Michael Sturtz along with his team of environmentally conscious vehicle enthusiasts has developed a custom built performance diesel motorcycle at the Crucible, an innovative industrial arts education facility at Oakland, California. The motorcycle is capable to run on diesel, bio diesel, or on straight vegetable oil fuels and is named Die Moto which is out to prove the practicability of alternative fuel technology in the every day use vehicles.
The team put together an old BMW motorcycle, fitted it with high performance diesel engine which was only available in Europe. It was a long and a wearing process more like solving a zig saw puzzle of putting the fundamentally distinct pieces together to work collectively. The team also had to spend a lot of its time in developing a fuel delivery system, with parts which were compatible with bio diesel.
Die Moto is an emerging work of art with a diesel engine, from a car fitted in a motorcycle chassis, put together in a hand crafted � aluminum fairing to reduce the air drag. It has achieved a remarkable 130 mph and its designers are aiming for a record 160 mph.
To register a considerable rise in its speed the team came up with an innovative idea of adding a bicycle chain like add to its gear box. When the motor spins one sprocket the chain wrapped around it turns to a second sprocket with just half of the gear teeth doubling the speed per revolution, making upto 82, 00 rpm.
Initially the Bike is stable while in motion but since its gear shift and clutch leavers are both to be controlled by foot, the real problem was to get it in motion. They had to add a switch enabling it to start in gear with the clutch also making it stable while the biker begins to ride. The team is also working on a handle bar clutch.
In September 2007 the team plans to go to the renowned Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah for testing the land speed record for any diesel motorcycle. It is claimed, that a commuter running on bio diesel emits 78% less Co2 compared with a standard diesel engine.
Taking all the above into consideration ; it looks that the quest for an alternative technology which ensures a clean and green environment has a little time left before it makes its way into high performance everyday vehicles.