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I watch Honda's cuddly car commercials on TV through gritted teeth. Why is it that the world's number one bike producer puts its creative energy into making `Mummy vans' that do 60mpg, whilst it shamefully ignores its two-wheeled heritage of innovation, and true engineering genius?

Where are the lightweight, 250-400cc petrol/electric Honda hybrid commuter bikes or scooters that can return 100-120mpg at 75mph? How is it that little Aprilia can make a hydrogen fuel cell scooter prototype, but not one of the major Japanese companies can do it?

Great motorcycle engineers like Soichiro Honda, Edward Turner or Phil Vincent must be spinning in their graves at the sheer penny-pinching paucity of imagination and lack of creative thinking that grips the dying bike industry.

In the face of increasing political attack, motorcycling must justify its place in modern industrial societies. We can't all keep on riding 30mpg gas-guzzling toys without attracting serious political opposition, to our very existence, in the near future. There have to be modern, alternative bikes to offer the `green ' politicians and lobbyists some food for thought - some reasons to leave us alone.

By that, I don't mean 30mph, 120mpg, 50cc four stroke scooters, which are made from recycled baked bean cans. Honda invented a 120mpg commuter some 50 odd years ago, the Cub, and it's still going strong.

What's needed are 21st century variations on that people-friendly format - an electric scooter which run for 100 miles at 50mph, on one, under two hour mains charge. Plus it charges your ipod, phone or laptop, whilst on the move. Bikes with solar powered instrument panels and clocks. Truly aerodynamic, radical chassis motorcycles, which plce the rider feet forwards, in a protective crash-cell.

I am talking about lateral thinking, something the motorcycle industry seems to have forgotten in its rush to sell the cheapest made goods they can source from Far Eastern parts suppliers.

Consider this; In the 32 years I have ridden bikes there have two major technical advances; fuel injection and the twin beam alloy frame - everything else remains essentially 1930s motorised bicycle engineering and hopelessly static in its basic design.

I want a commuter/adventure touring bike for 2010 which has a 500cc-ish motor, shaft-drive, running a biofuel/electric hybrid engine returning 100mpg at a steady 75mph. It should have QD luggage which doubles as a secure, and padded, laptop/helmet holder. It should also look and feel like something from the future, not the biking past, where all that mattered was bhp and fuel-guzzling, high rpm power delivery.

Do any bike designers ride on modern US/UK/EU traffic-choked roads? The day of the big sportbike is dead - you can't open the throttle without encountering another queue of crawling traffic. We need some versatile, imaginative motorcycles and scooters, to stop the EU, from pricing us off the road completely - how can we defend a typical 25-30mpg sportbike fuel consumption, or a touring bike sucking juice at 40mpg?

It is lamentable that most 750-1000cc sportbikes now cannot return, or better, the average mpg of an old Honda CB750 from 1975 - modern motorbikes are now 80lbs lighter, fully-faired and run digital fuel injection, so what the hell is going on?

To be blunt, it's time motorbike manufacturers woke up to a grim reality; those who make innovative, two-wheeled transport that has 50% less impact upon our fossil fuel reserves, and the manufacturing/distribution `carbon footprint' will survive. Those who don't bother, will go to the wall because when the politicians have finished hammering 4X4s, Porsche 911s and supermarket carrier bags, they will inevitably start on bikes.

The greenest bike on sale in the UK today is the Royal Enfield Bullet 500. It uses ancient 50s technology, but returns 85mpg and with basic maintenance could last the owner 30 years before being scrapped. I can't believe that the combined engineering expertise of America, Japan or Europe can't be bothered to beat that simple effective, personal transport formula - and then shout that message from the media rooftops.

But the clock is ticking, so someone had better come up with something lean and green pretty soon. Or biking is finished.

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