Natural Gas Conversions for Motorcycles – Would You Buy One?

Gasoline prices are heading north again with a vengeance and the US government seems to be dragging its feet on oil drilling, demand for oil is rising around the world, especially in China, several wars are going on in the middle east along with all sorts of general unrest in that region, don't you think this would be be a great time to start converting our internal combustion engines to natural gas? In the US natural gas is abundant, it burns clean and the engines we already have run on it. Why isn't everyone all over this? What am I missing?

Converting current vehicles to natural gas means installing a gas cylinder, the actual engine work is pretty minor.

Suppose a motorcycle manufacturer offered one or more natural gas powered motorcycles, not some tiny little thing, but real full size motorcycles, wouldn't you be tempted to take a look? Better still, if one of those companies could come up with a conversion for recent engines, do you think you might want to give it a try?

The EPA makes you jump through all sorts of hoops to do a conversion, the kit has to be approved, the tech doing the work has to be certified, but even with all of that, what if one of the motorcycle companies built kits for recent engines and received the proper certification then trained their techs to install the retrofits, there's a whole new market where they might find demand even in a down economy, you know, going a little outside the box instead of calling new graphics and paint a new model.

I've noticed a few companies offering conversions for trucks and they look well thought out and practical. Refueling isn't the hurdle some might imagine, home refueling is getting better and cylinder swaps are a viable alternative.

Natural gas home refueling device

Natural gas home refueling device

Cylinder safety, something many are concerned about, is far less of a problem than commonly believed. The video below shows some pretty harsh tests with no failures.

So again, what am I missing? Why isn't natural gas the alternative of choice? The government seems to be pushing electric but I think natural gas makes as much or more sense. Natural gas easily beats electricity in one area, once produced it's easy to store, electricity, not so much. In the very least it should be another option. So, which would you prefer? If gasoline climbs higher, would electric or natural gas be more appealing?

Resources: Image of home refueling hookup and video from NatGasCar.

Comments

  1. dannyb says

    i would be all over it. To think that we are going to jump from gas to 100 percent electric is crazy. Natural gas would be the best logical step from gas

  2. Clawbrant says

    The major problem with natural gas in personal vehicles is the space required to store the fuel. Nat gas, like any gas, is less dense than liquids like gasoline or diesel. That means that an equivalent mass of natural gas fills a much larger area. In cars they often have to put extra tanks in the trunk, and they still have less range than their gasoline counterparts. The space concerns on a motorcycle are even greater. Another issue is the cost of the tanks themselves. You can’t simply weld a tank together out of sheet metal like with gasoline, compressed gas tanks have to be built with safety in mind, and that is not cheap.
    Natural gas is viable in large fleet vehicles where space is of little concern and the initial price is offset by the reduced cost of fuel and maintainence. On a motorcycle though, it would be more difficult to implement and the benefits would be small. Most motorcyles are already cheap to run and the fact is they don’t see many miles. I am afraid natural gas just isn’t right for motorcycles

  3. danny k says

    They converted a bunch of police cars here in Dallas to run on natural gas about ten years ago. The bad guys quickly figured out they could now easily outrun the cops. The Officer I spoke to about it said the cars lost a considerable amount of power due to the conversion and the cars were quickly phased out

    • Egeek says

      That will be a thing of the past soon. Liquid Direct Injecton of LPG gives you lower emissions with even more power. DI is here. Think phase of state change from liquid to gas, my guess is the lower temp will allow higher compression ratios or greater boost numbers with turbocharging. This will be a far cry from what the cops drove 10 years ago. google the conversions being done in Australia, you will be suprised, the performace gap is closed, or so they claim…..

  4. B*A*M*F says

    There aren’t any CNG refueling stations open to the public in my area, so unless it’s cheap enough to install a fueling connector at my house I wouldn’t go for it.

    I recall reading about natural gas requiring a greater volume for the same range as gasoline in a UK car magazine where someone converted a Bristol Blenheim to CNG. Most of the trunk was taken up by fuel storage. However, the engine was a tad less thirsty running on natural gas, and it was dramatically cheaper to operate.

