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From the kitchen to the highways: Say hello to Hormel's bacon-powered motorcycle!

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Thursday, August 14, 2014, 4:46 PM - Are you a fan of putting bacon in everything? How about your gas tank? Well, that's what Hormel Foods is doing these days, with their bacon-powered biodiesel motorcycle.

Refining grease into biodiesel fuel certainly isn't anything new. Other companies have been doing it for years. However, Hormel Food's new Driven by Bacon campaign features a special motorcycle that was built to be powered only by biodiesel produced by refining the company's bacon grease.

At the centre of the campaign is the roughly 1,300 mile journey that this motorcycle and its rider took from Austin, Texas to San Diego, Calif., before the start of Bacon Week (Aug 24-30), and the San Diego Bacon Fest, on August 30, International Bacon Day.

According to Modern Farmer, the bike gets 75 to 100 miles to the gallon of this biodiesel (32 to 43 kilometres/litre), at a cost of $3.25 a gallon. Currently, a gallon of ordinary diesel fuel in Austin, Texas costs about 25 cents more than that, and gives your average vehicle roughly 45 miles per gallon on the highways (currently there aren't many diesel motorcycles in production). By comparison, a gallon of gasoline in the area costs about $3.15, and will give the most fuel efficient motorcycles from around 70 to 85 miles per gallon.

So, the returns aren't astronomically above and beyond what is currently possible for motorcycles or diesel fuel, but there are apparently other benefits to getting your biodiesel from bacon fat.

"If there were a bacon biodiesel tanker spill in the ocean, the fuel would be safe and mouthwatering fish food," Modern Farmer reported, quoting an interview the the project organizers had with the Washington Times. "This bacon biodiesel is nearly carbon-neutral, meaning it contributes almost zero emissions to global warming."

If you needed any more reasons than that, there's one other benefit that could convince you to be 'driven by bacon':

"The exhaust smells like bacon," the developers said. "So when we cruise past you, you'll thank us."

(Teaser image courtesy: Hormel)

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