Eco Bikes: Green Speed air-powered motorcycle aims to smash land speed record
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Eco Factor: Zero-emission air-powered motorcycle to use solar energy to compress air.
Industrial designer Edwin Yi Yuan is hinting toward a future where compressed air would be used as a primary fuel in vehicles such as motorcycles and bikes. The air-powered engine has been lurking around for years with Zero Pollution Motors working to launch air-powered cars soon. The idea does seem fantastic, as air-powered vehicles don't harm the environment with greenhouse gas emissions and above all, air is cheap and readily available. However, most air-powered engines fail in two ways – either the operating range is no long enough or the speed of the vehicle is too low.
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Edwin, accompanied by a team of student designers and their lecturer, has designed a concept air-fueled bike that possibly removes all obstacles associated with air-fueled vehicles. The motorcycle, known as Green Speed Air Powered Motorcycle, is based on an old Suzuki GP100 from the 1970s. The designers removed pretty much everything on the original bike, the petrol tank, the engine, gear box, etc., and just used the frame of the bike, its wheels and brakes.
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The engine that used is a rotary air engine. It is the invention of the Melbourne engineer Angelo Di Pietro. The engine is compact, lightweight and powerful and runs on compressed air from two compressed air tanks on the bike. It revs up to 10,000 RPM, and because of this the inventors didn't need any gear box on the bike. There is only one gear, which is just a sprocket bolted directly to the axis of the engine and chained to the rear wheel.
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Compressed air is stored in the bike's on-board carbon fiber tanks. Once mass produced, the bike will have solar panels that will generate enough energy to compress air and store it in the bike's tanks, which will increase its range indefinitely.
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As the bike was designed as a speed record setter, there is no headlight, brake light or indicator lights on the bike. Instead, there were three little cameras fitted at the front and tail on the bike that are used to record the run. The body works were designed to be aerodynamic and lightweight, and it will be made of fiber glass or carbon fiber.