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World's First Fuel-Cell Motorcycle

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the still-no-fuel-cell-laptop dept.

Science 481

Alex writes "Rubber Magazine reports that the British company Intelligent Energy has unveiled today the first purpose-built, fuel-cell motorbike. The bike has a 6kW (8 hp) electric motor, top speed of 50 mph (80kph), a range of 100 miles (160km). The engine is completely silent, which might not go well with many motorcycle lovers. In addition it could also possibly pose an interesting safety issue, since a pedestrian or motorist would not hear it coming."

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Cool (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970784)

In addition it could also possibly pose an interesting safety issue, since a pedestrian or motorist would not hear it coming.

We bicyclists have the same problem, but if one obeys the rules of the road, there should be no problem. The problem bicyclists (and many motorcyclists) have is with people in their automobiles who fail to properly look out and are too busy talking on the damned cell phone while driving their gas sucking SUVs. (Disclaimer: I own a Toyota 4runner, but bicycle back and forth to work every day, and run many of my errands on the bicycle) My recent experience with a near miss can be read here [utah.edu] .

The engine is completely silent, which might not go well with many motorcycle lovers.

I have to admit that when I did ride motorcycles, there was a certain magic about either the banshee wail of a sport bike as you wound it up while screaming up a canyon road or even the relaxed "POTATO POTATO POTATO" of the Harleys. However that said, this is going to be the future of transportation and I would most certainly embrace fuel cell technology that reduces the worlds outrageous consumption of oil. Plus, this ENV bike is a pretty sweet looking ride.

Re:Cool (5, Funny)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970834)

In addition it could also possibly pose an interesting safety issue, since a pedestrian or motorist would not hear it coming.

It's not a problem really. Just tape a playing card to it so it flaps against the spokes. Worked for me when I was a kid. Between that and the banana seat, I was too cool for school.

Re:Cool (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970873)

Between that and the banana seat, I was too cool for school.

Uhh...no you weren't. You were just cool enough. :)

Posted 4 minutes after the other similiar comment (0, Offtopic)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970937)

how original

Re:Posted 4 minutes after the other similiar comme (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971057)

Yeah, yeah, and these "playing card" comments were flying at fark the other day. I guess everyone here ripped them off. Must've taken some real genius to think that joke up.

It's just what most people think of when they think of "bike" and "noise." Easy, now.

Re:Cool (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970951)

Between that and the banana seat, I was too cool for school.

Why do spinners scream to me: "playing card in the spokes!"

The holdup on the playing card (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971070)

They were going to include a playing card, but they haven't quite figured out how to recapture the energy from the card being bent by the spokes.

If anyone is ever going to develop a perpetual motion device, my bet is on an electric vehicle designer.

Silence (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970885)

Really, I think a whisper quiet vehicle is the ultimate definition of cool 'noise'. Which would you rather have, an Eclipse or some such thing that whines loudly (noise = wang size) or a Mustang whose engine noise wasn't even a whisper? It would be as if Death's own chariot were at your command...

Re:Cool (0, Troll)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970893)

The whole "loud pipes saves lives" is just the mantra of a bunch of neanderthal Harley owners who like to rattle the windows of their neighbors so they can say "Hu hu hu that was fun guys" over a couple of beers at the guild hall of morons. A lot of horseshit, in other words.

Re:Cool (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970938)

I agree with you completely - and I'd also like to add that I know a person who got a ticket for having a loud stereo, which pales in comparison to the sound of a Harley.... yet a Harley can drive up my street at 2 AM and not be considered a problem, while this person was on the way to work in the morning and got ticketed because the windows were down in the car and the cop could hear the music. What a f*cked up society we live in.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970971)

Good, go ride a very quiet motorcycle then. I'll pour a drink out for you when I see your obituary.

Re:kaboom? (-1, Flamebait)

dmf415 (218827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970907)

can anyone say kaboom?

