Commercial Development of Diesel Motorcycles

Yamaha Diesel Motorcycle?

Yamaha have filed a European patent detailing the positioning of an inter-cooler on both inline and V four motorcycles. In recent years Yamaha have done much research on smaller diesel engines and could well be the first Japanese company to launch a diesel motorcycle in europe. Such a machine would most likely be aimed at the tourer class where the diesel engines attributes such as economy and torque would be valued most. Note that while most owners of high milage touring machines would prefer the low maintainence option of a shaft drive the stock drawing used here does not show one.

Download the patent here.

AVL List GmbH 1330cc TDI Diesel Motorcycle

AVL have issued a feasability study in which they examine the possibility of producing a Diesel Motorcycle. They have proposed a 3 Cylinder 1330cc diesel bike complete with turbo and intercooler. This bike will out perform All Japanese bikes in its class over 0-60mph and roll on acceleration through the mid range. Anyone who has experience the kind of superior roll-on acceleration a diesel engine can give (example VW Golf TDI) will have some idea of what a motorcycle fitted with one of these engines will go like. It promises to be a mouth watering prospect, that's for sure. Power to weight ratios always give bikes the edge and a machine fitted with this power plant is sure to give bikers a mid-range torque they've never experience before.

And with an MPG figure (as yet unknown) to most probably die for, we predict any bike fitted with one of these engines will become a firm favourite, at least in the U.K. where the fuel prices are so high.

This website has posted DVD video of home produced Common Rail Diesel Bikes to most of the Japanese R & D establishments. We can only hope they take the hint and start building them soon.

The document can be purchased here.


The CAD Drawing shows how the engine would look in a conventional bike frame. The Cat is down below and the turbo tucked behind the steering column.

Actual CAD drawings of the proposed 1330cc TDI Diesel Motorcycle engine. Note the Turbo, top dead centre.

It is said that AVL are currently in negotiations with several interested party's. Given that the proposal is 2 years old it's quite possible that we may soon start to hear who, if anyone, has taken up their proposed engine. Let me know if you hear anything.


According to the Editor of Cycle Canada, a reliable source did spot BMW diesel Boxers at a remote location in northern Quebec. The developers of the KLR diesel engine also dropped a hint that BMW were looking building Diesel Motorcycle. If anyone out there has anymore information on this please let me know.


The Ricardo 1000cc HSDI Engine

A close up view of Ricardos proposed 1000cc HSDI Diesel Motorcycle Engine

Ricardo predicts that in the next five years, all vehicle engines have got pretty much as good as they can as far as emissions testing goes. This means the legislators will begin to look from the traditional emissions measures (carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitric oxides) and turn instead towards carbon dioxide (CO2). The only way to reduce this is by reducing fuel consumption. 'Already there's an agreement by manufacturers to make their vehicles on average 25 per cent more fuel efficient, and by 2008 that might be law anyway. That's a huge step from the point of view of developing the engines,' says Brian Mason. Diesel engines are ahead here but reducing CO2 means making smaller engines that give out the same power. It's these samaller engines that would fit well into a motorcycle. Ricardo themselves actually have a 1200cc engine that gives out 100bhp and 170ft lb of torque at 2500rpm. They have done this by reducing cylinder size while actually getting more from the engine. Smaller barrels make it easier to wind up the combustion pressures. That coupled with higher fuel injection pressures and variable vane turbos mean we can look forward to economic and powerful motorcycles.

How the HSDI Engine would look in a Motorcycle frame.

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