A motorcycle magazine editor and a group of students in the United Kingdom have managed to build a Triumph Daytona 675 powered by bio-ethanol fuel sourced from fermented apples, and Triumph Motorcycles says it's investigating the possibilities.
The students, from the Prince William School in Oundle, Northamptonshire, joined Rupert Paul, a contributing editor of Bike magazine, in the effort dubbed "Project Fast Fruit." The Daytona this week reached a speed of 158.7 mph at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground.
The school spent the past four months fermenting and distilling around 6,000 crushed apples while Bike magazine modified the donated Daytona's engine to run on bio-ethanol. Surprisingly little modification was required — just a remap of the fuel injection system. Monday's high-speed run was completed using commercially available E85 (85% ethanol).
"Although they are still questionable from an environmental point of view, biofuels are here to stay, and this experiment was all about exploring how much power we could extract from them — as well as having some fun," says Paul.
The United Kingdom is setting a target for all petrol and diesel to contain a minimum 5% bio-fuel by 2010.
"At the moment all Triumph motorcycles are designed for optimum performance with non-ethanol fuel but are compatible with E10 (10% ethanol)," says Andrea Friggi, PR & Communications Manager at Triumph Motorcycles. "We're currently investigating making all models compatible with E25 fuel; so while this is a fun experiment, it does have a serious side and we're looking forward to reviewing the results."