    • leigh says

      Yea, that was an issue for us. some of the vehicles had 4 or more different hoses to connect to the different style hookups. we had to fill stations at the post office and at our garage. when they left the region they would go to the CNG/LPG fill stations

  5. leigh says

    We had cng vehicles in our fleet that were conversions and had lots of driveability problems . You have to have a storage tank (high pressure), piggy back injectors with all wiring computers, switches and more.The system was used when the drivers got to there route as the mileage was awful. There was 2 types of filling slow and fastfill. Slow took all night and into the next morning and with the fast fill you never got the tank \full\. They used spark plugs, and the EGR system parts would fail due to the increase in temps on the exhaust. But other than that, when it was right they ran pretty good. Glad they disabled the system after a few years…..

  6. Stats says

    To be perfectly frank, I think motorcycles are one of the best implementations of electric drivetrains. Their inherent efficiency makes it pretty easy to get a lot of bang for your buck, battery-wise, and aside from the touring crowd, most riders don’t ride more than 100 miles in one go. A level 2 charger outside the mountaintop biker bar is all most people would need.

    However, if we’re looking to stick with a good ol’ ICE, I’d kill to get my hands on something with an advanced diesel plant in it.

  7. Paulinator says

    Hmmm? I live on a boat. Lightning took out my shore power a few weeks ago, just as I was about to heat up my supper. I could`ve cut over to the inverter and pulled down my 31 group deep-cycle house batteries…or I could`ve plugged in my 1 pound propane bottle…using gas made more sense.

  8. says

    It’s okay to wonder ‘why not natural gas?’ but keep in mind gasoline is the established standard and most people will instead wonder ‘why natural gas?’.

    A modest efficiency boost sounds good, but in terms of energy cost, electric can do much better. Also, the infrastructure is not nearly as well developed as gasoline — certainly not for public use, anyway.

    I haven’t made any switch to alternative fuel, but I certainly am more interested in a full-step in the right direction [electric, when it’s viable] over a half-step towards a different fossil fuel.

  9. OMMAG says

    I’ve managed fleet vehicles on propane and natgas … conversions were subsidized by govt programs and fuel was discounted plus tax rebates…. there was no net savings because all of the vehicles were made for gasoline and then converted … not efficient.
    Subsequent developments … or more precisely lack of developments … andnot for lack of trying have failed to produce any efficient nat gas or lpg vehicles.

    In short …. this is an irrelevent technology.

  10. says

    Most of the problems with this solution have been stated above. The hurdle is the pressure that you need to store natural gas as a liquid, it’s immense.

    I have a friend who sells propane conversion kits to landscapers for their lawnmowers. Basically all of the benefits of natural gas, but without the need for the extreme compression.

  11. Cameron Nicol says

    We run three welding trucks and one welder on propane. Other than cold weather freezing we haven’t had a major problem. I have thought long and hard about a propane motorcycle. There are two major issues; weight and pressurized gas in a crash. A pressure cylinder weighs at least 5 times as much as a gasoline tank of the same volume and has to be cylindrical to equalize the surface pressure. The tank may survive a crash but the hoses and fittings probably won’t. Use the natural gas to run the turbine generators and give me a true 100 mile range electric bike.

    • says

      Some experimental hybrid garbage trucks and city buses use a microturbine to keep the batteries charged. Seems to work fine. Running a motorcycle at a constant 65 mph requires about 10-15 bhp (depending on size, weight and aerodynamics), so a 20 bhp turbine would suffice. The batteries’ full power will still ensure that accelleration will be brisk.

  12. fluke says

    I have run 3 different cars on LPG over the years, It is true that most carbed motorbike engines would be easy conversions, Fuel Injection is way more complicated, and thus expensive. there is one massive problem; on converted engines not intended to run on LPG you normally you would need to run one tank of petrol ( gas to our american couisins) for every 3 or 4 tank of LPG through the engine, so you could not replace the petrol tank with an LPG one permanently, also, as the LPG is under such high pressure, the tanks are big, heavy and not really a shape that would easily fit on a bike.

    You also get less MPG and lower power on natural gas.

    All the control gubbins and one way safety valves are small enough to be tucked away out of sight.

    There was a back yard conversion of Citroen 2CVs years ago, banned now though there are still a few used on the quiet, where standard cooker ( or BBQ) gas bottles were used to provide the storage, when you run out, just exchange it at your nearest household gas depot. something like that could be illegally adapted to motorbike use in a pannier or luggage box, especially as you can get lighter composite storage bottles now.

  13. Hawk says

    Bulk, weight, range and power loss would seem to be the limiting factors. Let’s not forget that our “economic” figures for alternative fuels (including electricity) have been largely predicated on a lack of road taxes. This is not sustainable in the long term.

