This DIY Motorcycle Runs on Swamp Gas

We talked to the guy who spends eight hours harvesting methane to power a specially converted motorcycle.

Jan 12 2022, 2:00pm
State of Repair is Motherboard's exploration of DIY culture, device repair, ownership, and the forces fighting to lock down access to the things you own.

Gijs Schalkx is an artist and engineer living in the Netherlands who invented a bike that runs on methane harvested from bogs. Schalkx’s bike is a strange sight as it drives through the Dutch streets, bright blue with a huge tank on the back protecting a balloon filled with methane. Motherboard recently caught up with Schalkx and talked to him about his motivations for crafting his unique ride.
Schalkx harvests the methane for his bike from bogs around the Netherlands. It takes him eight hours to fill up the balloon and the fuel only lasts about 20 kilometers, about 12 miles. The labor is intense. “It is a bit dirty and it’s also always the question, ‘What am I gonna poke in the bottom?’ Is there like a dead rat coming up or whatever? You never know,” Schalkx said as he churned the bottom of a swamp to harvest his methane.


But Schalkx said it’s all worth it. “I invented the most green vehicle in the world,” he said. “I think the biggest motivation was this idea that every time I put gas in the tank of my motorcycle I am sponsoring…big corporation, their greenwashing campaign and I really wanted to become independent. And also trying to celebrate the power  you have.”


green energy, State of Repair

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