There’s such a coolness factor when you’re on a motorcycle. The wind in your hair, the screech of the tires…There’s nothing more awesome than strapping on a helmet and gunning through the streets on a massive motorbike.
But are motorcycles green – or not? It’s a little bit of both. In the first place, a traditional motorcycle is basically an engine with wheels. Are they actually green, even with all that exhaust? It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other, as the saying goes. There are some serious eco-friendly pluses, such as their fuel efficiency. However, your average motorcycle emits anywhere between ten to fifteen times the amount of carbon dioxide as your basic car.
Traditional Motorcycles vs. Electric Motorcycles
If you’ve ever sat in your car behind a group of motorcycles, waiting for the light to turn green, then you’ve experienced the gigantic cloud of exhaust that lingers around them. And with hot ecobikes all around, there’s no reason to go traditional anymore.
The Green Bike
When swapping out your traditional motorcycle for a green cycle, you can choose between an electric motorcycle and one that uses alternative fuel. Electric bikes are quieter and, of course, exhaustless (no more idling in an thick, dark cloud at the traffic light). What’s hot right now? The electric motorcycles from this company recently released their 2012 line, featuring bikes that are both eco-friendly and eco-cool, producing approximately 90% less smog than your average motorbike.
Safety is the Same
Safety is still paramount when riding a motorcycle, no matter what kind you decide on. Helmets are tremendously important, preventing an estimated 69% of head injuries. Whether you’re taking a spin around the neighborhood or revving it up on the highway, wearing a helmet is a must. It’s even illegal in some states to ride without one.
Federal Tax Credit
Starting in 2009, most electric motorcycles became eligible for federal tax credits (up to 10% of the cost of the motorbike), under section 1142 of the Energy Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Wondering if your electric motorcycle fits the bill? Check with your tax preparer or CPA.