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Old 10-10-2005, 02:12 AM   #1
sv1000rider
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

Yup, I see lots more bikes out there now than I ever have. And it seems like the past few months, there has been an explosion of bikes on the road. I hope this trend continues so maybe we in the U.S. can get the awesome variety of choices in motorcycles that Western Europe has.
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Old 10-10-2005, 03:11 AM   #2
edward44
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

Wishful thinking. I would not be surprised that Europe had a much higher percentage of riders unfazed by bad weather than the US which is strickly for sunshine bikers. But if you look at the experience of the UK before and after WW2 you will see that the mainstay of the prewar business was the 350cc single. It was exactly the same as the 500cc except for piston and cylinder size. Why buy the 350cc? Milage. However, after the war Britians became more affluent and dropped the bikes for small cars. Meanwhile the British firms were waisting precious capital on developing...commuter bikes. With the advent of the Honda cb750 the market became recreational and the British MC industry was history. Nowdays it is entirely possibe to build small cars that will get very high milage while only the smallest classes of bikes will provide higher milage. IMO, motorcycling will remain recreational and smaller, more fuel efficient cars will return to the market. With the oil shock of the late 70s, VW sold it's diesel Rabbet like hotcakes and when cheap gas returned, they couldn't give them away. I had one and it got 55mpg. Motorcycling ig great fun but risky and basically for the adventurous.
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Old 10-10-2005, 03:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

Around here, at least, after the initial price shock we had a bunch of bikes on the road. As the prices have crept down, and the weather gotten cooler, however, the numbers have fallen back to the usual. I don't think motorcycles will ever have the acceptance here in the US that you see overseas, due to our somewhat safety-obsessed culture, and the lack some of the advantages for motorcycle commuters (filtering through cars, reduced rate parking, etc) that are present in Europe.



If gas prices continued to climb, it wouldn't surprise me to see, rather than bikes gaining acceptance in the US, bikes becoming a target for heavy fees with an eye towards effectively banning them since they're perceived by the majority of folks as unnecessary 'toys' and unsafe to boot...



-S5
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

Yeah, yesterday some newbie bought my 1971 CB350 (in pretty good shape) for one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). I think that's what it cost new. Hoo hah, time to start dealin' used bikes again...



So come on down to Honest Matt's vacant lot of used bikes. You might not get what you want, but get what you deserve. (anyone for a 1961 Valmobile? only $1,995.00 fob LAX).

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Old 10-10-2005, 04:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

I agree about seeing more bikes, I even rode in when it was raining the other morning an saw 2 other bikes which is something I can't ever remember. I usually put more miles on mt bike than my car in a given year so I've been doing this a while. Here in Texas we have a huge cruiser culture and I'm glad to see a lot more heading to work monday morning. FWIW the most "hardcore" ride any time people I've ever seen always seem to be on an old 70's or 80's BMW of some kind.



With all that said I read an article in WSJ that said there's a certain subset of out culture (soccer moms) that are addicted to the SUV and even if gas hits $6 a gallon would still not get rid of them.
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

Another GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS scenario for the motorcycle world. The increase in the number of bikes on the road will give us additional visibility in the cager world which is good. As a down side will these new riders bother to get any training and will they bring their XM radio and bluetooth cell phone head sets with them?
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

The '06 H-D touring models have XM and Bluetooth already built in!
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

Mileage is not the only reason that bikes are popular in Europe. Taxes, insurance rates, parking, and lenient traffic laws all come into the equation. I know of a few Europena countries that tax vehicle based on engine displacement and weight.



Until these kinds of conditions exist here in the USofA, motorcycles will never be as popular. Hell, I get ticketed for parking on the sidewalk here. In Germany, I used to park my CAR on the sidewalk!



In addition, there are already automobiles available that approach 40-50 MPG.



I think the riders that we are seeing suddenly appearing as commuters are those that already had a "weekend bike" in their garage, or people that managed to pick up a cheap basher before the prices go up next spring.

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Old 10-10-2005, 05:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

Well in Athens Greece they drive on the sidewalks with no ill effects.



It's because of all the Gypsies I believe...
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Old 10-10-2005, 06:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: The upside of high gas prices?

$1000! - for a CB350? I'll call you for advice when I need to sell my Speed 4.
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