Motorcycles Man Builds World's First Fully Solar-Powered Motorcycle

Published on May 14th, 2009 | by Jerry James Stone

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Man Builds World's First Fully Solar-Powered Motorcycle

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Richard Gryzch has built what he claims is the world’s first fully sun-powered electric motorbike.

A project that has taken him more than two years. In fact, to finance building the bike Cryzch sold his other motorbikes and even a house.

He calls the bike a Solar Flyer. A name inspired by those Radio Flyer wagons.

“Everyone told me I was crazy for doing it,” he said. “But I’m riding it and it works. And it could change everything. No gas, just hit the throttle and go,” he boasted.

Details about the bike are scarce, but it travels up to 50 miles on a full charge and has a top speed of 90 mph.

“People look at me at the stop light and just say, ‘What is that?” Gryzch said.  “I just shrug my shoulders and tell them, ‘it’s solar powered.”‘

Still, Gryzch plans to outdo himself. He hopes to hit a travel range of 300 miles. I hope he does too!

Source [ABC 15 News] Photo [Inhabitat]


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About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.



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  • http://www.reich-consulting.net/ Brian Reich

    Go Richard! Its both sad as well as encouraging that a motivated do-it-yourself can out-engineer and out-innovate the brightest minds at most American automotive manufacturers.

  • http://www.reich-consulting.net/ Brian Reich

    Go Richard! Its both sad as well as encouraging that a motivated do-it-yourself can out-engineer and out-innovate the brightest minds at most American automotive manufacturers.

  • http://www.reich-consulting.net/ Brian Reich

    Go Richard! Its both sad as well as encouraging that a motivated do-it-yourself can out-engineer and out-innovate the brightest minds at most American automotive manufacturers.

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  • Jesse Wilder

    Wow, most impressive. I like it!

    RT

    http://www.privacy-resources.us.tc

  • Jesse Wilder

    Wow, most impressive. I like it!

    RT

    http://www.privacy-resources.us.tc

  • Jesse Wilder

    Wow, most impressive. I like it!

    RT

    http://www.privacy-resources.us.tc

  • ChuckL

    What a lead-in. “Apache Junction man invents solar powered motor…” Rather misleading.

    There were kits available to build solar powered motors when I was in grade school in the 1940s.

  • ChuckL

    What a lead-in. “Apache Junction man invents solar powered motor…” Rather misleading.

    There were kits available to build solar powered motors when I was in grade school in the 1940s.

  • Tom

    ChuckL… what are you talking about where in the news story does it say that?

  • Tom

    ChuckL… what are you talking about where in the news story does it say that?

  • Tom

    ChuckL… what are you talking about where in the news story does it say that?

  • Colin

    Sure the ability to make a solar powered MOTOR have been around for a long time. But this is a solar powered MOTORCYCLE. Which i’m sure you or I could have built years ago. But we didn’t.

  • Colin

    Sure the ability to make a solar powered MOTOR have been around for a long time. But this is a solar powered MOTORCYCLE. Which i’m sure you or I could have built years ago. But we didn’t.

  • Colin

    Sure the ability to make a solar powered MOTOR have been around for a long time. But this is a solar powered MOTORCYCLE. Which i’m sure you or I could have built years ago. But we didn’t.

  • Caleb

    I think that reads “Apache Junction man invents solar powered motorcycle” except tehy ran out of room. No solar powered motorcyles in the 40′s, old man.

  • Caleb

    I think that reads “Apache Junction man invents solar powered motorcycle” except tehy ran out of room. No solar powered motorcyles in the 40′s, old man.

  • Caleb

    I think that reads “Apache Junction man invents solar powered motorcycle” except tehy ran out of room. No solar powered motorcyles in the 40′s, old man.

  • James

    This is a very cool cycle. Good luck Mr. Gryzch this is a great idea and all you really need now is a more powerful solar cell. I also like the way you designed the seat area, very Tron like and distinct.

  • James

    This is a very cool cycle. Good luck Mr. Gryzch this is a great idea and all you really need now is a more powerful solar cell. I also like the way you designed the seat area, very Tron like and distinct.

  • James

    This is a very cool cycle. Good luck Mr. Gryzch this is a great idea and all you really need now is a more powerful solar cell. I also like the way you designed the seat area, very Tron like and distinct.

  • Hans Wurst

    This is BS.

    Or stretching the truth to a very, very thin thread.

    Sure, if you park this thing in the sun for a few months, you might then be able to travel a few hundred yards with it…

    Or maybe on a different planet with plenty of suns shining from odd angles it would actually be useful.

  • Hans Wurst

    This is BS.

    Or stretching the truth to a very, very thin thread.

    Sure, if you park this thing in the sun for a few months, you might then be able to travel a few hundred yards with it…

    Or maybe on a different planet with plenty of suns shining from odd angles it would actually be useful.

