Does an electric bicycle make sense as an alternative to a moped or motorcycle?
I've always enjoyed motorcycling and riding mopeds. However, the associated costs seem to get higher and higher all the time; motorcycle garages charge a lot for routine maintenance, and parts and service really are a drain on money. Plus, I live in an area where it's really only possible to ride a motorcycle for 9 months out of the year (and that's with people shaking their heads in disbelief that you ventured out at 30F). Mopeds are more practical and cheaper, but I'm getting more environmentally conscious and 2 stroke smoke bothers me more than it used to.
Are there affordable electric bicycles that can reach speeds of 25-30 miles per hour or so, with very low maintenance costs, for less than $2K? If so, they would seem to be very attractive moped alternatives.
I won't try to answer your speed/ cost question, but I'll give my experience. I own bikes, 2 e bikes, a moped and a 250cc motorcycle. My experience with mopeds are they are not for pedaling at all. So, if you want to sit and ride they do that. I'm sure you can buy or build an e bike that you don't have to pedal much, but in my experience you pedal an e bike and the boost is for faster speeds, easier hills and hauling more stuff.
If push came to shove my state (PA) may well consider my e bikes as mopeds, but they are very far from what a current day moped is. They are bikes you pedal with assist, mopeds are small motorcycles.
So my question is do you want to pedal?
I don't have strong feelings either way, really. When I last had a moped, the pedals were really an auxiliary thing; they helped when climbing hills, and sometimes I just pedaled for the hell of it. It was a lot of fun till it got stolen.
Originally Posted by Metal Man
I'm cool with pedaling, or not pedaling. But I would like to be able to go pretty fast, with less effort than a regular bicycle.
Yeah, if you are happy going about 25mph, and don't mind the price tag, range limits, and charging every night (none of which is a big deal) and ebike works fine. I built one that goes 25mph on the flats, has a range of 25 miles, and cost about $500 with lots of DIY. A commercial bike like that would cost about $3,000.
Just get a used Yamaha C3 or Zuma 50F. They are 4 strokes and you should be able to find one for well under $2000. I bought a used C3 a couple of years ago for $900. It would easily hit 40 mph (indicated) on anything other than steep hills and I averaged right at 120 mpg with it for the two years I owned it. I got more serious about commuting by bicycle and sold it. It was a great scooter, though. Fuel injected 4 stroke with electric start, it was about the most maintenance free two wheeled vehicle I have ever owned. The only thing I ever needed to do was put gas in it and change the oil.