Living Better on Less Energy: Fuel Economy History Was Made in California

| 6/7/2011 4:31:42 PM


bannerFor the first time in history, a Diesel motorcycle showed up to challenge my streamliner and me. Three Diesels showed up, actually. What makes this unusual is the fact that you cannot buy a Diesel motorcycle.  You have to make one. 

Let me first tell you about the Challenge.  They are motorcycle rides run in “Vetter Conditions,” meaning riders must sit in a comfortable position and able to carry a useful load like 4 bags of groceries. They must ride like this in a 100-mile (or so) trip at 70 miles per hour into a 30-mile per hour headwind.

Note:  When you stick your hand out at 70 mph into 30 mph headwinds, it feels like 100 mph!  Your engine consumes fuel as if you were going 100 mph.


The Quail ride route began and ended at Carmel, California.  The route was 133 miles over the 2,300 foot Cahoon mountain pass – mostly at 60-70 mph.  The return was on California’s Highway 101 at 70-75 mph, into fierce, 30+ mph headwinds. This is normal riding on the central coast of California.  OK… I admit it.  It was pretty challenging.

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