• Nov 23rd 2008 at 5:55PM
  • 7
Click above for more shots of the Greenfly LPG motorcycle

Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or LPG as it's more commonly known, is derived from fossil fuels, but it also burns significantly cleaner than other petroleum-based fuels and has a higher octane rating. In fact, LPG produces 19 percent less carbon than oil as it burns and is free of particulate matter. So, why aren't we all filling our cars' tanks with propane or butane? There are a few reasons, not the least of which are its need to be compressed and stored in heavy containers and its comparatively low energy density when compared to gasoline means that more fuel is used to get any given distance.

Despite its drawbacks, the fact that LPG burns clean and is usually quite a bit cheaper than gasoline or diesel makes it an attractive choice for many, including a man by the name of Dave Akhurst, who engineered and built his own motorcycle that runs on LPG from a Yamaha XT500. A high-pressure tank holds the LPG under the rider (hm, safe?) and the 500cc single cylinder engine reportedly gets about 70 miles per gallon of LPG and makes about 30 horsepower. There's lots more to take note of here, including the single-sided swingarm and fork, automatic transmission with belt drive, hand-made body bits and panniers and awesome 3-piece custom wheels. This is some seriously good craftsmanship.



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  • 7 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like the dual use spare tire---also acts as a crash bar. Clever.
      • 6 Years Ago
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      • 6 Years Ago
      Beware of Snake Oil. Thousands of miracle cure additives have been offered to motorists since the 1930s and not a single one has stood up to scientific testing. If you really have a additive that reduces emissions and/or increases fuel economy there are several large corporations that will pay you more money for the formula than you could dream of spending in a lifetime.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If LPG emits less CO2 than gasoline, yet you need more of it due to its lower energy density, then I fail to see the advantage. Lol.
      • 6 Years Ago
      John - it also has a lower specific density. You need more volume per unit energy, but roughly the same mass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A propane tank is heavy because it is safe. Safer than a gasoline tank. I would much rather have a propane tank strapped to anything I use than a gasoline tank. Remember the GMC trucks with those tanks mounted to the outside of the frame rails, remember the pinto getting rear-ended, or the VW bugs in front end collisons. How many times do you hear about all those propane running buses full of people going up in a big explosion.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is refreshing to see so many great ideas used on a Xt motorcycle.
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