Greenfly: the LPG-powered custom motorcycle
November 21, 2008 Alternative fuel motorcycles are a hot topic at the moment, with electric, hydrogen and diesel engines being bolted into two-wheeler frames more and more commonly in an effort to get maximum bang for the energy buck. But this is the first bike we've seen to take on a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) tank. Apart from offering around 70mpg, Dave Akhurst's Greenfly is also a beautifully designed custom with some very special touches, such as a single-sided front fork and rims that detach from the star-shaped hub to make tire changes literally a five-minute job.
LPG doesn't deliver the same mileage per liter as petrol or diesel, but it's generally priced significantly cheaper. This should make the 30-horsepower Greenfly a very economical little bike to get around on. Akhurst built the bike from scratch using a kick-start Yamaha XT500 engine and a considerable amount of metalworking skill. Its eye-catching single-sided suspension at both ends is perhaps the first thing you notice to look at it, as well as the bulging LPG tank beneath the seat and the large hubless tired rim sitting in front of the air-cooled engine.
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The rim appears to bolt straight on to the five-pointed star hubs at either end - meaning that brakes, axles, chains and bearings can stay on the bike as you swap a rim out in the event of a puncture, turning a real roadside headache into a five minute job. Akhurst must almost be hoping for punctures when he takes the Greenfly out for a Sunday spin.
He's also fabricated a truly humungous luggage system that bolts on in place of the removable pillion seat for longer trips. Certainly, many people would have safety concerns about a motorcycle that places a large pressurized tank of flammable gas between their legs, but in fact LPG cylinders are generally much hardier than a normal motorcycle tank, and it would be a very unlucky accident that caused one to explode on impact.
More information and photos at TheBikerGene.