  • Hans Wurst

    This is BS.

    Or stretching the truth to a very, very thin thread.

    Sure, if you park this thing in the sun for a few months, you might then be able to travel a few hundred yards with it…

    Or maybe on a different planet with plenty of suns shining from odd angles it would actually be useful.

  • Ripe4Change

    Invent? Hardly, things are getting real silly….

  • Ripe4Change

    Invent? Hardly, things are getting real silly….

  • Ripe4Change

    Invent? Hardly, things are getting real silly….

  • Hippy

    Anything that helps us stop burning stuff for energy is a good thing. It does not look like it was done in a weekend, but it also shows you don’t have to have a bizillion dollars to come up with something that helps the world.

    If he can get 300 in lower solar areas and work out a plug in for recharge stations he may be on to something outside of AZ.

    If he comes out with a mod kit for any old bike, I want one! This is SO cool!

  • Hippy

    Anything that helps us stop burning stuff for energy is a good thing. It does not look like it was done in a weekend, but it also shows you don’t have to have a bizillion dollars to come up with something that helps the world.

    If he can get 300 in lower solar areas and work out a plug in for recharge stations he may be on to something outside of AZ.

    If he comes out with a mod kit for any old bike, I want one! This is SO cool!

  • Hippy

    Anything that helps us stop burning stuff for energy is a good thing. It does not look like it was done in a weekend, but it also shows you don’t have to have a bizillion dollars to come up with something that helps the world.

    If he can get 300 in lower solar areas and work out a plug in for recharge stations he may be on to something outside of AZ.

    If he comes out with a mod kit for any old bike, I want one! This is SO cool!

  • http://ChuckL&Ripe4Change.are.retards.com Ripe4Change is a douche

    “Invent? Hardly, things are getting real silly….”

    you kidding me? until the day you get off your lazy ass and create something as good as this, you can go STFU n GTFO

    “What a lead-in. “Apache Junction man invents solar powered motor…” Rather misleading.

    There were kits available to build solar powered motors when I was in grade school in the 1940s.”

    shut the HELL UP YOU OLD GIMP!

  • einstein

    after you’ve burnt through the batteries in 50 miles, how long does it take to charge back up with the solar panels?

  • einstein

    after you’ve burnt through the batteries in 50 miles, how long does it take to charge back up with the solar panels?

  • littleguy

    Ripe4Change do you see any other solar powered bikes around, urr No.. SO he has has invented it.

    Welll doen to the bloke, my have cost him his house crazy but he is the 1st and only person with such a bike proving that anything is possible.

  • littleguy

    Ripe4Change do you see any other solar powered bikes around, urr No.. SO he has has invented it.

    Welll doen to the bloke, my have cost him his house crazy but he is the 1st and only person with such a bike proving that anything is possible.

  • littleguy

    Ripe4Change do you see any other solar powered bikes around, urr No.. SO he has has invented it.

    Welll doen to the bloke, my have cost him his house crazy but he is the 1st and only person with such a bike proving that anything is possible.

  • Heng

    The Japanese have been homebuilding solar bikes and racing them since 2007.

    http://www6.plala.or.jp/solarbikerace/

  • Heng

    The Japanese have been homebuilding solar bikes and racing them since 2007.

    http://www6.plala.or.jp/solarbikerace/

  • Mkkby

    This is getting ridiculous. There are a million solar powered bikes, motorcycles and various appliances. Anybody can buy a few solar panels, charge a battery and run what ever they want. So what?

    Any of you out there think the bike actually charges as he’s riding? It probably takes 2 days to store enough energy to ride for an hour.

  • Mkkby

    This is getting ridiculous. There are a million solar powered bikes, motorcycles and various appliances. Anybody can buy a few solar panels, charge a battery and run what ever they want. So what?

    Any of you out there think the bike actually charges as he’s riding? It probably takes 2 days to store enough energy to ride for an hour.

  • Mkkby

    This is getting ridiculous. There are a million solar powered bikes, motorcycles and various appliances. Anybody can buy a few solar panels, charge a battery and run what ever they want. So what?

    Any of you out there think the bike actually charges as he’s riding? It probably takes 2 days to store enough energy to ride for an hour.

