Privately Produced Diesel Motorcycles by engine

Please note: All Motorcycle in this section have at least one major part, example Chassis or engine, produced by the builder.

Citroen BX Diesel Motorcycle

Built by Lajos Kishung, this monster of a bike has a 1.9 litre Diesel engine from a Citroen BX. Sadly Lajos was killed in a road traffic accident back in April 2001.


1.9 litre Diesel Citroen BX engined Bike.


We think this is the first ever Diesel motorcycle!

The Dopper motorcycle was build in 1904 with components from an old cycle that was given by Jan Brons to Jan Dopper.
The engine had a bore from 70mm and a stroke from 70mm and has 2 bhp at 700/rpm. As seen at the picture we think that the engine has two gears (as you can see the two belts at each side of the engine) and a coupling.
After some testing the engine was rebuild with his new motorcycle frame as shown on the picture. In the beginning of 1910 Jan Dopper made a three wheel motor cycle with the Dopper engine. On this cycle he can moved two passengers and himself.
Before WW2 the Dopper engine was placed in a mill, the mill was shot down and this was the end of the Dopper engine.


The machine above was built in 1904 by Jan Dopper. Its engine is a BRONS type Diesel and help was given in building it by Jan Brons.

I am indebted to Jan Vegter and Ad Langelaar who supplied me with information on this machine. Thanks gentlemen.

More information here on how the engine works at the Brons Engine website.

Sander's Daihatsu Chopper

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.

Gaz's Ford Diesel Bike

Here we have a shot of the first Diesel Bike built by Gaz (builder of two diesel choppers). Picture comes curtesy of Diesel Dave. Details are as follows: The engine is a Ford 1.6 Diesel with a Ford 5 speed box (although he may swap this for a Ford CVT box). Final Drive is a welded up differential woth Jap shaftie rear end. Frame - actually there isn't one (say Dave)... The headstock bolts to the cylinder block and also acts as the inlet manifold. The rear bolts to the back of the block.The bike was originally attached to a sidecar - actually a cut down Reliant. It was built some ten years ago.

Jeff Parker's Kubota D1105E Motorcycle

Many thanks to Diesel Plus Magazine for sending me details of Jeff Parker's 3 cylinder Kubota powered Bike. This machine stands out from the crowd on account of its Hydrostatic Drive system courtesy of Larkstur Engineering and Supply Inc. Jeff says the bike took about 4 months to build and that includes the time he also spent making a hydraulic tube bending machine so as he could create his own frame. The front end, forks, brakes, wheels all came from a Suzuki 1200 Bandit. The bike averages about 64 mpg and has a top speed of 75-80 mph. The engine, a3cyclinder D1105E produces 25 bhp.To read the article in full click here for page one and here for page two.

A Diesel Marvel from Minnesota.

Jeff Parker shows off his Kubota powered machine. Pictures courtesy of Diesel Plus Magazine. Thank you guys.


Brian's Kubota 3 cylinder turbo diesel with hydrostatic drive.

With Jeff's bike in the background we see Brian's new Kubota built chopper.

Again it's hydrostatic drive.

Diesel Scooter

Holger Mesle was inspired to build this Lombardini engined Diesel Scooter after seeing pictures of both Cushmann and Simplex machines. He is currently trying to make the machine road legal in Germany which is no mean feat when you have to get the machine past the TÜV (Technikal Test Service). Holger tells me the scooter does 100km/h and weighs in at 120kg. The engine is a 440cc model which drives through a Comet Variomatik transmission.

The DieselRoller Scooter

Holger Mesle used some parts from the East German Simpson to build his Diesel Scooter.


Hickson Special


Many thanks to Brian Hickson for making contact and supplying the build details of his bike. I have posted them in full for all those people who like to know exactly what goes into creating such a motorcycle. Brian says the bike that reaches 87 km/h and costs 1.3c a kilometer on fuel to run.

Here are the build notes: The engine is a 376cc Kubota KND5B general purpose agricultural power plant, its intended use was driving water pumps, rotary cultivators, etc. The gearbox is a 1950's B.S.A. B31 standard ratio box, the clutch is a multi plate Triumph unit from the same era. Rear wheel is from a Honda CMX 250, not sure of the year. Front wheel is Suzuki GT 380, again not sure of the year.


Switch gear, tail light and front indicators are Yamaha RD 400, head lamp is Honda GB 250, rear indicators are Suzuki of some sort, not sure what. Twist grip is Honda CB 100, speedo is Suzuki, probably a small trailie. Handle bars are an after market item sold as British 12" risers. Front mudguard is Honda, rear is a standard mass produced trailer item. Seat is from a 1930s International tractor, the seat spring is half of an Austin A60 van rear spring main leaf.

