Motorcycles using Daihatsu/Briggs and Stratton engines

John's Daihatsu 1000cc turbo- Dnepr conversion

Checkout all the build information for John's Daihatsu Dnepr conversion on the website forum bike building group.

Johnfireballs Daihatsu Dnepr conversion.

Terry Martin's Diesel Harley

Below we see Terry Martin's 1977 Harley Davidson Diesel Softail FXRS. The engine is a 950cc Briggs & Stratton/Daihatsu. Many thanks to Terry for supplying the details below.

I'm a diesel mechanic and have wanted to build a diesel bike for several years, but the diesels with enough power to be road worthy were to heavy. After Yanmar, Kubota etc. started building minidiesels I started checking the horsepower and torque of the engines and planning on how to attach it to a bike. My first engine was Kubota, but I was disappointed with the performance. Top speed was about 60mph with no passing power. I then found the Briggs and Stratton engine(Diahatsu). This engine performs great. It will carry me(270lbs) and my wife at 65mph with plenty of power to pass. Top speed 82 . The gearing in the bike is the same as a Harley Davidson softail as a matter of fact the primary belt drive, transmission and frame is Harley Davidson aftermarket parts.


Johnny's Daihatsu Diesel Motorcycle


To find out more about Johnny's bike you can vist a website which gives details of all the German Daihatsu conversions. Johhny tells me he decided to get his bike registered in England (see the plate) so as to simplify the matter. It is about 9 years old and the 1000cc engine is housed in a Dnepr frame.

Andreas Daihatsu Ural Diesel Motorcycle


Andreas Werle's Ural based machine develops 34bhp from its 1000 cc Daihatsu engine. Andreas, like his German friends, does not fear travelling on his machine and has attended the Diesel Bike Rally in Hamm these last 2 years.

Wolfgang's Daihatsu Ural Diesel Motorcycle

Like Andreas, Wolfgang has developed a Ural based machine. I saw it at the 2002 Rally and the wiring has since been improved :-)


Wolfgangs Daihatsu complete with sidecar.


Daihatsu Diesel Motorcycle and Sidecar

This machine made its first appearance at the 2003 Rally. It has a 3 cylinder Daihatsu 1000cc turbo'd motor which is fitted into a Honda Bol'd'Or frame.


It's hard to tell this was once a Honda Bol'd'Or. See insert for front view of bike.

Dave Hubbards 1986 Daihatsu/Briggs BMW Diesel Motorcycle


Dave Hubbards Finished machine.

David Hubbard from Wellsburg WV started with a 1986 R80RTand installed a 26.8 HP Daihatsu/Briggs D950 Industrial engine. Bellhousing is made from a propane cylinder top, transmission top gear -1.35:1 from Wolfgang Kayser in germany. Bike does 70 MPH + with two riders burning used fryer grease (homemade Biodiesel).It has three radiators for cooling and the frame separates in half to service the engine. Thanks for the updated details Dave.


I have re-posted a picture of this bike under construction to help those of you considering a build.


Avery's Diesel Motorcycle

Details concerning Avery's Motorcycle

It's based on the Daihatsu D950 3 cylinder industrial engine. A BMW 5-speed gearbox and shaft drive are being used. Notice I have retained the engine driven fan (it increases the *gawk* factor!). The radiator is from a Kawasaki 1500cc cruiser. When this picture was taken, the downtubes had just been welded onto the steering head. The right rear section of the frame aft of the bellhousing is a rough prototype constructed from exhaust tubing. I use the Eyeball Design principle, so there is a lot of trial assembly that you see here to determine what *looks right*. Please note the picture has been touched up slightly to remove the jackstands from beneath the rear of the frame and the blocks holding up the rear fender! Early Harley Sportster fenders will be used, not the BMW fenders shown here. Wheelbase is a reasonable 61.5 inches.

1) The exhaust system is a 1-into-2 system ending in Harley Sportster mufflers. The flex tubing used for the exhaust headers was for development
and display purposes only. Intake and exhaust manifolds have yet to be fabricated.

