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Motorcycle Takes A Solar Ride

Solar Powered Motorcycle (John Terhune/Journal & Courier/AP Photo)

Solar Powered Motorcycle (John Terhune/Journal & Courier/AP Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – A Purdue University student has transformed an old Suzuki motorcycle into a solar-powered bike with a top speed of about 45 miles per hour.

Physics major Tony Coiro bought a 1978 Suzuki for $50 and then spent $2,500 retrofitting it into a street-legal bike. Two solar panels mounted on either side of the bike charge its lead acid batteries, but they’re also chargeable with a plug-in AC current.

Coiro’s solar bike has a range of about 24 miles per each charge and a top speed of 45 mph.

The South Bend junior has received a provisional patent for his invention, but he’s not stopping there. He hopes to improve his design to create a 100 mph, sun-driven racing machine.