Dec 16, 2013 @ 21:38 Updated for 2014:
I’m gazing into the future for this post as we approach the end of 2013. The automotive world is at a turning point and things should get exciting in a next decade or two.
The main reason is that we are faced with ever increasing demand and running out of easily extracted oil, gas and other mineralised forms of energy hence increased prices heading beyond what is affordable. Added to that is increased safety and pollution requirements. This has impacted on the type of cars that we currently have to choose from but it has yet to effect motorcycles in most parts of the world.
Motorcycles are currently and seemingly immune to the what’s happening in the car world due to the perception that motorcycles use less petrol. This is of course completely true! However it is relative since motorcycles like the Suzuki Hayabusa are very economical for the amount of performance. Scooters, which have the same power to weight ratio as regular cars without the same fuel saving features are certainly more economical in both use and resource to produce. Less than a litre for 100km is pretty good by any measure. Imagine if the latest fuel saving tech was applied to these tiny engines – the result would be very impressive indeed.
Motorcycle engine designs may head that way of applying fuel saving technology since the bulk of the world’s population (China, India and so forth) relies on them for transport. However I think that motorcycle engines will head in a different direction. I don’t think it will be batteries and electric motors but like cars it will inevitably be powered the hydrogen fuel cell. That said it may not even be hydrogen but some sort of common gas.
I made the last comment because hydrogen gas has had bad press in the past thanks to the fiery Hindenberg balloon disaster. However the reality is that petrol is easily more explosive. EV World article and other Youtube videos! We drive and ride around with explosive fuel anyway as its purely psychological barrier for the changing of fuel types. The major thing that these articles don’t mention is that the gas we currently use in our homes is also odorless and have its characteristic smell added to them for safety reasons. I’m sure ti would be the same for hydrogen.
Anyway its something to ponder on this week…