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The Indefinite Article.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Scooters and The Environment

So Taggart and Liz own a moped scooter, a 2003 Yamaha Vino, and they very graciously allow Todd and I to make use of it.

Most scooters have two-stroke engines, as opposed to the 4-stroke engines powering motorcycles and automobiles.

I decided to poke around the internet and learn about two stroke engines. I ended up at howstuffworks.com where I found an excellent explanation of how two stroke engines work.

From this explanation I learned the various disadvantages of two stroke engines, namely that they produce a lot of pollution and do not use fuel efficiently.

This got me thinking about something I read in one of Sara's posts. She was writing that her boyfriend drives a scooter because he wants to "leave a smaller ecological footprint than most humans do."

If he is riding around on a scooter with two-stroke engine (I don't know what kind of scooter he rides...), is this really helping to leave a smaller ecological footprint? I wonder how it works out with Taggart's Vino, for example. The Vino gets around 80 miles-per-gallon. But in doing so it dumps a disproportionate amount of pollutants into the air...

It seems like the best idea, if the environment is a concern, is to get a four stroke scooter like the Honda Metropolitan...


  • Every engineering effort is a trade-off. You can pick only two: fast, cheap or good. I see diesel technology as a trade-off too. They produce more visible soot, but less of the atmospheric bad stuff (with modern low-sulfur fuels) and get better mileage.

    The cool thing about the scooter is that you aren't hauling around a ton or more of steel and extra seats and the junk you leave in your car with you where-ever you go.

    But we can discuss this with Brian on the weekend of the eleventh. He and Sara are coming to town for the Homestar Runner show.

    By Blogger Adolph, at 8:55 PM  

  • Along with Mindy and Juan!

    By Blogger Adolph, at 8:55 PM  

  • Two-stroke oil isn't prohibitively expensive. I've been with Brian to buy the stuff and it's like $7 a bottle, he bought two and says that will last him a year.

    Brian is finding he's getting the same gas mileage as the four-stroke scooters he has had (both of which have been stolen, so clearly thieves prefer four-stroke engines).

    You haven't proven to me that owning a car would be a better solution. Now, you may prefer riding your bike and taking public transportation and, yes, that is the most ecologically-sound transportation plan, but it isn't necessarily fun (especially in Houston) nor time-efficient. When it is raining, Brian takes the bus and the train and he's used to that, but he prefers the freedom of owning his own transportation.

    By Blogger Sara C., at 12:54 AM  

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