UDQuickly Home My Old House Snapshots UD Magazine
Send a Class Notes
Ask a Marianist

@DayMag

  • Jabir, on playing UConn, a hurricane force in any season: "We'll stick around & we'll give our best shot." Game 7pm Monday.
  • Jabir on seniors Malott & Hoover: "They both have a 3.6+ GPA. They are the kind of people you want your daughters to grow up to be like."
  • What Jabir said at half to calm the players: "I know the bird is red, but he has a yellow beak. & the only person with a bigger beak is me."
Hidden Treasure

Read our interactive issue to see videos, links and more.

UD Magazine apps
University of Dayton hybrid motorcycle by Shawn Robinson

Motorcycle allure

6:48 PM  May 18th, 2011
by Cameron Fullam

Whether it’s the screaming whine of a sport bike or the loud rumble of a chopper, the noise of a motorcycle is part of its allure.

So I needed no apology from the team of University of Dayton engineering students who opted not to include an exhaust pipe or damper with the internal combustion engine they added to an all-electric motorcycle.

“It’s really loud,” they said.

Well, that’s what makes it fun.

Undergraduate teams from four U.S. colleges — UD, Brigham Young University, Colorado State University and University of California-Davis — showed off their hybrid engine designs at UD Arena today for the Dayton-based Innovative Scientific Solutions, in conjunction with Innovative Scientific Solutions and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Their task had been to convert the all-electric power system of a Zero motorcycle into a hybrid system. Two teams added an internal combustion engine, and two added hydrogen fuel cells.

The designs were crude — a one-gallon gas can duct-taped to the seat; two large, jetpack-like canisters filled with hydrogen bolted to the rear fender — but the science was anything but.

The UD squad added a generator and model airplane motor to their bike, using a constant 5,600 rpms of internal combustion to recharge their battery on the go. Miles per single charge improved 40 percent.

The UC-Davis team used a screen to filter out electrons from hydrogen molecules. When the electrons found their way around the filter, they created energy that could be transferred to the battery. And when the electrons rejoined the hydrogen molecules, they combined with oxygen to create water: the motorcycle’s only exhaust.

All of the designs were much more efficient and environmentally friendly than the standard sportbike or chopper. And the hydrogen hybrids were practically silent — the gentle clicking of the chain the only sound of movement.

Odd as it was to witness a silent motorcycle, these bikes still had what counts: powerful off-the-line torque; the maneuverability of two wheels and a light frame; speed at the flick of the wrist. And the students got to modify their bikes to improve efficiency and power.

You know, that sounds like a lot of fun, too.

University of Dayton hybrid motorcycleUniversity of Dayton hybrid motorcycleUniversity of Dayton hybrid motorcycleUniversity of Dayton hybrid motorcycle

One Response to Motorcycle allure

  1. Richard says:

    Hi Cameron,

    We just opened a fuel economy forum on motorcyclist.com and I’m very interested in your innovation here.

    Would you be willing to start a forum thread and talk more about the technology? I’ve fooled around with high frequency hydrogen generation for burnable fuel and electric bikes, but I don’t quite understand how you’re converting hydrogen directly to electricity here…normally hydrogen fuel cells supply burnable fuel, right?

    Anyway, let me know at my email address above.

    Thanks,

    Richard

    P.S. Most people don’t realize how fast electric bikes can accelerate. (i.e. “NOW!”)

    I think there’d be a lot more interest if you could show a demonstration of an a electric bike taking a Harley off the line, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • roesch library construction by Sarah Friese
  • Two guys on ellipticals at RecPlex by Stephanie Lefeld
  • 020106Sherman
  • andy robillard and dog allie ride through ku plaza by Larry Burgess
  • Reading at Serenity Pines by Stephanie Lefeld '13
  • sheet sign making for christmas on campus by Larry Burgess
  • bookstore christmas shopper by Larry Burgess
  • umbrellas, raindrops and plant leaves
  • christmas carolers drawn on a window by Larry Burgess
  • 012910chaircrushing
  • Workers load a vestments locker into a van during chapel renovation by Larry Burgess
  • students and umbrellas on campus by Larry Burgess
  • Cross country runners along College Park by Larry Burgess
  • National Collegiate EMS Week car extrication training by Larry Burgess
  • leading the blind(folded)
  • 113010kulights
  • biology lab with microscopes by Larry Burgess