We have covered the diesel motorcycle scene once or twice before, but TH Tipster Zach B. thought our readership deserved a bit of an update, and sent us a couple of links that may prove of interest. The Track Diesel motorcycle (pictured above), is being conjured up in the Netherlands, and is due for release sometime after October 2006. Able to use either Pure Plant oil, Bio-Diesel or Diesel fuels, the Track is said to manage a fuel consumption of 2.5 - 2.1 litres per 100 km travelled when operated at speeds of 90 kph. That’s equivalent to about 112 mpg. It can go from 0 to 100 kph in 8.5 second and obtain a top speed of 185 kph (115 mph). Designed and engineered by E.V.A. Motorcycle Systems of Holland, the Track is reported to have a patented front-wheel hydraulic adjustable drive system. More (limited) information can be found at ::Track Diesel. Another diesel motorbike that is now commercially available is the EcoRider from Scotland.
Conceived as an fuel efficient offroad alternative to quadbikes, the EcoRider is suited to farming, agriculture, forestry and similar applications. Unlike the Track it is only able to reach a top speed of 40 kph (25 mph), yet has a similar fuel economy, being able to manage diesel and biodiesel (and also petrol with a different drop-in engine). The EcoRider can tow small trailers and it's said to only apply a ground weight of about 2 psi (half that of an adult) due to its wide, fat tyres. Given its intended use in work situations, safety seems to have been given due consideration, with the manufacturers indicating engine cut-off controls, and an inability of the bike to pin the rider if a fall occurs. The 230cc Diesel version sells for about £2,620 ($4860 USD) All the dirt (so to speak) at ::EcoRider UK and ::EcoRider US. Also offered in France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.
Both motorcycles show that engineering obstacles can be overcome with persistence and ingenuity. If you want to stay abreast of developments you could do worse than visit the news forum dieselbike.net once in while. There you’ll find links to all sorts of machines, including say, a Sommer (above) or a Royal Enfield, that were some of the 16 diesel motorbikes on show at the ::2006 British Diesel Motorcycle Rally.
Big Thanks to Zach for the leads. (The Track Diesel turned up on Hugg while we preparing this post. If video killed the radio star, what will reader news do to blog writers?)