    But it would be a real gas ….

  14. Wave says

    In Australia, running a car on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is very common. There are roughly 600,000 LPG cars in Australia, including almost all taxis and many government and company fleet cars. You can also buy dedicated LPG-only cars direct from the manufacturer. Most dual-fuel conversions tend to take up a large amount of luggage space, give reduced range, reduced power and rougher running. They are still cheaper to run because of the lower price of LPG, which is helped by having less tax. If the engine is tuned to run only on dedicated LPG, particularly if using higher compression and liquid LPG injection, then it is possible to achieve more power than on petrol because of the higher octane of LPG and the cooling effect of the liquid injection.

  15. Paul Crowe - "The Kneeslider" says

    Many of you are far more familiar with natural gas vehicles than I am and the problems you list are a real issue, but at the same time, they seem to be solvable. Until we focus attention on using a particular fuel, there aren’t enough minds trying to sort it out.

    Though some think natural gas is a halfway measure, there’s a huge supply and if we can make it work well, it could last for a very long time, here in the US some estimates are 100 years or more. That provides a lot of time to engineer that super battery that’s “just around the corner” which will solve all of our electric vehicle range problems.

    Remember, natural gas works in the engines we already have in our vehicles. Also, as I stated above, unlike electricity, it can easily be stored. It provides another energy option and doesn’t rely on oil from very unstable areas of the globe. Gasoline is a great fuel, very hard to replace and I wish we didn’t have to worry about it, but political problems, even more than geology, are making cheap and available gasoline questionable in the future.

    Whether you think electric is the ultimate answer or not, natural gas could do a lot to bridge the gap between now and the that super battery coming in the “not too distant future.”

    • fluke says

      The answer is electric long term, new technologys like Lithium-air batteries would have 3 times the capacity weight ratio as Lithium ion or lithium polymer batteries with an ,in theory, better safety too. it is just inefficient to transport refined oil all around the world to be used in an internal combustion engine that is little more than 25% efficient ( petrol) or 40% (diesel). the only reason people are against change is speed of recharging electric. Electricity can be generated and transported much more efficiently to the end user than fossil fuels.

      But petrol will be around for years to come still, keep in mind it is a by product of refining oil for plastic making. We are addicted to plastic. The world still has massive resources of unexpoited oil, just it is expensive to extract, if oil goes up to 200$ a barrel and stays there it will become cost effective to extract it for profit. the reason we have the current oil price isn’t scarcity of the raw oil, it is lack of refining capability. a new oil refinery will take 15 years to turn a profit for the investor, no one is willing to invest in new refineries under current conditions and they haven’t been for quite a while.

      LPG conversions aren’t a bad solution for existing car and generators and would reduce demand for petrol, but I cannot see it working on motorbikes very well.

  16. Sportster Mike says

    You guys already have a ‘gas’ tank on your bike!! so you’re ahead of the game already..
    In jolly old England we call it a petrol tank – and petrol is now £1.36 a litre about $10 a gallon!! so hurry up and get building those gas powered Harleys cos we have lots of cows in the fields here… emissions you know

  17. Jim says

    The primary benefit touted for using NG has been environmental, NG burns cleaner than petrol and much cleaner the coal. But those benefits may be greatly overstated as the total emissions resulting from production and use of NG might be as great or greater as other fossil fuels.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/12/business/energy-environment/12gas.html?hpw
    The problem with NG is still distribution and it will never be economically viable to convert existing bikes to NG.

    Where NG makes sense is for the trucking industry, local haul trucks typically have pretty defined routes and long haul trucking uses the interstates, where truck stops could easily add NG to the fuel options.

    Electric makes the most sense as an alternative to petrol in MC, though diesel would be interesting.

  18. J. Smith says

    Here in Shanghai only Natural Gas powered 2 wheelers are allowed into the city for pollution restrictions.

    True, I don’t see too many motorcycles but plenty of scooters have this feature. They seem to be doing fine.

    I believe natural gas is a good way forward. Maybe not so much for motorcycles but definitely for cars and scooters (they have more room for the tank).

    My neighbour also has a car that runs on both. If he runs out of natural gas, he flips a switch and continues on gasoline. Thats not a bad option either.