When asked about the possible dangers of distributing and stockpiling huge amounts of hydrogen, which is highly pressurized and explosive, Tuso downplayed the dangers. Most of the supposed problems with hydrogen are based on a public perception that it is much more dangerous that it really is. "The perception is evident when you take into account the precautions we take here," said Tuso. "The fueling station we built here cost five times what a comparable station cost in Germany. We have hydrogen alarms and air ventilation systems that are constantly running."

In reality, said Tuso, "The only real problem is the pressure that's involved, and that's not a problem with proper tanking systems." He showed us pictures of cars that had been dropped from 45', then from 90', and in all these test cases the hydrogen tank did not explode, in spite of being under pressure. Moreover, he said, "the tanks are designed to blow up, not out. If, for example, that tank back there exploded," said Tuso, referring to the hydrogen station in the lot behind the building, "90% of the debris would fall within the fence around it."

http://www.ecoworld.org/Articles/Hydrogen_fuel_ca [ecoworld.org] r s_EW.htm

Re:Cool (1)

BlaKnail (545030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970939)

The bicycle/motorist problem runs both ways. There are a lot of bicyclists who disregard the rules of the road in addition to the drivers. I've come closer than I'd like to hitting cyclists who blew through stop signs.

I'm not saying that you are an irresponsible biker, but whenever I hear about bicycle/automobile interaction, it is usually focused on bad drivers.

Its the weight that concerns me. (5, Insightful)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970953)

At 80kg, your not going to want to ride this on a windy day or the highway, even if they do increase the top speed.

Even on my bike 500lbs I get tossed around alot on windy days... I wouldn't want to be on this bike if an 18 wheeler passed me on the highway.

Re:Its the weight that concerns me. (2, Insightful)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971095)

I'd worry more on a highway about the bike's top speed of 50 than I would about the wind from a passing truck.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970983)

I have to admit that when I did ride motorcycles, there was a certain magic about [the noise motorcylces make]

And every pedestrian you pass loathes you for it. Many bikes (not yours necessarily) cause me pain as they pass, especially if the user is deciding to "feel the magic" and constantly revving the engine.

I've even been in my car and in extreme cases felt this sort of thing in traffic. I can't explain why this kind of noise is even legal. It harms the pedestrian environment in every area it passes, and causes actual pain. Why can't I report them for assault?

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971087)

Right on!
The safety issue is other drivers on the road who do not look properly.

Now all it needs... (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970788)

... is a sidecar with a tactical nuke in it.

Re:Now all it needs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970837)

Hand-chipped obsidian blades not included. And preferrably a more mature young lady, thanks.

Re:Now all it needs... (1)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971069)

Wouldn't that be a hydrogen bomb? That's way too powerful to be considered a "tactical" weapon.

Meh (2)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970789)

Motorcycles are already pretty damn fuel efficient as is.

Re:Meh (1)

dojobi (700658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970805)

How can more efficiency ever be a bad thing?

Re:Meh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970950)

Well, the total efficiency is what you should look at. It's pretty cheap, in terms of material etc, to machine current technology.

Making fuel cells for motorcycles is pretty wasteful. The places we really need fuel cells are in large trucks. Electric motors have massive low end torque (much as diesel engines do) and they don't have to worry about fuel storage, because they're already carrying ~100 gallons of fuel anyway.

In addition, they have fairly constant fuel requirements on long hauls, perfect for a fixed-rate fuel cell system.

Re:Meh (4, Funny)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970849)

leave it to /. readers to complain about something being too fuel efficient...

Re:Meh (3, Informative)

agm (467017) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970966)

Depends on the bike. Neither of mine are particularly fuel efficient. My VL1500 gets about 170km to 13 liters, and my DR-Z400 gets about 100km to 11 litres.

