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Author Topic: What if?  (Read 17339 times)

LJRead

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What if?
« on: June 19, 2009, 07:29:14 PM »
Last evening I happened to look at the prices of film style Hasselblad cameras.  Use to be that they were very expensive, but now, with digital technology, the price is way down.  You can buy a camera back for them which gives you digital, but this finest of cameras is now worth very little especially if current used prices are adjusted for inflation.

With new technology, will the same happen to bikes.  The interesting  thing (to me) is that with bikes one can have the very best for what seem like reasonable prices.  A Black Shadow for $40K to 100K,  mint condition British bikes for 10K to 20 K.  This suggests that there are still a  lot of really high grade bikes around, if market conditions are anything to judge by.

Now if some new system, or the established electric powered one, takes hold, will the price of these marvelous antiques go way down?  It happened to Hasselblad, why not to bikes?  This seems to be a by-product of the electronic age.  Old computers, top of the line in their time - now go to the junk heap,  same with every other electronic device. Old means only five or ten years old, sometimes less. 

We may be just seeing the start of a new revolution in bikes including more use of light metals, more efficient forms of power, even stylistic changes.  Will all the old bikes then be fit for only museums or the junk heap?  Oh, it couldn't happen, you say - but I never would have thought I could buy the very best camera ever made for less than 500 inflated bucks!!!
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ace.cafe

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Re: What if?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2009, 08:12:31 PM »
If gasoline infrastructure goes away,so will the gasoline powered vehicles, unless they change to another fuel that is supported by the new infrastructure.

If it all goes electric, and gas stations are no more, and only electric re-fill stations are available, that is the end.

It's the same with the Hasselblad. The "infrastructure" moved away from film and to digital media.
Large format film cameras are not very portable, and have limited appeal in this new day and age.
So, they faded away.

The lenses and mechanisms of a Hasselblad are still great, and with a digital back on a Hasselblad, you still have a great camera, although a bit large.
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geoffbaker

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Re: What if?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 09:28:15 PM »
And a bit expensive. You can spend nearly $40k on a Hasselblad digital back..

But yes; if electricity becomes cost competitive with gasoline for transport, and people switch to them, at some point you will see a tipping point.

it was the same with Nikons. I could never afford a Nikon F3 or F4, the cream of the professional 35mm film camera crop; once digital took over I was able to buy a F3 with a sportsfinder in great shape for very little money!

LJRead

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Re: What if?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 10:22:00 PM »
What impresses me most is how fast these changes are occurring.  Back in about 1996 or so I saw my first digital camera.  The Crown Prince had been presented one by a delegation from China and was enjoying himself taking photos at the Miss Va'vau beauty contest (his Highness's girlfriend won).  I thought about it and also heard that the digitals couldn't get up to the resolution of film, so no threat (ha!).  We had an overnight photo development place here then, but now there just isn't one, and now resolution of digital is indistinguishable from film.  Al the pros are going digital.  And the digital revolution took maybe five years to advance and spread from the early days of less than 3 megapixel resolution.

Anticipating problems getting film developed, I brought with me to Tonga a complete darkroom and a suitcase filled with various formats of cameras.  I don't quite know what to do with them now.  They take up space and gather dust.

So, like Ace points out, maybe in the not so distant future filling stations as we know them will be on their way out and charging stations will be the norm.  It seemingly  can happen in the blink of an eye.  The EVs now being produced are probably like the first digitals, with more sophisticated and useful models to follow.  There have recently been TT races held for EV motorcycles in England, with respectable times around the track made. 

Now the Black Shadow has particular value as a rarity.  What happens if gasoline becomes less available?  Suddenly even the greatest bike, like cameras such as the Leica, or Nikon or Hasselblad,  becomes somewhat of a dinosaur.  Even though of show quality, and maybe rarely ridden, it is the ability to ride them that helps them to retain their mystique and value.