  19. leston says

    Natural Gas as an alternative fuel has a lot of promises. But natural gas as a direct replacement in the current ICE engines/ retrofits offers a lot of problems. Ineffeiciency, current cost of retrofits, hassel of retrofits with the government, refueling etc.

    But like every viable solution to every problem, you have to research it thoroughly and gather evidence to either support and move on or degrade and shut down. So like you said earlier, along with electric we need to be considering natural gas as a viable option.

    However, electricity is a lot more easily created than say finding natural gas reservoirs or drilling for oil. Thats why the spotlight is on electricity. Its the most easily attainable fuel source.

  20. seventhson says

    Alcohol is a logistical bust, wind turbines for power generation is heading the same way as the costs far outweigh the energy return . The attempted move away from conventional energy is not going to be simple,cheap or easy. Driving an electric vehicle sounds good until you examine where the energy comes from. A move to natural gas would be an infrastructure clustermuck
    Sorry for diverging from the original subject but I think this has to be said……
    My motorcycle (Star Stratoliner) has a noticeable reduction in power and fuel mileage when filled with fuel containing ethanol. Now the oil companies and the Obama administration are pushing for an increase in alcohol content to 15%. If this happens, the safety and reliability of marine engines and motorcycle engines will be severely compromised. Alcohol has an affinity for water, so your whole fuel system, from the tank right through to the injectors will be prone to corrosion. The safety of Marine products will be severely compromised with the introduction of high alcohol fuel, from rusting tanks to fuel line decomposition from the added alcohol. This is a lot more severe than standing at the roadside watching your car burn to the ground from a faulty fuel system.
    The Obama administration needs to step back for a moment and look at the unintended consequences of energy policies they are trying to introduce.
    Regarding wind turbines….better get some pictures of that scenic ride you are about to embark on as it may not last, with turbines littering the horizon.

    • Stats says

      Again, not to be too much off topic, but the 10% ethanol we currently have was instituted as an oxygenate replacement for MBTE, which was itself added after the removal of tetraethyl lead. Both lead and MBTE were found to be rather nasty and ended up in drinking water. Ethanol, which we all know and love, is certainly accutely toxic, but easily processed by the liver.

      Bumping up to 15% is a whole different ball game, but 10% ethanol serves merely to reduce knock, CO emissions, and hydrocarbon emissions.

      As for wind vs petrol vs lng vs lpg vs nuclear vs alchohol… Its all a give and take. There are major advantages and disadvantages to each

  21. FREEMAN says

    I believe the real alternative in the near future that becomes consumer friendly and takes off will be electricity-on-demand electric vehicles. A small, efficient fuel generator paired with a small cache of batteries and an electric drivetrain. Batteries are not efficient enough for long range and with this setup there is no waiting for a recharge and the range can be incredible if designed right. Frankly, I don’t understand why there isn’t more cars with on-demand systems already.

  22. says

    On fuel injected motorcycles and scooters the “Conversion Kit” so glibly referenced would have to include a completely new ECU chip and unique combination of new injector hardware and fuel delivery system for every engine and brand. Lack of equivalent range and dearth of fueling stations is yet another deal busting issue. I am betting that gasoline would have to be $10 per gallon before this would be worth considering.

    I pity those who think that converting their motorcycle to natural gas, electricity, or even phlogiston will save the planet. This is a political issue, nothing more.

  23. Tommy says

    The biggest problem with natural gas is the methods for extracting it. Hydraulic Fracturing seems to be the method of choice for new natural gas wells, but hydraulic fracturing poisons ground water. There is currently no way of preventing the chemicals used in this process from entering the ground water, and the repercussions of poisoning our drinking water is far worse than the alternatives. That being said, if a more eco-friendly alternative for extraction were to be developed, natural gas has great promise, burns cleaner, better for engine longevity, etc.

      • Tommy says

        With all due respect, are you on the payroll too? If it’s so safe are you willing to drink the water in Dimock Pennsylvania? Why won’t they release the full details of the chemical make up of the fracking solution? Even if less than 1% of the chemicals used in the process are harmful, they are used in such great quantities that there is bound to be unseen consequences in the future. I don’t pretend to know it all, but to dismiss the potential environmental issues related to this, simply because one environmental group says it OK is irresponsible.