2) The seat and tank shown are constructed of foam for development and display purposes. The final versions of both will be slightly different than shown
e.g. larger tank (est. 400 mile range).

3) The bike is being constructed as a mild cruiser; it has a feet forward riding position a la Harley but retains the 27 degree rake of the BMW fork.

4) BMW drive train coupled to a 26.8 hp Daihatsu D950 industrial engine. The engine governor will be left undisturbed, permitting a top speed of about 60
miles per hour at 3600 RPM. If the bike performs as expected, I hope to obtain 1.35:1 gears for the gearbox from Wolfgang Kayser in Germany which
will result in a maximum speed of 70 mph. Dave Hubbard and Sam Mayberry in the USA (Daihatsu powered BMWs) suggest the engine can handle the taller ratio.

5) Radiator is NOS for a Kawasaki Mean Streak. By using the original belt drive cooling fan instead of an electric fan, I was able to keep the wheel
base to 61.75 in.

Updated details.

The Fuel tank has been intentionally designed with no curved sections. It will be fitted with a teardrop styled composite cover. This allows the shape of the tank to be changed simply by fabricating a new cover. The tank has three Colder quick disconnects to allow removal without any air getting into the lines. The exhaust headers will be fitted with heat shields. A 6 inch sample is fitted in front of the left muffler. The round thingie under the nose of the seat is the signal generator for the electronic speedo.Temporary seat is a repro for pre 1970 BMWs. A custom solo bench seat is planned.
The Motorcycle is very narrow, the widest point below the handlebars is 18 inches at the alternator. Radiator will be fitted with a fascia, a shroud will cover the alternator.Harley Sportster air cleaner cover isn't. It is a non-Harley part used to cover the fuel injection pump. The air filter is located behind the engine. The only HD parts on the notorcycle are the mufflers which are very rarely seen on a Harley. These ones were used for less than one mile, I paid $60 for the pair. British repro tail light. BMW. The headlight, signal lights, controls, cables, mirrors, and wiring harness are BMW.


Sanders Diesel Daihatsu Project

Finally, after 8 years in the making, Sanders Daihatsu powered Chopper is completed and running. It made a show at the 2006 Rally In Hamm and after some old Diesel had been cleared from its pipes it was fired up and ridden about the place. The Frame and gearbox were homemade. The gearbox is some piece of work, it having been designed with CAD software.

Daihatsu Guzzi

This machine, formerly of the Carabineri made it's first showing at the Rally in 2004. Not sure what gearbox is used.

Haydn's Daihatsu Rat Bike

Haydn Franklin is proud of his 1 litre Daihatsu Charade powerd Diesel motorcycle as it reportedly cost him less than £400 quid to build. Displaying it at the Rat & Survival Show recently (11-13th May 07) he said it's good for 100mph and will do 85 to the gallon. The bike has apparently already won more than 20 trophies.
The bike itself has a hand-built frame made from old water pipes and fashioned with the aid of a pipe bender. It may look like a hard tail but there is a mono-shock cunningly concealed beneath the seat. Most of the parts arraently came from a skip or dumpster. The bike won best in show and best engineering.

Visit for more crazy creations

Haydn's latest creation seen here in England. It uses the 3 cylinder Charade Diesel engine, 1000cc. Plenty of these cars were sold in Ireland I'm told.

The Cortenbach Diesel
I am indebted to Jurgen Schuster for supplying me with details of his Turbocharged Cortenbach motorcycle. This machine is powered by a 1000cc turbocharged Daihatsu engine that developes up to 45 hp. It consumes 3.4 ltr per 100km, runs equally well on jet-fuel or plant oil and has so far superceeded all expectations.The frame is pure Moto Guzzi.


The Cortenbach on the open road.
Recent modifications mean the front drum brake has been replaced with two disk units. I am told that if more funds were available then we could possibly see more of these bikes being made. The more modern machines would be likely to generate between 60-90 hp and consume 2-2.5 litres per 100 km.

Jurgen pictured with his Cortenbach Diesel Machine. Pictures from Motorrad.

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