‘Round Town Rides: The Green Commuter Bike Revolution
Getting to and from work without driving a car or an SUV has become the new green anthem. According to a National Household Travel Survey, done by the U.S. Department of Transportation, 75 percent of commuters commute alone. Because of this high amount of solo commuters, some are opting to ride alone differently: via a motorcycle. It is not just the cool image of cruising on street rod that is compelling people to motorcycle to work; they’re joining the green commute trend because they care about the emissions from automobiles.
Motorcycles vs. Smart Cars
Green is the new cool, but even without the environmental pressure, guys and gals alike are enjoying motorcycles. Not too long ago there was a huge push to buy and drive smart cars. While that trend is still fairly strong, people are beginning to realize that all of the positive aspects of the smart car can be applied to the motorcycle.
Motorcycles are less expensive to buy, drive, and maintain than cars. They’re fuel efficient, and most commute bikes have ratings above 50 mph. According to the Motorcycle Industry Association, riding a motorcycle to work can save about 33 minutes off of what would normally be a 55 minute commute in a car. In short, society has figured out we can save time and money, be environmentally sensitive, and still look cool.
Still, there is that image of the pastel Vespa whirring away along city streets. There are some pretty awesome cycles built just for commuting. The market for these bikes is mainly due to the fact that most people commute at least an hour a day to and from home for work, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That’s not an hour on a Vespa, it’s an hour in a car. Longer commutes need a user-friendly vessel that is safe to ride, can handle the freeway, and still turn heads at a stoplight.
So what is the difference between them?
2012 Vespa GTS 300 Super
- Cost $6,100.
- Engine 4 Stroke 22.
- Horse power 16.4.
- 60-65 mpg.
Brammo Enertia Plus
- Electric powered bike with a top speed of 65 mph.
- It takes eight hours to recharge its battery.
- Can be driven upwards of 80 miles per charge. Results vary depending on driving conditions and driving styles.
- Cost $8,995.
- A 2-cylinder 4-stroke engine with an automatic clutch and V-belt automatic transmission.
- MPG gallon is 49.5 mpg.
- MSRP $10,500.
The 2012 KMAX is much talked about because Yamaha has done such an incredible job blending the pureness of a road bike with the easy maneuverability of a scooter.
- Starts at $4,099.
- Offers the full experience of a road bike.
- Powered by a single-cylinder 4-stroke engine.
- 77 mpg.
- Six-speed transmission.
The new motor commuter is a small revolution that people around the world are taking to the streets. Movements to reduce our carbon footprint are small, but each baby step is a step in the right direction.
About the Writer
Thomas Young writes about the future of alternative fueled vehicles and classic cars. He is hoping that hybrid cars become the norm and are more affordable soon.