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Thread: Alternative fuels

  1. #1
    Registered User LCBIKEMAN's Avatar
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    Question Alternative fuels

    Anyone have experience with alternative fuels of any sort? I wonder about engine performance, engines altered to burn the fuels, etc. Wondered at anyone's experimentation or home-built? Has BMW tested a Hydrogen powered motorcycle engine?

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    The guvmint is currently making you use an alternate fuel, i.e. a 10% ethanol blend. Want more?
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
    PlaneGeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    The guvmint is currently making you use an alternate fuel, i.e. a 10% ethanol blend. Want more?
    Frankly yes, I see KTM & Honda working with electric bikes in racing. I'd love to see our boys & girls do that. One of the biggest reasons why I'm on a bike is so that I reduce my 'addiction' to oil.

  4. #4
    Bob
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    This month's issue of Motorcyclist was all about "green" bikes, from alternative fuels to fully electric.
    Also of interest:
    The US Marine Corps has been using diesel (or JP-8) powered Kawasaki KLR 650's for a couple years now.

  5. #5
    gentleman rider Astrin's Avatar
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    Be sure to read this nice article in Technology Review about the first non-emissions FIM-sponsored (read "electric") motorcycle race at the Isle of Man TT this year:

    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/23172/

    The winners were Team Agni, a couple of privateers from the UK and India. Their patented "pancake" motor will be available on (rather expensive) production bikes next year.
    Sam Hokin, Madison BMW Club | Facebook | Flickr
    1991 K75RT (117,000 mi) road | 2001 Suzuki GSX-R600 track
    "BMWs are slugs, for gentleman riders who are also slugs." -- letter to Cycle World, 1984

  6. #6
    PlaneGeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by 108625 View Post
    This month's issue of Motorcyclist was all about "green" bikes, from alternative fuels to fully electric.
    Also of interest:
    The US Marine Corps has been using diesel (or JP-8) powered Kawasaki KLR 650's for a couple years now.
    Now that would be fun! Of course one big advantage for them is to streamline their supply chain. A very good idea!

  7. #7
    RTFlyer
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    Electric motors=lotsa' torque!!!!


    ...and check this out!

    http://www.dieselmotorcycles.eu/dies...cycle_info.htm

  8. #8
    Rally Rat
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    DUH !!! Electricity is made from burning oil, coal or natural gas.

    Batteries are made from a product mined in Canada using diesel fuel powered equipment, processed in the US (with electricity), shiped to China in a boat powered by diesel or crude oil, assembled in Japan using more electicity, then shipped back to the US--see ship power above, then distributed in a truck powered by diesel.

    Get real folks....

    The carbon footprint of a Prius is significantly higher than a Hummer, and a lot harder to recycle once it dies.

  9. #9
    R100GS, '89 Guenther's Avatar
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    Tom,

    that is my understanding as well. Fuel cells and hydrogen produced with renewable energy - maybe someday. But not for motorcycles. The end of fossile fuel could mean the end of riding a motorcycle. So, Y"ALL ENJOY IT NOW!

    Occassionally I see Matt Parkhouse flizzing around in town on his electric powered BMW tricycle (as well as his electric powered VW Microbus). It can be done, but it would be tough to make it to a BMW rally...recharging every 30 miles.

    Oh, and there is this guy from Wyoming who show up on rallies now-and-then on a diesel powered Enfield built in India. Goes 130 mpg, max 60 mph. The company in Indian stopped building the diesel version a couple of years ago.

    A diesel powered GS from BMW? I think I would buy this in an iffy.

    /Guenther

  10. #10
    gentleman rider Astrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomBarnhart View Post
    DUH !!! Electricity is made from burning oil, coal or natural gas.
    In a dying, fossil-fuel-driven society, yes. But not in the future. Part of the solution is to get our transportation infrastructure off of fossil fuels as WELL as our electricity generation. There are many parts of the solution, the problem is massive.

    I personally believe that nuclear fusion is the only long-term solution to clean electricity production, combined with, of course, the electrified rail, personal transportation, home energy use, and other energy infrastructure changes that need to be made to get us off of fossil fuels. In the meantime, I'd sure like to see nuclear fission brought back -- modern fission plants are way safer and more well-made than the old designs we used to use. Europe has moved so far ahead in nuclear fission over the intervening years.

