Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Microdiesel Mopeds?

There's a thread that's been running in various moped-oriented blogs about the practicality of a biodiesel powered moped. All that's really needed is a suitable engine; you could take any existing moped or bicycle platform and pop an engine on it.

There have been tiny diesels for a long time, thanks to model airplane builders, but most are very fussy things that require a short-lived fuel mix and have a relatively short life. Now there's a Dutch-funded initiative to produce a practical small diesel for farmers in China that might just have applications for small mopeds.

The Practica Foundation's Microdiesel produces 0.6 HP from an 18cc engine. Now that's pretty small, even by moped standards, but it's enough to power a bicycle at 12mph, and if your aim is to save the planet, rather than to set a land speed record, that might be enough. Anyway, the design could probably easily be scaled up to 50cc and perhaps as much as 2HP- enough for 20-30mph, depending on rider weight. At a cost of $60 (FOB China) you could afford to put two or three on a moped if you liked.


Tim said...

Great idea. HDT currently manufactures diesel motorcycles for the military so it is certainly a practical effort.

michael edelman said...

I'd love to have one of those 650cc diesel bikes! Lots more torque than my 175cc thumper.