The Low Down On Green Living
August 28th, 2009
I was always fascinated by dirt bikes when I was young - I was one of the many kids whose parents wouldn’t let me get one, so I jealously watched my neighbors scoot up and down the street and through the nearby pasture on their little Kawasaki. My Schwinn Stingray was nowhere near as cool. My parents’ job would have been much tougher if those kids had been able to get their hands on a Zero Motorcycle, though!
What I envied as a kid became something I disliked as an adult. The noise was enough to ruin a whole neighborhood’s quiet Saturday afternoon, a day of riding would tear up the landscape as if an army had marched through, and the smell of exhaust and fumes from relatively inefficient engines was obnoxious.
Some of these faults are behavioural, of course, and many if not most motorcross aficionados ride their bikes in areas set aside to minimize environmental damage, noise and air pollution. I’m sure there are many riders out there who would gladly trade in their noisy polluter for something cleaner and quieter, to the benefit of all of us.
If that’s you, then you should check out the new line of rechargeable electric bikes from Zero Motorcycles. They offer two versions of offroad bikes, the Zero X (for trail riding) and the newly released Zero MX (for tracks & jumps). Both are nearly silent, cost about a penny a mile to drive, have a range of 30-40 miles a charge, and take less than two hours to reach a full battery. They have the highest power to weight ratios in the industry due to their advanced batteries and drive trains and very light weight.
These bikes don’t address all of the issues associated with off-road recreation in the US (motorized and nonmotorized alike), but they’re certainly a step in the right direction!
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