Re:Meh (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970995)

Actually most motorbikes get terrible fuel efficiency compared to what people probably imagine.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971002)

uh, source? or did you just pull this out of your ass?

moto myths (5, Informative)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970793)


Myths:
  • Not all motorcycles are made by Harley.
  • Not all motorcycles are cruisers or sportbikes.
  • Not all motorcyclists like loud pipes.
-ted, motorcycling geek

Re:moto myths (1)

VMaN (164134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970835)

Are all those MYTHS???

Harley sure has won over the market then....

Adding noise - the low tech way (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970868)

I remember as a kid strapping a bit of cardboard to the forks so that is hit against the spokes making a "motorbike" noise. Can be done here if need be.

However, a lot of small commuter bikes are pretty quiet - quiet enough that they serve no pedestrian warning purpose - so I don't really see an issue here.

Re:moto myths (0, Troll)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970903)

"not all" is generally 5%, especially for the last 2.

i have yet to see someone who didnt ride their motorcycle around as some kind of penis extender.

i'll give you one point though, i haven't heard a motorcycle yet that was loud enough to knock books off my shelves from across the street like various riceboys do. i've had picture frames shaken off my walls by motorcycle-penis-extenders, but books -- not yet.

Re:moto myths (5, Insightful)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970949)

i have yet to see someone who didnt ride their
motorcycle around as some kind of penis extender.


That's because you notice the loud bikes, dangerous riders, etc.

Just like if someone says "the only thing on the road are these huge SUVs". That's because they are big and you are looking for them- a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, etc is generic enough that you don't notice it. That doesn't mean they aren't there.

A Goldwing isn't a cruiser, and you probably haven't seen many people pulling wheelies on them. Others: nearly every bike by BMW, many dualsport and adventure bikes by other makers, the SV650 and clones. These bikes aren't cruisers or sportbikes- they are standards. Sure, there are stupid people on bikes, but there are stupid people on cars, too.

Many of us follow the MSF or Team Oregon philosophy, reducing our risk as much as possible. Don't judge an entire population based on a miniscule subset.

-ted, motorcycling geek who doesn't need to compensate

For those unclear on the point... (1)

absurdist (758409) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971005)

girls love bad boys.

bad boys ride Harleys.

  • Now, do I really need to draw you a map?

Re:moto myths (4, Interesting)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971076)

Another Myth:

Having a loud bike will protect you because motorists will be able to hear you.

I hate to bum the high of all of the Harley riders out there but I've met quite a few guys who have been in serious motorcycle accidents (i.e., they ended up having a leg cut off) and quite a few of them had big, noisy cruiser style bikes. The Hurt report (yes, that's what it is called) didn't find any correlation between how much noise a motorcycle makes and its likelihood of being involved in an accident with another vehicle.

Jamie - former motorcylist, current amputee

motorcycle lovers (5, Insightful)

whizzard (177251) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970794)


The engine is completely silent, which might not go well with many motorcycle lovers.

Somehow, I think that the top speed of 50 mph might not be that popular either.

Re:motorcycle lovers (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970844)

I can't exactly imagine a big, burly Scrapheap Challenge-type biker getting on one of those things either.

nope, might as well ride a scooter (1)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970845)

^^What I said above.

you miss the point (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970947)


50mph in London or for that matter any British city ? good luck with that between 7am-10pm

Re:you miss the point (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971011)

I don't ride motorcycles in London. I ride motorcycles on twisty mountain roads. And not at 50mph.

Re:motorcycle lovers (1)

leoval (827218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971052)

Back at the day, I used a Suzuki FZ50 to cover the 10 miles comnute to my school, the speed (40mph) was never a problem for me. The lack of horse power was the main draw back. In a particulary hilly section of the road (with a high grade), I had to dismount and push the motorcycle for several meters, that of course provided the comic relief for whoever was driving on the roadway at that time.

Ah, and god forbid, if some of my friends wanted to ride with me.

Solution to silent cycle (1, Redundant)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970801)

Just mount an ordinary playing card to hit the wheel's spokes. It makes a nice "motor" sound.

