Home » A Man Thought Motorcycles Were Too Thirsty, So He Built A Diesel Motorcycle For People Not Looking For Fun

A Man Thought Motorcycles Were Too Thirsty, So He Built A Diesel Motorcycle For People Not Looking For Fun

Boccardo Aerotopfin
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Most of the people who decide to straddle a motorcycle are looking for an experience they cannot get with other kinds of vehicles. Motorcycles are usually fun, stylish, and satiate a rider’s desire to hit the open road. But, not every rider wants this and some people just want a two-wheel transportation device that’s cheap to run, inexpensive to purchase, and costs little to insure. French engineer Louis-Marie Boccardo sought to sell a motorcycle for riding rationalists out there and created the Boccardo 1200 Aéro Diesel. Unfortunately, the bike just turned out to be a dead end.

Diesel power is rare to find in the motorcycling world. Many individuals and companies have tinkered with the idea of hyper-efficient diesel-powered motorcycles, with most of those projects not really going anywhere. One motorcycle visionary tried to prove that diesel engines are better than gasoline engines by making a diesel-powered sportbike. Despite those efforts, there have been few successes, leaving the Royal Enfield Diesel and the Hayes Diversified Technologies M1030M1 among the only diesel two-wheelers to reach something resembling mass production. Today, I have another motorcycle creative who tried to use diesel power to do something a bit different.

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Inexpensive Motorcycles Built In France

Bfg 1300 Featured
BFG

The man responsible for the Boccardo diesel bikes was French engineer Louis-Marie Boccardo, and he had weird ideas for motorcycles long before he ever dropped a diesel engine into a bike. As Retro Passion Automobiles Magazine reports, the French government sponsored a competition to help spur business creation in the country. It’s called the Lépine Competition, and aside from business creation, it’s supposed to help French inventors turn their ideas into reality. This led to some entrepreneurs deciding to design new motorcycles that would be built in France. As a side note, the association that created the competition was founded in 1901 and the Lépine Competition continues today.

Dominique Favario and Thierry Grange latched onto the idea of designing a motorcycle to be built in France, but the pair marketing and management teachers, not engineers. The two brewed up a concept for an inexpensive-to-build touring motorcycle called the Odyssee. The motorcycle would serve as a study in starting a small business and it would be presented to the government in hopes of scoring a grant to put the motorcycle into production. That’s where Louis-Marie Boccardo came to their rescue. Boccardo brought along experience with motorcycle frames and was a technician for Grand Prix constructor Alain Chevallier.

In 1978, the three men scored a 50,000 franc grant from Concours Lépine, bolstering it with a 200,000 franc loan. A year later, the men incorporated BFG, the company taking its name from the initials of its founders. Their motorcycle, which would become known as the BFG 1300, was designed on a small budget of just 100,000 francs. To meet that target, the BFG 1300 would raid as many parts bins as possible.

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Bfg09
BFG

For the engine, BFG lifted a 1,299cc air-cooled flat-four from the Citroën GS. BFG changed little about this engine, giving the engine a cam-driven distributor, an electric fuel pump, and different cam covers. This engine was good for 70 HP, not too bad for the era, and the motorcycle’s weight of around 600 pounds. The motorcycle had some neat quirks, too. The engine and transmission were stressed members and to accommodate the two-barrel 28mm Solex downdraft carbs, the 5.8-gallon plastic fuel tank was situated under the seat. What looked like a fuel tank was actually a cover for the bike’s airbox and frame.

BFG raided more automotive parts bins for the instrument cluster from a Renault 5, mirrors from a Fiat Panda, a fuel level sender from a Citroën 2CV, and the headlight from a Renault 16. By the time the BFG 1300 reached production, the only original parts were Boccardo’s frame, the transmission, the final drive, and the bodywork. Reportedly, the final drive still had some Citroën Méhari bits in it. Initially, the plan was to have the motorcycle be an international effort much like Airbus, but BFG had trouble finding interested parties.

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BFG

Boccardo did not stick around for the release of the BFG 1300. Reportedly, there were delays with the project and creditors wanted to know when they would see a return on their investment. Boccardo allegedly promised production would start for months, but failed to deliver. As Retro Passion Automobiles Magazine writes, Boccardo’s business partners ousted him from the company in 1981.

