The Philippines is not a country that many people associate with automobiles. In fact, if you’re riding or driving down a street in India, the billion plus people travelling in the other direction would even struggle to locate the south-east asian nation made up of over 7,000 islands. However, the latest motorcycle to emerge from the Philippines is leaving the world green with envy.
The reason for the jealousy is called the brainchild of Christopher Paris Lacson, the CEO and design director at Meep Inc (Modular Energy Efficient Portage) and his company's sub brand Banatti's new electric bike. Called the Banatti Green Falcon, this electric bike's claim to fame is the material used to construct its body - Bamboo.
Yes, the Banatti Green Falcon's rather aerodynamic looking bamboo body shell including the fairing, and the top section of the bike including the housing for the speedometer are made using the world's tallest grass. The body shell is actually made from two layers of bamboo laminated with marine epoxy.
Lacson, who designed the bamboo bike claims his Green Falcon which uses bamboo and marine epoxy weighs a lot less than a similar fibreglass components at just 6.5 kilos. With the Philippines planting 10 million hectares of Bamboo which will be ready to harvest by 2020, Lacson should have a whole lot of material to build his bike in the future.
Lacson has not revealed the exact powertrain of his electric bike, but from what has been said, the Banatti Green Falcon's battery pack is good for up to 50 kilometres on a single charge of its battery pack. The same battery pack powers the motor driving the rear wheel through a chain drive and propels the bamboo-bodied Green Falcon to a top-speed of 75kph. However, Banatti will keep the top speed pegged back to 60kph to help the electric motorcycle achieve its range of 50 kilometres per charge. Also, the speed limit in Filipino cities is 60kph.
The Banatti Green Falcon does provide its riders some creature comforts. The seat while made from bamboo is upholstered in leather (less chance of painful splinters - ouch). Also present is a music system, which should keep riders entertained and spare from the boredom of the near silence that envelops the electric Green Falcon from Banatti when it runs on the streets.
DriveSpark's Thoughts On The Bamboo-Bodied Banatti Green Falcon
The Banatti Green Falcon shows of the ingenuity of the human mind in using nature's bounty. While we're still unsure if the Banatti Green Falcon will enter production, it proves to the world the versatility of Bamboo, which in composite form is extremely strong. With nearly 14 million hectares of the tall grass already planted in India, Bamboo could prove to be a quite versatile, strong and green building material for automakers in India. If only, someone could come with an Indian version of the Falcon. Jugaad anyone?