A few days ago, we had written about the LPG kit for two-wheelers. On Wednesday, I made a visit to Chitradurga, a town 200 KM from Bangalore, to check out this innovative idea of Mr Veerabadraiah and understand more about it.
It was not difficult to find his garage as Chitradurga is quite a small city and many people in the town gave me instructions on how to reach him.
Once I reached the garage of Mr Veeabadraiah, I saw the LPG Hero Honda Bike parked in front of his garage, but without fitment of LPG kit! I wonder why he was not using it daily!
After the friendly cup of coffee, we started discussing about the innovation. Mr Veerabadraiah told about his works. To put it in his words, “I started working on this venture about 8 to 10 years back. The urge to find something new, motivated me to do the experiments on my Hero Honda. I worked on whether LPG can be fitted to two wheelers also. Hence I started working on the same and conducted experiments with LPG cylinders fitment to two-wheelers. I did a lot of hard work in designing the jet nozzle that could be fitted for the LPG such as, preparing mould, getting relevant components, designing of the 1 KG cylinder which can be placed conveniently and more.”
To get the system working, Mr Veerabadraiah assembled the LPG cylinder to a stand, which had been welded to the grill placed in front side of the bike. The LPG converter was fixed to the rear seat hand grip, and the inlet pipe connected to inlet of the carburetor, and finally a vacuum pipe to the inlet manifold.
Though several people have already put LPG to their two wheelers, Mr Veerabadraiah has gone further and redesigned the carburetor and registered a patent regarding the same.
It is interesting to know that the methods he has used are very systematic and involve a lot of theoretical and practical application of auto technology
Mr Veerabadraiah was so kind to let me take a test ride of the bike. I switched on the cylinder and started the bike. Though it took a while for starting, there was not much difficulty in starting the bike.
Later on we test rode the bike for about 5 KMs during which I found hardly any difference in the performance and handling with that of a petrol bike. Meanwhile, he also told me that the bike can give mileage of up to 135 KM per kg of LPG. In case LPG gets over, we can switch over to petrol.
Since LPG costs Rs 35 per KG, the KM cost of this bike is 25 paise per KM. Assuming a mileage of 60 KMPL and petrol cost of rs 50, the equivalent cost for petrol is Rs 1.20. This means that the LPG running cost of this bike is a whopping 80% cheaper than with petrol!
Mr Veerabadraiah estimates the cost of the system at Rs 5,000. This means that after about 5250 KMs, you will earn back the cost of the system.
After returning, the savvy engineer told me that he is already getting many offers from two-wheeler manufacturers and entrepreneurs. He will consider any offers which could bring money to him and fame to Chitradurga.
At present, he has tried to get RTO registration for the conversion to LPG. But, the government has not yet authorized usage of LPG for two wheelers.
On first view, the system does look somewhat vulnerable, which is why maybe the RTO has been reluctant about it. But Mr Veerabadraiah advised me that the system is totally safe.
This was a very important visit. LPG on two-wheelers will be a great development for the world. As the two-wheeler runs quite smoothly in LPG, and in fact as good as petrol, this seems like a very good invention. Except the starting problems, this is technology is perfectly usable.
Obviously, it is a very appreciable thing that a person with no technical qualification in auto technology has worked hard with limited resources with a view of inventing something. We must commend such entrepreneurs who truly drive the country.
With the correct sponsors, hopefully he can take his designs further in putting to two wheelers so that it becomes commercially available to us!
What do you think of LPG in two-wheelers? Do share your thoughts. If you have any questions, please let us know, as Shiva will be happy to help you!