What Fuel is Best? More on the 2011 Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges

Reader Contribution by Staff
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Whatever it is, it will be measured in dollars and cents.

For the first time ever, all types of energy will be propelling licensed street bikes, side-by-side, on public roads, in a 100-mile ride.  Are the claims true?  Come see for yourselves.  Is it time to reconsider what we drive?

Gasoline has been the energy of choice for a hundred years. But when 3 out of 4 gallons we use is imported, is “our” supply really ours?  Bugni’s web page 

Plug-in electrics are improving rapidly – but carrying enough energy  on board has been a problem.  Randy Schlitterhas actually used a wing to “sail” down Kansas roads.  Will Randyuse a wing today?

Can electric motorcycles run a hundred miles, up and down hills, into powerful headwinds at 65-70 mph?  And, if so, how far can they go in real conditions?  35 miles?  70 miles?  Kraig Schultzthinks he can “go all the way.”  We just want to know the truth. 

At least one American company produces a Diesel motorcycle.  In a recent Challenge, the Hayes Diversified Technologies Diesel got 90 miles per gallon!  But Diesel fuel is more costly than gasoline… and we determine the winner by the cost of the energy.  Diesels can go the distance, but do they cost more to fill up once you get there?

How wise is it to be using fuels subsidized by taxpayer money – like bio-Diesel and ethanol?  Is it fair to the rest of us to have you and me pay for their fuels, too?   

Who knows what other sources of energy will be used?  One person on MEN Blogs, Chip Beam, is already driving around in a wood pellet-burning car.  How much would wood pellets cost to go 100 miles?  Can grass clippings be used?  How big a pile would that be? If alternate fuels are used, who will be paying their road taxes normally paid at the pump?

Equally important… can two wheelers be configured to carry a reasonable load? Because if they can’t, they won’t be used.

By the end of summer many of these questions will be answered – at least for this moment in technology.

The first Challenge will be May 13 at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel, Ca. The AMA Vintage Daysin Lexington, Ohio July 22 could be the BIG SHOWDOWN as Midwesterners have their first chance to participate in a Vetter Challenge. Check out the brief and simple rules. You can do this.