The Future of Alternative Motorcycles — Motorcycle USA

17 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи The Future of Alternative Motorcycles — Motorcycle USA отключены
Suzuki Crosscage

The Future of Alternative Motorcycles

inventor Sylvester Roper a steam-powered motorcycle over 140 ago. The concept of two-wheeled has come a long way since. How the motorcycle evolve in the future?

In Massachusetts inventor Sylvester built what is credited by as the world’s first motorcycle. by a twin-cylinder steam engine, the 25 mph was stoked to life via a charcoal-fired located under the rider’s Flash forward seven years and we have 150-hp motorcycles capable of over 180 mph computer controlled fuel and ABS.

Quite a bit of technological covered since the days of Roper. Which begs the — what does the hold for motorcycles?

Due to environmental and the fact that $4/gallon gas is now a the desire for alternatives to the internal engine are more in demand ever before. So, like future motorcycles figure to be more efficient machines. Who 50 years from now riders may back at our gas-engine beauties the way we look at Roper’s steam-powered

Plug-in electrics, hybrids, cells and even compressed air all promise in the years to come. And the big thing in motorcycle design may be out there. So let’s take a look at the alternative two-wheelers.

Electric powered motorcycles are the developed alternative technology And electric power seems suited to a two-wheeled design, as a overall weight means motors and fewer heavy are required than those on an car. The electric motor figures to be a good application for a motorcycle, with immediate delivery for quick spurts of (in theory, as we have yet to sample any designs yet, although working on it.)

Electric like the Vectrix ZEV scooter, no emissions and operate at a high of efficiency.

Right now the biggest to electric motorcycles are low top speeds and ranges. Most bikes are to 50 mph top speed, or less, with under the 50-mile mark as — usually under 20 Breakthroughs in battery technology, may solve some of these with new Lithium-based batteries lighter weight and more power.

On the plus side, few miles traveled will be ones for the operator, as some place the electric cost per as low as $0.02 or less. (Compare to a 25 mpg gas car, which at $4/gallon $0.16 per mile — at $4 gas a 70 mpg conventional gas scooter is over a per mile.)

Another advantage to electricity as an source of motorcycle power is the infrastructure is already in place, electric bikes needing an empty socket to get juiced up. While charge time longer than filling up at the getting to the station is a lot quicker and the payment of one utility bill replace all those depressing, fuel stops.

The environmental of the electric motorcycle come zero emissions produced. The being that while fuels are not burned directly the operation of an electric motorcycle, the of electricity in the U.S. is still from coal-burning powerplants. designs are not wasteful, however, claims of up to 90% efficiency and the big green comes with the future of renewable energy as a significant to the electric grid — decades away but a growing nonetheless.

A fold-away commuter and connection, the BOBBY is still a prototype, but a quirky example of electric transportation.

In its infancy, the motorcycle industry is being by intrepid start-ups and large manufacturers alike. Here are a few that we’ve come

Yamaha BOBBY

The Big Four dabbled with electric in the past, often revealing as concept bikes at yearly shows. Yamaha unveiled a of electric designs at last Tokyo Motor Show. our favorite from the tuning engineers being the BOBBY. An electric scooter that a fold up bicycle, the BOBBY was as a stow away commuter.

The design sports some features, including the ability for the to turn it on and off with their phone. The scooter is also capable, endearing it to an online such as ourselves. The BOBBY a prototype.

The Vectrix ZEV scooter is available for $10,999, with the New City and Sacramento both the electric design as a fleet

With a top speed of 62 mph and 35-55 range, the Vectrix ZEV (Zero Vehicle) scooter is one of the few production motorcycles currently available. in at 510lbs, the Vectrix can accelerate 0-50 in 6.8 seconds powered by a DC motor connected to Nickel Hydride (NiMH) batteries. a large-displacement maxi-scooter the Vectrix 3-5 hours to recharge.

The Vectrix became available in the as a 2007 model and is catching on. the lead of New York City, is currently experimenting with the scooter as a fleet machine for enforcement and police department The Vectrix scooter also has extra cachet of celebrity with Jay Leno and Leonardo both new owners.

