12 May 2001

Green machines could do 170 mph

American firm creates diesel-electric hybrid bike

By Tony Hoare

AMERICAN firm eCycle reckons it can build an environmentally friendly diesel-electric hybrid superbike which will hit 170mph.

It’s making the claim after turning out a 125 hybrid which will wheelie as much as you like and do 160miles a gallon.

With lightweight Grimeca wheels and a Penske rear shock, the fact it’s green is almost incidental.

The men behind the eCycle say all bikes could eventually be powered in a similar way, and there is no limit on the size of the bike.

The firm’s Dan Sodomsky says: " Our customers will be thrilled to buy a 125 bike that wheelies and gets at least 160 miles to the gallon – as well as handling and stopping better than anything on the road.

" And if we made a one-litre bike with that technology, it would be at least as good as what is available now and I think it could easily reach 170mph. "

The machine has two motors, one electric and one diesel. It runs purely from the electric one until 16mph, when the diesel joins in. The two work together until the bike is up to speed, then the electric one cuts out and lets the diesel’s generator recharge it. If you need to accelerate again, the electric motor will kick in and provide the boost.

The environmentally friendly bit is that the diesel engine does less work as it can remain within a smaller range. The electric does the rest, meaning the diesel unit can be smaller and more efficient.

Sodomsky added: " There is interest in the bike from around the world and a large Chinese company is looking at making a major investment soon. "

The engine, which is made from steel and aluminium, weighs just 6.8kg (15lb) and is housed in a lightweight aluminium and steel frame, which provides the heat sinking for the electric motor.

The firm hopes the final road-going version will weigh in at 105kg (230lb) and will be available in the US for £3500. More at:

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