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not those kind of mods
June 30, 2010 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Motorcycle modification means something entirely different across the developing world. You can deliver cold drinks, cargo, one person, three or even more with a special sidecar. You can cook hot food and sell it. Or critically, you can quickly transport someone in need of emergency medical care when roads are bad and facilities remote. They're supported by roadside repair shops, tyre shacks, petrol pumps and more. Bonus FTW
posted by infini (13 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
and here's my collection of the modifications and workshop.
posted by infini at 8:57 AM on June 30, 2010


And if the motorcycle ambulance arrives too late, you can hire one of these.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:05 AM on June 30, 2010


Having traveled where scooters and small bikes are the only things on the road, it's funny how most in the US think of motorcycles as something you drive when you decide not to take the other car.

But you lost me when the every-other-word-is-a-link pattern stopped. I was waiting for a Fibonacci sequence to appear.
posted by uaudio at 9:12 AM on June 30, 2010


OP (? FPPP?), I saw you musing over such a post and you created it right quick. Thanks!
posted by drowsy at 9:33 AM on June 30, 2010


The Polish DIY tractors have always been my favorite motorcycle modification. If I found an old Ural two wheel drive on the cheap, I'd totally do this and drive it around on my back 40. Hell, I'd take it to one of the "chrome nights" downtown and happily sand away on the wood while the weekend pirates polish their shiny kickstands.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:00 AM on June 30, 2010


ooo cool links - a hearse, i'd not come across that and the Polish tractor too. hope there's more

Ja, I had some time and thought I'd better do it before I forget - took me two hours of wading through google crap though.. what's up with the search engines these days anyway?
posted by infini at 10:29 AM on June 30, 2010


> it's funny how most in the US think of motorcycles as something you drive when you decide not to take the other car.

You can't rely on a motorbike exclusively in most the US, thanks to the snow and ice seasons, and public transit is too limited or unavailable to be depended on for the inclement months of the year. As a result, motorbike owners are usually also car owners.

That means in these parts of the country the motorcycle becomes strictly a fair-weather accessory, even in circumstances where it doesn't necessarily have to be. After all, you can either dress in heavy rain gear and ride, or hop in the car you've already got - the people you're going to meet up with are going to be less forgiving of seeing you arrive soaking wet anyway.

I can't speak for why motorcycles might be second-class citizens in the parts of the US that don't have these problems, though.
posted by ardgedee at 10:36 AM on June 30, 2010


In sunny and temperate parts of the U.S. motorcycles still suffer two problems, the one these modifications are addressing, lack of storage space, and the problem of needing to stash "gear" (helmet and jacket) at your destination. This means there's always situations where a car would be better.

Given that people here can afford both vehicles, you don't have the necessity is the mother of invention effect the links show. It's quite interesting to see what people have come up with when under that pressure though.
posted by oblio_one at 10:54 AM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Given that people here can afford both vehicles, you don't have the necessity is the mother of invention effect the links show. It's quite interesting to see what people have come up with when under that pressure though.

thanks for this, makes me want to say, "if necessity is the mother of invention, is scarcity the father of innovation" ?
posted by infini at 10:59 AM on June 30, 2010


I submit the Velorex as another cool moto mod. In postwar Europe, everything needed for transportation was in short supply - especially fuel and metal. Velorex, a Czech outfit, started modifying Jawa motorcycles. They built a tubular steel frame, moved the fuel engine to the rear, added a steering wheel and additional front wheel, cloth body and rudimentary coachwork and voila! The Velorex was born, and continued sporadic production into the 1970s.
posted by workerant at 11:08 AM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm excited to look through all of these links - one of my favorite parts of the small town in Peru where I hung out while not in the field was the ubiquity of motorcycles, often carrying entire families. Dad, a toddler, Mom with a baby, and a seven year old all squished onto the seat. Anytime you went to a Discoteka, there were folks dancing with their motorcycle helmets still on.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:21 AM on June 30, 2010


Fuel engine? Velorex moved the engine to the rear and used the stock fuel tank under the fabric bonnet, as you can clearly see in my first picture.

Sigh. Thinking used to be so easy.
posted by workerant at 1:54 PM on June 30, 2010


I had a doctor friend who always called motorcycles "donorcycles".

This gives that nickname a whole new spin.
posted by not_on_display at 10:00 AM on July 16, 2010


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