        • Paul Crowe - "The Kneeslider" says

          Tommy, if there are issues with fracking they need to be brought out calmly with reference to facts and real data. What seems to happen in any community where fracking will be used is groups opposed to the process make a lot of wild but vague claims about things they’ve “heard” from other towns. If anyone isn’t immediately convinced, then they “must be on the payroll.” The credibility of groups using that approach really suffers. Reporters covering the issue also need to learn more before writing.

          Who is actually doing the drilling and how they do it may be where the problem lies, far more than with the process itself. Careless drillers create problems that make fracking seem bad when it’s the drillers’ fault. The town you reference evidently had a spill of the fluid, it wasn’t something that occurred underground in the well. Any number of fluid spills unrelated to fracking could have similar bad effects.

          No energy extraction or production process is without danger if proper safety measures are not taken. No one wants unsafe or dangerous energy production in their communities, so, while we need energy, we need to be careful. Rational and informed debate is beneficial to finding out what processes are safe, instant opposition is not.

        • B*A*M*F says

          The biggest problem with fracking is that there is no transparency. If a company is going to pump a chemical into the ground, they should be required by law to disclose what it is. Regardless of whether or not it’s proprietary, or for what purpose it’s being pumped, it’s basic common sense.

          Couple that with the mineral rights/water rights/land ownership system, and this is a recipe for poisoning drinking water on a relatively large scale. Again, it’s a matter of transparency in the process. Unfortunately, our elected leaders are so deeply in the pocket of the oil and gas industry that we aren’t going to see real action until a substantial number of people are harmed, beyond the handful that have already been harmed.

  24. BB says

    Of the above 30 comments above none mentioned the Honda car available in the US and winner of the cleanest exhaust award for several years running. It’s powered by natural gas. All the negative comments were about conversions of existing machines. Honda did it with a car. They can do it with a bike. Pipe lines exist. Any idea what a recharging staion for electric cars would look like? Electric vehicles in the US get their charge mostly from coal(60%).

    • FREEMAN says

      The car you’re referring to is the Honda Civic GX, which is only available in all states as a fleet vehicle. Currently, there are only four states that offer it for retail. This car is not a cng conversion but factory built to run strictly on cng.

  25. JK says

    The natural gas Civic costs 37% more ($7000) more than a comparable gasoline Civic. Maybe a lot of that is simply because people who want natural gas will pay that much to get it, but it’s safe to say that natural gas adds considerably to cost.

  26. Nicolas says

    My grandfather experimented a car running on water … no kidding … electorlysis of the water generates hydrogen, used a carburant in the enginer.

    In his time (50s) the available materials (and funds) were not that good, the engine would run but no so long and not so good … anyways everything is possible, if the “big oil” lets it happen …

  27. B50 Jim says

    As with any conversion, a CNG conversion would be a compromise at best and not function nearly as well as the same machine running on gasoline. A bike built to run on CNG would have to be designed from the ground up for that fuel, with compression ratios, combustion chamber design, cam profiles, etc. optimized for the fuel; and turbo or supercharger boost to overcome NG’s inherently lower energy content. The high-pressure tank necessarily would be cylindrical so, unless you’re into steampunk styling, you’d have to find a way to hide it, or use several smaller cylinders tucked away here and there. The resulting bike would look somewhat different from a gasoline-powered machine; as with electric bikes, you might as well exploit the difference so the folks will know you’re riding a CNG-powered machine. It could work very well but differently.

    The infrastructure for NG is already in place, and would generate a new market in refueling systems. The production issues still are nebulous — fracking might not be as benign as we think, especially for folks living near the site. That said, America’s natural gas reserves are vast and could easily carry the country’s transportation needs through the century. Natural gas has an advantage in that you can make other fuels out of it and plastics also.

    I’m still a proponent of electric power for vehicles; I think it holds the best promise to wean us from crude oil. The high-capacity, fast-charge batteries are coming, and natural gas could generate the extra electric power we’ll need to run our national fleet while we learn to harness solar energy efficiently enough to make it viable. We’ll get there, but in the meantime, life on the roads will be interesting to say the least.

    One thing I know for sure — When I bought my B50 I filled its 2-gallon tank for pocket change. Today I have to hand the man $8. In the near future that might seem like a bargain. The sooner we get away from crude-oil based fuels, the better.

  28. JK says

    The gasoline Civic makes 140 hp, which is 24% more than the Natural Gas with 113 hp. The engines are essentially identical except the NG has a 12.5:1 compression ratio vs. 10.5:1 for the gas version.

