Binks Is Here

Commentary on the World


Apparently Jordan has a car, but that’s outside my means right now.

Right now, what I’d really like is something for the “middle distance” - trips of a duration of a half hour or less.

The regular, pedal powered bike does an OK job of things, but when lugging a ton of books around or getting groceries its difficulties become apparent. Not to mention that, if you’re trying to go somewhere in a hurry, inevitably you arrive all sweaty and stuff, which isn’t so good. All in all a wonderful vehicle within a certain band of activities.

Next step up from there is one of the now-very-popular E-Bikes. Because of a 3 year legal pilot project, you can now purchase a bike with petals and an electric motor, which should be capable of travelling at a maximum speed of 32 KM/H - this is determined through a governor that limits engine power, that needs to be adjusted due to weight (which means that everyone cranks it as high as it’ll go and they can hit higher speeds at the cost of distance). Total distance for these things tends to be in the ballpark of 60 KM, depending on terrain and weight. I really like the idea of these vehicles, and since they’re classed essentially as bikes you have access to bike paths and don’t need a license - but their cost seems very high, considering you end up with something that can’t really hold its own in traffic (and that, with regular use, you’ll have to replace the battery in every year or two). They’re priced around $2000. For $500 I’d get one for sure, any higher then that and it’d be a tough sell. First time you’ve gotta pedal it home because its battery died sooner then you thought it would and you’ll wish you’d just sweated it out.

Moving forward even more, we get to scooters and actual motorcycles. So far as I know, they’re priced in the same ballpark ($3000-$5000). I’m particularly interested in this little Honda motorcycle - $3500 brand new. They basically sip gas, and if you go with even a small motorcycle you can go on any road you want - I wouldn’t want to go long distances, but it’s nice to know if I absolutely had to I could. I could commute to work on one if required. The trouble (for both motorcycles and scooters…) is that the cost of the vehicle is just the beginning. Figure $100 for the M1 entrance, then $450 for the M1 exit, and probably another $450 for the M2 Exit. So, you’re up to $1000 in license fees. Then you’re looking at $800/year just to insure the bike - keeping in mind that the bike I did the “back of the napkin” on is only worth $3500, this is just insane. Add on a helmet, jacket, gloves, and boots (say, $200?) and you’re looking at a first-year cost of $5000. Second year costs $1250. Each year after that costs $800. And you can’t use it in the winter.

As for the scooter, you’re required to have a “Restricted M License”. How do you get a “Restricted M License”? You get an M license, except you take a scooter out for the road tests instead of a motorcycle. No real savings there. It’s also got to be insured, and I think you’re looking at $400-$1000 for that. May as well go with a full M license and motorcycle…