  • Dave

    Looks like a hoax. First, all of the solar panels are vertical, meaning they receive zero direct sunlight. Secondly, even if they can be deployed horizontally, there is not enough surface to generate any appreciable power. My guess is it would take months to build up enough power to run the bike. (I use solar to top up the batteries of my electric motor on my sailboat, and it still can’t keep up with occasional power drain)

  • Dave

    Looks like a hoax. First, all of the solar panels are vertical, meaning they receive zero direct sunlight. Secondly, even if they can be deployed horizontally, there is not enough surface to generate any appreciable power. My guess is it would take months to build up enough power to run the bike. (I use solar to top up the batteries of my electric motor on my sailboat, and it still can’t keep up with occasional power drain)

  • Dave

    Looks like a hoax. First, all of the solar panels are vertical, meaning they receive zero direct sunlight. Secondly, even if they can be deployed horizontally, there is not enough surface to generate any appreciable power. My guess is it would take months to build up enough power to run the bike. (I use solar to top up the batteries of my electric motor on my sailboat, and it still can’t keep up with occasional power drain)

  • Russtang

    Built?

    http://www.electricmotorsport.com/EGPR/egprPage.htm

    That bike looks awful familiar…

  • Russtang

    Built?

    http://www.electricmotorsport.com/EGPR/egprPage.htm

    That bike looks awful familiar…

  • Russtang

    Built?

    http://www.electricmotorsport.com/EGPR/egprPage.htm

    That bike looks awful familiar…

  • CRM

    This is a scam, get this story off of here. Dude hung some solar panels probably totaly 50W on an electric bike he bought off the shelf. What a joke.

  • CRM

    This is a scam, get this story off of here. Dude hung some solar panels probably totaly 50W on an electric bike he bought off the shelf. What a joke.

  • CRM

    This is a scam, get this story off of here. Dude hung some solar panels probably totaly 50W on an electric bike he bought off the shelf. What a joke.

  • allyn

    Its a battery powered electric motorcycle, which HAS been around for quite some time now, this one just has a bunch of photovoltaic charging cells draped over it at poorly thought out angles. Nothing new or exciting here.

  • allyn

    Its a battery powered electric motorcycle, which HAS been around for quite some time now, this one just has a bunch of photovoltaic charging cells draped over it at poorly thought out angles. Nothing new or exciting here.

  • allyn

    Its a battery powered electric motorcycle, which HAS been around for quite some time now, this one just has a bunch of photovoltaic charging cells draped over it at poorly thought out angles. Nothing new or exciting here.

  • Log1c

    I’m slightly concerned about the solar panels that face downward on the bike. Also the ones on the sides of the storage unit.

    Wouldn’t it be better to just place a bunch on your house and charge an electric bike like that?

    Actually, that isn’t a question, it should be a statement. It would be more effective.

  • Log1c

    I’m slightly concerned about the solar panels that face downward on the bike. Also the ones on the sides of the storage unit.

    Wouldn’t it be better to just place a bunch on your house and charge an electric bike like that?

    Actually, that isn’t a question, it should be a statement. It would be more effective.

  • Log1c

    I’m slightly concerned about the solar panels that face downward on the bike. Also the ones on the sides of the storage unit.

    Wouldn’t it be better to just place a bunch on your house and charge an electric bike like that?

    Actually, that isn’t a question, it should be a statement. It would be more effective.

  • frank

    Are we really supposed to believe this!? I see maybe 2-3 square feet of what look like they might be solar panels on the sides of the bike. That wouldn’t even power a laptop let alone a motorcycle! And they’re not even spread out perpendicular to the sun’s rays but hanging down off the sides of the bike! Come on, get serious!

  • frank

    Are we really supposed to believe this!? I see maybe 2-3 square feet of what look like they might be solar panels on the sides of the bike. That wouldn’t even power a laptop let alone a motorcycle! And they’re not even spread out perpendicular to the sun’s rays but hanging down off the sides of the bike! Come on, get serious!

  • Ripe4Change

    CRM: He invested his entire house and his parents retirement savings ……. his wife left him and his kids, well, have disowned him too.

  • Ripe4Change

    CRM: He invested his entire house and his parents retirement savings ……. his wife left him and his kids, well, have disowned him too.

  • Ripe4Change

    CRM: He invested his entire house and his parents retirement savings ……. his wife left him and his kids, well, have disowned him too.

  • Rif

    The flexible panel that he has attached to the side of the of the motorbike looks very much like the ME2Solar Foldable 1200 model (=12 watt peak). The ones on the back is likely the Foldable 650 model.

    Commercially sold solar PV panels need 150-200cm2 to deliver 1 watt peak, i.e. 1 square-meter gives 50-70 watt. Note this is when the solar pV panels are placed in optimal sun conditions, not when they are hanging on both sides of a motorbike.

    As another poster pointed out the the electrical motorbike used looks to be the Electric GPR, which has a has 15hp (11KW) motor. You could probably make it run (slowly) with 1KW (~1.3hp) but to do that would require more than 14 square-meter of solar PV.

    I wish there were more research and reality check on these articles before posting them.

  • Rif

    The flexible panel that he has attached to the side of the of the motorbike looks very much like the ME2Solar Foldable 1200 model (=12 watt peak). The ones on the back is likely the Foldable 650 model.

