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Is That Thing Diesel?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Ljiljan, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Is the title of Paul Carter's book about his trip around Aus on a motorcycle that runs on used cooking oil and waste fats.

    I got the book for christmas and it's a cracking read, very funny and also goes into some of the joys of riding. The guy seems to be one of the old crowd and between the oil and motorcycle fraternities seems to know just about anyone who counts.

    Well worth reading and definitely a recommended purchase.

    There is also a bit of info at http://www.thegoodoil.tv/
  2. saw some guy racing at wakefield last year with a bike sponsored by a bio diesel company - it was actually using the bio diesel as well I believe

    Im not up on who's who or racing but apparently a well known pair of brothers ( ?) with plenty of overseas racing experience
  3. I had seen that book but hadn't got around to grabbing a copy, sounds like I might have to.

    I've been interested in some of the overseas developers that have been playing with diesel/biodiesel powered bikes and still amazed that no-ones managed to come up with something commercially successful yet. For a large dual-sport a small diesel certainly seems to make a lot more sense than the large petrol engines the major manufacturers are currently using, especially when you consider fuel economy.
  4. I think the problem has alwas been the weight of a diesel engine over a petrol equivalent, for a small commuter, diesel would be wonderful, Much bigger market than dual sport, then use that to push into wider use.
    Until the reports start coming out of people blowing them up by putting petrol in.
  5. But for a commuter range isn't really an issue, since you're usually not far from a petrol station. Out in remote parts of Australia, or even other parts of the world like Africa, South America etc. being able to get from A to B without having to carry additional fuel strapped to the bike would be a real bonus. As far as weight goes I figure a 600-800cc diesel couldn't be much worse than a 1200cc 4-stroke (ie BMW R1200GS).
  6. Diesel KLR650 anyone?

    The HDT M103M1 uses the KLR650’s chassis and transmission parts, but is fitted with a four-stroke, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled 611cc IDI diesel engine, which makes about 30 horsepower at 5700rpm. The bike weighs 166 kilos, accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 9.7 seconds, and will do a top speed of about 150km/h.

    ...the HDT diesel bike also does close to 100 miles per gallon...

  7. I read his last book which was a cracker so this one should be good too...
  8. That'd be one reason diesel isn't commerically viable yet. Too slow...
  9. It's comparable with an average car, and faster than a CBR125.
    Out in the country it'd be sufficient. After all, what's a few seconds getting to 100kph over a few hundred kms of riding.
  10. Yes, there's whole websites devoted to diesal conversions, and I must admit I've been fantisising! A 250 chassis with a 400cc Yanmar engine clone bolted in. One difficulty is the need for an external gearbox to hook it up to. Royal Enfield guys have no problem with that, but most engines are of course unit construction. Is there a cheap gear box we can access and use? I haven't done any real research on this, beyon Enfield threads.

    The attractiveness is threefold for me: one, you can use bio-diesal. Might be a bit too much hassle for me, but that option is in itself cool (one more opportunity to leverage yourself out of 'the system'). Second, an Enfield thread I read reported getting at least 50km per litre! At least! I don't care too much about the cost of petrol when on my bike, but that frugality offers a whole added pleasure! Third: it's reported these engine have the feel of a big old british single. Wowee!

    Fourth: it's different.
  11. Might be wrong but I thought some of the shaft drive Moto Guzzi engines had a separate gearbox given that I know they're used for making Morgan 3-wheeler replicas.
  12. So one from a wreckers could be realistic. If, of course, there's a Moto Guzzi in the world that hasn't blown its gearbox!

    Sporsters are not units and sometimes get upgraded to a six-speed gearbox as well. Which means there might be some unwanted five speeds around. MGs and HDs might still be expensive though. I wonder if an Enfield box is available and much cheaper. Again, I'm not even sure about how viable cutting a cheap engine up and making a seperate gearbox would be, but that could be a cheap option - I've got a very capable welder at hand who'd love the challenge.
  13. Yeah, they're cool. It's just a pity that about ten minutes after the company started to offer them to the public that the US military made a decision from the countless trials and demonstrations and said "We'll take 10 billion of them!". So the workshop's way too flat out to make commercially available ones now. :(
  14. I was given the book by my Mum for Christmas too.

    Excellent read.

    Funny bloke. Now I have to hunt down his other two books at the library and read them too.

    Fun Ha!
  15. BMWs all have separate boxes (real BMs, that is, not the Rotax powered pretenders :wink:) and both Ks and older Rs have been converted to diesel power. My desktop used to be a very tidy K100 fitted with a (IIRC) three pot industrial diesel; possibly a Hatz. Older Beemers can be had for relatively low prices. mid '80s K100s seem to be the real bargains at the mo.

    Urals have separate boxes. About a year ago, one appeared in The Horse with an industrial diesel conversion. It had required much of the front frame loop to be modified/replaced to fit it in. Expensive and uncommon here though, and I'd be dubious about the box's ability to handle the torque of a decent oilburner. Then again, the same could be said of an Enfield box.

    Of course, there's no reason why, with a bit of engineering nous, a BMW box couldn't be used in pretty much any shaft drive chassis to allow the longitudinal mounting of an industrial diesel lump wherever it might fit.

    Harley boxes are bloody expensive but would proobably be up to the job. Huge aftermarket parts supply too, which would allow ratios to be precisely tailored to the engine.

    Old Brit boxes are getting expensive and would probably be a bit weak. Parts shouldn't be a problem though. Think I'd go H-D, given the choice, unless space dictated otherwise.
  16. New harley box 'around' $1500 from memory..
  17. How much would shoving in a diesel motor and gearbox affect the balance of a bike?
  18. Sounds a bit low but happy to be corrected.

    In the world of homebrew specials, though, which most diesel bikes are, even $1500 is a lot of wedge. Enough to be a deterrent to use anyway.

    I doubt if it would do an R1 or a GSXR any favours, but on a basic naked it needn't be any more detrimental than sticking on a heavy full fairing and panniers, as was common in the days when the UJM came without them. As for weight distribution, I doubt if much would change fore and aft. Lateral symmetry might suffer a bit, but shouldn't present insurmountable problems given a bit of care at the design stage.
  19. I did a quick google to check before posting.. And yes $1500 is a bit steep to save $10 a tank on fuel..