Re:Solution to silent cycle (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970843)

I can already see having a thing which shift gears and moves to a different playing card to keep the sound appropriate.

Violates Harley Davidson IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970984)

Note that this could Violate the Trademark Sound owned by Harley Davidson [bc.edu]

You wouldn't want the HDAA (cross between hells angels and RIAA) comming after you, would you.

Silent?!! (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970806)

If I purchase one of these I'll just have to make that putt-putt noise with my lips:
*bbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr* ...and ring my bicycle bell once in a while.

Quiet? Not a problem (1)

retro128 (318602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970818)

In addition it could also possibly pose an interesting safety issue, since a pedestrian or motorist would not hear it coming.

Haven't these guys ever heard of the cardboard in the spokes trick?

silence in cars too (4, Interesting)

drmike0099 (625308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970822)

The silence issue also exists for the electric cars. At low speeds or coasting they run pretty much silent and, since they're a lot larger, could pose as much of a threat. If you've ever run through LA and almost been hit by one popping out of a blind alley (cuz nobody stops at the end of alleys here) that you weren't able to hear while approaching, you know what I'm talking about...

Damn silent pedestrians (2, Funny)

wsanders (114993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970999)

And those damn pedestrians - totally silent!

You'll hear me coming - I'm the one yelling "HEY ASS****!" at the car trying to hit me.

Re:silence in cars too (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971049)

To solve the silence problem, the motorcycle rider will have to keep yelling out Raaaaayyyyy-Neeeeeeeeer-Beeeeeeer!!!!
[homage to the 80s, or was it the 70s. Damn I'm old]

(Lack of) Noise Problem (1, Interesting)

cynic10508 (785816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970839)

In addition it could also possibly pose an interesting safety issue, since a pedestrian or motorist would not hear it coming.

Easy. Put baseball cards between the spokes. Problem solved.

Oh boy, the title includes "First" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970842)

How I anticipate a thousand posts about the time some guy attached a shaken bottle of root beer to his bicycle, and how that, for some reason, means this isn't really a first.

Fark had this yesterday (2, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970846)

Don't you people coordinate paid placements?

Re:Fark had this yesterday (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970917)

Staggered delivery.
Its like the dvd region encoding. Can't have everyone in the same place, very few could cope with a slashdotting and a good old farking at the same time.
Strangely enough, slashdot is getting more like regular TV, its not just the bland advertisements though, its the amount of repeats thats on ;)

Motorcycle as reviewed by an Interior Designer (3, Funny)

cranos (592602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970847)

Okay I read the review, and I couldn't help but feel the guy writing the review is either a budding art critic, or an interior decorator.

Also I wonder how many people go to rubbermagazine.com and are a little disappointed when they get there.

Re:Motorcycle as reviewed by an Interior Designer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970874)

I, too, expected a magazine made out of rubber, or an interior decorator made out of rubber, or something.

Silent Engine (0, Redundant)

consumer_whore (652448) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970851)

Nothing some buggle gum and a playing card won't fix.

Re:Silent Engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971037)

buggle gum?

I need one (3, Funny)

canofbutter (843238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970852)

I commute in ~20 miles from a rural community and gas prices are rising excessively and the oil supply in general will be/is running low. This is therefore the perfect mode of transportation for North Dakota in the winter...

Loud Pipes do not necessarily save lives (1)

Phlatline_ATL (174344) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970854)

You've seen the bumper stickers and the t-shirts. Or maybe you haven't. Being a rider myself I've had to wonder whether or not the sound that an auto or motorbike makes would really make a difference.

My old bike had a nice not overly loud aftermarket pipe on it. Having a v-4 engine in it, the stock silencer made it sound anemic. I put the can on more for aesthetics than anything else.

My new bike with an inline 4 is just whiny and I'm VERY thankful for the silencer on there and have no intention of changing it.

Those loud pipes you hear on big-twins (i.e. of the H-D or metric ilk) usually are so obnoxiously loud that it defeats the purpose and is generally just annoying.

