Brisbane, Australia-based Salt Motorcycles currently offers just one model. The made-to-order Salt Twostroke strips down a stock KTM 300 EXC TPI and dresses it up in café racer clothing. Customers may have to shell out $39,990 AUD ($27,600 USD) for the lightweight roadster, but there’s certainly nothing else on the road quite like it.
Apparently, Salt Motorcycles embraces that level of notoriety, as the firm continues to develop its 1,200cc V8 engine. The brand originally revealed its V8 powerplant in October, 2021. At that point, the engineers were testing bore and stroke sizes to optimize performance while also maintaining the mill’s 350-millimeter (13.8-inch) width and a 48-kg (105.8-pound) fighting weight.
Initially, Salt Motorcycles Owner Brenden James planned to power the 1,200cc V8 with conventional gasoline. As emissions restrictions tighten over the coming years, Salt would transition the mighty mill to biofuel before ultimately converting it to a hydrogen-powered unit. Instead of following that gradual switch to cleaner energy sources, Salt will develop the V8 to exclusively run on hydrogen moving forward.
Hydrogen produces about half the power of gas and diesel (when comparing equal volumes), but Salt engineers can modify the brand's current internal combustion V8 to accommodate the alternative fuel. James’ business connections also inform that move. As the founder and chairman of Line Hydrogen, James currently oversees Line’s first solar and hydrogen production plant in Tasmania.
Line claims that the $100M AUD ($69M USD) project will generate 1,500 kg of green hydrogen on a daily basis. The company hopes to start production by January 31, 2023. With such a large-scale operation, it’s no wonder James has more confidence in a hydrogen-powered motorcycle.
However, production isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. Riders will need to fill up at some point in the journey, so establishing a hydrogen fuel infrastructure also impacts the V8’s viability. Salt Motorcycle’s may have accelerated its eight-cylinder engine’s transition to hydrogen fuel, but without a proper support system, it’ll be a while before we see the V8 out on the road with the Salt Twostroke.