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Now what am I going to do with that Thing?

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  • Now what am I going to do with that Thing?

    Kind of long story...and probably another questionmark for my sanity.

    Last January I wondered if I could get to work (only 5 miles) in a more relaxed and energy saving fashion. Consequently I got an electric motor kit and attached it to my trusty old bicycle. Well, doing that I upgraded from 36 to 48 volts which makes the thing move at some decent 27mph. Pretty cool, until I noticed while the DMV allows for such vehicles without registration (CVC 406.b), the insurance industry did not catch up yet. Maybe I am too European that I feel the need for insurance for anything that moves on the road.

    Well, I thought why not register the thing as a regular Moped? No problem, the DMV did my bidding and even sent me a small license plate for a few bucks but then the insurance guy asked me for my (not existing) motorcycle license. Shit.

    Well, I thought a motorcycle license does not hurt and I have not been riding a motorcycle for 25 years so I went to Cerritos College to do the weekend riding class, another visit to the DMV and I had the M1 license. Pretty cool.

    Well, I have the license now. Browsing Craigslist by chance I found they sell decent used motorcycles for next to nothing (I guess some folks have trouble paying for their toys) and got to talk with a guy who is moving and needed to get rid of a small cruiser.

    Anyway, now I am the owner of a Yamaha V-star 650. 4 years old for $2500 and some 800+ bucks worth of gear thrown in. Bike cover, 2 helmets, leather and fabric jacket that fit, 2 pants and boots that don't. Maybe the bike will feel a little lame after a while but already a handful for a beginner like me.

    Don't really know what to to do with this thing yet. And...I still don't have insurance for that electric bicycle. Something with not having a proper manufacturer name.

    Last edited by slomove; November 21, 2009, 10:31 PM.

  • #2
    My CPA says "it's a lot easier to get into something than it is to get out of something". Seems like that's how it is with 7 owners, whether it's our cars or other projects!
    2013 Boss 302 Mustang
    2005 SV Roadsport (gone but not forgotten)


    • #3
      Most of my friends with bikes walk with a limp!


      • #4
        Gert, I'm not sure if you are on the main list, but there was just a long thread on commuting by motorcycle. Essentially the advice was "ride the bike for fun, not for commuting". Too many stupid, tired, distracted (texting perhaps), or drunk drivers out there to be riding a bike to/from work when you could be distracted/tired/etc.

        If your commute is short and you don't have a bunch of traffic to deal with it's probably not such a risk.

        Tom "ELV15" Jones


        • #5
          Simple - Sell the electric bike together with the v-star and buy Seven upgrades for the money.

          Once you realise that the entire purpose of all your economic activities is to finance your Birkin habit, you will never have to ask yourself questions like this again.

          /Magnus F.


          • #6
            Originally posted by johnh View Post
            Most of my friends with bikes walk with a limp!
            I know. But I am well beyond the hotshot age and I hope that will help me keep it reasonable. The bike moves a a good pace but for sure not a rocket.

            Originally posted by Elv15 View Post
            ... Essentially the advice was "ride the bike for fun, not for commuting"....
            Agreed, but I can take surface roads and may use the Yamaha once a while. And then I still have the e-bike. And the car. And the Seven.

            Originally posted by magnusfeuer View Post
            ....Simple - Sell the electric bike together with the v-star and buy Seven upgrades for the money.....
            Here is the problem: In the first place I got the Seven to a point that I really like. Rock solid (well, as far as a Seven goes). Decent power for the road and usable power for the track. Going beyond that would become REALLY expensive. Actually the head work, cams and fuel injection some years ago was a bit more than the entire motorcycle plus E-bike.

            Last edited by slomove; November 22, 2009, 06:54 PM.


            • #7
              Some pictures.


              And Effect:

              Last edited by slomove; December 19, 2009, 09:31 PM.


              • #8
                Sold my motorcycle for a 7. It was just for fun as I wouldn't think of commuting on it... to many Yahoos not paying attention.


                • #9
                  You need to come full circle and electrify the motorcycle. Shouldn't be too expensive ;)


                  • #10
                    Oh yeah, something like this. Only $98,000


                    • #11
                      These folks are right down the hill from me:


                      • #12
               of Ashland, OR (formerly producers of the Atom) is now offering their version of an electric motorcycle called the Brammo Enertia. Those interested may want to check it out.
                        With Best Regards,
                        Jim F.


                        • #13
                          On a funny note that happened to me and related to your bicycle....

                          I used to be a very serious cyclist about 15 years ago, did some training with the Harvard race team on weekends under ex Olympic cyclist John Allis , 2-300 miles a week, etc...
                          After a long hiatus, I recently broke out my custom DeRosa and have started training again. I have a 5 mile bike path that goes from my house to the beach, so almost every day now I ride to the beach and back, and try to keep the pace up. I have become quite fast and not too many people pass me.
                          So one day I was cooking along nicely (22-23mph) and some guy in jeans, a button down shirt, and loafers on a beat up POS mountain bike with bags on the side blows past me like I am standing still. Here I am on a nearly $4K (in 1995) road bike all spandexed out and now my ego is kicking in the red mist, so I give chase. I got up to 30mph to catch up and then was just able to keep him in my sites, that is until I completely blew up after nearly a mile of this pace, and had to give up and let him go.
                          I was gutted, I got home and told my wife (she laughed at me) and I had since been telling everyone how I got blown away by what had to have been an Olympic Cyclist or something.
                          Well a couple of weeks later I was at a BBQ, I tell the story, and a friend says, "did the bike have two bags?"... yes. "Did it have what looked like a drum brake on the front wheel?"... yes "That was an electric motor you dolt!" :(

                          The funny thing is my wife goes " What is that car a Morgan ? " and I said "No that's a Caterham but there is a Morgan driving it " -delise