Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Giving much thought to the future of bikes?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Haggismaen, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. I'm a fairly new rider, have been riding less than a year so am still on my P plates. Of course every second day I'm looking at which bike(s) could be my future ride.

    However getting off the restrictions and saving up the cash to get a new bike is something that is still a pretty long way away (perhaps another year at least). So much could change in the market, and not just in terms of newer bikes coming out. The shift to alternative means of powering a vehicle could pick up the pace in bikes in the near future. With the big push behind such technologies as electric engines and biodiesel would it be worthwhile putting off the big shiny new purchase until these technologies are common?

    Those in the same position as me, whether you are a brand spanking new rider who will be looking to upgrade, or those just looking at buying a new ride in the next 1-2 years, have you given any thought to delaying that showroom purchase in order to see what happens? Maybe picking up a second hand or cheaper bike to tide you over until the new technology becomes prominent?

  2. I thought you have settled on your next bike Kier !!!

  3. Things arent gonna change overnight. No way id be putting off a purchase for that reason. Most id be thinking about the future is the particular bikes update cycle.
  4. you will be waiting forever if you do that. Buy what you like when you see it. It will always be your favourite.. :grin:
  5. To be honest i doubt it. We will run on petrol untill we run out of it and we are forced to change. Thats what i believe will happen anyway. I'm going to buy a petrol bike when i afford it - and after doing research on "alternative fuel" bikes i can tell you they are a long way off reaching the same level as the current petrol bikes are. They would have to fit "alternative fuel" pumps on ever petol station in the country - i doubt that will happen anytime soon.
    Regards Oliver
  6. I don't think any major changes are going to occur in bikes until they become widely used on cars since given that bikes are smaller it's mcuh harder to adapt new technology (look how long fuel injection took). I've no doubt that diesel powered bikes will start to become available over the next few years but they're unlikely to takeover from petrol for a long time if it all. Plus although cheaper to run a diesel bike is going to cost a lot more to buy. Hybrid or electric bikes are highly unlikley to become widely available until someone makes some sort of breakthrough that substantially improves battery performance and/or reduces their weight. Alternative fuels are a bit of a catch-22 - servos won't sell them unless there's vehicles that use it, yet manufacturers won't build/sell them unless the fuel's available. So no point in waiting unless you're prepared to wait a very long time.
  7. But what about a diesel powered motorcycle? It's a shame that there are not more in production (as far as I know there is only two current diesel motorcycles, one commercially made, the other is made for military use and is an adapted KLR650). Great torquey power, excellent fuel consumption and many current diesel engines will be able to make the switch to 100% biodiesel with no modifications (apart from a different fuel filter supposedly).

    Combined with the fact that biodiesel could be the way things will go it could be closer than we think (of course the manufacturers have to actually think outside the petrol-powered mindset first) especially since it requires the least amount of change on the consumer side of things.

    Anyhow just interested in what people thought. When it comes time to upgrade I'll be keeping my eyes on the near horizon to see if holding out would be more beneficial. Hell, picking up a second hand SV650 or FZ6S wouldn't be bad anyway!
  8. I though diesel motorcycles has already been made. I was refering mainly to electric and hydrogen bicycles that i had researched..

    I believe any fuel alternatives will probably be additives to exisiting fuels without any need to refit the bike with technology. i.e. ethanol in unleaded.
  9. I know of two that are commercially available right now (in Europe) both of which are capable of running on biodiesel
    http://www.ecorider.com/ (okay so this one's an ag bike but still)
    There's also the Dutch Thunderstar(?) which uses a VW car engine as well the Neander motors cruiser - though neither of those are for sale yet AFAIK. Should only be a matter of time before one of the major manufacturers decides to experiment - shouldn't be that difficult a task for a company like Honda given they already produce diesel engines.
  10. no no no no no

    Use as much petrol as you can while we still have it. It's fun !

    Remember - embracing alternative energy means the dinosaurs will have died for nothing !!!
  11. i like that.
    a bigassed brontosaurus died for my sins.
  12. Yeah I have actually.
    Motorcycles are already going electronic fuel injected - very few carb'd road-going bikes are produced any more apart from the small ones. The sizable ones that are still produced, eg the DR650, KLR650, have to be jetted quite lean (higher amount of air to fuel than what is ideal) to pass emission standards.

