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If it promises better gas mileage, beware !!!!!

by Angeline Booher / June 4, 2008 1:04 AM PDT
Ever-increasing gas prices are sending motorists in search of sometimes unconventional ways to improve their cars' gas mileage.

"Good Morning America" technology contributor Becky Worley discovered some items may not live up to their fuel-efficient claims, which use additives, reformulators and special magnets as gimmicks.

Those mentioned are Ethos, gas-saving magnets, using water to improve mileage, and Fuel Mizer. Each one is discussed, and all are debunked ...

except for Fuel Mizer, which has value depending on driving habits.


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The current issue of Consumer Reports....
by Josh K / June 4, 2008 3:32 AM PDT

....has a short article on these gizmos. Basically the best of them provide a barely noticeable improvement, most do absolutely nothing and some even reduce your gas mileage.

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Gas additives
by Willy / June 4, 2008 7:05 AM PDT

As you've noticed more articles on gas saving devices and additives. Most just simply don't work or provide little benefit. As for additives if they work at all is maintain current mileage rating and help clean the fuel system or similar. How those other devices get away with their advertising is beyond me. -----Willy Happy

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Just buy them all
by Steven Haninger / June 4, 2008 7:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Gas additives

and, if the ads are correct, you'll be siphoning the additional fuel that's created to sell to your neighbors. Wink

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I remember a similar joke from
by drpruner / June 4, 2008 2:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Just buy them all

the 1970s gas crisis.
Wasn't gasoline actually over a dollar a gallon then? Outrageous!

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I once had something with better mileage....
by J. Vega / June 4, 2008 11:53 AM PDT

In the 1960's I had a vehicle that I could park anywhere. The ad said it got 225 MPG, but I got a little less. It was called the Honda 50. It cost about $225. I had the model with the manual clutch and without step-thru shield. I loved that little thing, it got me around for years.

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(NT) If only we could go back.
by caktus / June 4, 2008 12:18 PM PDT
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if i remember correctly
by jonah jones / June 4, 2008 1:07 PM PDT

a Honda 50 held the world speed record for a 50cc bike for a while,
not sure, but i think it was 127 mph ....


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I'd love to know...
by J. Vega / June 4, 2008 2:15 PM PDT

I'd love to know how they modified it. Was it some sort of a contest, like in an engineering school?
Back in the late 1960's days of the Honda 50, the speed record for a production motorcycle was held by the Norton 750 at 126mph. Not a cheap ride though, in 1975 I paid $2,087 for my Norton 850. Fastest I ever drove that one was about 110 mph.

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No way!
by James Denison / June 4, 2008 7:55 PM PDT

I had a Puegot with a 50cc while on Crete and I was lucky to get it up a steep hill, and it complained the whole way. The Hondas were better though. When we traveled around the island we would rent those. They even made it up into the mountains to plain of Lasithi, which has some scary moments along the road. I don't think they'd have made it up to Psiloritis though.

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Driving in Crete
by James Denison / June 4, 2008 7:58 PM PDT
In reply to: No way!
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LOL, here's what it looked like
by James Denison / June 4, 2008 8:13 PM PDT
In reply to: No way!

I remember having to pedal to help keep the motor from stalling on the hills, LOL. I was so glad when my truck finally got overseas. I think I then gave it away to some Greek, don't remember selling it. My wife got tired of renting mopeds on trips around the area, she was scared of the other drivers and at the time didn't even have a driver's license and never had ridden motorbikes before. Eventually she opted for backseat driver/screamer on rented Honda 250 trail bikes with me doing all the driving.
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Here's some pics of oversea rentals
by James Denison / June 4, 2008 8:25 PM PDT
In reply to: No way!
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well, i went looking and found nothing
by jonah jones / June 7, 2008 3:09 AM PDT
In reply to: No way!

(apart from that picture of a monster bike)

maybe i got mixed up between the 50cc (a moped) and the 125cc machines....maybe the grey cells will have pity and release some more info later Wink



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What they don't tell you
by Cindi Haynes / June 5, 2008 12:33 AM PDT

Is that motorcycles/scooters require more frequent maintenance. Tires are more expensive than car tires and only last about 7000 or 8000 miles. If one is punctured, you can't patch it and go; it requires a new tire. You need appropriate gear to wear while riding. This could be as simple as a $30 helmet, but if you want more protection from other drivers "just in case", this can run into several hundred dollars, as you need protective gear in cold, warm, cool, and hot weather. Finally, if you are smart you'll take a safety course to learn how to be as safe as you can be, and help avoid the cellphone-talkin', hamburger-eatin', king-of-the-road oblivious types sharing the road with you.

This should all run you at least $5000 to start, which buys a LOT of gas for your car. Two-wheeled transportation is NOT for everyone. If you love riding, by all means do it. If you're only out to save money, I tell you, you won't.


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Are you sure...
by J. Vega / June 5, 2008 2:12 AM PDT

Are you sure about having to buy a new tire? A quick web search easily comes up with companies that repair motorcycle tires. The Dunlop company makes motorcycle tires, and on their web site say:
"Dunlop recommends only permanent repairs performed from the inside of the tire, using a combination patch/plug method. Never attempt a repair from the outside, or inject a sealant, or simply use an innertube, a patch or a plug as a substitute for a proper repair.
Only a qualified tire repair shop or motorcycle tire dealer should perform repairs. Inspection of the tire and adequacy of repair becomes the responsibility of the person actually performing the repair and Dunlop does not warrant the results of a repair in any way. Combination patch/plug repair kits for use by the repair shop or dealer are available with accompanying instructions from companies such as...". This would seem to mean that they can be repaired.
I checked out prices on some motorcycle tires. A lot of them were priced between $75 and $150. I don't find this more expensive than car tires as a rule. I just can't see the $5,000 to start figure for a course and/or safety gear.