The BFG 1300 would go into production in 1982, and reportedly, the motorcycle seemed to be a good fit for long-distance touring. The motorcycle had good stability, good wind protection, and operated smoothly. It even had enough grunt to haul a sidecar. Eventually, BFG itself would run out of money and fold in 1983 after the construction of 400 BFG 1300s. MBK Industrie, formerly Motobécane-Motoconfort, picked up where BFG ended and kept production going until 1988.

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Moto Française

Boccardo didn’t let that hiccup stop him. After getting removed from BFG in 1981, Boccardo joined forces with Yves Bannel and Siccardi Motorcycles to create Moto Française. There, Boccardo created the MF 650. Like the BFG 1300, the MF 650 borrowed parts from the automotive world. It was powered by a 652cc air-cooled flat twin borrowed from the Citroën LNA economy car. It was rated at 36 HP and was meant to go up against the BMW R45 and BMW R65.

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Unfortunately for that Boccardo venture, the BMW competition was already suffering from poor sales and the MF 650 did as well. The MF 650’s controversial looks and reportedly poor performance didn’t help. Apparently, just 200 units were sold before the venture folded in 1983.

Boccardo Goes Diesel

Boccardo Aero

You would think that two failures would convince Boccardo to hang up his motorcycle engineer hat, but he wasn’t done yet. In 1987, Boccardo returned to the motorcycle world when he presented a new concept at the Paris motorcycle show. This bike was the Boccardo Aéro and eventually, Boccardo would have three different versions in the works.

The first was the Boccardo Aéro 85, which used a Peugeot/Citroën TU24 inline-four gas engine from a Citroën AX tuned to 85 HP. Then there was the Aéro 97, which used the same engine but tuned to 100 HP. Finally, there’s the Boccardo Aéro Diesel, later named the Boccardo 1200 Aéro Diesel.

Equipped with a PSA TUD 1,360cc inline four indirect injection diesel engine making 59 HP and 67 lb-ft torque. It’s an engine that also found a home in the Citroën AX. This motorcycle was supposed to be inexpensive to purchase, inexpensive to run, and inexpensive to insure. Boccardo’s Aéro Diesel was the motorcycle for pragmatists, not for those looking for a thrilling ride. Here’s a look at that engine:

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In 1990, Cycle World magazine wrote that Boccardo somehow generated some buzz with this project and some 32 Boccardo Aéros had already been built. Some 15 of those motorcycles were the diesel version. The diesel car engine was mounted longitudinally, not unlike the chunky 2.3-liter engine found in my Triumph Rocket III. The all-alloy engine is mated to the same Innocenti transmissions that were bolted to Moto Guzzis during the day and power reached the rear wheel through a shaft drive. A noted quirk of using a car engine was the fact that it used a timing belt.

Boccardos
Cycle World

Cycle World continued that Boccardo had all of six employees and the bikes wore panels of injection-molded plastic. At the time, Boccardo secured 24 dealers in France and was looking to export the motorcycles to other parts of Europe. There was more interest than expected in the diesel, leading to Boccardo continuing development on that version of the Aéro.

Cycleworldscreen1
Cycle World

That same journalist, Alan Cathcart, would get to ride the Boccardo 1200 Aéro Diesel in 1991. In his review, Cathcart noted how in addition to the alloy engine, the motorcycle rides on a chrome-moly tubular steel frame. Efforts to keep weight down meant that the motorcycle weighed at a manageable 555 pounds. Considering this was 1991 and the motorcycle had a hulking 1.3-liter diesel in it, that end result isn’t bad. The review continues:

Starting requires the ritual of switching on the ignition and waiting six seconds for the glow-plug electrodes to heat up. When the relay has clicked to turn them off, you can twist the key. and the engine starts. Its distinctive diesel rumble is heavily muted, but there’s no mistaking the sound when you’re astride the bike.

And once underway, the smooth power delivery of the extremely flexible engine and the widely spaced five-speed transmission make for relaxed, stately cruising for the man who has no need to go anywhere in a hurry.

