAL HERE
    I see many of these
    mostly young guys -- riding really crazy
    blowing through stop signs -- loud noise -- ride on the wrong side of road -- ect ect
    I guess that the pooolice don't care at all -- in our town anyway
    as we know all towns can make up there own so called laws
    two adjoining towns to ours -- DO NOT ALLOW SCOOTERS

    ride that thing
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  8. AlphaGeek

    AlphaGeek Member

    I'm awfully tempted to get one of those go-ped scooters with a Tanaka 47cc race motor on it. Disc brakes, full suspension, two-speed gearbox, unlimited fun potential. :)

    Maybe next spring. Gotta get my buzzbike fully dialed in and upgraded to my satisfaction before I start any new projects. REI says my cargo rack came in (finally) so once that's done it's time to get the lighting squared away so I don't have to worry quite so much about getting home by dusk. Trail Tech HIDs... yum...

  9. TWalker

    TWalker Guest

    I voted daily because I live in a village of 8,000 and make and sell the bikes, everyone knows I'm the guy who builds "those bikes". They are common here.
  10. spunout

    spunout Member

    when i lived in Tucson, it was every day.
    here, in coventry, i'm just about the only one anybody knows
  11. fastboy9

    fastboy9 Member

    I'm pretty much in between the two.
    I've never ever seen anybody else on a motorized bike :( I wish I had though, I only know of one other person in the county who has one, and thats Jemma.

    A wise man once said, theres only one thing better than riding a motorized bike, and thats riding with somebody else.

    So so lonely :( lol

  12. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    in regards to this poll taken

    the last question asked should be -------- NEVER

    instead of
    Does looking at yourself in the rear-view mirror count ?

    that question just messes the whole poll up

    ride that thing
  13. AlphaGeek

    AlphaGeek Member

    Hey, Mountainman -- read all the way to the end of the line for the last option in the poll. That's exactly why I included "(i.e. never)" for clarity.

    Sorry if I exceeded your attention span with my poll options. :)

  14. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    sorry about that -- goes to show that today -- Iam not paying attention

    focus - focus Mountainman

    thank you -- as we all -- ride that thing
  15. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    No I have never spotted the elusive M/B er. In the wild or in captivity for the matter !!!
    But I did see a Bigfoot once !!! But thats for a different forum....
  16. beachcruiserD

    beachcruiserD New Member

    not too often

    i've seen 2 guys at my college with them....seems like there ought to be more...but i guess alot of people are too dumb to realize how to build one, and how cost effective they are....oh well, more props for the rest of us!:p
  17. Sky High

    Sky High New Member

    I took one of my MB`s to Virginia Beach , Va. a few weeks ago, as I was riding I hear a police siren & look behind me. Low and behold here`s this unmarked cruiser lights flashing, so I pull over and officer ask me " What are you doing ? " I answer " Riding my motorized bicycle... SIR " He says you can`t ride it like that in the trolly lane. So he says I see you have a helmet on & thats good so do you have ID ? I give him my DL and as he studies it I hear this familiar buzzing sound and another MB goes screaming past us . He looks & does a double take & yells at me " Did you see that !? " I answer Yes SIR I sure did , it was another bike like mine. " The officer says back " NO that dude had NO helmet on , he`s got more troubles than you !" With that he tosses my DL back at me & burns rubber to chase the guy down...
  18. beachcruiserD

    beachcruiserD New Member

    yeah im the weathered guy with the license issues...but you know, i get more looks and thumbs up from guys in construction trucks/vans....the rest are guys my age asking where and how to pick up an engine.....despite my legal issues and insurance being high, i find that the motorized bicycle is the perfect loophole for anyone who thinks that they have to be "stranded" because the law tells them so.....
    this is not the case, just build up your bike, and with some mechanical know how and some courage, you can get to where you need to be without a bus fare, and your half of the dudes i run into are amazed that i put it on my bike myself anyway, without professional help....haha :roll:
  19. beachcruiserD

    beachcruiserD New Member

    yeah, youre only as guilty as the police make you seem, lucky you caught a break that day...ride in the bicycle lane if you have one, that should keep you out of trouble....but if you are like most of the east coast, maybe you ought to consider all of the bike only areas where a cruiser cannot fit, and then if you encounter them again, just go down a bike trail or something....not trying to promote a cop chase here, just trying to say that if they want to get you for anything, and you hear them, dont look at them, and say your engine was too loud and you couldnt hear them.....wink wink. lol//// these things are barely legal as it you dont want to get caught and impounded:cool:
  20. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    fully legal in Calif -- to -- ride that thing

    fully legal in Calif -- to -- ride that thing