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you want to ride on those warnings?
by James Denison / June 5, 2008 3:19 PM PDT
In reply to: Are you sure...

Having a tire blow on a car is bad enough, but imagine it's on the front of a motorbike. Do they have any solid core tires for motorbikes anymore?

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Solid core
by Cindi Haynes / June 6, 2008 4:14 AM PDT

I don't know of any, James. That does not mean they don't exist, but it sounds like one uncomfortable ride! Wink


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solid core tires
by James Denison / June 6, 2008 12:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Solid core

I think the original motorcycle tires were solid core more than half a century ago. According to Continental tire history page they manufactured solid core tires for cars before changing in 1920. There's actually quite a few solid core tire applications in use today. Most are for low speed applications I think since high speed use can build up heat in the tire faster than it can be radiated off the tire. Here's an interesting one with holes in it for cushioning effect, not sure if it aids aids against heat buildup.

Here's a wiki where they refer to it as "airless tires".

Couldn't find any pics of motorcycles with solid tires from the past, but here's a couple pre 1920 vehicles with solid tires on them.
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by Cindi Haynes / June 7, 2008 1:31 AM PDT
In reply to: solid core tires

On the riding mower, maybe! Not on a motorcycle, though...whew! The car tire we have on the back is a run-flat tire though. That's one feature we weren't able to find in a motorcycle tire!


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Tire repairs
by Willy / June 5, 2008 5:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Are you sure...

I think better bike tires can be repaired but properly. I believe it becomes a "balance issue" if not done right. If this is a scooter type tire, it maybe gotten away with as speeds aren't so high and they tend to be smaller tires. However, as pointed out a 2-wheel vehicle is far more prone to uncontrollable actions with a blow out or flat. But heck, I play it safe and never ride the things. With my lucky I'll wreck a bulldozer. -----Willy Happy

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My complaint about big bikes is:
by drpruner / June 5, 2008 8:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Tire repairs

$10,000 - and you get wet when it rains. Happy

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try $300K, and you still get wet ;-)
by jonah jones / June 6, 2008 8:49 PM PDT
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Only in America ...
by drpruner / June 7, 2008 1:48 PM PDT

"has full support from his wife of 30 yrs."

Of course! How many husband-hours did he spend in the garage and not underfoot? Happy

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(NT) :-) Cindi rides a "mean machine" :-)
by jonah jones / June 6, 2008 8:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Tire repairs
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Well, basically yes.
by Cindi Haynes / June 6, 2008 4:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Are you sure...

Responsibility for patching tires lies with the shop performing the repair, and due to the nature of 2-wheeled vehicle tire failures you'd be hard-pressed to find a shop that would take on that kind of liability.

They're ultimately more expensive because while the price is comparable to car tires, they have a much shorter life.

We have ridden on a plugged tire before, but it was replaced ASAP as the first order of business on the bike we bought. As a matter of fact, we finally replaced the third time with a car tire (dark siders...a whole 'nother can of worms!)

The $5000 start figure covers the cost of the bike or scooter (well-used) as well as the course and gear. I'm talking about a minimum figure here, J.


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I've had flats...
by J. Vega / June 6, 2008 10:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Well, basically yes.

I've had flats on both a big and small motorcycle. I fixed them myself. They were tires with tubes. I just put in a new tube, they were cheap enough. It's been a while since I rode a motorcycle. Are you saying that when you have a flat shops require you to buy an entire new tire? I've seen shops advertising that they can fix flats, If they won't do it, why advertise it?

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I dunno, J.
by Cindi Haynes / June 7, 2008 1:27 AM PDT
In reply to: I've had flats...

Unless you have spoke rims, tube tires are pretty much on the way out I think. Tubeless/radials have been used in the non-spoke wheels. Maybe so they can make more sales on flats! Wink

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Very good points.
by drpruner / June 5, 2008 3:36 PM PDT

Another is that the best protection is full leathers, in all weathers. (You could bleed out from serious road rash.)

In my case, if I go that route, it will be an eight-mile one-way commute over a road lightly traveled [good news] by New Mexico drivers [bad news]. Happy That's why I'll buy a 125cc-plus if at all: I need 45 MPH to keep up with the crazies. Some of the newer 50cc advocates don't think of this.
I think my total will be about $2500 for quality equipment.
Add tires: Another danger is thinking those worn ones, especially the hard-to-change rear, 'will be OK for a while longer'. OK for cars, but not for two-wheelers.

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Thank you.
by Cindi Haynes / June 6, 2008 4:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Very good points.
Another is that the best protection is full leathers, in all weathers. (You could bleed out from serious road rash.)

Amen to that!

That's why I'll buy a 125cc-plus if at all: I need 45 MPH to keep up with the crazies. Some of the newer 50cc advocates don't think of this.
I think my total will be about $2500 for quality equipment.

I have a 150cc scooter to buzz around town and back roads. I can get it up to about 65 mph, but I seriously slow down going up hill. Wink I think your $ estimate is pretty good; the stuff sure ain't cheap! Happy

Add tires: Another danger is thinking those worn ones, especially the hard-to-change rear, 'will be OK for a while longer'. OK for cars, but not for two-wheelers.

Absolutely. Also watch for tires that have good tread, but are old. Dry rot happens after about 2-3 years, which is just as bad as worn tread.

Good luck dodging those New Mexico drivers. I believe I've run into some of them vacationing in NC! LOL

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