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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think most would say that any two wheeled motorized vehicle is a motorcycle, but then what about those that dismiss scooters which certainly are motorized and have two wheels? And what about when one of the major brands comes out with a fully automatic transmission of some type or another AND self balancing gyroscopic technology, and likely safety features like "smart" cruise control? I only started riding in the early 1980's, and by that time most bikes already had electric starters, and I remember many "old timers" saying that a bike without a kick starter is not a "real" motorcycle. We've gradually gotten used to all sorts of improvements that would have stunned a rider from the 1950's, for example. Things such as electronic fuel injection instead of carburation. And now we have HD offering an adventure bike that lowers itself a few inches when coming to a stop. I can't even imagine what is coming next, but almost without doubt the old bikers will be dismissive of the new bikes as not "real" motorcycles, and the new riders full accepting the new features as just the state of the art.

What brought these thoughts to my mind was twofold, the new HD lowering bike, and on the other hand, a discussion with my youngest son about the acronym I had learned when first riding, "FINE-CC" as a guide when starting a bike. It stands for Fuel (lever turned to on position), Ignition (on), Neutral (check that it is in N), Engine (cut off switch in run position), and CC for Choke open, Clutch lever pulled in. My son said he was a bit confused, asking what did I mean by turning a fuel lever to on, and since when does a motorcycle have a Choke? Made me feel a lot older.
 
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My son said he was a bit confused, asking what did I mean by turning a fuel lever to on, and since when does a motorcycle have a Choke? Made me feel a lot older.
Yep, days gone by.
Meanwhile, a motor driven cycle has 2-3 wheels and an engine size smaller than 149cc.
 

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To me a motorcycle that we most often reference here are 2 wheeled vehicles designed for highway riding and higher speeds. Excellent acceleration and high speed handling, most have larger engines and larger wheels and tires. And most all have a standard shirt transmission. A scooter most often has a step-through chassis with a platform for your feet. Usually powered by smaller engines, smaller wheels and tires with a CV transmission. Although there is a local guy who put a small block Ford V8 into a Burgman. Only saw it, no idea how it runs...
 

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A motorcycle is a single track vehicle isn't it?

... for example: Hey the road is blocked, there is only a narrow path ahead (y) nothing motorized going past here unless it's single track!
 

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In the case of your Spyder one might say Hey the road is deep snow ahead sure hope you are riding a Bombardier (y)
 

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Polaris got the Slingshot shoehorned into the motorcycle category, and that has car seats, steering wheel, engine, transmission, tires, stick-shift, seatbelts, dash, wheels, etc.

The front is 2-1/2" wider than the standard Lamborghini, so...

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive design Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Definitions are difficult, sometimes. Would anyone deny that a Ural is a motorcycle, even though it has 3 wheels (and 2 drive wheels if so engaged) with a non-removable sidecar? And my Honda PCX150 can do 65 mph, can out accelerate many cars from a stop, has 14 inch wheels, but it is a scooter that no one calls a motorcycle.

As to the Polaris Slingshot, I draw the line with that "vehicle". Having side by side seating and a steering wheel, there is no way in my mind that it should be called a motorcycle regardless of what some state licensing agencies have decided. I wonder what we would call an ATV if the two back wheels were only a few inches apart, or the two front wheels for that matter. Would it be an ATV or a motorcycle trike?
 

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I wonder what we would call an ATV if the two back wheels were only a few inches apart, or the two front wheels for that matter. Would it be an ATV or a motorcycle trike?

Motorized knee scooter?

69774
 
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Definitions are difficult, sometimes. Would anyone deny that a Ural is a motorcycle, even though it has 3 wheels (and 2 drive wheels if so engaged) with a non-removable sidecar? And my Honda PCX150 can do 65 mph, can out accelerate many cars from a stop, has 14 inch wheels, but it is a scooter that no one calls a motorcycle.

As to the Polaris Slingshot, I draw the line with that "vehicle". Having side by side seating and a steering wheel, there is no way in my mind that it should be called a motorcycle regardless of what some state licensing agencies have decided. I wonder what we would call an ATV if the two back wheels were only a few inches apart, or the two front wheels for that matter. Would it be an ATV or a motorcycle trike?
If it's electric that would be a Moon buggy :LOL:
 

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As to the Polaris Slingshot, I draw the line with that "vehicle". Having side by side seating and a steering wheel, there is no way in my mind that it should be called a motorcycle regardless of what some state licensing agencies have decided. I wonder what we would call an ATV if the two back wheels were only a few inches apart, or the two front wheels for that matter. Would it be an ATV or a motorcycle trike?
Soooo....there's a 4-wheel conversion kit for the Slingshot...still a motorcycle. I stuffed in a huuuuge turbo, racing suspension, (whole long list of stuff), still a motorcycle. (i almost got arrested for having a motorcycle plate on it, but...motorcycle.)

Your PCX150 with 150cc engine (I had one, they rock!)...motorcycle! (with a continuously variable transmission)
 

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Soooo....there's a 4-wheel conversion kit for the Slingshot...still a motorcycle. I stuffed in a huuuuge turbo, racing suspension, (whole long list of stuff), still a motorcycle. (i almost got arrested for having a motorcycle plate on it, but...motorcycle.)

