• Sep 18, 2011
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 set a record 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 plans to upgrade the drivetrain to improve acceleration and surpass his record-setting top speed next year.

Petsche says he built his motorcycle to demonstrate the potential of off-the-shelf technology (and, literally, off-the-shelf fuel). By combining preexisting components from generators, go-karts and junked vehicles, Petsche built a low-cost bike that he says gets 100 miles to the vegetable oil gallon.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Bence
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here in Europe it's pretty common, that people fuel their diesel cars with veggie oil. The diesels run smoother, stronger with the stuff, but the exhaust gases smell like french fries. The oil shouldn't be necessarily fresh, you can used filtered oil from any restaurant. Some people run it in newer common rail diesels too, and for example in Germany there are a lot of additional filters/heater available which are mandatory in colder climates to make the thick oil less viscous. But my own country, Hungary, has banned the usage of veggie oil as a fuel, saying that this way you are escaping the excise tax... And the govt lifted the price of veggie oil above the price of diesel fuel (right now it is US$ 7.1 per gallon)...
        WillieD
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bence
        They banned vegetable oil as a fuel? Sounds like communism. That's a shame.
      Jarrod Barger
      • 3 Years Ago
      The next step would probably be to hook that engine up to a modified CVT (just find any Chinese junker scooter and pull the GY6-based pulleys off that). With a bit of playing around with the roller weights and such he can probably touch 70mph if he was able to get mid 50's just on a single speed. 350cc's with "only 6HP" may not seem that impressive to some, but considering that this is a diesel small engine there's plenty of room to work with. Besides, this is only a prototype.
      twinturbo120
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's pretty cool, kudos to him.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      William
      • 3 Years Ago
      Except for the engine its kind of a classic looking bike, too.
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      A 350 cc engine with 6 hp? Oh wait, it's a generator. Not a very impressive record, tell me when someone tops at least 150 on vegetable oil.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Ryan Ducar
      • 3 Years Ago
      Kudos to the brains behind this notion! I want to see his/their idea succeed!
      thedriveatfive
      • 3 Years Ago
      someone should convert one of those rotary motorcycles to oil.