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6 Reasons Why Motorcycles Don’t Use Diesel Engines


Those were the top six, but admittedly there might be at least one more.

Diesel engines tend to produce around 13% more carbon dioxide per gallon of fuel in comparison to petrol engines. Therefore, diesel engines cause more pollution in the long run. The reality is that motorcycles do produce more pollution than cars in certain instances. We haven’t seen any empirical data to support this, but we have a suspicion that diesel motorcycles wouldn’t meet the EPA’s ever-more-stringent emission requirements.

Adrian's 2006 Harley-Davidson Night Rod


So, there you have it – a simplified list of the reasons why most motorcycles use petrol instead of diesel. Although diesel may be cheaper in many parts of the world, it requires a bigger, heavier engine, and does not produce RPMs at the same rate as petrol. Weight would go up, power would go down, and power-to-weight ratio would stink more than a Volkswagen cover-up.

About Author:

Peter Hanson is a motorcycle enthusiast and expert on motorcycle travel. He loves to travel and has covered a lot of countries over the past eight years.

Visit his blog to read more articles about motorcycles and helpful tips!

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  1. A Kawasaki KLR with a diesel would be the best, as the Army found out. Diesel’s wear out fast??? Check with VW owners or Long haul truck drivers on that. Slower yes. But 100mpg with a 6.5 gallon tank on a KLR, it would go 600 plus miles between service stations.

    • I don’t think the author knows of what he speaks. Diesel engines last so much longer than gas engines. The weight and size is the only real problem

  2. i would have thought that the image of riding a motorcycle, the rattle of a diesel would be off a ie – harley rider. image and tradition come first i would presume?

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