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


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


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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.

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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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