Report on the 2011 International Diesel Motorcycle Rally held at Hamm.

After a rather eventful journey we arrived at Brauhof Wilhaus at roughly 2.45pm Thursday. I was astride my new Smart Tiger which had been constructed by Neil Laughlin and delivered only 3 days before we set off. Russ was riding his 1.9 litre VW Rat bike and my brother Jeff was on his trusty Honda XL600. As we rode into Hamm the weather turned from light rain to the heavier sort and we rode the bikes straight undercover in the courtyard of the venue. We were greeted by Matt and a guy I know only as the Prof.

This years Rally badge. Rafael did well with the T shirts again this year. The image and colours proved populare and were inspired by the Art Deco style

The BMW K100 VW 1.4 constructed by Karl.

This BMW K100 modified to use a 3 cylinder 1.4 TDI VW Lupo engine did, in my view, combine all the elements needed in a modern diesel bike to best affect. The builder of this motorcycle, Karl, had done a great job in mating this modern engine with the gearbox and shaft drive of the original bike and has created a machine which could quite easily pass for a standard bike. I even heard that he may release the plans for this motorcycle but that was only hearsay. But wouldn't that be nice?


Left side shot of Karls bike.

The best thing about these rallies is seeing the new machines roll in through the gate and realising the sheer hard work and engineering that has gone into creating these very unique motorcycles. Slowly but surely we are seeing perhaps the greatest hurdle to private development, that of electronic management systems, being overcome.

I make no apologies for putting my Tiger up here but it deserves it's place in history.

I'd only recieved the Tiger three days before I set off for Germany and riding such a big machine, complete with a fully loaded up Metal Mule pannier system was quite a baptism.


One I've not seen before.

Cool, classic shaft drive.

Some observations.

Rafael tells me his book detailing the history of the Diesel Motorcycle has finally been proofed and sent away to the printers situated in the Eastern part of Germany. I have encouraged him to bring out an English version but this may not happen for some time if at all! I'm sure we could sell a few copies for him if it did get translated though.

Good to see another guy making the effort and riding out from England. Ian had shown his face at the UK event earlier in the year to pay Mr Sommer a deposit of one of his new machines inspired by the design of 70's Triumphs and had subsequently travelled to Germany by train to collect his bike. Now he's journeyed out from Brighton to Hamm and lined up with us other Brits off to the left of the drive. Ian lost his phone during the event, something which caused him much angst. We later recieved word that it fell from his tent as he was unpacking it :-)

Many people remarked on the efficiency of the wood burning Holzöfen stove at Brauhof Wilhaus and it was really chucking out the heat and drying our wet motorcycling gear when we first arrived. The wrap-around tubing conducts warm air very well and I think I'm right in saying water could also be routed through them?


Nice moniker! The Hatz diesel engine has proved to be pretty reliable over the years - and a good starter too!


A Leftside view of the Citroen diesel outfit owned now by Keith from the Netherlands. He bought the bike from a guy in Berlin. He had trouble with a broken gear shaft at one stage but has now sorted that. He was quite interested in my Smart Tiger and was eager to be shown the bike.

Wild and wacky - The crazy hand change XT.

The rear.

Another BMW K 100 fitted with a Daihatsu diesel. Not seen this before.

All the way from England. We travelled out with Russ who rode this, a 1.9L Polo engine featuring direct drive. We had to get a new battery in Peronne but apart from that it made it to Hamm ok. This bike was the sorce of much wonderment to rally goers. I heard that it only just got back to Wales though after clocking up what must have been about 1200 miles?

Perhaps the madest creation on show at Hamm this year was a 'work in progress' scooter complete with a massive Hatz diesel engine. I think I'm correct in saying it is 600 or 650cc. You wouldn't want to get anything near those belts I can tell you!

I hope those belts are wide enough to take the torqure that engine will deliver!

Mikes bike. Some really great engineering on this machine!

The first time we've seen Arno's bike? The Primary cover broke loose on the way over but that didn't stop the intrepid traveller and blogger from reaching Hamm!


Good to see there are still a few Centaurus motorcycles to attend the rally.

The Rally wouldn't be the same without a Diesel Wiesel.

The V Twin using a Kipor Clone engine. We saw this last year but it always struck me as a rather neat build.

More on this bike here.

Andreas bike. One of the first bikes to successfully use an ECU & Smart engine. I heard this might be for sale at 20k euro?


Patricks bike. He tells me he made some modifications to the exhaust to stop it breaking. Vibration has been a problem and it had fractured in several places recently. All seems ok now though.

