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Thread: A real diesel 'bike for 2012.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Thumbs up A real diesel 'bike for 2012.

    A new diesel 'bike should be making its UK debut this year.

    A diesel 'bike developed in Holland, the Track T800 CDI, is to be made in Dorset in the UK and should be available for sale this year.
    Economical, at around 80 mpg, with a full tank range of 300 miles between fill-ups and a service interval of 16000 miles looks like this could be the ideal mount for the long distance, economically minded, rider.

    The 'bike is the brainchild of Erik Vegt who has been developing it, in Holland, for the last six years. Powered by an 800cc, three cylinder, turbo-charged diesel as used in the SMART series of cars the new 'bike will be shaft driven via a CVT gearbox. I have only seen pictures of the 'bike, and will probably never get the chance to ride one, but to me there is a touch of the KTM about its looks, possibly the slightly angular plastics, and the 'bike has a certain presence about it.

    This is not, from the spec, a 'bike to light up the road; It musters a mere 45 bhp but behind that there is a lot of grunt, 73 ft lbs of torque thrusting the 'bike along and peaking at just 1800 rpm. Virtually instant thrust available at any time - wind open the throttle at any speed and it will go - no gear shifting, no power-band hassle just good, honest to God diesel thrust. Speed-wise a top speed of around 110 is claimed for a fully run in example and cruising all day at 75 - 80 should be a breeze for this machine.

    With an engine life estimated at around 500,000 miles (200 years for the average UK sports bike rider, maybe ten or so, I guess, for you USA long distance guys) Vegt has specified top quality components for the cycle parts. White Power suspension, fully adjustable, at both front and rear. Excel wheel rims and Brembo brakes provide the rolling and stopping elements and the frame, of tubular steel, is Track's own design.

    All the under-seat space is taken up by the battery and electrics. The 'bike has luggage rack mounting points built in and panniers and top box rack and box are available as optional extras. Personally, at the OTR price of the machine I would have thought that the machine should come with luggage as standard.

    MCN test riders have ridden the machine and report that it handles very well, although they were disappointed at the lack of ABS. On the road, cruising at 60 - 70 mph they returned an average of 80 mpg - roughly half of what a Triumph Tiger or BMW GS would drink. The ergonomics are good with a relaxed, upright, riding position with plenty of legroom. The 'bike is slim which makes it handy for filtering in traffic. The screen does a good job of protecting the rider although the slim bodywork, which makes it good for filtering, does not provide the optimum wet weather protection.

    Specification.
    Engine: 800cc, three cylinder, inline, liquid cooled, turbo-charged diesel.
    Power: 45 bhp.
    Torque: 73 ft lbs.
    Transmission: CVT belt drive, shaft final drive.
    Suspension: WP 48mm USD fully adjustable front forks.
    WP fully adjustable rear shock.
    Brakes: 2 X 310mm discs with Brembo four piston calipers at the front.
    1 X 265mm disc with two piston caliper at the rear.
    Fuel capacity: 19 liters.
    Seat Height: 830mm.
    Tires: Michelin Anakee 21 inch front
    Michelin Anakee 17 inch rear.
    Wheelbase: 1610mm
    Overall Length: 2450mm
    Overall width: 900mm (incl mirrors)
    Kerb Weight: 230kg.
    Est. price: Easy now Tiger! - 15995/$24000
    Optional accessories
    Xplorer Side boxes - 40 L , X Box Side Rack System
    X Top Box Rack, Xplorer Top Box
    Crash Bars
    Non-Shock X handlebar
    Handguards
    Heated grips kit
    Bash Plate
    Flip-up screen
    Preload adjuster

    Ken.
     
     
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Found this picture - not sure if it is prototype or production standard.

    Ken.
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    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Piney's Avatar
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    Just wondering - is there a real market for a diesel bike?

    A fully electric bike...now that I could see.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piney View Post
    Just wondering - is there a real market for a diesel bike?