Unfortunately, the Boccardo’s chassis needs improvement before it can match the engine’s confident, lazy performance. The bike is far too low, and ground clearance is hopelessly inadequate. The 40mm Paioli fork is underdamped and undersprung, so bumpy corners are taken with the front end pogoing and the footpeg scraping. The rear suspension, controlled by a single Fournales shock, is better, and the Brembo brakes work very well. Its suspension problems aside, the Boccardo makes sense in an oddball sort of way. a view reinforced by the bike’s extraordinary fuel economy.

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Moto Boccardo

The slow and ponderous machine scored 103 mpg at 55 mph during official fuel economy testing. That’s impressive fuel economy for a bike that size and would be today, too. For comparison, only one motorcycle on Motorcyclist magazine’s “Top 5 Fuel-Efficient Motorcycles 2023” list exceeds 100 mpg and that bike is the adorable Honda Grom mini motorcycle. Honda makes other bikes that get over 100 mpg, but they’re all small motorcycles, a different category than the Boccardo.

Sadly, Cathcart’s review concludes by saying the motorcycle, which had a projected price tag of $11,500 ($26,117 today), was a limited production bike unlikely to leave the confines of Europe. Also, given the bike’s high price, you would have had to ride it for a long time before the 103 mpg started saving you money.

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What Happened To Boccardo?

Boccardo Side Diesel
G&G Racing Team

From this point, things start getting fuzzy.

Most sources say that Boccardo went under in 1989, one year before Cycle World‘s report on Boccardo’s development process and two years before the Cycle World review. I doubt Alan Cathcart boarded a time machine to write that review. Boccardo also at least produced some brochures and what appears to be one promotional image. Even Motorcycle Club BFG, the group dedicated to keeping Boccardo’s weird bikes alive, says Boccardo’s diesel bike efforts fizzled out in 1989 after he ran out of cash, two years after development started.

It’s possible Boccardo limped on a little longer, but what about those dealerships and the 32 Boccardo Aéros? Apparently, just five prototypes were ever made, two of them gasoline and three of them diesels. An answer may come from a review in French motorcycle magazine Youngtimers Moto, issue 44 from October/November 2020. Unfortunately, I have not been able to access that magazine.

What is for sure is that like most other diesel motorcycles, the Boccardo Aéro Diesel is an obscure part of motorcycle history where a builder tried to do something a bit different with a motorcycle. It sounds like the Boccardo Aéro Diesel was a bit too slow, too expensive, and too unrefined, but I like to think about what could have happened if the machine had taken off as planned. Would riders be interested in a bike that trades fun for savings?

If you know anything more about Boccardo’s weird motorcycle pursuits, drop me a line at mercedes@theautopian.com.

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BurntClutches
BurntClutches
9 months ago

The dream is still somewhat alive on the used market (in Europe at least). The EVA Track T-800CDI is available on the used market, but rare. Good news is it uses the ~800cc diesel motor from Smart. ~50hp, ~75 ft-lbs. Allegedly capable of 120mpg at 55 mph. Top speed over 100 mph. CVT rather than a traditional sequential transmission, but CVTs work pretty well in scooter and motorcycles alike. I’m not sure I’d ever own one if even if I could, but I would really love to ride one someday.

John Patson
John Patson
9 months ago

Same motor is used in a French ultra-light diesel which beats all fuel economy records and flys at 200 kph. Only available as plans, and built out of wood with glass fibre covering.
Talking of puns, it is called Gaz’Aile 2 (diesel in France is commonly known as gasoil).
Still can get motors off internet / brokers but starting to be rare. It still has mechanical injectors which is a plus for simplicity.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
9 months ago

My recollection from an early 90s magazine is that one of the drivers for the BFG motorcycle was providing the President’s police escorts with French motorcycles in place of the usual BMW motorcycles. The use of Citroën engines was smart, following the lead of the Munch Mammut which used the air cooled inline 4 out of an NSU Prinz.
Unfortunately the motorcycle market quit caring about sensible in the early 60s when cheap cars took over. The Honda PC800 incorporated a lot of Boccardi’s ideas and sold poorly despite generating a cult following. Diesel motorcycles have proved equally niche although Enfield sold a lot of diesel Bullets in India and the military market has multi fuel conversions of Kawasaki KLRs

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
9 months ago

Yeah 100mpg is actually pretty bad. Honda currently makes several bikes that get over 100mpg. And then when you consider that there are actual enclosed 1000lb+ cars that approach or exceed 100mpg……

R Rr
R Rr
9 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

That’s like saying some car is too expensive, when Honda makes a much cheaper wheelbarrow 🙂
A Grom or a SuperCub is not a touring bike

Last edited 9 months ago by R Rr
Lokki
Lokki
9 months ago
Reply to  R Rr

So our target customer is someone who can afford an expensive bike and can afford to go touring on his bike but worries about the cost of fuel?