Yeah you can hear them 6 miles away, unless of course you're on the highway doing about 70-80mph in your "cage" at which point, depending on the acoustics of your auto, might be completely drowned or damped out.

Exactly, they just annoy people (1)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970906)

Unfortunately due to the laws of physics most vehicles on the road won't hear you until its too late. People like to say loud pipes save lives to justify that horrible noise we all have to put up with. Most cars you have to be worried about are coming in the opposite direction and usually turning in front of you.

For the record, I do have a motorcycle... Its not extremely loud (stock pipe) but my neighbour, well, 4 houses away can wake the dead when he starts up in the morning.

lightweight (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970859)

The real problem with the bike's safety is its tiny weight: about the weight of the rider (80Kg/176lbs). Even a 300lb bike gets blown around by wind on, say, the SF Bay Bridge, has trouble hugging curves in mountain roads, and needs more acceleration to stay at speed despite drag. The other big momentum problem is that when a car hits you, you'll split the absorbed momentum equally with the ENV - while a heavier bike will absorb more momentum. As cars get heavier (SUVs etc), these collisions are really terrible mismatches for a bike, especially one which can't jet out of the way at higher speeds, due to limited top speed (50MPH).

The ENV is really a big, quiet H2 scooter. The difference is really just in the marketing, but that creates the mindset in the rider. Ride it like a Harley, get squashed like a bug. Ride it like a Razor, and rule the road.

Better off-road handling (1)

Goonie (8651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970991)

Given the enormous suspension travel, this thing is clearly designed to be a dirtbike, or a supermotard [aol.com] . You can already buy electric motorcross bikes [electricmoto.com] , so this is a pretty linear extension of the concept - the key enabling factor with electric dirtbikes is that shorter ranges aren't really a problem.

For dirtbike riding, rather than a help, weight is a huge impediment. It makes the bike less responsive to rider input, harder landing when you jump, and more dangerous when you fall off (which you do a lot more often on a dirtbike than a streetbike).

In any case, crosswinds are something you just have to deal with on a bike, light or heavy. I never had too much trouble on my 100kg (200-odd pound) trailbike ridden on roads, provided I paid attention. If you're not paying attention on a bike you're going to die soon enough anyway...

Re:lightweight (1)

SlightlyOldGuy (805345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971031)

Have you ever watched a biker get hit by a car? I have. At the moment or impact, bike and rider parted company, so the bike's weight had no further influence, safety-wise. The rider was not seriously hurt, BTW. The full leathers and helmet were a big help.

huh? (4, Interesting)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971035)

although I mostly agree with the wind issue (I've experienced that a few times myself) I am not quite sure I understand the rest of your observations and I'd like to qualify the wind issue a bit more anyways.

The wind is a problem if you happen to sit fairly high up on a motorbike with a big side profile (aka most 'high performance' road bikes). Even if said bike weighed a lot you'd probably still be moved around quite a bit as you go fast. The wind is a lot less of an issue on choppers since you're sitting way lower and they have way smaller side profiles.

= has trouble hugging curves in mountain roads

huh? What does weight have to do with anything when talking about cornering? You don't see MotoGP riders strapping anvils to their bikes to corner better, do you?

= needs more acceleration to stay at speed despite drag.

this doesn't make any sense: AFAIK the drag is proportional to the bike's frontal area, not to its weight.

= while a heavier bike will absorb more momentum.

if you collide with a car and you're on a motorbike you're going to be thrown off it whether or not the motorbike weighs 200lb or 500lb: most/all cars outweigh you by an order of magnitude anyways, and let's not even talk about SUVs.

= these collisions are really terrible mismatches for a bike, especially one which can't jet out of the way at higher speeds

most of the bike-car collisions I've seen/heard about couldn't be avoided by being able to accelerate or go faster: if that was the case there would be no accidents involving high performance road bikes, right?