The alternator is a Mitsubishi item, it is driven by a Honda Accord water pump pulley bolted to the inside of the engine flywheel. The frame is a double triangulated straight tube arrangement fabricated from 32 mm mild steel square section tube, the leading link system front forks are fabricated from 25 mm square section tube, again mild steel, the front coil over units originally graced the rear end of a CX 500 Honda. Steering head bearings are both taper roller bearings, the lower bearing has a 'built in' seal. The lower triple clamp is fabricated from 25 mm square section mild steel, the upper t/c from 19 mm
aluminum plate and the handle bar brackets from 25 x 50 aluminum bar.


Frame dimensions are wheel base 2040 mm (was supposed to be 2000 mm, slight hiccup there!), rake is 35 degrees and trail is 100 mm. I worked out these figures after considerable study of Foald & Willoughby's excellent text 'Motor Cycle Chassis Design: the theory and practice'. It was worth the effort, riding the machine is effortless! The handling is neutral and inputs required are minimal. Comfort is excellent, a 12 hour riding day is no problem. You have to do that now and again, with a top speed of 90 kmh (under ideal conditions) it takes a while to get anywhere! Average speed over a long trip is around 67 to 75 kph, depending on wind, hills, etc.

The fuel tank is fabricated from aluminum and holds 15 litres, enough for about 480 to 500 km. The primary chain (a 428 chain) is adjusted by moving the gearbox, the 520 final drive chain is tensioned with an adjustable slipper made from industrial nylon of some kind against the lower run of the chain, this
has proved to be very effective and much quieter than a roller. I tried a roller originally, that was stuffed after the first long trip, about 3000 km. The engine was originally fitted with a hopper tank for cooling, I replaced that with a built up top cover and thermostat housing, a 92 degree thermostat and a radiator fabricated from part of a Toyota single row radiator core, a shortened Holden top tank and a Mini bottom tank. Circulation is taken care of by the old fashioned but in this case highly effective thermosiphon system.


I drew up plans for the bike in January 1991, it hit the road in March 1994 and has since covered over 41000 km. Modifications carried out since then are the chain tensioner (already mentioned), the seat (the original was off a Harley 883 Sporty, this was the most painful thing I have ever sat on!), and engine modifications, namely a larger inlet valve, a thorough port job and an adjustable maximum fuel stop. I also built another muffler, the original was a bit noisy. I had initially geared it for a top speed of 100 kph, but with only about 7 hp (after modification) that proved to be a bit over optimistic, so on went a larger back sprocket and a smaller engine sprocket. The top speed of 90 kph (at maximum governed revs, upped to about 2900 from the original 2200), is
attainable at sea level on a flat road, no wind and with the ambient temperature below about 8 degrees Celsius.


Mansukhbhai Sanchaniya and his unique Small Diesel Engine

Mansukhbhai Sanchaniya has developed a unique 3. 5 HP single cylinder, 4 stroke small diesel engine which is two-third the size and half the weight of the conventional machine. The major components are made of an aluminum alloy which offers a high strength-to-weight ratio and the use of an optimum nozzle plunger reduces air pollution due to exhaust. At a cost of Rs. 12, 000 per unit it is easily affordable and a good bargain as maintenance and troubleshooting is quite easy. Attached to a motorcycle, it gives a mileage of 100km/hr and achieves a speed of 55km/hr. Due to its compact size and light weight it can be used for various other applications such as pumps, mini flour mills, lawn-mowers, motor boats, portable diesel generators etc. Currently Mansukhbhai enjoys such a reputation that many top-level engine manufacturers like P. M. Diesels Ltd. consult him for solving their problems in the area of R&D in engine technology.

A school drop-out, Mansukhbhai Sanchaniya of Rajkot, Gujarat, manufactured threshers, pumps and other farm machinery before he set up a workshop for service and repairs of automobiles mainly two-wheelers. Even at the age of 60, he is active on the lathe machine in his workshop and is ready to take up new challenges for the development of the engineering sector.


The Sidney Diesel Norton


The Sidney Diesel Norton with its prototype Diesel engine.

After much searching I can announce that I finally managed to find the original test rider of the above machine. His Father designed the above engine and fitted it into what he referred to as his mobile test bed. The bike was put together in Sussex, England in the mid 1950's. Below are details taken from two letters sent to me from Tony Sidney, the machines test rider.

The Norton Motorcycle.

In the early 1950's Arthur Alexander Sidney developed a revolutionary high speed Diesel engine of 500cc capacity which was comprised mainly or Aluminum. Firstly to help prove the engine, secondly to simulate different loads upon it and thirdly to show it to potential customers he fitted it into a Norton motorcycle frame.
His son, Arthur Anthony Sidney joined him in 1956 at the workshop in Saltdean, Brighton, and together they tested the Diesel Motorcycle driving it as far a field as West Drayton, London where another engine had been fitted to a Dumper Truck owned by a company called Road Machines.
The bike produced 10-14 BHP at around 4000 RPM. It was possible to kick-start the machine with the valves lifted but on cold mornings it really needed to be pushed or towed behind a car.
Top speed was about 55 MPH using a standard Norton Gearbox and the engine had, as you'd expect, bags of torque. Getting over the hills outside Brighton was no problem but acceleration was relatively slow.
The large exposed flywheel could be dangerous at times but the very fact that it was exposed helped enormously when setting up the engines timing.