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
9 months ago
Reply to  Lokki

Theoretically such people could exist in countries with very high fuel costs

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
9 months ago

I would love a diesel motorcycle, only with the super economic and quite punchy VW/AUDI 1.2 TDi (turbo) engine from the 3 liter (per 100 km) Lupo and A2 cars in it. That would be fun! You wrote about it a while ago.

a real gasoline BFG would also be fun. Loved that Porsche sounding engine in my Citroén GS!
But no more clacketty old french 1980ies diesels for me thank you.
The HDi in one of my Xantias was rather great though.

Last edited 9 months ago by Jakob K's Garage
Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
9 months ago

It’s a shame we can’t get a civilian version of the multi-fuel Kawasaki KLR (M1030). The ability to burn just about anything would make a brilliant touring rig.

(edit: fix reference to the M1030 rather than the KLR650)

Last edited 9 months ago by Spikedlemon
BurntClutches
BurntClutches
9 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

For a specific use case the M1030 is kind of cool, but as someone who has ridden one, well, I’d much rather have the standard gas KLR. The diesel engine really sucks the fun out of the bike.

Jesus Helicoptering Christ
Jesus Helicoptering Christ
9 months ago

I love their use of existing car engines.

I’ve driven both a Citroen GSA with the air-cooled flat 4, and a Citroen AX with the 1.4L TUD in it.

Both were perfectly adequate for the cars (admittedly I didn’t take them out on any motorways, just back roads). So I imagine either of them in a motorbike would be at least amusing.

My performance watermark is generally quite low as well though. I think I’ve only ever owned one car with over 200hp, and that was a Lexus LS400 so it was dragging a hell of a lot of car around anyway.

- O S G O -
- O S G O -
9 months ago

This appears to be a fantastic way to transmogrify a perfectly adequate middle-weight performer into something that weighs more than the Cold War’s Iron Curtain? Just imagine, setting up for a corner, warning small children beforehand…with the diesel burble rumbling and rattling up, only to “roll coal” on the hapless old people walking along at the apex, wondering just YTF how someone took a perfectly good motorcycle and made it the 3rd cousin of the Exxon Valdez?

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
9 months ago

Maybe it’s my lack of motorcycling (and diesel) experience showing, but motorcycles seem like the highest possible hanging fruit if you want to save fuel. Even the most porcine Harley Chiropractor Cosplay HTeenThousand is going to be a hell of a lot more efficient than the average vehicle on public roads, even with the drag of a “If You Can Read This The Wife Fell Off” shirt ballooning out behind the rider.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
9 months ago
Reply to  Zeppelopod

It seems like that should be the case, but a lot of those big Harleys only get 30-40 mpg, meanwhile VW TDIs and Insights are getting 50+.

MrLM002
MrLM002
9 months ago

As a hater of batteries and electrical gremlins diesels hold a special place in my heart as they can be all mechanical. That being said I don’t think diesel motorcycles make a lot of sense in terms of traditional motorcycles.

Diesel power for motorcycles like the Rokon Trailbreaker, the Ural, mopeds, trials bikes, putt putt dirtbikes and dual sport bikes like the Honda CT-125, etc. are optimal for diesel power. You want diesel engines in vehicles where torque and or fuel efficiency matters most.

Heavy, high speed, performance motorcycles are not what diesel drivetrains should be used for. Diesel is the fuel of working vehicles, Tractors, Semi Trucks, Trains, Commercial aircraft, Working boats, and Ships ALL BURN DIESEL.

That being said due to modern emissions standards diesel engines are less reliable and less durable long term than gasoline engines as their emissions systems crap out long before the engine would but most require the engine to be pulled to fix or replace the emissions system.

