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Living Green

Round Town Rides: The Green Commuter Bike Revolution

Round Town Rides: The Green Commuter Bike Revolution
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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, but more because of the green commute trend.

Motorcycles vs. Smart Cars

Green is the new cool, but even without the environmental pressure, guys and gals alike are enjoying motorcycles. Whether you are watching an episode of "American Picker" and they are salvaging Yamaha partsor a vintage Harley, motorcycles are everywhere. Not too long ago there was a huge push to buy and drive smart cars. While that trend is still fairly strong, people realize all of the positive aspects of the smart car can be applied to the motorcycle.

Motorcycles are less expensive to buy, drive, and maintain. Motorcycles are fuel efficient, and most commute bikes have mpg 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 they can save time, money, be environmentally sensitive, and still look cool while doing all of these things.

Commuter Bikes

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. Those types of commutes need a user friendly vessel, safe to ride, can handle the freeway, and still turn heads at a stop light. So what is the difference? Lets have a look at a few of these marvels of commuting and see exact what is the difference.

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.

Yamaha KMAX

  • 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.

Honda CBR250R

  • 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.

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