Why is nobody making a good diesel touring bike?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Acampao, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Acampao

    Acampao WInd Jammer

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    Southern Patagonia
    Diesel fuel is so much more easily available in remote places, as it's used to power generators, tractors, trucks, etc. that traveling in remote places would be so much easier. It seems to me that with current diesel engine technology a motorcycle engine should not be any problem to build within acceptable weight/power ranges.
    #1
  2. woodsman149

    woodsman149 not n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    130
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Well there is this one. http://www.dieselmotorfiets.nl/
    Not sure if is any good though and is pretty pricey. Uses the small diesel engine from a Smart car.
    #2
  3. AustinJake

    AustinJake TE450-KLE-FXDWG

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,916
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Looks pretty awesome

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. 4wheeldog

    4wheeldog Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,598
    Location:
    7200' NM
    I am going to say it is because diesel would add significantly to the price of a bike, and would not increase performance, other the mileage/range. Bikes are actually pretty inexpensive, but diesel would add a couple of thousand dollars to the price. I bet that the marketing research just does not support there being a large enough market.
    #4
  5. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,012
  6. g_e_young

    g_e_young Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    871
    Location:
    N Calif, USA
    +1. That fairing looks perfect. Not to big and not too small. And 80MPG on the slab would be very cool. g-
    #6
  7. ghostrider1964

    ghostrider1964 Edumacated Red Neck

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,116
    Location:
    Heart of Texas
    Not as good a performance as I would hope. 50HP and 74 ft lbs of torque. 50 mpg? HELL an old Airhead can do that:huh
    And $20,000 US:eek1
    #7
  8. yxome

    yxome Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, COLORADO, USA
    The big problem is getting an engine certified to sell in the US. Even if an engine is already certified in another vehicle, the US requires recertification. Economics don't justify building and certifying a diesel anything. How many could you sell? If it is less than 100,000 a year the manufacturer will lose money. Honda and Yamaha already have dealer networks in place and still have to sell about 50,000 a year of any particular model to break even. That's why many bikes are sold in Europe and Asia and never make it to the US.

    The only manufacturers that certify Diesel engines for the US for cars are Daimler and VW. Almost everyone makes and sells diesel engines for the rest of the world but not for the US market. Daimler and VW never make up the cost difference with a Diesel. Some folks say eliminating all diesels in the world would eliminate the Global warming and pollution problems.

    Here is some interesting reading about diesel cars: http://www.practicalenvironmentalist.com/automobiles/2012-usa-diesel-cars.htm
    #8
  9. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,660
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH/Stuart FL
    Diesel or not, that bike kind of turns me on!!!
    #9
  10. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,864
    Location:
    San Diego
    BMW makes diesels for the US market too.


    If you import it as a kit, you don't have to certify the engine.


    I want one. Too bad I can't afford one. :cry
    #10
  11. Beemerlover

    Beemerlover Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    334
    Man! Would you look at the angle on that drive shaft housing?! That thing must have WAY tougher u-joints than a beemer. That poundin' diesel hammerin' those u-joints with that much angle on them would be brutal. Maybe they're using some kind of CV joints or something. I also noticed that the motor has a little turbo on it. Pretty cool, actually.

    And where's the tranny? I see what looks like a gigantic clutch housing that hooks to the drive shaft. Is it some kind of continuously-variable unit like a snowmobile? It has a big ass spring on the rear shock too. Looks like it could take on pretty much anything.
    #11
  12. Woland

    Woland Wannabe adventurer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Gothenburg Sweden
    Drunk and/or high folks right?
    #12
  13. Beemerlover

    Beemerlover Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    334
    Total BS.
    #13
  14. TorontoBrit

    TorontoBrit TorontoBrit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    355
    Location:
    Toronto,ON
    #14
  15. SJSharkfan

    SJSharkfan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    757
    Location:
    NorCal
    Are diesels considered "Oil Heads"?:norton
    #15
  16. ViperJustin

    ViperJustin Retired HH60G Gunner

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    Lost Wages, NV
    How much does the big one weigh?
    #16
  17. LeftCoastLefty

    LeftCoastLefty Long Time Lurker

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Little Beirut, Oregon, USA
    Funny you should mention that. I was going to say that diesel engines are relatively heavy because they require a high compression ratio. On the plus side, they are relatively easy to build (excluding emissions equipment), reliable, and diesel holds more energy per gallon than gas. On the down side, they are heavier and underpowered as compared to gas engines.
    #17
  18. viz

    viz I Ride Ms Piggy

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,815
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz
    Nope. Not no more. I have a Mercedes van 2.1 litre twin turbo and a Landcruiser 4.5 petrol. Same basic empty weight - Merc will eat the Cruiser off the lights and up hills... And the Cruiser has a chipped motor - 240kw+.

    Landrover Discovery 4 with the three litre twin turbo diesel motor has huge torque - cannot think of any production petrol with the same capacity that comes close.

    Diesel's time has come, no question. But they are very complex motors and require very clean fuel, which can be an issue. Bad fuel = major huge mechanics bill - injectors each can top $1200.

    Diesels are not suitable for bikes except cruisers and heavy tourers IMHO. The weight increase would do against the smaller bikes and while new generation diesels are very responsive they are not the equal of modern motorcycle petrol engines in critical areas.

    However early days yet. Audi R10 TDI - 5.5 litre V12 twin turbo diesel - won the 2006 Le Mans and 2006 12 Hour at Sebring - performance diesels are definitely well and truly high on the radar

    viz
    #18
  19. danboone

    danboone Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Oman

    A little bit KTM, a bit GS.......some Guzzi.........and put a Diesel in it, very nice.........but the cockpit :hmmmmm
    #19
  20. sunlinden

    sunlinden Fun Muncher

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Boston MA
    Another thought: Do diesel engines vibrate more than gas based engines, especially at idle? Just curious.

    I'd consider buying one if BMW or Harley put one out.
    #20