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Thread: The two wheeled Prius.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    The two wheeled Prius.

    Just grabbing a quick look at Superbike, before logging off, I found this. It may not seem like much at first glance but there is a sting near the tail that might get the pulse racing.

    Ken.

    Superbike's Ben Purvis writes;

    GOING virtually unnoticed among the outlandish machines at this year's Tokyo show stood a machine that gives the clearest indication yet of the sort of bike we could all be riding in our increasingly environmentally-friendly future.

    While most of the concept bikes at the show were little more than mock-ups designed to offer stylists a free hand, Yamaha's HV-X – or Hybrid Vehicle (eXperimental) – is a real engineering prototype that's virtually certain to spawn a production derivative in the near future. The most technically-advanced hybrid motorcycle yet seen, it's already been undergoing thorough testing for more than two years and despite its innovation, it's would be possible to produce immediately, with current technology, if it's given the green light by Yamaha's bosses. The result, in Yamaha's own words, is “an eco-friendly two-wheeled hybrid with all the responsive acceleration and cornering fun of a conventional motorcycle.”

    Strangely tucked away in a corner of Yamaha's stand, and omitted from most of the firm's Tokyo show publicity, the HV-X is a petrol-electric hybrid based on the same technology as the world's most successful hybrid car, the
    Toyota Prius. Being partially owned by Toyota, and regularly used to develop Toyota's car engines and drivetrains, Yamaha is in the perfect position to transpose the technology onto two wheels. Unfettered by the need to work around Toyota's patents, the firm has miniaturised the entire concept of the Prius hybrid power source and the clever transmission that allows the drive from the petrol and electric motors to be combined in any ratio, from entirely battery-powered to completely petrol-fuelled, or, for maximum performance, to use the full power of both at the same time.

    The specifications – a 15bhp 250cc single-cylinder engine and a 15bhp electric motor – might not make your blood run hot, but there's little limit to the potential; Yamaha's own
    Gen-Ryu hybrid concept bike of 2007 was designed around the same technology, and combined a 130bhp R6 engine with a 50bhp electric motor for 1000cc superbike power levels. The HV-X shows that concept was viable and has real production potential.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    A hybrid bike makes no sense to me at all.

    For one, a bike is already vastly more fuel efficient than just about any car, including a hybrid car.

    Any current 250 cc dual sport on the market is good for a solid 60 (in some cases, close to 70) mpg with simple, inexpensive technology. That is easily 10-15 mpg better than the best-case performance of a Prius.

    For about $5k, brand new.

    Even liter class high-performance sport bikes are usually good for 40-ish mpgs, which is better than almost any car and close to a hybrid. And for around $10k, too.

    If we use current hybrid cars as a yardstick, building a bike hybrid would entail a price jump of around 30 percent, up front - plus the higher over-the-road costs (and decreased life expectancy; I don't see a hybrid bike lasting for 30-plus years or even 20 - as any decently cared for conventional bike is easily capable of achieving).

    Again - why?

    Hell, it'd be more fruitful to pursue diesel power (as with cars). Diesels, in fact, are quite well-suited to motorcycle applications. They are rugged, low maintenance and durable - everything a hybrid powertrain is not. The military is currently using diesel bikes (dual sports, 250 cc and, I think, 650 cc versions of the Kaw KLR) that get 60-plus mpg....

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