A Minnesota Man Invented a Motorcycle That Runs on Beer


<p>Jose Gulias Trigas / Getty Images</p>

Jose Gulias Trigas / Getty Images

Simply calling Ky Michaelson an innovator is an insulting kind of understatement, like referring to the Pacific Ocean as an oversized paddling pool. In the past half-century, the Minnesota man has invented — and then improved upon — countless machines, filed patents on top of patents, and has set over 70 state, national, and international speed records with his jet-powered innovations. He set a Guinness record with a rocket-powered snowmobile, devised a hot-dog cooker called "Ky's Little Cremator," and made a high-speed margarita-maker by putting a weed-eater motor in a blender.

His latest creation might be among his most impressive, which is really saying something. According to KMSP, Michaelson has designed and constructed what he believes is the world's first beer-powered motorcycle, powered by a 14-gallon keg instead of a gas engine.

<p>Jose Gulias Trigas / Getty Images</p>

Jose Gulias Trigas / Getty Images

"We're right in the early stages, but we got it," he told the outlet. "We got it built, and I think it looks pretty cool." As Michaelson and his son, Buddy, demonstrated on a YouTube video last summer, the beer is poured into the keg-turned-fuel tank, where it's heated to a temperature over 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The resulting steam generates enough thrust to propel the motorcycle forward. (Before you ask what kind of brews they used, in the YouTube demo, they opted for Eugene, Oregon-made Ninkasi Beer.)

Buddy told KMSP that any kind of beverage could power the motorcycle, but they decided to start by giving beer a go. "It could be Red Bull. It could be Caribou Coffee. It could be anything," the younger Michaelson said. "But beer, why not?"

Related:A Switch to Cans Creates Chaos at the Beer Mile World Classic

Interestingly, Ky Michaelson doesn't drink alcohol, so he couldn't "think of anything better" than using a bottle of suds to power his one-of-a-kind bike. Plus, "The price of gas is getting up there," he added.

The father-and-son duo hasn't taken the bike out for a full-on test drive yet, but Michaelson anticipates giving it at least one run-out on a local drag strip before putting it on display with some of his other inventions in his in-house museum. Though, he has entered the beer-cycle in a couple of Minnesota car shows — and he went home from those events with first-place ribbons.

"One thing about this motorcycle is definitely different, and I like to be really creative," he said. "Do things that other people have never done in the past." 

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