  29. says

    Uh, well, seems to be alot of discussion about this. So everybody’s got some kind of opinion, but only a few of the comments are from informed individuals. My CNG car is almost finished, http://www.bienvillestudios.com. Go to the current projects page, select Magnolia Special. Built from the ground up to be a CNG car, to the best of my knowledge – the worlds first. — JT Nesbitt. P.S. range should be about 700 miles.

  30. Tin Man says

    The cost of a conversion would be prohibitive on a motorcycle, It would be much more effective to convert a car or truck, Then use Gasoline to run your bike. Trying to save the planet by converting motorcycles is just silly, convert the guzzlers and save the most effiecient fuel (gasoline) for the more effiecient bikes. Of course if energy use was really that important to us, we all would be riding 250 Hondas instead of being seduced by 140HP crotch rockets, any bike that gets less than 40MPG is a disgrace.

    • Paul Chinn says

      Hey now, I do ride a Honda 250. A nighthawk 250 to be specific.

      Sure it only tops out around 80 MPH, but the nimbleness of it tops any other bike I have been on. In short, the perfect city bike with enough “oomph” to take the interstate.

  31. Norm says

    One aspect that has been overlooked in this forum is the fact that most jurisdictions will not allow the placement of any liquefied gas vehicles or tanks inside of a building. Most building insurance policies also have riders to cover this and will not pay out in the case of fire or explosion. The problem lies with cold cylinders filled with cold liquefied gas. When the gas warms it expands and the pressure increases causing the pressure release blow of filling the building with raw flammable vapour mixed with oxygenated air. Hit the right explosive range and have a source of ignition and the results are catastrophic. In Alberta, where I live, it is illegal to park a liquefied fuel gas vehicle inside a building. Maintenance on these vehicles becomes a real problem in the winter months but the law runs year round as do the insurance policies. Would you want to park your bike outside all winter? Probably not. Would you want to work on it all summer outside? Again, probably not. Is there any way around the law? Not at present with the technology today. Ask a firefighter to enter a building with a full gas cylinder contained in the fire? Good luck on that one……

    • Paul says

      There is an answer to this problem, used on the pressure relief valves on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. When parked indoors, a quick connect hose is put on to route any vented gas outdoors.

      I don’t know how this would work at the mall, but it would work at home.

  32. B50 Jim says

    We long ago learned how to safely transport, store and use gasoline, which by definition is highly volatile and extremely flammable. If we decide to get serious about using CNG and LNG as motor fuels, we will deal with the safety issues. It’s not particle physics.

  33. Tommy says

    B*A*M*F is 100% correct the biggest problem with Fracking is the lack of Transparency! The fracking process is currently except from the EPA’s Clean Water Act and they do not have to disclose the chemicals being pumped into the ground because the technology is proprietary. This alone should raise some eye brows. I realize any energy extraction process is going to have some negative effects to the surrounding environment, and improper extraction is often the cause of contamination. Some of the problems that fracking has supposedly caused may very well be because the procedure was done incorrectly, however there is not enough information to say either way. The burden of proof lies on those who have been poisoned and not on those that are making money off this process. I think it is rather backward that our default stance on an issue like this is that of protecting “progress” and profits and not protecting the environment that ALL of our lives depend on. I personally feel that any process that has the potential to harm the environment should openly debated with all the facts present (this can not happen as long as the specifics of the proprietary technology involved is not open to the public.)

    • FREEMAN says

      Sorry to sway off topic.

      It’s not proprietary if the public can see it. Seriously, listen to yourself. I know nothing of fracking or the chemicals involved. There is no conclusive evidence that proper fracking contaminates water tables and you even admit that possible contamination could be from improper fracking. How does that justify releasing a company’s proprietary chemical solution to the public? There are countless ways the environment can be and is poluted. What makes you so absolutely positive it has to do with fracking and fracking alone? How do you know your neighbor didn’t just pour lead-based paint down the stormdrain last week or whatever?

      Sorry if this seems offensive, but really I am curious. As I’ve said: I know nothing of fracking.

  34. Tommy says

    Something to note, I have been a proponent of natural gas for years and think there is a great deal of promise in this area. I own a truck that has been converted to run on natural gas, and it is great! I do however think the process of hydraulic fracturing needs to be examined further, because of the potential of ground water contamination. I think that there is a solution, but we not going to find it if we are not willing to tackle unpopular subjects. I am not simply a tree hugger on a mission against big bad oil, just a concerned citizen trying to encourage others to look further into this issue.