Han's came over from Vienna on what I think is a 1000cc Hatz engine in a Dnepr frame?


Thomas displays his bike complete with huge super-charger. It's an NSU outfit with a Hatz engine.

Thomas displayed his NSU machine again this year, complete with superchargering unit attached. He was heavy on the garlic schnapps again this year and took the trouble to tell me that everyone was complaining the morning after when he went to clean his teeth. "They all hate the garlic" he said, as I tried hard not to wince before him.


Teun Luigjes arrived with his diesel powered sidecar outfit The ZEUS. Thanks for the later hospitality Teun!


Russ zooms in (as we all did) on this strange wagon from the East. Diesel powered of course!




Here's a few general shots taken over the course of the weekend. After a damp Thursday the weather got much better and it turned out to be a great and warm weekend.

Mr Jocken Sommer never misses a chance to let interested bikers test ride his motorcycles. Here we see a guy about to set out on a machine who's frame is largely influenced on a 70's Triumph. British biker Ian also travelled over on one of these bikes.

Sönke's inventivness never fails to amaze. Here we see him cooking up some chicken sausages for us all.

Sonke arrived later on his Gustav motorcycle, a machine that is it seems, always being added too! This year, as lunchtime approached, we saw with amazement that a rear pannier had miraculously been adapted to also act as a barbeque! It wasn't long before a different kind of smoke than one might expect to see was billowing from the rear of this particular Diesel motorcycle! But I must admit, many bikes thereabouts were running on cooking oil and the smell was not that dissimilar! Shortly afterwards we were all offered and took some long and rather white looking chicken sausages straight from the bikes grill. This guy is nothing but ingenious!

Many visitors saw Vim's two bikes here along with Karls VW BMW and Teuns ZEUS.


As always Mr Wooli brough along a good supply of parts for sale. Checkout the website at Wolfgang Kurock or contact him on Contact him on 04621-4478.


For those that actually recognised it for what it was, the Smart Tiger over from England got quite a bit of attention. At the end of this trip it had completed 1100 miles through France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. MPG figures ranged from 99mpg on the back roads with traffic to 120mpg on the Autobahns. Range is close to 500 miles on a tank.

Here's a shot of the Tiger complete with Metal Mule Panniers - the lid locking system on them proved to be popular with rally goers. Indeed, I had my tent slashed on the way out to Hamm and the theives broke into caravans and cars but they didn't get into the panniers!

My favourite food at the rally - the Flammkuchen - a kind of flat, cheese pizza dish. Yum yum!



Sönke takes a spin out on the Gustav.


Hatz continues to be a major supplier of engine's to the dieselbike community.


On entering the bar all were greeted with the strong smell of brewing beer and given the traditional free pint. Landlord Willy was up the back, malt shovel in hand, stirring one of two large, copper vessels awash with a pungent brew.

The wagon from the East completed many journeys around the rally field, very often carrying boozers!

Always someone working on their bike at the rally. This guy had a problem with his primary chain slipper.

When things started to get crowded with the wedding party arriving Teun dolled out the Hi Vis jackets and some of the guys leant a hand to keep a bit of order and take the strain from Willy.


The blushing bride is escorted up to the assembly hall.

It was a busy venue this year as there was also a wedding party booked into the assembly hall on the Saturday night. Apparently the guy who arranged that knew our event was on the same weekend but was involved in the Highland Games event (that also happens here) and sorely wanted to use the place. In the end it all proved a little too much for the Landlord and he swore never to hold two events on the same night again! But the blushing bride looked great, if a little out of place surrounded by lots of leather clad bikers!

Nothing like carrying a spare right?


The Runout

The runout this year took us approx 18km away from the rally site. The destination was a classy hotel complete with it's own tower. Huffing and puffing (well I was anyway) we all climbed up top and took in the glorious view. It was a very hot day and after the tower a few of us grabbed a drink at the cafe there.

Everyone gets ready for the start of the runout. My bike parked to the right here whilst I hopped off to take this shot..

The Thrifter on the run out. A bike that has been across Russia and back. It was really hot Saturday and it felt like the summer we'd all missed had finally arrived.


The Tiger parked up alongside Russ's machine. I'd off loaded the Metal Mule panniers before setting out. Incidentally the locking system present on the panniers came in for a lot of attention and everyone was impressed with it.

It was a hell of a climb up this tower. In England we might call it a folly - something built on a whim for enjoyment.

And it was a damn long way down I can tell you!

A quick group shot of those of us who made the climb.

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