It's All About the Diesel – A Primer on Diesel Motorcycle Greatness

A Diesel Motorcycle Gallery – What’s A Little Black Smoke Among Friends

A diesel engine, or compression-ignition engine, uses the heat of compressed fuel to fire.  Unlike a spark-ignition gasoline engine which uses its fuel-air mixture in a gaseous form , a diesel relies on very high compression to force its liquid fuel to ignite.

Developed by Rudolf Diesel in 1893, the compression-ignition engine works a little like a spark-ignition engine with one critical difference – in a diesel engine  air is compressed first, and then the fuel is injected into the cylinder. Because air heats up when compressed, the fuel ignites as a result of his heat rather than that from a spark plug.

The very high compression ratio of  low-speed diesel engines boast a thermal efficiency which beats 50 percent, and that’s a lot.

The bike below features a three cylinder, 1000cc Yanmar diesel which was built from block up and bored out. The builder says the timing was advanced, the bike was fitted with a special oil pan and pickup, modifications were made to the the injection pump and then the whole works was  turbocharged with GT15 turbocharger.

If that doesn’t do the trick for you, or maybe you have a preference for non-marine engine diesels, how about this CAT diesel bike which features a springer softail frame, 200 rear tire, Cat C1.1 diesel engine and plans to include a turbocharger of its own.

As of 2007, about half of all new cars sold in Europe are diesel powered.


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