I would like to begin with a disclaimer: I don’t know technical stuff about motorbikes.
However, I did grow up riding on the back of my dad’s bike, clinging on for dear life, and hanging out in his shed as he tinkered about. So, while my technical knowledge may be minimal, I know enough to know that Banatti’s Green Falcon electric motorcycle is a very good-looking piece of work.
Even more exciting than its beautiful aesthetic is the news that this bamboo motorcycle is also highly sustainable.
The vehicle was designed and built by a team of Filipino motoring enthusiasts looking to bring sustainability to bikes. Designer and Meep Inc. CEO, Christopher Lacson, headed a small team under sub-brand Banatti for the project. He began by researching how bamboo can be used to transform the way we get around.
Now — deep breath — it’s time for the technical stuff. The bike fits a 3.3kW electric motor and a small 48-volt lithium battery. Sadly for the speed demons out there, although the motor is capable of reaching 110km/h, Lacson’s safety conscious team has forced it to match the Manila speed limit of 60km/h.
I can hear my father’s cry of dismay from halfway across the world.
To make up for its lack of speed, the bike can do a wheelie from a standstill thanks to its 150 Nm peak torque. So basically, you’ll be able to impress the hell out of your friends!
A one-piece woven bamboo body gives the Green Falcon its signature look. It’s bent and moulded on a wooden frame, then coated with waterproof epoxy to harden it up. Lacson told New Atlas that it’s light and strong and feels like you’re hugging it.
Once it has the seal of approval for public use, Lacson intends to hand-build 111 of the bamboo beauties. They will sell for a cool $AUD 29,544 each.
His plans coincide with the Filipino Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The government department are planting a large amount of bamboo between now and 2020 (estimated at 15,000 hectares) to control C02 and help prevent soil erosion.
“That and other programs”, says Lacson, “will bring new bamboo plantations up around the million hectare mark nationally.”
From here, Lacson hopes to go on and build bamboo versions of the Jeepney below. It’s an improvement on the minibus-style of transport used throughout the Phillipines.
The technology that Lacson’s team is developing could well be used to improve conditions for many Filipinos, and of course, the environment.
Photo credit (lead and body images): Banatti