Available for California residents are eligible for rebate from CARB Air Resources Board) for the Vectrix due to its emissions status.


Looking more like a motorcycle, the Brammo Enertia 18 horsepower to the rear wheel via a DC wired to lithium-ion-phosphate batteries.

about 15 miles from HQ, the Ashland, Oregon-based Brammo produces a more conventional with its Enertia bike. A design, the Enertia features a carbon fiber monocoque surrounding a carriage of Valence Ion Phosphate batteries. Wired up to a DC the Enertia claims peak numbers of 18 horsepower and 28 lb-ft of

Weighing in at 280 lbs, the power equate to a top speed of 50+ mph with a mile range. Recharging the takes less than hours and the company promises even if the electricity comes a coal-fired plant, there is a 92% of CO2 emissions compared to those a standard car.

Founded in by entrepreneur Craig Bramscher the Enertia’s designer Brian Brammo Motorsports is accepting for the $11,995 Enertia, with for delivery to customers in the second of 2008. The firm also has a limited production model for $14,995. Stay tuned for info about the Enertia on MCUSA.

Zero X

The electric X is powered by lithium-ion batteries 40 miles and rechargeable within two

A potential solution to one of the biggest of off-road riding, sound the Zero X live up to its name zero sound and zero The unique electric off-road is the brainchild of Neal Saiki, a bike designer and the founder of Motorcycles.

Powered by a brushed magnet motor and Lithium-Ion the Zero X claims an impressive 23 peak. A 40-mile range to more than a couple of at the local MX track and the Zero X can be in just two hours. With and braking similar to a standard gas the Zero X tips the scales at a light 140 lbs with an 18-lb frame.

We haven’t had a chance to sample Motorcycles’ wares, yet, but a test ride by Jeff left the former MX star And the Zero X is a commercial success with the company having keeping up with demand for its design (a version with 10% powerful motor is available for Reports have also that the Santa Cruz, company may release an on-road version of its promising design.


Electrobike founder Marcus makes a call celebrating his design’s new Land Speed oft 64.848 mph at the 2007 Bonneville Trials.

We met Marcus Hays and his San electrobike crew at the Bonneville Flats. where the Bay Area got his all-electric 139-lb design up to an 64.848 mph. Described on the website as the gateway from an dependent world to a brighter, less polluted world lower CO2 and a lot more smiles the is available in a number of forms, as the can be kitted as an all-electric, human/hybrid or with prices ranging $7,500 to $17,500.

With urban commuting in mind, the Pi a 30-mile range at 20 mph — the Pi E unit incorporating a brushless 48V with NiMH battery The last time we spoke Hays, he was working on a portable battery system that work similar to the removable battery packs for electric tools — allowing a to ride to work and pop out the battery to into a portable charger.

Oh, and to the electrobike as green as possible, recently unveiled a portable charger. We hope to test the in the near future.


Did we say the motorcycle has low top speeds? Well, the is the obvious exception to the rule, the electric-powered drag racer logged a dizzying 7.824 run with a top speed of 168 mph. The design of owner Bill many people may recognize the name from the Youtube which showed its operator a burnout only to slam out of into a parked minivan almost living up to the bike’s

The Piaggio HyS hybrid system is to be fixed on the three-wheeled MP3, an electric motor assisting the gas-powered engine.

So where the Killacycle’s dangerous electric come from? Described on the website as basically a a giant drill with wheels the sources the power of 374 volts of stored in 1210 small, but ‘nano-phospate cells (batteries) by A123 Systems . Routed a motor controller from Electric. a pair of motors a mind-blowing 500 horsepower to the rear via chain drive. But perhaps the amazing thing about the is the fact that each run the drag strip burns up than $0.07 worth of

Piaggio HyS Hybrid

Alongside the of all-electric motorcycles have gas/electric hybrid designs the Piaggio HyS, which we already featured in our Piaggio HyS Scooter — First Planned to be utilized on the Vespa LX and Piaggio MP3, the HyS hybrid incorporates a regular gas-powered engine, mated to an electric attached to the rear wheel hub on the

The idea for the HyS is to incorporate the advantages of electric and internal-combustion power, the torquey electric motor as a supplemental power source. claims the surge of juice the electric motor supplies 85% extra performance when with the gas engine. The wasted of a traditional gas engine is also on the HyS with the electric power at regular cruising speeds, as as during braking, making the design extremely efficient.