And the new generation won't be like us older folks, they won't have been born into an era of the British bike.  We have a few younger members here, like doomed 1, but a generation is passing and new technology just beginning to encroach.  We are in the early days of a revolution, just like back in the mid 1990s we were in the initial stages of a digital camera revolution.  Exciting, but also very sad.
Lawrence J. Read
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Geirskogul

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Re: What if?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2009, 05:07:53 AM »
I don't want my bike to become obsolete (it kind of already is, but you know what I mean) before I even pay it off!  I'm 21 and I'd really like to get many years out of it before I have to get rid of it.
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geoffbaker

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Re: What if?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2009, 04:15:35 PM »
LJ, the generational thing is the important one.

We older fogies will all wax nostalgic about the era of classic bikes and the sound and smell of gas powered vehicles ..

But if technology tips towards the battery, and all of a sudden there is REAL research money being put into it by all the major players...

well, kids are going to be talking about the thrilling sound of the electric engine as it screams past 140 mph...

Gas bikes will be a thing of the past because they won't be AS GOOD in the opinion of the new generation, the electric bikes will be faster, with better acceleration (amazing torque in an electric engine) and will be easier to maintain and cost less.

This is of course assuming engineering improvements and development... which comes naturally to the dominant system...

The kids will be talking, just as we did, about how much things have improved ...

And the manufacturers will be careful to 'retro' style them, for those kids who leaf through the old bike magazines and admire the style and design of the older bikes...

LJRead

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Re: What if?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2009, 06:23:20 PM »
The money for development and production shouldn't be a problem as transportation of this nature is one of the biggest money-makers of all time, and there are already new companies there to fill the need.  It is exactly like the digital camera revolution and look how fast that spread.  Five or ten years from now should see some interesting changes.  Even the big petroleum companies won't be able to hold it back, especially if people begin to see it as in many ways better.

I still have my old slide rule, and at the time I was in engineering school, I had a longer one, good to three decimal places (big deal), now for less than ten bucks I can buy a simple calculator that will out perform it for most uses.  Used to have a typewriter too,  was right in at the beginning of word processing, with first a tape recorder, then floppy discs (a disc player was around $300 in those times, equivalent to the cost of a whole computer with gigabytes of storage now).  And yet things like cameras and typewriters etc. are small change compared to cars and such.  There is money to be made and people wanting to make it.

The central part of the new technology is electronics oriented, and things in that field move very quickly indeed.

Maybe good to have a diesel, hey?  You can always make your own fuel and go for a ride.  We need to get the most out of what we are riding now because there will come a time...

Lawrence J. Read
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Ice

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Re: What if?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2009, 08:14:07 PM »
Not worried a bout electric transportation myself.

 Battery technology to equal the performance size and weight of a simple tank full of gas is centuries away if ever attainable.

 The electrical grid can't handle every one charging up every day. The cost to upgrade it to that level would be prohibitive.

 The total cost (when infrastructure upgrades included) and pollution to travel one mile burning electrons is greater than using Dino fuels unless the electricity is nuclear generated.

Today we have diesel pick up trucks and cars that drive like or out perform  gassers.
 Diesel is "here", now.
 Look at the performance specs of this production bike. http://www.dieselmotorcycles.com/models.htm










 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 08:16:16 PM by Ice »
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Geirskogul

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Re: What if?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2009, 08:54:22 PM »
Not worried a bout electric transportation myself.

 Battery technology to equal the performance size and weight of a simple tank full of gas is centuries away if ever attainable.

 The electrical grid can't handle every one charging up every day. The cost to upgrade it to that level would be prohibitive.

 The total cost (when infrastructure upgrades included) and pollution to travel one mile burning electrons is greater than using Dino fuels unless the electricity is nuclear generated.

Today we have diesel pick up trucks and cars that drive like or out perform  gassers.
 Diesel is "here", now.
 Look at the performance specs of this production bike. http://www.dieselmotorcycles.com/models.htm


Unless you're in a third world country, the electric grid certainly can handle charging everyone at once.  Most home systems, and grid systems within cities, are overbuilt.  Charging a vehicle doesn't use much more power than an extra refridgerator or two - those use TONS of electricity.