Personally I think this bike is perfect for European city commuting (since it's near silent and non-polluting odds are you'll be able to drive it in the city centres that are currently off-limits to mopeds and motorbikes) but won't really do much here in North America, although you might see the odd one around (like I've seen a S.M.A.R.T. car the other day, the likes of which you see way more often in Europe).

The 80kph speed limit is about perfect as well, as traffic usually moves around at 50-70kph in town: my old moped was capable of hitting 60-65kph (on a good day, with some tailwind) and having an extra 20kph would be way more than enough for those times where traffic is moving faster than usual.

Re:lightweight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971066)

needs more acceleration to stay at speed despite drag

Drag is a force and F = ma, so sure a smaller mass means a larger acceleration, but the power you need to counter drag F at speed v is what matters. It is:

F*v

independent of mass.

Re:lightweight (1)

NaruVonWilkins (844204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971090)

I'm a road cyclist now, and in comparison to my $3000 bike, this is competitive.

Short range (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970865)

FTFA "On a full tank, the ENV bike could be used continually for up to four hours without any need for re-fuelling" - not bad, and at top speed (50mph), you could go 200 miles.

Hydrogen = Next greenhouse gas? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970869)

After all, hydrogen is more active than CFC. And unlike CFC, it floats to ozone at no time. If the world is switching to hydrogen economy, even if only 1% of H2 get leaked, the result will be devastating. Besides, where do you get hydrogen? Currently, it is from oil and coal, which is no cleaner than current technology. Sure you can grow bacteria that makes hydrogen from produce, but the scale of economy is not mature.

Re:Hydrogen = Next greenhouse gas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970912)

There is a Wired article [wired.com] on this issue.

Re:Hydrogen = Next greenhouse gas? (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970919)

By power produced from windwills, wavecraft generators, or from burning of trees.

refills? (2, Funny)

dmf415 (218827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970872)

Now all we need to buy is our own hydrogen gas station to refill the tank, hmm?

Excellent timing (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970886)

Given that oil prices are going through the ceiling again. We must be close to the break even point for alternative fuels at this stage.

Drive By? (5, Funny)

Crystalmonkey (743087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970887)

The engine is completely silent, which might not go well with many motorcycle lovers. This sure would make a drive-by easy though. I hate it when they run...

Core = power solution (5, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970890)

They are using the bike as an example of what a CORE power system is, think if it as a big battery, you can take the battery out of your motorcycle and put it into your jet ski.

But the battery is reusable, and can be used else where. Camping, Emergency Generators, vehicals, kids toys, etc.

And as for the quiteness of them, new problems are only new challenges. Most people cant hear whats outside their car now, with the radio on, speaker phone, and kids crying in the back.

Funny how quiet is a drawback, when I'm thinking quiet traffic is worth it. You dont jay-walk for a reason, now you dont hear the car hitting you, maybe its darwinism in realtime.

good for commuting... (1)

Elminst (53259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970895)

Which is what the majority of traffic in any given city is anyway.

Congestion would be reduced because it's easier to maneuver a motorcycle than a car.
Pollution would be drastically reduced (once adoption rate is high enough).
Parking would be WAY easier, since a cycle takes like 1/3 or less the space of a car.

Silent Harley Gang!! (2)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970896)

Imagine watching a big Harley gang with big Harley people with big Harley clothes with big Harley expressions overtaking your Corolla - but the Harley engines are silent!!!

mu ha ha ha ...

Re:Silent Harley Gang!! (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971012)

They could have a really tough name too... like the Christ Punchers!

no noise? not a hazard (3, Insightful)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970905)

Most modern, efficient vehicles are very quiet. I doubt most SUV drivers hear a Honda Civic next to them on freeway- even if they aren't on the phone or listening to the radio.

Why is it any different with a motorcycle? Loud pipes annoy the rider and nearby pedestrians. The visibility issue with motorcycles is more a function of size than volume.

