– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Forget Hybrids and Ethanol – What About Good Old Diesel?

With all the hype lately about alternative fuels, mainly ethanol (see my articles here and here), it’s easy to overlook something that’s been around for a long time – diesel. Sure, we all have our stereotypes about diesel-powered vehicles – they’re loud, they stink, they make dirty black smoke, and more. But advances in diesel technology have made most of those stereotypes obsolete, while at the same time a new type of diesel called ‘bio-diesel’ has arrived, and it’s more eco-friendly than gas.

Most performance enthusiasts (at least in the US) don’t make a connection between the words ‘diesel’ and ‘performance’ – a problem that Audi, for one, is trying to change. This year they’ve replaced their dominant R8 sportscar racer with the all-new, turbo-diesel powered R10. The R10 recently proved that a turbo-diesel can be competitive in top-level racing by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Will turbo-diesel power come to motorcycles? There are some drawbacks, the biggest being that the extreme cylinder pressures of turbodiesel motors require a stronger (and thus heavier) block and bottom-end components. However, in certain sectors (think cruisers), this wouldn’t be that big of a problem, and might be offset by the huge torque production of diesel motors.

For more information on bio-diesel, check out Also check out this page to read more about Audi’s diesel-powered R10 race car.

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