    A fully electric bike...now that I could see.
    Track Diesel - Initially expensive but rugged, simple, extended service intervals, double the miles per gallon (80 mpg seems OK to me at our prices) compared with regular gas engined 'bikes, excellent range (300 miles between fill-ups) and long life expectancy. Top quality suspension and brakes.

    Electric - expensive, limited range, limited battery life, batteries expensive to replace, long charge times (very long when compared to fill-up times).

    Now, if electric bikes had say a 150 mile range at an 80 mph cruise speed, if every 'bike used a national standard battery pack, if there were 'swap-em' battery packs at every gas station so one could do a battery pack swap in the time it took to fuel a car or 'bike, if these swap packs were available at just the cost of the charge plus, say, a ten percent handling/profit cost for the gas station, then maybe, just maybe, they might be worth considering.

    In the meantime, I still love my Honda.

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken; 01-02-2012 at 03:02 PM.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Piney's Avatar
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    I agree about the battery life/range of current electric vehicles. Hopefully that will improve...longer life, smaller, lighter, quicker recharge time.

    One of the reviews I read of the Track diesel contained the following:

    Bizarre
    Starting the Track T800CDI gives an unusual experience – it clatters into life like a tractor, giving off rumbling vibrations with the disgusting-smelling diesel fumes rising from the small forward-facing silencer in front of the right footpeg. Anyone who’s ever got stuck behind an old school bus will instantly recognize the smell. You can’t blip the throttle either – doing so will engage drive and send you shooting forward.

    Lazy
    Open the throttle to pull away and the feeling is like a CVT scooter – the drive itself takes up smoothly but the rising revs are accompanied by rising vibration. The shaft drive has no anti-rising mechanism, so you can feel the torque reaction cause the back end to rise slightly. It’s not a problem, but it adds to the unusual feel.

    Opening the throttle hard doesn’t give the rush of drive you’d get with a turbo-charged car – acceleration is leisurely even though the engine responds quickly to throttle input. The 45 hp isn’t much despite the respectable torque.

    Crude
    It doesn’t get better with speed – vibration subsides a little but it’s still enough to be intrusive, and the CVT means the engine is always at the same revs giving a monotonous, tractor-like noise, which even on MCN’s short test ride became tiresome. Even with an open mind there’s no getting away from the fact is just isn’t quick or refined enough to be compared with petrol rivals on riding enjoyment.

    Well-designed
    It’s a shame the engine isn’t much comp – the rest of the bike is built to a high standard, and the chassis is as good as any major manufacturer. The look is distinctive too, and the riding position is adjustable so it should prove comfortable over distance.

    For the price (~ 24,000 USD) I'd rather spend my money on a new Harley.

    Again, the question - is there a real market for a diesel bike? I would think that demand would drive supply (for either diesel or electric, or both) but the demand just doesn't seem to be there yet - at least on this side of the pond.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piney View Post
    I agree about the battery life/range of current electric vehicles. Hopefully that will improve...longer life, smaller, lighter, quicker recharge time.

    One of the reviews I read of the Track diesel contained the following:

    Bizarre
    Starting the Track T800CDI gives an unusual experience – it clatters into life like a tractor, giving off rumbling vibrations with the disgusting-smelling diesel fumes rising from the small forward-facing silencer in front of the right footpeg. Anyone who’s ever got stuck behind an old school bus will instantly recognize the smell. You can’t blip the throttle either – doing so will engage drive and send you shooting forward.

    Lazy
    Open the throttle to pull away and the feeling is like a CVT scooter – the drive itself takes up smoothly but the rising revs are accompanied by rising vibration. The shaft drive has no anti-rising mechanism, so you can feel the torque reaction cause the back end to rise slightly. It’s not a problem, but it adds to the unusual feel.

    Opening the throttle hard doesn’t give the rush of drive you’d get with a turbo-charged car – acceleration is leisurely even though the engine responds quickly to throttle input. The 45 hp isn’t much despite the respectable torque.