"Centuries" away?  Pfff.  More like decades, at most.  Electric vehicles have been around for more than a century; all they needed to get off the ground was a push from somewhere, and the peak oil dilemma combined with international conflict certainly has given that push.  Advances have been made in less than the past year that make me excited for the future.  Combine that with the recent discovery of the super-efficient solar polymer, and you have yourself a new energy system.

Diesel is great, but diesel, hydrogen, or hybrids are only a stopgap for full-on solar and wind systems.




 
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REpozer

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Re: What if?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2009, 09:18:29 PM »
I believe Ice is correct. I look to wind and solar as supplements to coal fire electricity.

The practical answer would be to follow France and gear up production of nuclear  electric power plants. Yes I did say France.

How many of you would be willing to fly in an airplane that is solar powered? Yeah my thoughts exactly, we have no problem getting on board a Dino  engine powered aircraft .
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LJRead

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Re: What if?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2009, 09:34:45 PM »
Thanks for the link to the diesel motorcycles, Ice - so light in weight yet so powerful.

With the amount of money and potential profit involved, I would say we should see significant progress in the next five years.  Like I mentioned above, with digital cameras, we are now taking some real steps in that direction, floundering a little, as is to be expected, but once it gets rolling -watch out-  it will roll!

Wonder if the miltry is investing in electric motorcycles yet.  Certainly they must be exploring the techology.

Much of the grid may be replaced by individual systems on scattered homes and even solar and wind based systems on recharging stations out in the boonies.  It may be there will be less dependence on the grid, or else the grid will be better organized for multiple inputs.

No, I see these as early days still, but with a very solid foundation for future growth.  And I am of a very conservative nature.
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luoma

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Re: What if?
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2009, 10:01:58 PM »
I don't think we are going to see electricity take over from gas, coal, etc., until something entirely new comes into the picture. Generators and batteries are ancient technology. They can only be improved upon so much before they have to step aside and make way for the next tech. All forms of production currently include a tradeoff of some kind. Take hydrogen, it takes a lot of electricity to produce the hydrogen so that it can be converted back into a lesser amount of electricity. Something big is coming, and when it does, we will all be surprised.

Film and cameras continued to improve over the years, and before there was such a thing as digital imaging, no one would have predicted it. It completely displaced the old tech.

geoffbaker

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Re: What if?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2009, 01:09:52 AM »
Ice sounds like most skeptics... "centuries away"... people thought air vehicles were impossible and nuclear fission a scientist's imagination.

Current grids can handle electric vehicle charging easily - it happens at night typically, when grid demands are low.

I would say we are twenty years away. Perhaps because they say we are only twenty years away from nuclear fusion, for that matter.

Ice

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Re: What if?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2009, 06:30:40 AM »
Ice sounds like most skeptics... "centuries away"... people thought air vehicles were impossible and nuclear fission a scientist's imagination.

Current grids can handle electric vehicle charging easily - it happens at night typically, when grid demands are low.

I would say we are twenty years away. Perhaps because they say we are only twenty years away from nuclear fusion, for that matter.

Hi geoff. I fancy myself as more of a realist than skeptic.

 10 gallons of gas weighs around 75 pounds and lets the average gasser compact car go about 320 miles while carrying two adults and a couple bags of groceries.   My diesel rabbit can go about 525. 
  Its going to take a quantum leap in battery technology to cram enough electrons into a package that measures  and weighs the same as my fuel tank.
We just can't achieve that kind of energy density with today's battery technology.




 
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

LJRead

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Re: What if?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2009, 06:04:34 PM »
Probably parallel systems will run for some time to come, as they are now, with batteries catching on, but mainly for local use.  Maybe the changeover won't be as rapid as the camera example, but luoma has a good point that we just don't know what is coming, though I think some of the more radical ideas are being pursued right now.  The guy that invented a lot of the solar technology is busily at work on a radical new form of battery, I believe.  If something really efficient and able to match or come close to that fuel tank Ice mentions (in all present vehicles) then the field of electric transport could mushroom very quickly.
Lawrence J. Read
Vava'u
Tonga Islands
South Pacific

2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base