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Old 05-11-2022, 11:01 AM   #21
DemiBenson
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default Re: Halfling on a motorcycle: SM and Skill

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
That sounds like a solid option. My personal inclination would lean more toward them opting for reverse trikes, but that might just be a result of me really liking those in Death Stranding.
Reverse trikes are a solid option, seeing as they are more stable than regular trikes. Just be sure to get one that leans into turns as those are more stable than the non-leaning ones.

However, to fit one for a SM-2 biped with the proportions of a SM0 human, you would still need a custom-built seat and controls unless there are so many halflings around that it’s a common option. If the controls are sized for SM-2 people, SM0 humans won’t be able to use them.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
This appears to presume one or more halflings suddenly showing up in the modern day. In a setting where halflings have been known for a while, and have integrated into the larger society, things would be a bit different - I'd expect the laws would be more about having some minimum acceleration/maximum velocity (or power-to-weight ratio) rather than a minimum engine power to be on the highway.
Being highway legal in the modern US usually means just able to get to a minimum speed.
A motorcycle built custom-sized for a SM-2 person will not have enough engine to reach those speeds, unless it is fully electric and even then would have terrible range because the battery compartment is relatively small.
The reason for this is: drag forces start becoming significant around 30 mph (50 kph) while highways speeds are usually twice that, and having a smaller vehicle makes the drag forces worse in proportion to the engine’s size, which means fueled engines won’t have the speed, and electric engines would be operating at max power and so drain the battery faster.

The way to get around that might be a regular-scale reverse trike with custom-sized controls, but then the SM-2 person is not really “riding” the vehicle and more “driving” it.

Another way would be (again, assuming a custom-scaled motorcycle) a very large engine, but this has two problems:
  • The engine is so big (in proportion to the rider and the scale of the wheels, frame, etc) that it would have a terrible turning radius or risk pole-vaulting itself on the engine casing when making tight turns. I have actually seen this happen with small/short cruiser-style motorcycles and aggressive, experienced riders making tight low-speed turns. This is one reason why racing motorcycles have high seating, high-mounted engines, and tight body posture - it allows them to lean very far over, which gives them tight turning at high speeds.
  • Terrible fuel capacity, because you’d have trouble scaling the fuel tanks to match the engine size while still keeping the handling similar to a regular SM0 human-scale motorcycle. It is possible to do, but then your “motorcycle” is starting to diverge from the common perception of what motorcycles look like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
For the first bit, honestly that's not much different from someone in a small car (or I assume on a motorcycle, I've never ridden one myself) in an area where everyone drives trucks; it's not pleasant, but it's doable. They'd probably want to avoid night-driving, however, as the lights of the SM+0 scaled vehicles will be at just the right height to blind them (either from a vehicle coming from the other direction, or from reflecting off their rearview mirrors; I personally try to avoid night-driving for this reason, since many people in my area drive obnoxiously-large trucks and/or think having their brights on when behind somebody is perfectly acceptable). For the latter bit (people not seeing them), one option might be reflectors or similar on elevated mounts so they're harder to miss seeing.

That said, an option that lets them sit roughly eye-level with the SM+0 drivers on the road is going to be better.
Motorcycle riding position does not necessarily put the rider’s eyes below the height of car drivers’ eyes - I’m tall and on my tall motorcycle, my eye height is actually above the roof of most cars.
But certainly a SM-2 person on a proportionally-sized motorcycle is going to have an eye height much lower than the window/windshield height of human-scale cars… unless the small-people-sized vehicles are common enough for long enough that laws and manufacturing would change to accommodate them.
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Last edited by DemiBenson; 05-11-2022 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 05-11-2022, 11:53 AM   #22
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Halfling on a motorcycle: SM and Skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by DemiBenson View Post
If the controls are sized for SM-2 people, SM0 humans won’t be able to use them.
That seems like a given, but good to keep in mind nonetheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DemiBenson View Post
The reason for this is: drag forces start becoming significant around 30 mph (50 kph) while highways speeds are usually twice that, and having a smaller vehicle makes the drag forces worse in proportion to the engine’s size, which means fueled engines won’t have the speed, and electric engines would be operating at max power and so drain the battery faster.
Ah, I hadn't considered the issue of drag - we're basically looking at a similar situation as why smaller creatures have a lower terminal velocity. I wonder how much you'd need to change the design of a motorcycle to accommodate a larger fuel tank (and possibly a larger engine). Halfling motorcycles might lean toward the bulkier side, and probably be proportionally longer. Of course, that kinda matches with what we'd expect for halfling weapons of war - because they would be proportionally stronger than humans, halflings would be able to handle proportionally heavier and longer (but shorter in absolute terms) weapons comfortably. Halfling self-defense weapons would probably have something more akin to the proportions of human self-defense weapons, however, for ease of carry (although they may be a bit bulkier, to better make use of their strength).

That said, I think human-scale reverse trikes with halfling controls may well be their best option.
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