The Engine.

The engine itself was made from Aluminum to a: help dissipate the heat and b: save weight. Any loss of strength, considering the high compression ratio, was compensated for by the use of tensile steel rods which ran from the main bearings up to the cylinder head. The piston also carried a relief for the valve.
The combustion chamber was of the 'squirt type' being machined into the cast iron cylinder head. Fuel injection was by CAV pump with modified nozzle (to give optimum spray profile and combustion).
The crankshaft was pressure lubricated and ran in phosphor bronze plain bearings (a massive construction) and the cylinder block was lined.
Testing took place on a Heenan & Fronda water break Dynamometer. Only 4 engines were made and all parts were manufactured locally in the Brighton area. At one time Ford was interested in acquiring the patent but this was not followed up.


T-55 Soviet Tank poewered Diesel Motorcycle

This bike recently featured in the Metro Newspaper here in England. Details are as follows: "The world's heaviest motorbike is ridden by its constructors Tilo (L) and Wilfried Niebel of the 'Harzer Bikerschmiede' in Zilly, Germany, 20 November 2007. According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the 4.74 ton heavy motorbike is the heaviest in the world. Roadworthy but not licensed for road use, the 2.30 metres tall, 2.60 metres wide and 5.30 metre long motorbike was built within 5,000 hours of work. The motorcycle is powered by a 3.8 litres (Diesel) engine of a Soviet T-55 tank delivering 800 HP."

The Dabrowski Ungetuem Diesel Trike

I first saw this machine when it arrived back at the 2002 Rally. It made a second appearance at the 2003 Rally as well and was one of the most interesting creations there. The chassis is partly golf front end with a 1.6 Litre Diesel engine hidden under the main canopy which is wooden. Detlef Dabrowski's driving position is most interesting as he sits perched on an upright square cushioned seat the like of which I have never seen before in a motor vehicle.


The unusual Ungetuem Trike

Guzzi Ray's Yanmar Chopper.

Here's a shop of Ray's hard tail chopper which made its first appearance at the 2010 British Dieselbike rally at the Bat and Ball. Ray has been to just about every rally held in the UK and always said that one day he would build a bike. Well here it is! And what's more it has recently passed it's road worthiness test and is now on the road. Ray first had his attention drawn to the fact that there was such a thing as a diesel motorcycle rally by a friend of his who phoned him up and said "Ray, this is right up your way of thinking." Judging by the bike Ray has produced it certainly was!

Ray's hardtail diesel chop with a suicide shifter.

British Yanmar Diesel Custom Bike

This bike consists of a Yanmar Diesel cement mixer engine, with no mods, A BSA A10 gearbox and a custom built frame. Other parts used are as follows:
A one off exhaust, Aprillia rs125 front forks and brakes, wheel. Aprillia rs125rear wheel/brake. Ducati rear master cylinder.Sportster tank, moddified.
Colour: black magic pearl paint. Saucpan clutch cover. One off primary cover. This bike was built by Gaz's Custom Shake and is owned by Tom Veevers.
built by gazs custom shake. You can get Gaz on his cell on 07840533064 but I'm told he has had to put bike building aside because of illness.

diesel chopper

British Yanmar Custom Bike


B20 Bomber Diesel Chopper

To promote the BioWillie B20 Brand Bio Diesel in Southern California, Earth Biofuels inc, have had their parent company, B20 Customs, LLC construct this bike which has a yanmar 2v78 750cc engine that develops 20hp at 3600 rpm. Named after the fuel it uses, it is hoped the B20 Bomber will persuade American bikers to consider using alternatively fueled bikes in an effort to reduce the country's dependency on foreign oil. Apparently the fuel station selling the 20% Bio & 80% Petroleum based fuel is located just north of downtown San Diego along Interstate 15.

Willie Nelson, a member of the Earth Biofuels Board of Directors, was in attendance to officially mark the event. Checkout the video!

The B20 Bomber hopes to persuade Americans to try out alternative and renewable fuels. Two more bikes are promised.

Alaskan Custom Diesel Chopper

This bike was built in 2004 by Why Not Designs, LLC . Comments on the web page say it's a 1.6L diesel with propane injection and flamethrowers. It has parts from tractors to cars to airplanes. The project was a Colorado School of Mines Engineering project.

An Alaskan Diesel Chopper complete with flame-throwers. I guess they should warm the rider (and others?) up some!


Leonhardtweb Gunbus Hatz Diesel Bike

Here we see the finished custom made machine complete with Hatz engine. Built for a customer, Adam Eberhard.


2 Wheel Drive Yanmar Diesel Motorcycle

This bike was seen on You Tube and very little is known about it except that it is Yanmar powered and apparently 2 wheel drive. I've put it in under the Private Production simply because the frame looks custom made.

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