Dean's mean green electric machine

IT has the ability to reach speeds of 102mph, race around a 38 mile mountainous course and is powered by batteries which can be charged from a standard household socket.

IT has the ability to reach speeds of 102mph, race around a 38 mile mountainous course and is powered by batteries which can be charged from a standard household socket.

It's a new, green motorbike. Designed by six final-year engineering students at Kingston University, including a student who first got the taste for his subject at school near Ipswich, the bike is set to make history by competing in the world's first zero-emissions Grand Prix this summer.

The Kingston team will join 24 eco-bikes from America, India, Italy, Germany and Austria on the start line at the 2009 Isle of Man TTXGP.

Dean Goldsmith, 27, from Shotley, said: “The design has gone through many different stages. We've refined it at each step along the way to try to make it lighter and faster and the majority of the materials we have used have been recycled.

“It might look similar to a normal motorbike but it has no internal combustion engine, no exhaust system and no fuel tank.

“The overall CO2 usage, including the CO2 generated to charge the batteries, will be around 50 per cent less than a petrol or diesel-power bike.

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“People need to realise that this technology is the future. By entering green races and building green designs we are hoping policy-makers will see the potential for this technology and start investing in it.”

Dean first became interested in engineering while a pupil at Holbrook High School.

Work on the bike began last October, under the guidance of course director for motorsport and motorcycle engineering Paul Brandon.

Mr Brandon said. “There are too many sceptics when it comes to electric vehicles but we all need to reduce our CO2 output and this initiative is taking a huge leap in that direction. The ideas we and others put to the test on the racing circuit are the ones most likely to become commonplace on the road.”

The bike is run from a custom-built, 72-volt battery and the team estimates it will reach speeds of 102 at the fastest downhill section of the 38 mile course.

Students studying on the motorcycle engineering design course have worked on the project since October last year and it will form part of their final assessment.