Semi Trucks who have the room, the weight capacity, and the long life needed to justify the best of the best emissions systems, and with all of that going for them every semi truck mechanic I talk to says that 90%+ of the Semi Trucks in their shops are in there for emissions system related repairs and replacement and they’re mostly dependent on parts made in China that are constantly in short supply.

I know motorcycles have lower emissions requirements but I wouldn’t buy a diesel motorcycle with EFI, one that takes DEF, etc.

Last edited 9 months ago by MrLM002
Phuzz
Phuzz
9 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

The other use case for a diesel motorbike was for the military, as it meant they can use the same fuel as all the trucks etc. simplifying logistics.

MrLM002
MrLM002
9 months ago
Reply to  Phuzz

Yep, but that has mostly hit a dead end. The US military tried it out and basically all of them have been sold as surplus with no replacement, and good luck getting parts for the engine as it was custom made for that platform with no civilian sales.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
9 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Large ships don’t burn diesel. They burn bunker oil. In fact, there are such awful emmisions from bunker oil (related mostly to sulfur and other imprities in the latter) that many ports require ships to switch from bunker oil to low sulfur diesel hours to days before entering.

Should I now claim you to be ignorant, because you diddn’t mention these differences?

Perhaps we should all avoid such sorts of lanuage in our Autopian comments.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
9 months ago

Yeah, diesels aren’t the way to get slow speeds, and great mileage, in motorcycles. You need to use small displacement gasoline engines.

Just get a CT 125. Sorted.

Last edited 9 months ago by Doctor Nine
MrLM002
MrLM002
9 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

Do you think a Diesel engine that is 125CC or smaller in a CT-125 would be less fuel efficient than the stock gas engine provided it resulted in the same practical performance specs?

Or were you being sarcastic with your comment (I have a hard time deciphering whether something in text form is sarcastic or not).

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
9 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Now that we have adequate computer modeling of combustion, both spark initiated and compression initiated, there is no significant advantage to diesels. Mazda has proven this with their latest generation of engines that can swith from one to the other on the fly.

In a motorcycle, weight is a more critical parameter, so it is best limited where possible. Torque can be produced in a lighter gasoline engine by higher rpm. So if you have a given performance envelope, you can make a lighter machine by using a small displacement, high rpm gasoline engine, than you can with a higher displacement, slow revving diesel.

A small displacement diesel wouldn’t have the same performance envelope, so couldn’t compete with either.

R Rr
R Rr
9 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

Now that we have adequate computer modeling of combustion, both spark initiated and compression initiated, there is no significant advantage to diesels. Mazda has proven this with their latest generation of engines that can swith from one to the other on the fly.

^^That is just ignorance of how a diesel engine works and how it differs from a gas one, and it’s not something I could explain in a quick comment here.

Mazda’s compression-ignition gas engine doesn’t somehow “prove” diesels wrong on their advantages.

Last edited 9 months ago by R Rr
Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
9 months ago
Reply to  R Rr

You can’t explain it, because what you wrote is wrong.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
9 months ago
Reply to  R Rr

Mazda engines have indeed proven that there are no significant advantages to using diesel-fueled engines in cars and light trucks. These engines can use both compression and spark initiated combustion with gasoline/ethanol fuels which is easier to use in the modern commercial supply chain. Emissions from such an arrangement can occur with lower combustion temperatures and resultant nitrogen oxides. This is the weakness of traditional diesels, that has caused so many manufacturers to all but abandon them in consumer vehicles. Also, Mazda combined compression/spark ignition engines operate with similar levels of torque and specific output to those using diesel fuel, but can use lighter components and have higher peak rpm, thus being significantly more flexible in application for many use cases.

If you don’t understand these facts, Mazda has a number of technical bulletins diagramming the physics and testing data illustrating them. I suggest you educate yourself, rather than simply blurting out a pejorative non sequitur.

Droid
Droid
9 months ago

didn’t rokon make a diesel version?

MrLM002
MrLM002
9 months ago
Reply to  Droid

Not to my knowledge. The original ones were two stroke powered and they’ve used a variety of small gas engines.

That being said I’ve heard unconfirmed reports the IDF used or uses them with sidecars and guided missile launchers to go places other land vehicles cannot for ambushes, scouting, etc.

