Diesel Motorcycles: They really are kinda cool.

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Banzaibob, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. mhaas

    mhaas intrpd travlrwanabe

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    Found a video of a Italian 900cc 3 cylinder diesel hung transversely on a Triumph tiger. Looked very functional
    .http://youtu.be/k7BqPBvVuyY
    #21
  2. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Didn't Hayes do a lot of work trying to produce a Diesel bike for the miltary? Trying to get US/EU/Nato forces 100% fuel compatible.
    Based on the KLR if I remember right.
    Any news?
    #22
  3. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Over here in Europe, the majority of vehicles are Diesel.
    They are quite different to petrol engines in how they drive.
    Even in UK where Diesel fuel is taxed more, it makes sense money wise to run an oil burner.

    For me the biggest plus is the extra range the additional fuel economy gives you.
    Driving over to visit my sister in Frankfurt. A fill on landing in France, and I can do the 600+kms with out stopping, while cruising at 80-90mph (and hiding from the Porsches doing twice that).
    The car computer will be showing mid to high 40's mpg (imperial) and average speed low to mid 60's mph. Yup, its a bitch having to slow down for traffic or navigate interchanges and roadworks.

    I have spent years going to France in the car for family holidays. Whenever there has been a petrol car along, how ever much they say their latest direct injection, stratified charge petrol engine can approach a Diesel engine for economy, they are never even close when we get to the pumps. Sure they can do another 10 or 20 mph or cut the 1/4mile speed by "x" seconds, but in a cross country drive I'll beat them every time, because I'm not looking for fuel every 250 miles.
    Something else I have got used to, is how they float up hills, I often have to back off on hills as all the petrol cars slow down.
    The point being, for a bike, especially an adventure bike range and availability of fuel could be crucial. Look at any of the threads on bike adaptation for touring, and how to carry more comes a long way up the priorities/problems.

    As to the extra weight, folk use GS's, so it cant be too insurmountable.

    They way they drive is different. You soon blend into their way of working.
    Its like sitting on a Guzzi or Airhead and blipping the throttle, first time its an OMG moment. After a few days you don't even notice.
    #23
  4. johnyrrr

    johnyrrr Been here awhile

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    I remeber reading about those and figured/hoped after the military got thier orders filled we would start seeing them forsale to the public. I love the idea of a diesel Klr. What happened to that company?

    #24
  5. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave Reaver made me do it...

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    Last time I heard, Hayes was still making Diesel converted KLR's. But when they increased their production capabilities in an attempt to offer a civilian version, the U.S. Military Machine increased their demands. I've heard a rumor that surplus bikes are now becoming available, but they are all from the Middle East theatre and have seen more sand than a camel. And less maintenance...

    Please note the complete lack of facts or details...
    #25
  6. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    I don't think all fuel military diesels have to meet an emissions requirements. A motorcycle would

    Rod
    #26
  7. Banzaibob

    Banzaibob Been here awhile

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    I think that most American bikers impression of diesels are the converted KLR's, simply by virtue of the fact that they are military vehicles. My understanding of them is that they'll burn gasoline, diesel, JP8, etc. If I'm not mistaken I think that they have separate fuel tanks. They start on gas and after warm up, burn the less volatile fuels.

    Nickguzzi's impressions are pretty accurate. On the Red Devil you have to resign yourself to the fact that it is the slowest motorcycle on the road. It is not a rolling hazard or anything, it simply accelerates like an 125cc scooter. Controlling the engine and speed is very different than a gas engine too. You have to match the engine speed with the amount of fuel that you give it or it will "over-fuel" and pour thick black smoke everywhere while not accelerating. I've have friends ride it and try to peg the throttle (not the right word to use) and come back thinking that something is wrong. However, once you get the balance right on the open road it pulls and pulls and pulls and.....

