- A genius invention or a waste of good beer? You decide.
Alcohol and motor vehicles don’t mix. If you have a drink, you don’t hit the road — no matter how many wheels your ride has.
But what if it was your ride guzzling the booze instead?
Ethanol fuel is a thing and 98% of gas sold in America contains ethanol, so we suppose all our cars technically run on alcohol. But a Minnesota man has now taken the idea of a booze-powered vehicle to a new level.
Ky Michaelson — an inventor and ex-Hollywood stuntman — has built a motorcycle that’s powered by beer. As far as Michaelson is aware, this is a world first for such a bike.
The cruiser (or should we say boozer) is no slouch in the performance department. According to its inventor, the machine can theoretically reach a top speed of 150 miles per hour.
“One thing about this motorcycle is definitely different, and I like to be really creative. Do things that other people have never done in the past,” Michaelson told Fox9.
Well, he’s definitely created something truly unique.
So, how does this beer bike work? Well, just looking at it, it’s clear it doesn’t have a regular gas engine.
Where the motor should be, the bike instead boasts what looks like a big beer keg.
The container can hold a whopping 14 gallons of beer. Inside it, the fuel tank has a heating unit that can reach up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
As the bike heats up the beer, it turns into superheated steam. As the steam escapes through the motorcycle’s exhaust nozzles, it creates enough power to propel the bike forward.
Essentially, it’s a steam-powered rocket engine. It just moves a much cooler vehicle than an old-timey locomotive — although we suppose your mileage may vary on that.
Since the bike is steam-powered, you don’t actually have to use beer in it. As Michaelson’s son Buddy pointed out, you could use any liquid to fuel the motorcycle.
Red Bull, coffee, even regular water — it’s all good.
So why beer? Is it because Michaelson is such a huge fan of a good brew that he wants to fuel his ride with it as well?
No, it’s actually the exact opposite.
“I don’t drink. I’m not a drinker, so I can’t think of anything better than to use it for fuel,” said Michaelson.
Well, we guess that’s as good a reason as any.
It Belongs in a Museum
Michaelson hasn’t taken his booze cruiser out on the road yet. That might be smart, as we sort of doubt this thing would be street legal.
Nonetheless, Michaelson has calculated the theoretical top speed for his creation. According to his estimates, the bike can go up to 150 miles per hour.
He’s planning to eventually test the motorcycle’s metal in practice. Although he hasn’t gotten around to it yet, he intends to take it to a drag strip to see just how fast it will go.
Even in its current non-moving state, the motorcycle is already gaining attention. Michaelson has entered it into multiple local car shows and it won a first price for something in one.
However, the bike will probably never be used for actual real-world transportation. It does leave an impenetrable cloud of steam in its wake, so it’d probably be a pretty huge road hazard.
Additionally, the machine is stupidly loud — even compared to a regular motorcycle.
After verifying its performance, Michaelson intends to store the beer-cycle in his home museum.
“We’re right in the early stages, but we got it. We got it built, and I think it looks pretty cool,” said Michaelson.
The Man Likes Rockets
Michaelson is definitely no stranger to rockets and all things that go fast. He loves to tinker with jet engines, which has earned him the nickname Rocketman.
Among Michaelson’s creations is the first amateur rocket launched into space. In 2004, the 21-foot-long GoFast Rocket built by Michaelson and his team rose to a height of 70 miles above a Nevada desert.
In 1976, Michaelson worked with stunt woman Kitty O’Neil, who set a since-broken land speed record for the fastest woman. O’Neil’s three-wheeled rocket car reached a top speed of 621 miles per hour.
He doesn’t just help others reach high velocity. Over his life, Michaelson has held 72 state, national, and international speed records.
Michaelson also had his own stint as a Hollywood stuntman. He performed stunts alongside legendary stunt performer Dar Robinson in movies such as Stick, Hooper, and Smokey and the Bandit.
After Robinson’s death in 1986, Michaelson returned to tinkering in his garage. He has created such more or less harebrained inventions as a rocket-propelled toilet and a jet-powered coffee maker.
Wonder what he’ll come up with next?