Not all mopeds look like scooters and little motorcycles. The Sachs Saxonette, which has been in continuous production for a long time, is a bicycle first, with an engine that can be engaged or not as the rider chooses. Anyone who has tried to actually pedal a typical pedal equipped moped knows that this is usually not the case! Weight is a healthy 30kg (66 lbs) which is twice as heavy as the typical low-tech bicycle, but less than half the weight of my last 1970s moped.
The Saxonette has a very nicely integrated 30cc two stroke engine producing a massive 0.7 horsepower. It may seem toy sized, but it has an electric starter. Maximum speed is 20kph, which translates into a very modest 12.4 mph, but then, this bike is not marketed to speed demons. Fuel capacity is 1.7 liters, and Sachs claims a fuel consumption of 1.1 to 1.7 liters/100km, depending on driving style. That translates into to between 138 and 214MPG! Pretty impressive.
The two-stroke engine pretty much insures that the Saxonette will never be imported into the US, which is a great pity, as while two-stroke engines are relatively dirty, a 214mpg vehicle that's driven several hundred miles per year consumes several orders of magnitude less gas than even a Toyota Prius.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Posted by michael edelman at 7:26 PM