  35. madass150 says

    some one was marketing kits for motorcycles here in the Philippines a while ago ,no doubt made in China , they were cheap, I considered buying one and using the tank of my Madass 125 as the gas tank, it would only require a change of filler neck. the Madass tank holds about 5 liters and is made of 4″ steel tube.
    I’m sure the kits are available in China,

  36. Dr Robert Harms says

    The problem begins and ends with the tank. There is no readily available DOT approved vapor outlet tanks ( suitable only for low powered vehicles like scooters) and the smallest liquid outlet tank (higher BTU’s) is forklift sized and unsuitably huge and ugly for non-sidecar motorcycles .

    You can convert a scooter in a half hour (propane mixer from a Briggs floor burnisher does nicely) with and run it all day on a BBQ tank. Just dont get hit. Higher performance bikes run well on liquid output but the plumbing is more difficult as the convertor needs to be temperature controlled. I ran a feasability test on my Buell powered BSA and it started instantly and ran great but the forkift tank that I had bungeed to the luggage rack was a bit aesthetically lacking.

    Refueling is a non-issue. There are galizzions of refuellers but the tanks must be DOT approved. If there was an approved small vapor outlet tank that scooters could be designed around that whole fleet could be converted.

    The motorcycle tank issue is far harder due to size and aesthetics. Try to fit a 6″ or 8″ by 24″ cylinder and mixer and convertor on a 2 wheel motorcycle.

    BTW, the stuff is great , particually as it never goes “bad” like gasoline.

  37. Joek says

    i live in the netherlands.
    NG for cars is normal here.
    I drive a NG car that runs on gas as well.
    The price difference is small when you buy a NG capable car here.
    I just did a MPG test gas vs NG.
    Exactly the same.
    Also: i do NOT notice any power difference when switching over (while riding that is).

    The NG system i have is called LPG G3, and it’s hooked into the EFI system somehow.

    In the netherlands the NG sockets are standardised, no refueling probs whatsoever.
    I have e socket next to the regular gas refuel intake.

    Price: NG 0.7 EURO GAS 1,60 EURO per liter (one gallon is 4.5 litres)
    Same MPG!

    Ecological strain is said to be like the toyota hybrid.

    I think the tank will be heavier and bulkier tough.
    But not undoable.

    grtz. J

  38. Max says

    I researched this a few years ago, even then, CNG vehicles totaled 4.5 Million…
    4.5 MILLION!!….in INDIA!!
    It has already proved itself there. There is only one reason it has not been welcome here…Corruption and Greed, (actually two reasons), and it’s only gonna’ get worse.

  39. Jiro says

    Honda makes a compressed natural gas car. They raised the CR from 10.5 on the gasoline civic to 12.5 but at the same time they seem to have lost 25 hp. Perhaps it is more on an economy car? I would imagine Honda raised the CR as much as the fuel or the engine could withstand. The various gaseous fuels do have high octanes, some quite high. I looked at the home compressor pump several years ago. It seemed to cost $1/hour to run, (the cost of the pump itself divided by it’s lifespan) plus the fuel and electricity. so, the low cost of the fuel was added to the high cost of compressing it. A large low pressure tank is probably cheaper to fill at home than a small high pressure tank. The emissions are definitely better!

  40. Brian says

    I would buy one in a second! I have a dual-fuel truck, and I love the fuel savings. I do have to switch to gas for road trips, but for my daily commute (90% of my driving), my truck is great.
    Argentinian motorcycle producer, Zanella, will in March this year release the country’s first motorcycle optionally equipped with a compressed natural gas (CNG) system. The model chosen has 150 cc displacement and carries two tanks of gas, with a range of approx 200 kilometers (100 kms per cylinder). The cylinders are located in the same place as the fuel tank, which in turn is replaced by a small reservoir for 3.5 liters of gasoline.
    The technology has been supplied by ECOP Rosario, the first company in the country to gain approval for a gas system for motorcycles. They claim a six-fold reduction in fuel cost, while at the same time increasing the lifespan of the engine. With 60 conversion kits successfully in operation, Ecopos sees considerable export potential to surrounding markets.

    Referred to as the Ecopos kit, the conversions can be applied to various other models, including Honda and Motomel. The three brands are apparently popular for local delivery services.