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Running Your Motorcycle on Ethanol - Bio Flex Power Kit

  Posted at 02:37:57 PM
  File under  Ecology New Products
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Though recently the price of crude oil is slowly moving South, the price at the pump remains high, way too high. Electric or hybrid motorcycles are probably one of the ways into the future, but bio-fuels is an alternative. Running on E85, a fuel with 85% agricultural ethanol is one way of doing it. E85 has the advantage that a) is cheaper (close to 50% in France) and b) emits 40% less CO2.

In France, the government is subsidizing conversions to E85 by 50% of the adapters, so it's something that can interest many riders. But... long term data is not yet available on how well your engine will run on this fuel. Some manufacturers think it'll destroy your engine faster than normal. Anyway you look at it, the motorcycle manufacturer is not going to honor the warrantee if you add E85 to your bike, so you're on your own.

Also, very few pumps are currently equipped to deliver E85, but the 3-500 or so pumps in France are expanding. The same for other countries in Europe. Several sites have Garmin and TomTom GPS POI files you can download, giving you the exact coordinates of E85 pumps.

Thorn Bike's Bio Flex Power
French engineering company Thorn Bikes Open link in a new window believes in E85. In fact they believe so much in it, that they've entered a Honda CBR 1000 in September's 24 hour endurance race, the Bol D'Or Open link in a new window. The motorcycle, supplied by Honda themselves, is powered by E85, so it's a "green" racing machine, but not Kawasaki (in case you didn't get it.. a pun on the "green"). Elf, the French oil company, is another major contributor to this project.

Thorn Bikes are looking at selling their technology in form of an adapter kit called Bio Flex Power. The kit should work on any injection equipped motorcycle. They've already used the kit successfully on the Honda, but also on a Kawasaki ER-6, and they are studying how other motorcycles are behaving with their kit.

The kit is not yet available, and therefore no price known as off yet, but it looks promising, especially considering that they have some major players involved.

Click here for more information on Thorn Bikes Open link in a new window (in French). You can also call them +33-4-90061742

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