They should make a diesel one. I’d buy a couple provided they don’t have EFI and they do have manual start (at least as an option).

Last edited 9 months ago by MrLM002
Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
9 months ago
Reply to  Droid

I have heard stories of Rokons with a Hatz diesel engine, but never seen one. I do know there were swap kits for diesels that were built. Probably something they tried when they did the Army use trials in the 1960’s.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
9 months ago

Another fascinating article. I’ve read of a few diesel motorcycles, but never encountered one.

I do take a very minor exception to your assertions in the first paragraph as to why “most people” ride motorcycles. If you are limiting your remarks to the United States and likely most of Western Europe, where bike are largely leisure vehicles, then they are reasonably accurate. However, in Asia, Africa, South America and many Eastern European nations, motorcycles are predominantly affordable transportation and work vehicles to the extent that it would be safe to say that most motorcycle riders in the world are not out there looking for the open road experience, but focused on getting to work and home or even doing work.

I was amazed in Korea the first time I saw a cycle with a welded steel rack some six feet tall filled with yeontan, cylindrical charcoal briquettes used for heating and cooking that are roughly 8 inches tall by 6 inches in diameter and weigh about 8 pounds a piece. The rider must have had 80-100 of these stacked in the rack with a weight approaching 800 lbs! And these delivery bikes were everywhere.

That brings me full circle to your topic, diesel bikes. It would seem to me that diesel bikes would have been ideal for these working (and commuting) bikes, but there weren’t any, despite diesel engines being prevalent in everything else driven in these countries. Just wondering if it’s easier/cheaper to produce gas engines than diesels that might explain why diesels weren’t more widely employed in bikes.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Also, isn’t that why Harley-Davidson has been struggling to reach Millennial buyers in their 30s and 40s? It isn’t because they don’t have motorcycle license or buy motorcycles, a lot do, but they tend to want them as daily commuters or car replacements for decent weather days, as opposed to a toy to ride on weekends, and are just looking for different things than H-D’s traditional customer base

HOT_HATCH
HOT_HATCH
9 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I can only speak for myself (as a millennial), but my aversion to H-D is 75% the people who ride them, 23% their sales experience, and 2% worried that it would be broken all the time.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
9 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

I had the same thought, as the last time I was in Africa I saw more motorcycles than automobiles, and I can’t recall seeing anyone riding for what looked like pleasure – all appeared to be shuttling people to work or the store, or hauling WAYYYY more stuff than I thought a motorcycle ever could. It is always wild to see what ingenious (and dangerous) ideas folks come up with to carry around giant things on tiny bikes.

Last edited 9 months ago by Squirrelmaster
R Rr
R Rr
9 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Just wondering if it’s easier/cheaper to produce gas engines than diesels that might explain why diesels weren’t more widely employed in bikes.

It’s definitely harder & more expensive to make a diesel engine than making a gasoline of the same displacement & configuration. Everything, starting with the metallurgy, through the design & machining tolerances and ending with the fuel quality & filtering would be harder/costlier for the diesel.

Last edited 9 months ago by R Rr
Scott Ross
Scott Ross
9 months ago

Ted Capling ran the iron butt rally this year on a K100. He swapped out the gas engine for a diesel engine. Made it 8k before the engine let go

Scott Ross
Scott Ross
9 months ago

RPMS were high. Days 08, 09, 10 Battered and Fried – Iron Butt Rally 2023. Good pics of the bike in half while he was waiting for another smart car engine.

A. Barth
A. Barth
9 months ago

The two brewed up a concept for an inexpensive-to-build touring motorcycle called the Odyssee

Trying to hit a Homer – nice.

Their motorcycle, which would become known as the BFG 1300

[ snickers in Doom ]

—————————

That was an enjoyable article!

I like the idea of a diesel bike for some reason. I wouldn’t buy one, necessarily, but I like the thought of such a thing existing: low-end torque and long range is a useful combination.

At a bike show 4-5 years ago, I saw a custom into which the builder had shoehorned a Yanmar V-twin diesel – nautical in origin, IIRC. The build itself looked good and the engine blended in fairly well while still looking somewhat unusual.

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