    Crude
    It doesn’t get better with speed – vibration subsides a little but it’s still enough to be intrusive, and the CVT means the engine is always at the same revs giving a monotonous, tractor-like noise, which even on MCN’s short test ride became tiresome. Even with an open mind there’s no getting away from the fact is just isn’t quick or refined enough to be compared with petrol rivals on riding enjoyment.

    Well-designed
    It’s a shame the engine isn’t much comp – the rest of the bike is built to a high standard, and the chassis is as good as any major manufacturer. The look is distinctive too, and the riding position is adjustable so it should prove comfortable over distance.

    For the price (~ 24,000 USD) I'd rather spend my money on a new Harley.

    Again, the question - is there a real market for a diesel bike? I would think that demand would drive supply (for either diesel or electric, or both) but the demand just doesn't seem to be there yet - at least on this side of the pond.
    I wonder, Rich, whether the report you quoted from was for the pre-production model that MCN rode a while back. Their latest report seems to be much more accepting. I quote "Its secret weapon is the 73 ft lbs of torque which peaks at 1800 rpm so it is on tap about all of the time." "Over 50-60 the engine could be mistaken for a petrol unit, albeit a gruff one, but there is no smell and no smoke". "Vibrations do get through but subside as speed increases." (Surely some vibration can not be of any concern to a Harley rider - the last 1200 Sportster I rode was a few years back but the vibrations were enough to loosen my fillings.)

    An owner comments 'I use it for riding out with my mates, doing the Round Britain Rally, all sorts really. Performance is fine and the acceleration is deceptively quick, it is certainly quicker than my mate's R1100S away from the lights.' He also commented on the comfortable ride of the bike which made 400 mile runs no problem - on UK roads.

    Ken.
    Last edited by Ken; 01-03-2012 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Addition.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  7. #7
    I read your comment about the amazingly high price of gas in "rip-off Britain". The diesel makes a lot more sense in the UK than in Amerika where gas is still (relatively speaking) cheap and motorcycles are used more as fashion accessories and toys than serious forms of transportation.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I read your comment about the amazingly high price of gas in "rip-off Britain". The diesel makes a lot more sense in the UK than in Amerika where gas is still (relatively speaking) cheap and motorcycles are used more as fashion accessories and toys than serious forms of transportation.
    It has just occured to me that I actually missed out yet another element of the taxation applied to our UK gasoline. As well as all the other elements I mentioned there is also, in addition to the petrol duty, the 22.15 pence per litre, 1 per gallon, of VAT that is deducted to swell the coffers of our Treasury coffers.

    Ken.
    Last edited by Ken; 01-17-2012 at 05:39 PM.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  9. #9
    We always lag behind you guys. Give us enough time and we can make gas unaffordable too.

    A number of years ago a book came out authored by Martin Gross called The Tax Racket A to Z. He devoted a few pages to gas taxes. By law they're supposed to be used on highway related stuff. Unfortunately, a good percentage is used to fund political pet projects. No one seems to care and there is never any accountability.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Piney's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    We always lag behind you guys. Give us enough time and we can make gas unaffordable too.

    A number of years ago a book came out authored by Martin Gross called The Tax Racket A to Z. He devoted a few pages to gas taxes. By law they're supposed to be used on highway related stuff. Unfortunately, a good percentage is used to fund political pet projects. No one seems to care and there is never any accountability.

    I wouldn't say no one seems to care...whenever the AMA is made aware of these diversions of funds from something transportation, or recreational motorcycling, related - whether derived from "service fees" applied to licensing & registration of motorcycles, gas taxes, or any number of other fees that are originally levied in order to fund transportation initiatives - they get involved.

    That's one of the reasons I still belong to the AMA...in fact it's probably the primary reason I still belong. (Well, that and the free roadside assistance. )

  11. #11
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    Given that the engine came from a car (even a tiny one like the Smart), I'm surprised it's as small as it is.

    A 300 mile range is similar to what my truck gets in city driving (400 on the highway), but I obviously have a much larger tank that costs a lot more to fill up. Plus I can carry 680 kg of people and cargo..

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

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