Another nail

Daily Telegraph article, gov.proposes banning sales of new petrol
motorcycles in 2040, Discuss?

I wouldnt believe anything the current government says or that the Telegraph reports.
The current government are also very unlikely to have much control over anything in 9 months time.

As for discontinuing petrol bikes, it is inevitable at some point isnt it? Either by government ruling or economic reality.
I dont have any particular objection to electric/alternative fuels, 15 years is a long time to develop the technology and i can imagine a tipping point where there are so many electric vehicles on the road that petrol stations become less common and petrol more expensive.

Wasnt there some talk of standardised replaceable batteries for motorbikes not long ago?

I’d be happy enough with an electric bike if the prices start to come down. If they were cheap enough, i’d be looking at one as my next bike but they are a bit pricey still and i dont want anything too new and shiny to commute into london with.


I’ll admit that I’ve not read the report, but would reflect on my experience and what I’ve seen over the last few summers whilst touring on motorcycles.

Two years ago we were in the Balkans. Away from the big cities there were very few, if any, electric vehicles. Big saloons and 4×4s most common amongst those with money. Fuel stations everywhere.

Albania last year the same. No charging infrastructure visible. We even saw ‘nodding donkeys’ in everyone’s back garden in one area!

Just recently, riding out of LA, all the electric cars disappeared to be replaced with trucks and 4×4s. Big distances, lots of towing and no charging places.

It’s anecdotal of course but it’s easy to think that London is the whole world, and our politicians mostly hang out in London.

I can see the utility of an electric vehicle in town but to need another each time you need to go further/ do some work requires duplication/ resources.

As a 54 year old, I suspect liquid fuel will be available for all of my motoring life and well beyond.

The other week, leaving Twentynine Palms, seeing the sign ‘no fuel for 100 miles’, I was glad we had a full tank of petrol in the GS. Arriving at Lake Havasu in the dark, parking up with out thought to refuelling until the morning…well, you can see where i sit on this matter.

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Change might come quicker than you think.

Friends joined us skiing this year and drove their EV from Camden to Chamonix. They said the infra was amazing and altogether they found no inconvenience over an ICE vehicle. A few years ago, looking at photos of queues of EVs waiting for chargers at autoroute service stations, you would have said it would never be viable. It already is.

Another friend went touring in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and one thing which struck him was the rock solid 4G and 5G signal he had in even the most remote valleys. Some countries, like these, which have had poor telephone infrastructure have leap-frogged that tech to go straight to 5G.

Places like Albania might do the same with EVs.

And at a basic level, charging infrastructure is just electricity - it’s a lot easier than building a petrol station and constantly supplying it with petrol tankers. Especially if you are somewhere with access to limitless electricity from the sun or similar.

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A lot of the tech we’ve grown used to is quite difficult to implement at scale.

When cars were first sold, drivers had to buy petroleum spirits in 2 gallon tins from pharmacists. Imagine telling someone then that self-service filling stations would be available all over the world.

Look at photography. Imagine the complexity of designing light sensitive chemicals which have to kept out of the light in a container, loaded into a camera, exposed, taken safely out of the camera and then processed by a third party. But in its heyday this complex fragile process could be done on any high street, to a very high standard, within an hour.

This is the battery standard that was being discussed a few years back, although I have no idea if that is still a thing. Makes a lot of sense to me

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I’m not convinced. Cell phone coverage in developing countries has leap-frogged copper network because its simpler and cheaper to implement. I think delivering a tanker of fuel is easier than a network of buried or overhead cables and the generation of the power.

Also, vehicles having a utility purpose beyond just personal transport seems widespread out of town. In Albania we saw loads of folk with a sort of ride on lawnmower/ rotavator/ tractor/ towing a trailer at about 15mph. That’s the farm machinery and family car all in one. And so much towing in the USA countryside. Big diesel trucks pulling livestock trailers etc. We need a huge advance in electrical storage to make this stuff work.

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I’m still not convinced all electric will be the final solution and seems they can’t even be sure about cars let alone bikes

BBC News - Is the move to electric cars running out of power?

I got as far into the article as ‘we need to buy a lot more…’ for me to realise that the author doesnt get it. We need to buy/ consume less to help the environment. We also need less people in the world. For sure no one is talking about that.

The electric car problem isn’t unforseen, Toyoda has been saying it for a long time…as head of Toyota, the worlds largest car manufacturer.

Maybe those that want an electric car, who can afford an electric car and have home charging for such are satisfied.

The governments have a big problem that they can’t fully solve.

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Ultimately, the problem is cars but people really like them.
Oil is going to run out at some point, whether that is 50 or 100 years, an alternative is needed


it is coming - even ME I am thinking of buying a hybrid [car] in Autumn

The current problem (cost ignored) is that electric bikes work for most commuting uses, they don’t really work for weekend rideouts. and given the majority of bike use is for weekend rideouts in the current day and age there needs to be change to make that viable. It may be better battery tech, it may be hydrogen it may be unicorn farts. But if it doesn’t meet the need then it’s not going to work

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I started looking at that, the stats (admittedly old, but unlikely to be much different) tell a couple of things. But I don’t think it’s that clear cut.

Most trips are for commuting. But then that won’t be surprising because you commute 4-5days a week but only have 1-2 whole days for a fun ride really.

Admittedly, the above will include scooters and small bikes, but they are part of this electrification debate

From this study:

And of course it all depends. Because if we cut it by number of motorbikes, not trips this article suggests only 18% of bikes are used for commuting.

But then that would be a further muddied result as quite a few people own more than one bike, often one for commuting, one for fun.

Yeah it’s an interesting one, and that data is 8 years old and predates the pandemic and changes to working patterns for many. Mileage would also be interesting. commuting 5 miles each way 5 times a week, vs a 200 mile weekend ride out.

I also wonder how much of that commuting and business use is fast food delivery?

Oh if only I could afford to live 5 miles from where I used to work :smiley:

Now of course my commute is about 15 steps!

Good point on fast food delivery & pandemic changing commute. But again, that will have changed massively since pandemic and the peak in deliveroo / uber eats etc.

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I was only 6 miles when I lived in London, but more luck than planning.

When I have been out in commuting time slots I see very few bikes out here. Weekends however are a completely different story.

All I remember when commuting is always seeing the same bikes, quite often a few LBers…

Those were the days

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Just think of all the rideouts where everyone stops to refuel. Moving bike before going in to pay etc. to try and speed up the process.

Now imagine you had to plug in to charge then when you were finished wait for the next group to do the same.

Would this result in smaller groups and differing routes to avoid chargers being used by others?

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I can’t remember the last 200 mile weekend ride, they all seem to be 500+ miles :laughing: