This Hydrogen Goop Could One Day Power Scooters and Motorcycles

Illustration for article titled This Goopy Paste Could One Day Power Scooters and Motorcycles

Image: Fraunhofer IFAM

Instead of gasoline and diesel, it might one day be possible to just unload a cartridge of gray, goopy paste into the fuel tank of your e-scooter, motorcycle, or even potentially your car. At least, that’s what researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM) are hoping.

The goop is called POWERPASTE and is envisioned as a safer, more practical way to use hydrogen as a potential fuel source for green vehicles. The problem is that hydrogen, particularly in a gaseous form, can be volatile, and while hydrogen fuel cells have been tested in cars, the pressure involved in refueling makes it impractical for smaller forms of transportation. Plus, you know, having to build out yet another alternative fueling station network for battery-powered electric vehicles is hard enough.

The paste itself is a mixture of magnesium powder and hydrogen, which then

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Indian Motorcycles Is Developing Lean-Sensitive Adaptive Radar Headlights To Make Night Riding Safer

Indian Motorcycles filed an extremely detailed patent application for an adaptive headlamp design way back in May of last year, and it was officially published in October. Our friends over at RideApart recently dug it up, and it’s absolutely fascinating. The system uses sensors from all over your motorcycle to provide a speed and lean-angle sensitive pattern of light emission. Having ridden several thousand miles myself in the pitch black of night, I am definitely behind and in support of anything that makes night visibility better.

The patent filing depicts the system functioning on an Indian Roadmaster, but mentions that the technology could be adapted for any other kind of two-wheeled machine, or even jet skis, potentially opening up the tech to other products in the Polaris lineup. It makes sense to start with a Roadmaster, however, as it’s a big bike, and you wouldn’t notice an extra 5 kg

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Sourdough Starter? Learning to Knit? My COVID Hobby Is Riding Motorcycles

I mean, don’t get me wrong: I tried the other stuff. I read more fiction—hell, I read more poetry, lots more; I lost 30 pounds; I convinced myself, for perhaps the 11th time, that I would take up drawing again; I took apart one of my guitars, redesigned it a bit, and put it back together again. (All of which got me through, what—May?) But when all those moments passed, I was left staring in the face of one of the biggest dreams I’ve always deferred: I wanted to buy a motorcycle and ride it fast, and often.

It started off this time, oddly enough, as a safety consideration. When we all thought we’d still be going back to work in our offices, oh, soonish, it seemed wise to make a plan to do so without relying on the subway. The fact that I can (and often did)

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Can collision-aversion make motorcycles safer?


My motorcycle accident was a classic, the scenario you hear about in rider safety programs and read about on forums. I was cruising down a four-lane city street with no traffic in my direction but bumper-to-bumper gridlock in the oncoming lanes. At a dogleg in the road I rounded a corner to find a car from one of those oncoming lanes turning left over the double yellow into a gas station parking lot. 

It was textbook, something I realized even as it was happening. My motorcycle slammed into the front fender of the turning car and I came off the bike, landing on the sidewalk 15 feet away. If not for an airbag vest I wore religiously–an inflatable powered by a CO2 cartridge and clipped to the bike’s frame via a tether, which acts like a rip cord when rider and machine are parted–I’m convinced I might not be writing

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