Efficiency enthusiast Allert Jacobs converted his brand new Honda motorbike into a streamliner capable of reaching 214 mpg.
Jacobs was already getting 114 mpg with his Honda Innova, but knew some aerodynamic mods could get him so much more. Aerodynamics hugely impact fuel consumption. In fact, a typical car burns 50-percent of its fuel just overcoming the air resistance of going 40 mph! For a typical motorbike, this is just 20 mph.
The Innova weighs 231 lbs and has a fuel injected, four stroke 125cc single that produces 9 hp. But Jacobs lowered the riding position to reduce exposure to oncoming air. His commercially produced Quest velomobile (a pedal powered trike) prepared him for this task.
Reducing the frontal area showed immediate results. In fact, the bike’s top speed increased from 56 mph to 69 mph. And the bike was using less energy than the stock version did.
He then optimized the gear ratio, the new sprockets pushed the fuel economy up to 152 mpg! But side winds were greatly affecting stability.
“It turned out to be very scary to ride even with as little as 3 Beaufort (about 10mph) side wind. I did not dare to go over 35mph,” said Jacobs.
So along came a full body shell. The front half slides forward allowing the rider to easily get in and out of the bike. He admits that he didn’t use the lightest materials when constructing the shell. The mods weigh in at 88 lbs which increased the overall weight by 43-percent.