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Old 06-01-2014, 10:19 AM
 
3,147 posts, read 2,944,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
Xander - we can't even make safety zones for regular sized 2-wheeled bicycles to get around everywhere here. Yes it would be nice to do it- but this is probably something that should have been thought of prior to the building cities.

One of the things that Miami-Dade is starting to do is build heavy truck only expressways to get the big trucks off the regular highways and surface streets. We have a port tunnel that should be open soon and a secondary elevated/separated expressway from the port and airport to the "warehouse" districts that they go to. It isn't perfect and it isn't all ecompassing, it is a start though. A big part of this is safety. A have a F350 CrewCab Longbed pickup. I drive those streets to and from work, I feel like a fly on their windshield. It isn't uncommon to be completely surrounded by "big rigs".
I believe I said a few times in my last post that it is not feasible to do what I was day-dreaming about. I wish we could segregate all traffic by weight, maybe some sort of modular highway unit could be invented in the future that has completely segregated lanes by weight class... and like 4 weight classes. But, again, like in my last post, I will mention that I know this is completely fantasy.

I ,personally, would be fine with commuting and even traveling long distance at lower speeds so that I can use a super light, super efficient vehicle. My latest idea is a 'velomobile' powered by a 100-150cc gas engine. A vehicle like this could get over 100mpg done right, travel at 35-50 mph, and it can be built with crunch zones and such engineering to make it safe to drive at that speed... the catch? You definitely don't want to be on the road next to small coupes, let alone big-rigs. They could handle a full speed crash with each-other, but not with cars. This would mean a whole new network of ultra-light-duty roads... but it would cost almost nothing to travel at 50 mph. In some states, you can drive something like this on bike trails if they allow mopeds, and some cities have really, really impressive paved trail systems. What we need are more connectors between cities, which is where I suggest converting abandoned rail-roads. Like cars, you can limit the speed by whether or not you are in town, etc...

There is a trail like this that transverses Nebraska called the "Cowboy Trail", but it is crushed limestone, which would still work just fine for a velomobile at 35-40 mph. I would love to go on long trips if this mode of transportation was available to me.

Until something changes, I will probably just have to aim for street legal and stick to gravel/dirt road networks for long distance traveling in it, which is cool, you get to see a lot of cool stuff off of the beaten path, but it would be nice to have the hard surface to avoid dust and give a smoother ride.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,924 posts, read 5,812,388 times
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I am considering buying one, but I live in an area without a lot of the traffic of larger metro areas.

Motorcycles here are only practical for a short window of time each year due to weather conditions, the enclosed cab of the Elio would make it more practical in that respect, however, I want to see how it performs on snow and ice before I make a purchase.

I routinely travel 150 miles each way to visit my parent's, and for a stretch of the road of about 90 miles, if I see more than 5 vehicles, it's rush hour.

Second major concern are wild animals on the road. If you hit a deer, elk, bear moose, cow, horse etc. in a car it can be disastrous, on a motorcycle, instant death, so a full roll cage with air bags are another plus in the Elio.

As to the rolls, one wheel in front 3 wheelers are much more prone to flipping than the 2 wheels in front, on trailing wheel 3 wheelers. I had a 3 wheel ATV back in the day, dangerous as hell even at low speeds.
I would say from an engineering standpoint though, the length would be a safety feature to avoid the rear flipping over the front in a sudden stop or from a front end impact.

I like the concept, and don't dismiss out of hand, but I am not on the waiting list either.
All said, I want to see more stats on the actual performance and safety of the vehicle before I lay down my hard earned cash.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:08 PM
 
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Xander - It wasn't an attack against you - merely added to your reasoning that it could not be done. And also an example of what my area is trying to do separate the big trucks from traffic...

On vacations and long drives, I do try to take the road not taken... As in dirt and gravel. And if I had a high MPG vehicle more vacation drives as I could afford them.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:15 PM
 
3,752 posts, read 7,492,864 times
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No. I would not, could not, buy that vehicle.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:22 PM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,296,476 times
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I would not buy that vehicle.

There is a two wheeled vehicle that requires no gas or electricity called a bicycle. It runs on liquefied lipids. It is called a bicycle.

If I have to get on the highway, a high MPG sedan (diesel or basic compact car) works fine.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:14 AM
 
3,147 posts, read 2,944,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
I would not buy that vehicle.

There is a two wheeled vehicle that requires no gas or electricity called a bicycle. It runs on liquefied lipids. It is called a bicycle.

If I have to get on the highway, a high MPG sedan (diesel or basic compact car) works fine.
Neither a bicycle nor a compact sedan fill the niche that this vehicle does.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:29 AM
 
3,147 posts, read 2,944,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
Xander - It wasn't an attack against you - merely added to your reasoning that it could not be done. And also an example of what my area is trying to do separate the big trucks from traffic...

On vacations and long drives, I do try to take the road not taken... As in dirt and gravel. And if I had a high MPG vehicle more vacation drives as I could afford them.
Oh, I wasn't accusing you of attacking me, just making sure we were on the same page... and then day-dreaming some more, ha ha. I am starting to like the idea of a motorized velomobile on gravel/dirt roads over long distance more and more.

If you tucked a 3-8 hp small engine into a velomobile, you would get over a hundred miles to the gallon and be capable of near highway speeds. There are some challenges to over-come for gravel roads, such as making sure your suspension is good enough to make it smooth, and maybe air-filters in air ducts so that dust doesn't enter your cab.

Of course, if you ride one with the top off, or one that doesn't have an enclosed cab, the experience is similar to a low bicycle. (But faster and you don't have to pedal it)

Last night I did a bunch of looking into "motorbicycles" which are bicycles with 80-120cc small engines mounted to them, they are actually rather nice looking. (Reminiscent of antique motorcycles.) They can also be made to go around highway speed for their top end, get over 100 mpg, and they are quite affordable. If you invest in a good lightweight bicycle with a full suspension, I imagine it is very similar to riding a motorcycle that tops out at the speed limit rather than way above it. (I imagine you could go up to 80-90 mph if you put something like a GX120 or similar clone engine on a bike. But I wouldn't trust a bikes parts at those speeds, for me it is 55-60 tops on a bike frame.)

There are actually quite a bit of cheap, efficient, quick vehicles you can build with small-engine power-plants. The trick is getting them legal to drive on the road, which usually means moped style licensing or something similar. The other trick is avoiding traffic, which it seems you and I agree that taking the scenic route is the best solution to that issue.
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:23 PM
 
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So we are on the same page...

Not a big two wheeled vehicle person anymore. I was nearly killed on them twice and I am not willing to give it a third time. One a pedal bike the second a motorcycle.

Even though I admit the prospect of saving a lot of fuel using velomobile's and small motor bicycles is tough to ignore. As kids we would adapt chain saws to bicycles. Maybe when I move to an area that is not overly populated I will feel differently and go back to them.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,645,713 times
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This car reminds me of a German economy car from the post WWII era called the Messerschmitt KR200 or the Kabinenroller (Cabin Scooter) that preceded the VW to the American market. It had three wheels - two in front - tandem seating for two, a 250 cc engine, and a bubble canopy like you might have seen on a Messerschmitt fighter plane. I used to see one in my midwest hometown when I was a kid.

I think Jay Leno has one, and I've seen one not too long ago parked in front of a business as a kind of static display ad, but i don't know if its working or not.

Messerschmitt KR200 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 14,200,163 times
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I like it, but it's still outrageously expensive compared to my bicycle and a bus pass. And, with my trailer, I'm fairly confident I could carry more cargo with my bike (but not an extra person).
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