-ted, motorcycling geek

SF ENVy? (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970910)

In the future, we'll all carry 2KW generators to power our local environments. Mobile devices, climate control, transport. Who knows - when the dollar collapses and oil runs out, maybe our currency will be denominated in Kjoules, which we trade for drinking water. The "Core" transportable fuelcell that powers the ENV is a step in that direction - we're always "in our cars", which transform around us by our needed functions. But I don't get it with this ENV. How is its motor "6KW", while its power supply outputs only 1KW? Is it really all science fiction?

Re:SF ENVy? (2, Informative)

JimmehAH (817552) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970973)

It has a battery pack to provide 6KW to the motor when accelerating.

Re:SF ENVy? (1)

gpw213 (691600) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971023)

But I don't get it with this ENV. How is its motor "6KW", while its power supply outputs only 1KW? Is it really all science fiction?

RTFM:

At the bike's heart is a fully-integrated 1kW fuel cell generator providing power on demand directly to the drive-train. To enhance performance during peak power demand (ie when accelerating), the fuel cell is hybridised with a battery pack to provide a 6kW peak load to the motor.

Safety solution... (1)

Eminence (225397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970930)

  • In addition it could also possibly pose an interesting safety issue, since a pedestrian or motorist would not hear it coming.

How about having a man with a red flag and a horn run in front of it to warn others? It is a tried solution [wikipedia.org] .

fule-cell bike plus crazy frog (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970936)

All i know is that if they team up with the makers of that annoying frog ring tone to give the bike an engine noise there are gonna be scores of drivers intentionally running them over and laughing manically.

Re:fule-cell bike plus crazy frog (1)

Bruce McBruce (791094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970990)

They didn't make that annoying frog ringtone, it was stolen from the Insanity test, which has been around for years.

http://katunk.com/insanity/ [katunk.com]

That's one of the sites that has it.

Re:fule-cell bike plus crazy frog (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971100)

Either way, its fucking lame and i would support an act to withhold their free speech rights on this and bring back the death penalty, there is no excuse for dumping shit like this on mankind.

As a motorcycle owner (5, Informative)

bruciferofbrm (717584) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970941)

I have always wanted a quiter bike. I do not like the loud 'like at me' rumble (which may exceed legal limits in many places) that some riders seem to like.

Now my 250cc Rebel (my firts bike) puts out 15 HP. So, an 8 HP bike might be a bit weeny for highway cruising, but this sounds like a great city bike.

In terms of noise again, bicycles and even Segways make no (or very little) noise. Its not the pedestrian who has an issue. Its the driver.

If its licensed like a standard Gas powered bike, then the driver knows the rules on riding and should not be endangering anyone.

I applaud this and all the other cool alternative fuel bikes. My little bike gets 70 mpg, and my biggest get 35 mpg. Not bad compared to most cars people actually drive, but they still add to the pollutiuon level none the less.

Re:As a motorcycle owner (1)

SPY_jmr1 (768281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971034)

My corolla matches that 35 mpg, and a former (diesel) vw could do 40, but I agree with you for most people's cars.

Re:As a motorcycle owner (1)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971063)

Terrible comparison. Basically, you are saying "a car with above average efficiency, in optimal conditions, gets better mileage than a motorcycle with below average efficiency in average conditions".

A better comparison would be a somewhat efficient, somewhat lightweight motorcycle- after all, your Corolla is a somewhat efficient, somewhat lightweight car. And then make a straight comparison- are you talking about city driving? Urban commuting? Long distance interstate driving?

-ted

Vroom. (1)

Bruce McBruce (791094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970963)

"Hello, I'm an electric car. I don't go very fast or very far, and if you drive me, people will think you're gay."


As cool as a fuel-celled motorbike sounds I'd imagine not too many revheads would be keen on the silent, slow vehicles. Isn't that the entire point of owning a motorcycle? I mean, you don't buy one for the safety value.

