Japan is a nation known for industrial innovation and bold design leadership, often creating the product first and then developing the market afterwards. Toto — the leading Japanese manufacturer of commodes — recently entered the moto industry with the development and release of a trike powered by biogas, that is collected from the rider via an onboard toilet. Billed as “Toilet Bike Neo,” the machine will soon depart on a month-long tour of Japan, to highlight the green initiatives of the Toto corporation.
The implications for the US moto market are staggering.
For example, competitive long-distance riders (like those who run against the clock and each other in Iron Butt events) would find a certain advantage in never having to stop for fuel, other than grabbing a quick burger and fries at the drive-in windows of popular fast-food restaurants. While details of the machine are sketchy at the moment, it does seem that the rider would have his, or her, ass hanging in the breeze (quite literally) at least once each day.
Then there is the question of “regular” versus “high test.”
Will riders who routinely fill up on Indian cuisine or Mexican food become more prolific sources of combustible gas, or gas of a more explosive nature, converting the simple machinery of this trike into a rocket-powered dyno sled? While biogas motors are not new, the collection and conversion processes of this trike appear to transcend innovative. And if morphed into a typical US conversion, with sound being a critical factor in the machine’s selling point, can we expect to hear, “Loud farts save lives” from the leather and chrome segment?
“Farkle” (expensive motorcycle accessories) is not only a big part of a rider’s self-expression, but represents billions of dollars in annual expenditures in the moto industry, which has stalled in the sales of super-bikes owing to a global economy that has found a toilet of its own. Yet Toto’s machine for the discerningly effluent comes equipped with LEDs that write messages in Japanese, as well as a sound system that plays music. (Toto currently manufactures deluxe commodes that provide stock quotes, tell stories, or otherwise chat with system users, during anal transactions. They are easily converted to transmit campaign debates as well, which some users find inspiring.)
Above) Toto's Neo Bike uses an on-board commode to generate biogas for the engine. Social engineers claim this adds a new dimension to "hanging your ass in the breeze." Photo from internet press release.
Yet the real impact for US motorists concerns other vehicles that might incorporate similar biogas applications. There is talk that municipal buses might have seats replaced by toilets, enabling commuters to save 15 or 20 minutes each day by incorporating a morning ritual into a process that is not only easy on the environment, but which could also lower weekly transportation costs. There might also be a advantage to seeing the asses of hot-looking commuters (both male and female), removing the suspense that can build up over the course of a ride to work. (This, of course, is a double-edged sword as the US populace has a growing reputation for huge, ugly, fat asses too.)
There would be no limit to the size of the machines that could be powered by similar applications. Airliners and cruise ships could become self-propelled. Secretive bathroom rituals would then become a source of social celebration, with many travelers competing in generating both sound effects and volume of content — especially in exchange for lower fares. Established stationary institutions could also become “fueling” stations. The US Capitol Building — the home of Congress — is one of the largest sources of shit in the country. Replacing the desks of Congressmen and Senators with commodes, wired to also recycle speeches and public positions, could provide endless free power for generations of Americans.
So none of us should be too quick to dismiss this trike as a typical Japanese prototype announcement.
Twisted Roads Exclusive:
• Jack Riepe's "Farewell To Pennsylvania Ride" will meet at the Frazer Diner (Westbound US-30, Frazer, Pa, about a quarter mile west of Rt. 4o1 and US-30) at 8am, for breakfast, on Saturday, October 15th, 2011.
• It's kickstands up at 9am, for an exhilerating ride through parts of Pennsylvania settled by Hessian deserters, to an authentic German Oktoberfest celebration at Hermy's BMW and Triumph, in Port Clinton, Pa.
• German Sausages and Bavarian Specialties For All Who Make The Ride!
• Door Prizes
• Ride is open to any Twisted Roads Reader • Any Marque
• While Jack Riepe is relocating, there will be no changes to his blog nor to his hardcopy monthly column.
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