Diesel KLR

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by SPKR, May 27, 2015.

  1. SPKR

    SPKR n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    DE
    I've got a BMW HP2 and an R1200GS. Both are great bikes but limited by range. Even carring twin roto-pax on my side cases, I've come off some of the back country discovery routes on fumes. The diesel option has been discussed on this site a few times. The KLR Hayes technologies bike for the military never made it to civilian production. The Track diesel was a viable option, but it's CVT drive train was not suited to hard off road riding. The bike entered in the Baja 1000 a few years ago had the CVT belt burn out in the first 100 miles. The same bike did set a biofuels powered record at Bonneville and was later turned into the bacon powered diesel bike that was on a promo ride last year.
    The KLR 650 motorcycle was selected as a starting point for the diesel conversion project as it is a proven design, has been relatively little changed over the years of it's production and it is readily available. Used 2 -4 year old bikes with low mileage can be purchased for $2 - 3K. Straight forward suspension and bolt upgrades make the frame more than capable of handling the diesel conversion. The Kabota diesel was selected for it's superior performance and reliability. The D902 motor is a 3 cylinder diesel, 54.8 cu in (898cc), producing a staggering 25 hp and red lining at 3600 rpm. It's Tier 4 status has no emission restrictions in the USA. The motor has a dry weight of 158 lbs.
    More power was obtained by turbocharging the motor. Most of the theoretical work for turbocharging the Kabota motor was done previously for the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge by the University of Buffalo in 2010. The Garrett GT15VNT unit was selected and custom fabrication of the exhaust system and tubing was painstakingly performed to enclose the entire system in the constrains of the existing frame. The motor runs an additional 5-6 lb of boost, giving it plenty of pep to pull from a dead stop in even 2nd or 3rd gear.
    The transmission selected was an Ultima 6 speed, left side drive. The torque produced by the diesel is easily handle by the transmission. Modifications to the primary drive were needed when it was decided to incorporate the AWD system from Steve Christini. Frame modifications and the custom engine mount took a little time and required some changes in the fuel tank to accommodate the gearing on the Christini system. Although nearly a gallon of fuel capacity was lost, the mileage of the diesel provides more than enough range.
    The additional gearing and chains of the Christini system provide a background clatter to the growl of the turbo diesel. The bike is a symphony of sounds when it's idling, but not too loud to be uncomfortable, just different. Once being ridden, the noise is all behind you and the wind is all that can be heard. Motor vibration is similar to a twin and not much different from a stock KLR. A custom seat by Kontour seats provides significant dampening of vibration. Once the bike is in it's 2500 rpm power band, the ride is actually quite smooth. Torque is prodigious and the bike really lounges forward when the hitting the throttle.
    The extra weight is carried low and the bike runs well on Heidenau K60 tubeless tires. The front wheel utilizes the tubliss system devloped by Neutech. The rear rim had the spokes sealed with a non-curing sealant and have run just fine on all terrains with tubeless tires. There's some inertia noted going into a turn, but the bike handles well on the pavement through a series a switchbacks. In the dirt and mud, it's a monster, able to pull a stuck Hummer out of a Canyon. It is a challenge to ride in deep sand with the additional weight, despite the AWD.
    Fuel consumption has been in the 90 - 100 mpg so far. With a 1.5 gallon RotopaX, the bike has a 750 mile range.

    John
    #1
  2. SPKR

    SPKR n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    DE
    In the NJ Pine Barrens thuis past weekend.

    John

    Attached Files:

    #2
  3. Bell driver

    Bell driver Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,141
    Location:
    Germany, Nordish By Nature.
  4. VACommuter

    VACommuter Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,394
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    Verified Unicorn sighting. I want one....


    VAC
    #4
  5. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,579
    Location:
    Truckee
    Awesome. More pictures please.

    Are you going to write a build thread.
    #5
  6. aCab

    aCab Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, CA
    In. I was just talking with my dad this weekend about he viability of diesel powered bikes.
    #6
  7. atarijedi

    atarijedi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Oddometer:
    202
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The problem with the Hayes is that the US Marine Corps bought them all. Altius licensed the diesel from Hayes, and has plans to build the Scimitar, in India only.

    But who knows when or if they will ever do it, and whether or not it can be exported.
    #7
  8. JohninVT

    JohninVT Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,728
    Location:
    Vermont
    So...a much heavier and slower KLR that uses more expensive fuel than gas, is worse off road and is crazy expensive to boot? Perfect.

    A 10 gallon IMS tank for the KLR is five hundred bucks and takes a half hour to install.
    #8
  9. Bell driver

    Bell driver Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,141
    Location:
    Germany, Nordish By Nature.
    Diesel is 18% less expensive than petrol where I am.
    The fuel consumption is only half with the diesel motor...:deal
    #9
  10. Earth Rider

    Earth Rider Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    9,512
    Location:
    CNY
    Here in the U.S. it's almost always more expensive.
    #10
  11. VikB

    VikB Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    793
    Location:
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    ^^^ this. Simple. Cost effective and it works.

    If you have some pavement to get to the dirt you can burn off some of the fuel higher in the tank when CG doesn't matter and by the time the riding gets more challenging your bike is handling better than ever.

    Even if diesel is cheaper than gas work out how many KMs you'd have to drive before you broke even and consider you've now gone from one of the most common DS bikes on the planet to a very rare one should you need parts.
    #11
  12. JohninVT

    JohninVT Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,728
    Location:
    Vermont
    The global average for a liter of diesel in May was .98 dollars. The average price for a liter of gasoline was 1.10. It makes no sense to convert a KLR to diesel.

    A diesel KLR would cost thousands to convert. It would weigh 2-300 lbs more than a gas KLR. It would have less horsepower. It would produce a lot more heat. It would be less reliable and more complex.
    #12
  13. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,255
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    and for the price of the conversion you can buy a new KLR & have enough left over to pay for a round the world trip


    on the other hand..... why not. good job on the mod


    and..... "the bike really lounges forward" intentional? :rofl
    #13
  14. guns_equal_freedom

    guns_equal_freedom Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,804
    [​IMG]

    Holy fuck, paragraphs are your friends.
    #14
  15. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Yup, I'm a girl.

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,110
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    So what's the weight difference with this? I like the idea, but that engine looks BEEFY. :eek1
    #15
  16. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,675
    Turbocharged Diesel, all-wheel drive (AWD), 100 mpg . . .

    I think the machine has some valuable characteristics with honest applications.

    Not for everyone, certainly, but . . . hardly worthy of judgmental, universal condemnation, IMHO.

    The military went for the Hayes Engineering Diesel package for fuel compatibility; otherwise, operational requirements obviously were satisfied by the final product.

    In my view, not everyone's preferences and requirements are the same, but . . . maybe that's just ME! The, "Help Stamp Out Diesel Motorcycles" movement may have merits of which I'm unaware! :rofl
    #16
  17. matty86suk

    matty86suk Buccaneer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Oddometer:
    308
    Location:
    Victoria BC
    I'd like to see a parallel twin in a klr650...hell a 50hp gs motor would be sweet
    #17
  18. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,205
    Location:
    Maryland
    Would make a cool sidecar rig huh?
    #18
  19. JohninVT

    JohninVT Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,728
    Location:
    Vermont
    Sorry that I was so negative.
    #19
  20. RandoCommando

    RandoCommando Wannabe

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,710
    Location:
    Philthadelphia, Pennsylvania
    #20