The juice on the HyS is transmitted directly to the wheel when quick is needed.

Suzuki Crosscage

The bottom line, to Piaggio, is a 140 mpg fuel economy. The HyS can also be switched between modes, one of which is all-electric, and a 12-mile electric-only range, the HyS can run as a plug-in electric for short-distance


Fuel are yet another alternative energy source for motorcycles. Producing current from a constant source, fuel cells can be from a number of materials, but the common system is a proton membrane (PEM) utilizing as a fuel. The short and simple for the PEM fuel cell process is it in hydrogen and oxygen, producing the current used as power with the byproduct being most common of molecular — H2O.

While water is the lone coming out of the tailpipe, instead of the environmental catch is energy be consumed to produce the hydrogen The widespread use of Hydrogen as a transportation source would also a new infrastructure to store and deliver it. fuel cell-powered vehicles are developed in both the four- and variety.

Many Japanese have displayed fuel-cell motorcycles, but Suzuki may have the bike closest to production.

its single-sided front and rear and exposed unconventional frame the Crosscage created a stir at its Motor Show debut. The story, however, was the Hydrogen PEM cells located underneath the styling.

Suzuki Crosscage

its debut at the Tokyo Motor the aptly-named Suzuki Crosscage drew the most attention for its exposed frame and futuristic lines. But the big news was inside, the Crosscage running off hydrogen-fed PEM cells, which produced current routed to a motor to the rear wheel inside the

The Crosscage’s fuel cells are by the British firm Intelligent which announced last that it has further strengthened its with Suzuki. In a press Intelligent Energy stated its performance fuel cell systems coupled with commitment to low-emissions transport the reality of hydrogen powered is closer than ever.

IE has created its own fuel-cell motorcycle the ENV and is also an innovator in small-scale production systems, which hydrogen from various fuels or natural gas. Now the backing of a large-volume manufacturer, the of a commercially viable production cell motorcycle is looking brighter.


Intelligent Energy is with Suzuki for the Crosscage, but IE has their own fuel cell too — the ENV.

Compressed air a motorcycle? The idea behind an motorcycle may sound strange, but the is straightforward and been around for a now. Compressed air stores in high-pressure tanks, which is shot into an air engine mechanical energy.

The application is applied now to four-wheeled designs and for a informative video about the and bolts of an air engine check out video about the air car.

The air is produced by, surprise, a compressor, is most often powered by So, like its electric and fuel alternative cousins, an air-powered produces no direct emissions, but contribute secondary C02 from derived electricity. Disadvantages, for a motorcycle application, include the and storage of compressed air tanks.

On the plus side, however, air shows great potential, as in metal tanks would be costly and more eco-friendly the production and disposal of electric

(The concept of using air as an energy storage system is put into effect on a large at the Iowa Stored Energy which stores the extra generated by a wind farm off-peak use for release during high-demand.)

Top speeds of 18 mph and 7 mile may not be headline grabbers, but British Jem Stansfield’s air-powered moped is a green two-wheeled design.

As far as motorcycles go, there aren’t a lot out there but we did stumble across one Described on various websites as a sheepherder and current rocket Jem Stansfield made a rudimentary bicycle, basically a single-piston air launching a stationary bike. One of the hosts of the Planet Mechanics show, Stansfield has since his original design to a more ride.

The latest Stansfield is powered by compressed air stored in fiber scuba tanks. Air is routed through rotary air which get the modified Puch up to it 18 mph top speed. The pneumatic design only about seven before needing a recharge.

You may not see bike in dealer showroom soon, but it’s a bit of garage ingenuity deserving of recognition!

So, riders won’t be trading in ’08 superbikes for air-powered the era of alternative motorcycles is creeping the mainstream. Stay tuned to for updates about the motorbikes we be riding into the future.

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