• May 6th 2009 at 12:29PM
  • 12
Click above to watch the video after the break

Anyone living near Phoenix, Arizona would be able to tell you that there's a reason the area is nicknamed "The Valley of the Sun." It may be mildly oppressive from time to time (or just about all summer, depending on your point of view), but the sun is also a valuable natural resource that gives off more than enough energy to power our various transportation needs.

A Phoenix-area man by the name of Richard Gryzch decided to tap into that natural resource to power an electric motorcycle he calls the Solar Flyer. Details are decidedly scarce, but Gryzch claims his bike can top 90 miles per hour and has a range of 50 miles. Naturally, we'd assume that there are some batteries hidden away under the Derbi's red plastic bodywork, which appears to be coated with flexible solar panels wherever a bit of room is available.

In reality, it's likely that it would take a very long time to completely recharge those batteries solely with the solar panels on the bike's outer skin, but Gryzch has more ambitious plans in the works, saying he has a goal of reaching a 300-mile range in time. Click past the break for a video, and see another take on the concept of a solar-powered motorcycle, click here.

[Source: ABC 15 News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I forgot to comment on all of the side-hanging solar panels. Those will be perfect at dusk and dawn when the sun is actually at 90 degrees to its surface. Either this guy is stupid or he's trying to dupe people.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Some unhappy commenters here. It is a great concept though. As great as solar power is, our technology hasn't quite caught up to high-range automotive use. Keep in mind, the internal combustion engine took time to develop enough efficiency to provide the power need to power an automobile. Have faith that solar powered automobiles will also soon increase in efficiency.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This sounds clearly suspicious. With the amount of solar panels in his bike it can't even power a electric fan. I wonder how it is going to power a real motor used in the bike. Having batteries everywhere tells it is charged from a different source. I wonder how stupid the reporters are to report such misleading information.
      • 6 Years Ago
      show us yours
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wounder how many of us like to breath...This bike uses no gas uses no oil and does not pollute the air. The oil monger are not cleaning your air.When this guy is ready to build and sell I will buy one. I will wave at you all as I pass up all the gas stations.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hate lazy, stupid reporters, especially when it comes to people "beating" the oil companies.. What a load of crap. It's mostly being charged by a distant coal-fired power plant you jackasses, unless you can show us a bunch of solar panels on your roof at home, then you get credit.

      Here's a similar videos that makes you cringe a little...

      • 6 Years Ago

      Hey, the thing looks ugly, and there's no way that it runs directly off the power that it collects while riding it, but if your bike is sitting in the sun all day, it's going to collect enough juice to give you mabey half an hour to an hour an hour or so of tooling around on it, depending on how hard you are driving it.

      That's the beauty of what he has done - it is a prototype after all. If the fairings all actually had solar panels that were contoured more to the right shape, and that lead acid was swapped out for a more expensive but more energy dense LiFeSo4 battery, then this guy would be onto something. The solar panels dont look that much worse than carbon fiber asthetically - and I know more than a few gus that dropped a fortune on stupid dinky carbon fibre guards and panels that teeny little bit faster. ( never mind they could have just had 1 less coke a day and save the same bike + rider weight)

      The hardest thing to do for an electric bike I think would be to effectively recapture power through regenerative breaking - I think this would be very difficult to do on a bike since typically you want to break 70% on the front wheel, and only 30% on the back, or you can easily slide out of control if the rear break locks. Under more extreme breaking conditions, and in the wet, you want to do almost 100% on the front wheel and barely brush the back.
      Unfortunately since the front wheel is not the drive wheel, it is not possible to capture this energy, unless you were using some kind of hub motor/generator for the front and effectively had a 2 wheel drive bike. (which could be awesome too!)

      Screw the naysayers. Good job on chasing a dream. if more people were like this guy, and trying to solve the problems and tinkering in their sheds coming out with things like this, we would be a lot closer to a cleaner planet.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I've waited for others to comment, its now time to disprove almost everything he claims:

      First off, this guy didn't invent shit.. he didn't even BUILD that bike.. he took a GPR from Electric Motorsport that they sold a few years ago and wired up some solar cells. Look at this link:

      Notice the paint scheme. Its the same as his, the front, and even the rear where there are checkered flags painted on it.

      Next, there's a SMALL quick shot showing where the wires come out of the solar panels....Doesn't look like very heavy gauge wire to me... I seriously doubt they're putting much out... It looks like he strapped a bunch of cheap solar cells to the bike and called a reporter....Easy to make claims, harder to prove them. I bet it'd take DAYS to recharge his pack...

      Third, he's also saying he gets 50 miles, he's got to have at LEAST 6kwh or so in the because he's using LEAD ACID! those things are heavy, and you get at MOST 75% of their capacity out of them due to peukert effects AND not being able to take them past 80% DOD. Because its lead, its heavy and his bike isn't going to get much better than 125Wh/mile... so 50 miles... 6250Wh or so... and thats the 75% of the battery capacity.... so that'd be over 8kwh that he'd need on board to go 50 miles with lead.... unless he's saying that 50 miles is at 30 mph (he MIGHT get 100wh/mile) and he'd still need over 6500Wh of batteries.

      Lets say he's got 6kwh of batteries in there (benefit of the doubt), thats over 400lbs of batteries (at an avg of 15Wh/Lb). Most bikes don't weight that BEFORE they're converted... he's telling us 50 miles and we're supposed to believe that? Thats ONLY BATTERY weight, that doesn't include chassis and motor.

      If it was lifepo4, I'd believe it.... but not only is it a short article with very few details, its about someone that the electric motorcycle community has never heard of. It actually looks like an original GPR from Derbi that Electric Motorsport offered a few years ago.... with the exception of the solar cells.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nice catch on the usage of a GPR bike. If he's using an e-bike he bought from electromotorsport, then he's a total loser. I was at first giving him a tiny shred of credit for building an e-bike, but then of course he lost it all. I mean, It seemed so conflicting -- him being able to build an e-bike, but yet why would someone w/a few brain cells actually cover it in solar panels? I wish I knew his email so i could call him an ass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Confirmed by ElectricMotorsport that Richard Gryzch bought the GPR from them several years ago, saying that he had some sort of invention that would increase the range.

      I guess a few 15W solar panels taped all over his bike was "an invention".....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Um... ever the optimist, the engineer decided to divulge that his plan it to take the 50 mile range and extend it to 300 miles. But this may require a trip to the top of Mt. Everest. Props for building a homebrew electric bike, but solar panels are greenwashing and he knows it. We'll never know if he explained that to the reporter who cut the segment where he's shown plugging in his bike. Those didn't even look like very high efficiency panels given that they're flexible.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Total bull hockey!

      This is a plug in electric motorcycle with little flexible solar pannels on it which would take about a week (or more) to charge the batteries if it weren't plugged into the grid.

      This is NOT a "solar flyer". It is, however an electric motorcycle.

      Roof top home solar is the only way to get enough square footage to solar charge any vehicle's battery due to current PV limitations.

      Man, I hate liars!

      "That a lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies, That a lie which is all a lie may be met and fought with outright, But a lie which is part a truth is a harder matter to fight." [1859 Tennyson Poems (1969) 1107]

      This is also why people don't trust lawyers or career politicians.
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