    Emission regulations are getting tighter and tighter, one day there will be few internal combustion engines that are able to pass and even further in the future I don't think internal combustion engines will be produced at all for road vehicle applications unless someone comes up with a new ultra-clean-burning fuel or a new ultra-clean-burning engine design. Or perhaps the ePa will create a new class of regulations for bio-diesel vehicles - now that would be cool. Maybe diesel will be the future. This is what I hope for.

    But what I think is most likely to happen is that in 100 or less years all new vehicles will be powered by electric motors.

    I wouldn't be concerned about the future of motorcycles when looking at purchasing a motorcycle today, though. Even if the government were, in 20 years time, to say: "Right, no more internal combustion engines", everything would be grandfathered in, or else many people would struggle to keep their jobs and many people would be extremely pissed off (myself included). Your bike would only need to pass the emission standards that were in place when it was manufactured I believe.
  13. #13 Mr Messy, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Have to remember too... need some land for food too, not just for bio diesel ;-) .

  14. #14 Kernel, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    I reckon there is a way to make a genetically modified strain of plants that produce a very high quantity of bio-diesel viable material per square metre of land, someone's just gotta figure out how to do it. Farmers could then grow those plants in a large array of these http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/uploads/greenworks-lead01.jpg . Just need to figure out an efficient way of keeping the fertilizer topped up.
  15. [​IMG]
    • Like Like x 1
  16. I've thought about it. I've read stuff from other people who've thought about it. Quite a bit of it has been very pessimistic. Over the 40 years I've been involved in bikes they've just got better and better. While the potential is there for it all to go off the rails, which is something I'm very conscious of, if you've followed some of my other recent posts, I think the most likely thing is that they'll just keep getting better.

    Buy what you like now - don't wait, because you'll always be waiting. When something better comes along, go figure out your finances.

    The cost of buying bikes is actually quite reasonable. The cost of running them and using them and doing the things we want with them, that's the killer. I've been guilty time and again of blowing all my money on the flashest bike and then not having enough to use it the way I'd like. The smarter course might be to ask 'What's the best bang for the buck bike in the class/type/genre that I want?'
  17. I see the future for bikes already happenning with the growing trend for scooters. Today you can buy the most basic 125 scoot to the 650 plus machines in the maxi scooters, it'll only be a matter of time when a company will develope the first litre job, I think it's either Beemer or Apprilliais going for a 800cc...am I right?
    Secondly, and it's already happenning, auto transmissions on many of the road bikes.

    Turbo deisel motors of half litre capacity with the torque of a 1300/4

    Dirt bikes haven't really changed that much over the past 20 plus years but road bikes have big time.

    Many more people will join the motorcycle fraternity due to the high cost of petrol to run cars. Scooters will probably dominate in years to come and some will make excellent tourers such as the Burgman is today.


  18. Look, that's got to be a good thing. The more single track vehicles there are, the better. The more people take up 'motorcycling' in any form, the happier I'll be. Many of the problems and disincentives to take up that are evident when we make up less than 1% of traffic, would disappear completely if bikes (and scooters or whatever) made up 40% of traffic.

    We'd have the numbers to get some of the things we want in the political landscape.

    The raw numbers of SMIDSY accidents would go up, but the per capita percentages would go down, because there's be a 50 : 50 chance the next vehicle along would be a bike, so people would be looking for a bike.

    Economies of scale - it costs nearly $300 to make a top shelf rear tyre when you make 5 million of them a year, but how much would it cost if you made 200 million of them?

    The more bikes there are, the more things will lean our way, rather than being stacked against us.
  19. Yeah kneedragon, couldn't agree more, but If the percentage of new bike owners increases dramatically due to tighter cost for car use, there'll be more numbskulls on bikes to hit ya and you think the cager is confused about Motorcycles now...given the same scenario, they're gunna go ballistic.

    It's ok to have a motorcycle but people who are getting into it really need to make it part of their lifestyle and this is where scooters are filling the gaps today. You have a look at most dealerships and to see how many scooters there are on the showroom because they're selling. Young people are attracted to the modern European style cosmopolitan feel. When you look at it, our climate far more suits motorcycling/scootering than in Europe.
    I don't have a scooter myself but it's my observation over the past few years. In fact I'd love to have one just to shoot off to work in than using the Strom.
    Yes it'd be great to see the costs of tyres, parts of bikes come down, but I wouldn't hold ya breath waiting for it to happen.