After Hydrogen Bikes, CNG Motorcycles Are Now Becoming A Reality - SUV VEHICLE

After Hydrogen Bikes, CNG Motorcycles Are Now Becoming A Reality


Summary

  • Industry giants are exploring bio-fuels over EVs due to challenges in electric powertrains.
  • Bajaj Auto is developing a unique CNG-powered motorcycle set to debut in June 2024.
  • The innovative design includes horizontal CNG storage cylinder, bespoke trellis chassis, and an auxiliary petrol tank for emergencies.



Let’s face it, electric powertrains are not replacements for IC engines. They may seem like it at this point, but there are massive challenges that bikemakers are struggling with. This is why industry giants like BMW and Harley-Davidson have subtly pointed toward working on bio-fuels rather than going all in on EVs. Whereas, Kawasaki has already whipped up hydrogen-powered prototypes for real-world testing.

The newest name to wave the bio-fuel flag is Indian giant Bajaj Auto. Yes, the same company that builds the Speed 400 for Triumph and the 390 lineup for KTM. It is readying a one-of-a-kind CNG-powered motorcycle to tackle sustainability. Here’s what you need to know.

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Bajaj’s CNG-Powered Motorcycle Incorporate Cylinders To Store The Gas


CNG stands for Compressed Natural Gas. It’s something that’s wildly popular in India as a cheaper, less polluting substitute to gasoline, courtesy of its low carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate residue post-combustion. In fact, Bajaj is one of the only Indian two-wheeler brands with experience in the CNG vehicle biz, as it sells several mini trucks compliant with this fuel. So it’s only fair the first CNG motorcycle comes from the giant.

However, being a gas, CNG needs large cylinders for storage. Usually, these are plonked in the boot of a car, or on the underside of a small four-wheeler with limited boot space. Since neither is possible on motorcycles, Bajaj has something different in mind.


Its plan is to house a CNG cylinder horizontally along the length of the bike, extending from the headstock to the rider’s saddle. Easier said than done, considering this is where most of the important engine parts (cylinder head, airbox, ECU) are present. So all these will have to be relocated. Anyway, the cylinder is housed inside a bespoke trellis-type chassis. A closer look also reveals an auxiliary petrol tank for emergencies when you run out of CNG. The filler cap for both tanks seems to be in the conventional place (between the seat and the handlebar).

The Bajaj CNG Motorcycle Will Have A Single-Cylinder Engine

Honda Grom Engine
Honda

Coming to the powerhouse, both the spy shots and patent filings reveal a single-cylinder engine on the CNG-powered bike. It will be derived from Bajaj’s existing, popular commuter bikes, most of which employ a 110cc single with ~9 horsepower. Using a small engine also makes life a lot easier for the company. That’s because this engine can be mounted horizontally (like we see on the Honda Grom) to be parallel with the CNG tank, ensuring there’s no space issue.


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All in all, this seems like a well-thought-out and viable step in the sustainability of two-wheelers. Yes, we know there are still many question marks, but you’d be happy to know all of them will be answered in June 2024. That’s when Bajaj’s top man–Rajiv Bajaj–plans to unveil the CNG motorcycle.

Key Highlights Of Bajaj CNG Motorcycle

  • Horizontal cylindrical tank for CNG storage
  • Horizontal engine layout
  • Trellis chassis
  • Auxiliary fuel tank for petrol
  • 100-125cc engine size
  • June 2024 debut (tentatively)

Source: CycleWorld, BikeDekho



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