Like in the car market, electric vehicles are making a big splash in the motorcycle industry. Just recently, Ducati announced that they are developing electric bikes for the Moto Electrica racing circuit. Also they do have plans on making a full electric lineup for their customers. If even Ducati is thinking of parting ways with their beloved desmo valves, is it really the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine? Kawasaki and Yamaha think not!
Kawasaki has been independently looking into alternate fuels for a while, and the one they feel most confident with is hydrogen fuel. The brand isn’t new to this fuel as they are using it to power an enormous carrier ship known as “The Suiso Frontier”. This venture into the carrier ship market has only confirmed their plans to use this fueling method in motorcycles. Kawasaki has prototypes that show how convenient hydrogen from Australian brown coal performs in combustion engines. So far it shows that when hydrogen is burned, it produces water. This gives it a significant emissions advantage over carbon based fossil fuels. While hydrogen fuel isn’t totally eco-friendly, majority of the exhaust would just be water vapor.
So where does Yamaha tie into all of this? Yamaha has been expressing some serious concerns over bettering the environment. They announced that they expect to be fully carbon neutral by 2050. They too have been experimenting with alternate fuels for future motorcycles. Yamaha recently landed on the conclusion that the way to go is hydrogen. In an effort to keep the combustion engine alive these two brands are working to research and create hydrogen powered motorcycles in the near future. It will be very interesting to watch them work to create these innovative engines overtime.
THE FUTURE OF MOTORCYCLES
While these two are set on their future being hydrogen, some other brands like Honda and Suzuki look to simply create electric bikes or a hybrid electric/carbon neutral fueled motorcycle instead. Only time will tell who’s innovation works best for us the customers!