Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kawasaki KLR650-based diesel motorcycles for the US Army

The KLR650-based, diesel-powered HDT M103M1 does 100mpg...

Diesel-powered motorcycles? On one end of the spectrum, you have the high-tech Neander 1400, which is fitted with a 1340cc, common-rail, turbocharged, intercooled, parallel-twin diesel engine. The 95bhp Neander can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds, and hit a top speed of 225km/h. It also costs a mind-boggling US$140,000.

Now, not everyone who wants a diesel motorcycle – and that includes the US Army – is likely to shell out 140,000 dollars for one. Enter the California-based Hayes Diversified Technologies (HDT), who convert Kawasaki KLR650s into rugged, diesel-powered machines for the Army. According to the company, their M103M1 JP-8 military motorcycle ‘is designed to operate reliably and efficiently on kerosene-based fuels, including diesel and aviation kerosene.’

The HDT M103M1 uses the KLR650’s chassis and transmission parts, but is fitted with a four-stroke, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled 611cc IDI diesel engine, which makes about 30 horsepower at 5700rpm. The bike weighs 166 kilos, accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 9.7 seconds, and will do a top speed of about 150km/h.

One Dexter Ford, who recently tested the HDT diesel bike for The New York Times, said ‘In contrast to a gasoline engine, which responds instantly to the throttle, a blip of the twist grip resulted in, well, not much. It took a good three seconds for anything significant to happen. On a half-hour test ride, the M103M1, though sluggish at first, gathered speed with dogged insistence. The footpegs and handlebars buzz as the engine revs – the counterbalancer that controls vibration in the stock KLRs has been omitted to save weight and reduce complexity. Shifting through the five-speed gearbox gets the M103M1 past 145km/h, a speed it will hold, apparently, until the end of time.’

Apart from its go-anywhere capabilities, the HDT diesel bike also does close to 100 miles per gallon, so in the future, it just might make a great buy for people who want a very fuel efficient motorcycle that also lets them play Rambo. We’d stick with this Repsol-replica 2008 Fireblade though, thanks very much...

Also see:
Adiva AD250: A cool, convertible scooter!
ShowYo Moto's 'Alien' GSX-R1100...
Design 90: A Lamborghini motorcycle, anyone?
Rotohak: A 325bhp, rotary-engined sidecar rig...
The amazing MV Agusta F4 Veltro Pista!
Face-off: Fastest bike vs fastest man!
Wild Rides: MotoGP vs Bullfighting!!
Yamaha RD500-based GP-replica...
A bunch of very interesting trikes on Faster and Faster...

External links:
Wallpaper: HOT Bikes & Babes on Flickr!

Like 1980s and 1990s GSX-Rs? Read about the first, early-80s Gixxer here, the late-80s 'Slingshot'
here, and the mid-90s GSX-R comeback here!

1 comment:

Tony Chang said...

You should correct your blog post on the diesel-powered motorcycle. If you read the page you linked, the diesels are only made for the US Marine Corps (which is what the NY Times article mentions as well), the United Kingdom and NATO. The US Army only uses their gasoline tactical motorcycles, along with the Marines and Air Force.

Random Ramblings