Air-powered dirt bikes close to reality?

What if the very air we breathe could power dirt bikes? Could air possibly dethrone gasoline as our primary energy source for motor-powered machinery? It’s not likely as energy density, efficiency, storage safety, and refueling would be major obstacles on the path to sustainability.

But one brave design student from Australia, Dean Benstead, thought it was worth a try. Given a blank canvas from Yamaha Australia, in the form of a Yamaha WR250R dirt bike, and a DiPietro air engine from Engineair, the student developed his concept using a scuba tank as an energy storage unit. Hence, he came up with the 02 Pursuit concept dirt bike.

I’m sure you’re probably wondering how fast could an air-powered bike possibly be? How does a top speed of 140km/h sound? Sadly, this technology is nowhere near production as within the realm of sustainable motoring, it’s all about efficiency. Electric motors are almost 90% more efficient at this point, as well as the fact that they can cover a lot more distance before requiring a refill.

Maybe one day?

[Source: Asphalt & Rubber]

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13 Comments on “Air-powered dirt bikes close to reality?”


  1. In many ways the world is changing for the better and then you turn on the news and find out that in just as many ways its turning for the worst. Brave new designs like this could really change the world.

    • el wehbi Says:

      I think you said it best when you described this project as “brave”. The motoring industry needs more forward thinkers, even if their ideas are nowhere near production. Outside-of-the-box concepts can influence other designers, inspiring them to try new things as well.

  2. Mathai Says:

    This is a good concept but it will take a long time for it be a regular sight on the roads. When I was in school I remember an article in which Max Biaggi test rode an electric superbike and they said it would be common in the next few years. Now its been more than a decade and we still don’t see them. I say lets wait and be patient 🙂

  3. Erik Saglind Says:

    motocross is the sound of the engine and that is gasoline engines not a electric or air powered engine.

  4. mx rider Says:

    peace of crap

    • David Says:

      Maybe learn how to spell before you begin to criticize someone max rider. I’d be hard pressed to see someone of your mental capacity come up with a genious PIECE of engineering like this. Who cares if its not practical, that’s why it’s in a design stage. Who cares if it doesn’t have the same sound or smell at the track as a gas engine, that’s why it’s an alternative not necessarily a replacement. Look, I like a gas engine as much as anyone else. The smell, the feel, all of it. But at 4 bucks a gallon and prices climbing only higher, I’d say revolutionary designs like this might save our selfish nature, or atleast prolong the inevitable.

      • el wehbi Says:

        @David: You made some fundamental points… revolutionary designs are important to the future of any type of vehicle, motorbike, car, trains, etc. We need more innovative ideas in order to make what we currently have that much better and overall more efficient.

      • David Says:

        El wehbi:
        Absolutely! Innovation is key. It’s seen even throughout historical text how being revolutionary in design and constantly striving for a higher more efficient use of any tool, fuel, etc. has been beneficial to a country as well as our race. The only problem I seem to find is people’s willingness on acceptance of any radical idea, considering everything different as only just brash or abrasive. Take Nikolai Tesla for example. Though I’m only vaguely familiar with his ideas and designs as a whole, I know he was the first to introduce alternating current into electric production. Vastly more efficient than Edison’s direct current, yet due to his idiosyncratic nature and no less than obsessive tendencies on the subject, it wasn’t applied to actual production until much later.
        I’ve noticed this a lot through innovative technologies. It is not the inventors capacity for imagination that exceeds us towards a greater future, but our own capacity for the willingness/acceptance of change. IMO that is..

  5. el wehbi Says:

    @David: You’re spot on! At the end of the day, people need to open their minds a bit as innovations as such are what provide sustainable ideas to better the things we love most; like internal combustion.

    • David Says:

      Now, like the individual who has coined this idea itself, we just need to find a cost efficient fuel source that trumps our current crude oil consumption. I myself am all for internal combustion, however, I’m not fond of paying nearly $4 a gallon. My pocket book firmly says neh to that ha.


  6. This propulsion could make Motocross into something its never been……popular for the masses…..or at least less objectionable.

    We loved driving the two strokes because they were lighter, easier to work on, and developed more horse power per c.c..But the smoke, smell and noise of unbaffled internal combustion dirt bikes are objectionable to the surrounding inhabitants.

    Imagine if we could bring the tree huggers in on air powered bikes……how much easier it would be to argue for more lands to legally ride on.

    • el wehbi Says:

      I guess that’s the basis of this whole discussion. It’s the fact that innovations as such can help guide the motorcycle and automotive industry into a sustainable future. Not that the technology is ready or even near it; however, it’s ideas like these that help make the future brighter for the things which we dearly enjoy.

  7. Gemma Says:

    I doubt highly it would go far on a scuba tank of air and if you crashed it with a near full tank scuba tanks go off like 20 kg of TNT and will level a building check it out if you don’t believe me .


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