    Commercially sold solar PV panels need 150-200cm2 to deliver 1 watt peak, i.e. 1 square-meter gives 50-70 watt. Note this is when the solar pV panels are placed in optimal sun conditions, not when they are hanging on both sides of a motorbike.

    As another poster pointed out the the electrical motorbike used looks to be the Electric GPR, which has a has 15hp (11KW) motor. You could probably make it run (slowly) with 1KW (~1.3hp) but to do that would require more than 14 square-meter of solar PV.

    I wish there were more research and reality check on these articles before posting them.

  • Rif

    The flexible panel that he has attached to the side of the of the motorbike looks very much like the ME2Solar Foldable 1200 model (=12 watt peak). The ones on the back is likely the Foldable 650 model.

    Commercially sold solar PV panels need 150-200cm2 to deliver 1 watt peak, i.e. 1 square-meter gives 50-70 watt. Note this is when the solar pV panels are placed in optimal sun conditions, not when they are hanging on both sides of a motorbike.

    As another poster pointed out the the electrical motorbike used looks to be the Electric GPR, which has a has 15hp (11KW) motor. You could probably make it run (slowly) with 1KW (~1.3hp) but to do that would require more than 14 square-meter of solar PV.

    I wish there were more research and reality check on these articles before posting them.

  • Okta

    Hard to believe all the retards commenting on hoe great this is. It is a joke. Those solar panels would be hard pressed to charge your phone let alone run a motorcycle.

  • Okta

    Hard to believe all the retards commenting on hoe great this is. It is a joke. Those solar panels would be hard pressed to charge your phone let alone run a motorcycle.

  • http://www.rotavi.com Ian Bruce

    1. The bike’s not his — It’s an Electric Motorsport GPR-S, with a 3.3 kWh battery capacity:

    http://www.electricmotorsport.com/EGPR/egprPage.htm

    2. I agree with Rif that a square meter gives you a daily average of ~50 watts — meaning it would require a week to charge the bike (3300w/50w/10 hours per day).

    3. #2 assumes you’ve kept the panels perpendicular to the sun all week.

  • http://www.rotavi.com Ian Bruce

    1. The bike’s not his — It’s an Electric Motorsport GPR-S, with a 3.3 kWh battery capacity:

    http://www.electricmotorsport.com/EGPR/egprPage.htm

    2. I agree with Rif that a square meter gives you a daily average of ~50 watts — meaning it would require a week to charge the bike (3300w/50w/10 hours per day).

    3. #2 assumes you’ve kept the panels perpendicular to the sun all week.

  • http://filesburner.com Erik

    I think that reads “Apache Junction man invents solar powered motorcycle” except tehy ran out of room. No solar powered motorcyles in the 40’s, old man…

  • http://filesburner.com Erik

    I think that reads “Apache Junction man invents solar powered motorcycle” except tehy ran out of room. No solar powered motorcyles in the 40’s, old man…

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Technology Slice

    It must be efficient but still doesn’t look too flashy.

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Technology Slice

    It must be efficient but still doesn’t look too flashy.

  • earthling

    all you nay sayers…show me your solar electric rechargable motorcycle…ooohhh you don’t have one…I see this guy riding on cloudy days and at night…He rides all day long and the batteries stay charged…they are feed a continuous charge thats how he can ride all day…the solar is low light and low angle capable…better get back to your homework…

  • earthling

    all you nay sayers…show me your solar electric rechargable motorcycle…ooohhh you don’t have one…I see this guy riding on cloudy days and at night…He rides all day long and the batteries stay charged…they are feed a continuous charge thats how he can ride all day…the solar is low light and low angle capable…better get back to your homework…

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  • Devin Mitchell

    Pretty funny stuff. I’m curious if anybody recognizes what kind of bike that is?? Well I do, its a 50cc Scooter that looks like a crotch rocket, they normally say “Replica” on the side in big letters under where the solar panels are located on this one. They rent these like crazy on Panama City Beach, Florida, very annoying since they can’t keep up with traffic lol.

  • Devin Mitchell

    Pretty funny stuff. I’m curious if anybody recognizes what kind of bike that is?? Well I do, its a 50cc Scooter that looks like a crotch rocket, they normally say “Replica” on the side in big letters under where the solar panels are located on this one. They rent these like crazy on Panama City Beach, Florida, very annoying since they can’t keep up with traffic lol.

  • http://www.customfightersmagazine.com Chris

    That is really cool, I’d love to see more people trying stuff like this. With enough people tossing ideas in, I’m sure eventually some working models could come out.

  • http://www.customfightersmagazine.com Chris

    That is really cool, I’d love to see more people trying stuff like this. With enough people tossing ideas in, I’m sure eventually some working models could come out.

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