BMW had the same problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11970986)


when they introduced the 7series they initially made a prototype but it was so silent due to the 200kilos of soundproofing that drivers became "too disconnected" as they didnt know if they had stalled the engine or not, so BMW had to ease off with the soundproofing to let a bit of engine noise and vibration back into the cabin again

we can make silent vehicles now, its just we dont like driving them

completely silent motor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971013)

Well no problem there just add a police siren. I cant see any problems with that setup.

not so cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971038)

I can't really understand why people waste time running errands on a bicycle. Do they not have jobs and families to occupy their time?

I would rather spend 10 minutes in an H2 going to the grocery store than 2 hours dodging cars, dogs, and other people on a bicycle.

The engine is completely silent?! (1)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971051)

*puts on tin foil hat*

Any chance that *some guys* can have these engines on their black helicopters?

Noise (1)

Sonicated (515345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971054)

The bike has a 6kW (8 hp) electric motor, top speed of 50 mph (80kph), a range of 100 miles (160km). The engine is completely silent, which might not go well with many motorcycle lovers.

I'm a bike rider and it would be great to ride with a silent engine up to some traffic lights behind another bike. Then, as the lights change I overtake him almost instantly.

But.. on this bike I'd have 8hp and the other bike could have 150+. No contest.

Anybody else scared of... (2, Funny)

KhaZ (160984) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971073)

...harnessing the raw power of the sun between your legs?

Eep.

(From the article: "a bike ...could then be re-charged from a mini hydrogen creator, the size of a shoebox.")

(Granted, not fusion, but still. Hinden-nads... Eep!)

silent but deadly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971085)

I am sure the military are wetting themselves for this kind of tech.

"Rubber" Magazine? (1)

wernst (536414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971089)

You know, I thought Rubber Magazine was about a different subject matter entirely...

Oh how wonderful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971097)

With the way fuel cells are going, they might just catch up to plain old battery-powered devices in like 10 years, and if the taxpayers are still willing to dump enormous subsidies to bring the cost of hydrogen down from $20/gal (equivalent power to a gallon of gasoline) to prices that consumers might actually pay. What a great idea! We'll fix our current transportation system by replacing it with something that costs five times as much but we'll just make up the difference by throwing taxpayer money at it!

Oh and then after we do all that, we'll have to figure out some way of getting hydrogen that doesn't involve using even more fossil fuels than we used to use to get gasoline. This idea is so brilliant it could only have been thought of by the oil industry!

To add a little content to my post here, this company was making electric scooter thingies [motorcycle.com] several years ago, for $4k. They don't need hydrogen; you just plug them in to the wall. They probably cost 90% less than what a fuel cell motorcycle would cost. They actually work and get comparable performance. And did I mention that you don't have to find a hydrogen filling station to make use of them?

That article I linked to above is for old technology. Lithium batteries would boost range or performance by about five times, making them comparable to a mid-level streetbike, except they would need no gasoline and could recharge anywhere.

Repeat after me: "The hydrogen economy is a euphemism for the biggest subsidy project the oil industry has ever imagined."

Fuel cells are going to be cheap just as soon as we find an enormous asteroid of solid palladium. Hydrogen storage will be cheap just as soon as we find a way to overcome the repulsive electromagnetic force between particles with the same charge. Lithium batteries, on the other hand, will become cheap just as soon as we start mass producing them.

New Market Segment (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971104)

...ninjas!

Loud Pipes Risk Rights: AMA, MRF Team Up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971106)

AMA and MRF [motorcyclecruiser.com]

The only thing loud pipes will do is make it easy for the govt (CARB) to say that motorcycle "emission systems" shouldn't be tampered with by the unwashed massed and they will create an OBD-II type performance control system on bikes like they have for cars. "its just for pollution" - yeah, right it is to regulate performance more than pollution.

I think a silent vehicle would be the coolest thing, but I think the adult babysitters would find a reason that vehicles are required by law to make a minimum amount of sound - for "safety" and to prevent you-know-who from doing you-know-what.
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