    I have always wondered why diesel motorcycles were not popular in America for the touring enthusiast. An Electra Glide or a Goldwing are not specifically zippy motorcycle and are purpose built to plod across the American savannah. In my opinion, fuel economy is ALSO a measure of performance.

    Right now I have an old Goldwing sitting around. I am thinking about doing like I did with the Red Devil and cutting the transmission away from motor. I figure that a 20 to 30 hp diesel engine will allow me to turbocharge plus will cruise comfortably at 80mph.

    A lot of guys like to build their vision of post-apocalyptic motorcycles. They seem to use a lot of flat black bar-b-que paint and spiky shit poking out everywhere. I can guarantee that when the bomb gets dropped or when the aliens land or when the zombies take over there's not going to be a lot of 93 octane pump gas laying around. I'll bet that you can still find vegetable oil in some form though.
    #27
    Dino de Laurentiis likes this.
  8. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave Reaver made me do it...

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  9. neil w

    neil w Been here awhile

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    Track Diesel is currently out of production but have a look at some of the German diesel bikes on the net . there are a couple which mate the rolling chassis of the BMW K100RS with the 3 cylinder 1.4 tdi VW engine (which can easily be remapped to 100bhp).

    In a car it will manage 60 to 70 mpg so in a motorcycle 100 mpg plus with very good performance will be easily achieved
    #29
  10. Bert Track

    Bert Track Tinkerer

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    You could check dieselbike.net they keep track of a lot of diesel motorcycles.

    The Thunderstar with the VW 1.2 liter diesel has recently been used in a race for alternatively fueled motorcycles.
    #30
  11. Banzaibob

    Banzaibob Been here awhile

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    In fact, on dieselbike.net there is another diesel bike called the "Kaiser" that served as sort of an inspiration for the Red Devil. It is also a modified Honda CB350. One of the big differences is that he uses a 530 chain as a primary drive. He also trimmed the starter motor off and uses the pull starter(my electric starter works perfect because of the Sportster alternator). This enables the bike to have a shorter wheelbase than mine. You should Google it....it's a pretty good read, also.
    #31
  12. Drwnite

    Drwnite Adventurer

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  13. Pete640

    Pete640 Long timer

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    There needs to be a dedicated diesel thread.

    Given that the world is getting smaller and distances between supply points is ever decreasing I can think of no better travel bike than a diesel as most outback/3rd world/middle of no fucking where locations always have a diesel generator/tractor/pump. Diesel or frying oil is generally available everywhere
    #33
  14. dirt hokie

    dirt hokie Long timer

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    I used to have a 2 or 3 cylinder Lambordini diesel sitting around. It was about 23 hp I think. It ran good too. It came off a old trench roller/ compactor, which is like a miniature steam roller about the size of a lawn tractor. Anyway I think it would have worked well in a large cruiser bike frame. It weighed about 200 lbs but was pretty compact.

    I ended up getting rid of it, stupid, stupid, stupid.
    #34
  15. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

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  16. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Their claim of 13.5 hp from 150cc diesel motor puts all their claims in the huh ? category.
    Also claiming to double the hp by adding a turbo is dubious too. More likely to show a 50 % improvement at best .
    #36
  17. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

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    [​IMG]

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  18. Pete640

    Pete640 Long timer

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    WTF??? That looks very industrial and seriously interesting

    Any details? Only 1 turbo?
    #38
  19. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

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    Dude in New York built it.

    1113 cc Cat/Perkins 3 cylinder.
    600 lb.
    20 psi boost.
    120 mph.

    Pretty sure one turbo will suffice :lol3

    .
    #39
  20. Kennon

    Kennon Been here awhile

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    Once more technology is put into smaller Diesel engines will make it more viable option such as lowering the compression ratio you can build Aluminium block Diesels which would make them more appealing.

    If you turbo an engine properly and I don't mean how car manufacturers do it you can get efficiency theoretically up to 50% but to do that for now is only for some secret projects that got banned by FIA racing rules.
    #40