Diesel Motorcycles Used To Exist But Many Were Terrible


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When I’m trying to get a good night’s sleep, I sometimes find myself tossing and turning, thinking about what I could do to improve a motorcycle. Some of my ideas have been downright wacky, like cramming a 670cc Predator V-twin from Harbor Freight into the frame of a tiny Honda Ruckus. However, one persistent idea has been to take an old beater of a motorcycle, remove whatever boring engine resides in the frame, and drop in a diesel. Apparently, I am not alone with this idea. They are rare, but there are some diesel motorcycles out there.

Those of you familiar with military equipment will be quick to point out an obvious (well, to nerds) motorcycle that runs on diesel. It’s a fine example to start with:

The HDT M1030M1 was an off-road motorcycle based on the Kawasaki KLR650 and built by Hayes Diversified Technologies of Hesperia, California. Like many military vehicles, it can run on multiple fuels. It runs on JP-8 jet fuel or regular old diesel, and it served in the Marines and NATO. Amazingly, sometimes you can even buy these bikes once the military is done with them. However, as these are no longer being produced, finding them on the market is becoming harder by the day.

What about civilian diesel motorcycles? I launched a search to see if I could maybe buy one.

Disappointingly, I only found a few. My favorite is the EVA Track T-800CDI. This mishmash of characters is a low-volume adventure motorcycle by EVA Products BV Holland from the Netherlands. How low volume? I couldn’t even find a website for the manufacturer and came across only one review for this thing.

To quote that Motorcycle News review from Chris Newbigging:

Bizarre

Starting the Track T800CDI gives an unusual experience – it clatters into life like a tractor giving rumbling vibration and the disgusting-smelling exhaust gases rising from the small forward-facing silencer in front of the right footpeg will be familiar to anyone who’s…



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