At the Loring Timing Association in Maine, John Petsche drove a highly modified motorcycle into the record books.

Powered by a six-horsepower industrial diesel engine and fueled by store-bought vegetable oil, Petsche's two-wheeler hit a top speed of 56.535 miles per hour, sufficient to put Petsche in the record books in the the 350-cc Alternate Fuel class.

The donor bike uses a single-speed drive with a centrifugal clutch, which limits its performance, but Petsche says the drivetrain will be upgraded to improve acceleration and surpass his existing, record-setting top speed next year. Petsche says he built the two-wheeler to demonstrate the potential of off-the-shelf technology (and, literally, off-the-shelf fuel). By combining pre-existing components from generators, go-karts and junked vehicles, Petsche built a low-cost motorcycle that he says gets 100 miles to the vegetable oil gallon.


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