• Oct 21st 2006 at 2:21PM
  • 3
There's so very little information about what's going on in this picture here, details of who's bike and where. Pretty much all that the poster Martin tells us is, "Hey mom, check me out with Jay Leno..." We can also figure out it's Leno and crew with a biodiesel motorcycle. There's an accompanying video, but it's 40 seconds of Jay revving up the bike, spewing some white smoke, and then 3 seconds of him driving down the driveway. It looks like Leno visited Imperium Renewables up in Seattle (maybe) earlier this month, and that's where the images are from. Jay's not new to biodiesel, he wrote a pro-biodiesel article in Popular Mechanics last year. What I want to know more about it that biobike.

[Source: Martin and Alex]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      thanks for the info. I'd take it for a ride, if I had a helmet.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I believe that's Jay's Jet Bike. It has a small jet engine from a Bell Helicopter. It can use either jet fuel or diesel, so biodiesel was the next step.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This attacts my attention for several reasons. Jay Leno is a car and bike guy, I'm a fan of his, and he just had to get himself a beautiful example of a SAAB 93 two-stroke a couple years ago, making himself a fellow SAAB aficionado as well!

      SAAB is one of the car companies that markets diesel cars in Europe and is definitely one of the worlds' leading car makers in vehicle safety, as is Volvo. It is notable that both companies are located in relatively tiny Sweden, a country that cares deeply for the welfare and safety of people. SAAB and Volvo have a history of bringing out safety innovations not because they have to, but rather because they WANT to! Both companies go to accident scenes involving their cars to study how they can make their cars safer...how admirable!

      Alternative fuels for an automobile are certainly becoming increasingly important as time goes on. Eventually, we are bound to run out of fossil fuel on this planet, as there is a finite amount to pump from underground. Additionally, the rate at which we use it up will be increasing, especially since China is just beginning its rapid expansion in the use of cars. Also, the way things have been going in recent years, the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuel, fuel that has been buried for millions of years underground, is causing “the greenhouse effect” to be of major concern because of the global warming it causes. Clearly, the polar ice caps are melting at an increasingly alarming rate, and not as much of the water is re-freezing in the “winter months” (depending on the pole). If we don’t do something about it soon, like within about 20 years, we will find our cities on the coasts buried under water. Also, as I understand it, the warming of the oceans will cause quite dramatic shifts in weather patterns, meaning more hurricanes and stormy weather. I’m not writing this for the purpose of extolling gloom and doom, but rather to point out that we human beings in the near future need to be altering our ways of burning such large amounts of fossil fuel. We need to ramp-up the development of new technology and methods to power our cars and to be less reliant on cars in general. Of course public transportation helps, but we need to develop the technology and efficiency of using alternative sources of energy soon. In my opinion, ethanol is an important component of the bridge needed to get us to the use of hydrogen cells, and beyond, to power our vehicles. The beauty of burning ethanol, being that it comes from the fermentation of vegetative sources such as corn, wood pulp, and many other plant sources, in effect recycles the carbon dioxide present in our atmosphere. Plants use it to grow in the process of photosynthesis. Brazil uses almost exclusively ethanol that is derived from sugarcane grown there.

      Here in the U.S. and elsewhere, the auto makers are producing more and more cars that will run on “E85” fuel, composed of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Gasohol (10% ethanol) has been a good start, but E85 is even better in my opinion. Vehicles that will run on either gasoline or E85 are called “flex-fuel vehicles” (FFVs). In the latest issue of the leading consumer magazine is a front-page article about what they deem, “the ethanol myth”. They came to the conclusion that it is disadvantageous to run a FFV vehicle on E85 fuel instead of gasoline. Both the fuel economy and acceleration of the 2007 SUV tested dropped when running on E85 compared with gasoline.

      From this, it seems apparent to me that the U.S. needs to catch up to Sweden, General Motor's Saab in particular. Running on E85, the Saab 9-5 "BioPower" Turbo model delivers a significant 20 percent increase in maximum power and 16 percent more torque while emitting 80% less CO2 into the environment compared to running it on gasoline. Running E85 compared to gasoline takes about a second off the 0-60 mph time, and there is a 15 percent gain in fuel economy on the open road where fuel-enrichment for engine cooling is no longer necessary when a vehicle is run on ethanol. The 9-5 BioPower has taken the Swedish market by storm this year, outselling its full-year 2006 sales target in just four months. Sweden has a long cultural and political tradition of respect for the environment, and this is reflected in Saab's achievements of the pioneering of asbestos-free brake linings and the removal of CFCs from air conditioning systems, and now Saab’s Trionic 7 BioPower engines. I remember back in 1973, when the oil embargo hit and additional "smog control" devices (i.e., the EGR valve and air pump) were required on new cars, their performance declined significantly. Many people at the time, includ
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