Your PCX150 with 150cc engine (I had one, they rock!)...motorcycle! (with a continuously variable transmission)
They missed the ticket with the slingshot, they should have made it amphibious, then they could have called it a boat and avoided the road tax.
 

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I get asked if it can go in water a lot...I always answer "Yes."
Because like any car, it can.

(now I want a trials bike... :( )
 

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Like Vito says, definitions can be difficult. That said, 1, 2, 3, 4, or even 6 or more wheels are all good for me. Same goes with tracked vehicle (both 1 or 2 tracks).
 

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I think most would say that any two wheeled motorized vehicle is a motorcycle, but then what about those that dismiss scooters which certainly are motorized and have two wheels? And what about when one of the major brands comes out with a fully automatic transmission of some type or another AND self balancing gyroscopic technology, and likely safety features like "smart" cruise control? I only started riding in the early 1980's, and by that time most bikes already had electric starters, and I remember many "old timers" saying that a bike without a kick starter is not a "real" motorcycle. We've gradually gotten used to all sorts of improvements that would have stunned a rider from the 1950's, for example. Things such as electronic fuel injection instead of carburation. And now we have HD offering an adventure bike that lowers itself a few inches when coming to a stop. I can't even imagine what is coming next, but almost without doubt the old bikers will be dismissive of the new bikes as not "real" motorcycles, and the new riders full accepting the new features as just the state of the art.

What brought these thoughts to my mind was twofold, the new HD lowering bike, and on the other hand, a discussion with my youngest son about the acronym I had learned when first riding, "FINE-CC" as a guide when starting a bike. It stands for Fuel (lever turned to on position), Ignition (on), Neutral (check that it is in N), Engine (cut off switch in run position), and CC for Choke open, Clutch lever pulled in. My son said he was a bit confused, asking what did I mean by turning a fuel lever to on, and since when does a motorcycle have a Choke? Made me feel a lot older.

As per thr NHTSA

Motorcycles and Scooters

How does NHTSA define a Motorcycle?
NHTSA defines the term “motorcycle,” for the purpose of the statute and regulations it administers, as “a motor vehicle with motive power having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with ground” (49 CFR 571.3).
NHTSA defines the term “motor driven cycle” as a motorcycle with a motor that produces 5-brake horsepower or less. A motor driven cycle is exempted from certain requirements of the FMVSS that apply to motorcycles.
NHTSA does not define the terms “motor scooter,” “moped,” “pocket bike,” “mini-chopper,” “mini-ninja,” or any other terms of this nature that may be used for the purpose of marketing motorcycles and motor driven cycles. Those terms therefore have no relevance to the classification of a vehicle for the purpose of determining which FMVSS would apply to it. Note that States are free to regulate the use of such vehicles and may use their own terms when describing vehicle types for the purpose of their regulations.



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A motorcycle, is a bicycle with a motor. A bicycle has two wheels. Something with two wheels and a motor is a motor cycle. A scooter is a type of motorcycle. A three wheeled unit can never be a motorcycle because it does not meet the bicycle ( two Wheel ) test.
That said much of the modern thinking, wants to rewrite all the rules in their own image. Brilliant. That leads to a total balls up. UK
 

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Polaris got the Slingshot shoehorned into the motorcycle category, and that has car seats, steering wheel, engine, transmission, tires, stick-shift, seatbelts, dash, wheels, etc.
Not in New Jersey it isn't! In Jersey, if you sit IN it, with a steering wheel, it's an "Autocycle".
If you sit ON it, with handlebars, it's a motorcycle.
...and....if you take your driver's test on a three wheeler, you are only licensed to ride three wheelers, not two.
 

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A three wheeled unit can never be a motorcycle because it does not meet the bicycle ( two Wheel ) test.
What about conversions? Motorcycles are suddenly not motorcycles? Trikes are still motorcycles. Or in todays language, it IDENTIFIES as a motorcycle. ha ha ha
 

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Polaris got the Slingshot shoehorned into the motorcycle category, and that has car seats, steering wheel, engine, transmission, tires, stick-shift, seatbelts, dash, wheels, etc.

The front is 2-1/2" wider than the standard Lamborghini, so...

View attachment 69773
Its not a motorcycle, though. It just doesn't pass safety standards as a car because it is such a bad rollover hazard, so its marketed as a motorcycle. But its so not a motorcycle, not at all, to the point that Polaris puts stickers all over it trying to convince you it is.

69781
 

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What about conversions? Motorcycles are suddenly not motorcycles? Trikes are still motorcycles. Or in todays language, it IDENTIFIES as a motorcycle. ha ha ha
I think a conversion makes it a trike, or tricycle. A side car makes it a trike when the sidecar is on. OR, a bike and car, or a combo. But I like the bit about how it identifies itself. UK
 

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Its not a motorcycle, though. It just doesn't pass safety standards as a car because it is such a bad rollover hazard, so its marketed as a motorcycle. But its so not a motorcycle, not at all, to the point that Polaris puts stickers all over it trying to convince you it is.
Perhaps not in your eyes, and certainly not in my eyes, definitely not in that police officer's eyes when he lost his s#!+ on me, but according to the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles the titles and plates read: Motorcyce.

As @EngineCollector points out, the NHTSA considers it a motorcycle (noting a weight exception), and carrying proper insurance: motorcycle.

Though I'm with you, the first thing I did was remove that silly sticker (it comes off very, very easily).
 
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