    Electric motorcycles are a tiny, but highly visible, start. They can be a cute poster child for electric vehicles. They don't solve any significant problems. Those are much, much bigger problems, the largest humans have ever faced.

    And regarding the environmental footprint of batteries - yes, a serious drawback, right now. But we're still very early in development. It's a huge mistake to evaluate the whole Big Project simply in terms of what's been achieved to date.

    We have barely even begun.
    Sam Hokin, Madison BMW Club | Facebook | Flickr
    1991 K75RT (117,000 mi) road | 2001 Suzuki GSX-R600 track
    "BMWs are slugs, for gentleman riders who are also slugs." -- letter to Cycle World, 1984

  11. #11
    Rally Rat
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    I love nukes, we have a nuke powered power plant in our backyard. The only drawback is the biased press and the vocal anti-nuke crowd. Anytime there is a problem, no matter how small, the local news morons go out and take pictures of the cooling towers and recite the Chicken Little anthem.

  12. #12
    PlaneGeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomBarnhart View Post
    DUH !!! Electricity is made from burning oil, coal or natural gas.
    Not if you are smart enought to purchase wind only energy. And solar is looking like a good addition to our house when I have to re-roof it in 5 years. BTW did I mention earlier that by going from my old 30+ mpg Honda Civic to my 50+ mpg R1200RT I burn over 900 gallons of fuel less a year?
    Last edited by PlaneGeek; 10-04-2009 at 10:40 PM. Reason: fix format...

  13. #13
    GREGFUESS
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTFlyer View Post
    Electric motors=lotsa' torque!!!!


    ...and check this out!

    http://www.dieselmotorcycles.eu/dies...cycle_info.htm
    Looks like a rotary (read Wankel or Mazda RX-8 style) motor...

  14. #14
    GREGFUESS
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomBarnhart View Post
    DUH !!! Electricity is made from burning oil, coal or natural gas.

    Batteries are made from a product mined in Canada using diesel fuel powered equipment, processed in the US (with electricity), shiped to China in a boat powered by diesel or crude oil, assembled in Japan using more electicity, then shipped back to the US--see ship power above, then distributed in a truck powered by diesel.

    Get real folks....

    The carbon footprint of a Prius is significantly higher than a Hummer, and a lot harder to recycle once it dies.
    Hum, Tom I feel compelled to correct this often quoted and very incorrect statement regarding carbon footprints. The statement that is correctly quoted is that the Prius requires considerable energy to produce. The comparison is generally left to the uninformed to draw the incorrect comparison to other vehicles.

    But if you feel compelled in your believe to misstate facts, please quote your sources.

    My source for the statement that the Prius has the smallest carbon footprint of any passenger car is from http://missionzero.org/categories/1-...e-SUV-for-2009

  15. #15
    R100GS, '89 Guenther's Avatar
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    gregfuess,

    the website you mentioned talks about the carbon footprint of the vehicle in operation and not about the enviromental impact of building and "disposing" the vehicle. Given all the extra electronic stuff in a hybrid and the battery on top I think a Hummer - overall - could still be "greener".

    TomBarnhart,

    ah, and about that nuclear power plant. If you like it in your backyard you sure like to have the spent fuel rods sitting there as well to give you a bright shining face for hundreds of years to come.

    Iceland - before it financially collapsed - had plans to be oil independent by 2023(?). The idea was to use their geothermal resources plus the abandons of water to produce electricity with steam driven turbines. Use the electricity to make hydrogen and use it in fuel cells to power electric cars. They had it all nicely laid out and calculated until the country financially imploded over a year ago.

    A nice report on the discovery(?) channel showed that if we plaster 10% of Nevada with solar panels it would produce all the electricity we generate by fossil fuels in the US today. So theoretically that might be feasible. Only some "minor" (haha) issues like 24 our availability and transportation of the electrons need to be resolved.

    Btw. I don't believe any car can be "green". Greener, yeah. Only a horse drawn buggy comes close to be really "green".

    ...my view on things.

    /Guenther

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