Yamaha dual fuel motorcycle revealed

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Yamaha is developing the world’s first dual-fuel motorcycle able to switch between petrol and cheaper, more environmentally friendly ethanol fuels, MCN can exclusively reveal.

The upcoming technology is revealed in a patent filed by Yamaha engineers earlier this month, and if Yamaha put the bike in to production it will put Yamaha at the front of the race for more environmentally-friendly machinery between the major manufacturers.

The Yamaha drawings show the technology on a single-cylinder commuter bike – if Yamaha hopes to sell large numbers of the bikes, targeting the most cost-conscious market is a smart move.

A conventional full-sized fuel tank is fitted above the engine like any other bike, but tucked tightly behind the cylinder and below the fuel injector body is a second tank designed to contain either ethanol or a petrol/ethanol mix such as E85 (which is 85% ethanol mixed with 15% petrol).

In the UK, E85 is typically only a few pence less per litre than petrol and only available from a handful of Morrisons petrol stations, but in the USA forecourts offer the fuel up to one third less than the price of petrol. If FFV cars become more popular – Vauxhall and Saab for example have offered dual-fuel cars for a few years – more forecourts are likely to begin offering E85, bringing prices down and making the system more beneficial to UK riders.

  • See the full story on page 12 in this week’s MCN, on sale Wednesday October 29.

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Chris Newbigging

By Chris Newbigging