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This past year the price of an oil barrel on the world oil market has hit an all time high. This is not at last due to an ongoing and increasing oil demand of south-eastern countries. It seems rather likely that - as an immediate result - gas prices will keep on increasing in the next 10 to 20 years up to a point, where alternative energy sources become of interest due to economical reasons rather than ecological ones.

Here in Europe, the fuel prices are already considerably higher than in the US. As a result, there is e.g. a strong market for cars using modern direct fuel injection turbo-diesel engines with improved gas mileage. (In Germany the percentage of newly sold cars with these diesel engines has come close to 50% in the past year. This affects also the motorcycles: A German motorcycle mag recently reported about a small local company developing a 1400 ccm diesel engine cruiser. Its mill produces almost ridiculous amounts of torque that should leave any Harley engioneer green with envy...

A similar development already seems to have affected the US car market considering the somewhat unexpected sales success of the Toyotas hybrid engine technology. Its combination of a conventional fuel motor with several electric engines seems to result in considerable better gas mileage without a noticable change in the way these cars are operated. (Apart from the fact that this Prius car is one ugly mother... )

The added advantage of this hybrid technology is that the electric engines, while noise-wise rather unspectacular, can be very nice torque monsters - they may outperform even big block fuel-based motors.

As a fact, BMW recently equipped one of their big SUVs with an electric motor hybrid option for internal research purposes. This fuel combustion/electric motor combination results in a peak torque of more than 1000 Nm. First tests report that this two-ton mother accelerates in a way that the allwheel-drive becomes essential to get its power onto the street. Drag racers should love this one!

In about ten to twenty years we might see that mineral oil-based fuel has become so expensive that its use even in motorcycles may no longer be affordable for Joe Public. Right now, this new hydrogen fuel cell "motorcycle" may be still sort of a joke considering its current "performance" specs.

Even if this thing still has more similarity to a mountain bicycle than a "real motorbike", we may see here the start of an interesting development, which may not be a bad thing for us:

If a future fuel cell bike has a peak performance-output of more than 100 kilowatts and a possible weight of less than 200 kilos, it is on par with the best of contemporary Japanese superbikes: how could that be a bad thing?

In the future, if you are not Donald Trump, able to afford a full tank of mineral oil fuel, and you still want to ride on just two wheels, then you might even might want to come to terms with the missing sound of such fuel cell run "stealth fighters". We can be optimistic that the engineers will also come up with some solution for those motorcyclists who have no chance of ever attracting women without the help of a "noisy" motorcycle. ;-)

Just my two cent's...

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