What if you could convert your new fossil fuel-powered motorbike into something that could run from the gasses collected from shallow ponds and bogs? Well, although the idea is neat, it doesn’t really translate into a good riding experience. But that didn’t stop this Dutch inventor from making his own methane-powered motorbike. The unique thing is that the methane used by the bike is harvested from roadside bogs and ponds with shallow water.
The Dutch inventor in question is Gijs Schalkx, who modified his bike to run on methane. He calls his invention the Sloot Motor, where Sloot is the Dutch word for “ditch”. According to Schalkx, the Sloot Motor was “built to outlast any kind of energy future as shallow waters will always be there”. The motorbike was built over a base Honda GX160 engine which was converted by Schalkx himself.
He gave a lot of detail on how he converted the bike’s engine to run on methane. The gist of which has that he had to drill a hole into the engine’s airbox. This hole allowed the engine to receive methane. The methane was provided by a balloon which had to be hooked to the hole. The methane itself is a little harder to obtain since it takes eight hours to collect enough to make the bike travel 12 miles.
Further details about his invention are available on his website which you can view here. You may be thinking that this is some exciting alternative to electric motorbikes but it’s really not. The Sloot Motor only has a top speed of 43 km/h or 27 mph. However, Schalkx never intended to make an environment-friendly bike alternative in the first place. His goal was to encourage people to reconsider their feelings about technology.
According to Schalkx’s website “If this world we live in is the cause for global breakdown, over-extraction of resources and inequality all over the world, why do we keep holding on to this idea of progress by growth?”. He further added that “A goal that we are blindly following without thinking about the consequences and counting on technology to save us”.
Schalkx even quoted Buckminster Fuller from his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1969. Visiting his website, you’re greeted with the quote which says that “We have not been seeing our Spaceship Earth as an integrally-designed machine which to be persistently successful must be comprehended and serviced in total”.