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Kawasaki KLR650 Military Edition
Kawasaki KLR650 Military Edition

Kawasaki KLR650 Military Edition
Kawasaki KLR650 Military Edition

– Kawasaki KLR650 Military Edition

Kawasaki KLR650 Military Edition

Almost always, the armies around the world try to keep their logistics simple. For their vehicles, this means that they standardize on one fuel only; and that’s diesel since all trucks and tanks require diesel. This means they’ll only need to carry one fuel in to the battlefield.

However, motorcycles have proven themselves over the last 100 years in battles, and they don’t run diesel. They’re used for special forces (Iraq war was a typical occasion), couriers, liaisons, etc. Therefore, NATO is experimenting with converting motorcycles to run diesel fuel.

The British have converted a Royal Enfield to run diesel see photo on the left). The 250 cc Bullet runs an impressive 140 mpg at speeds of around 40 miles per hour (and even better mpg at lower speeds). The bike can not be kick-started due to the high compression, but needs to be push started.

The USA Marines Corp (USMC) have taken the popular Kawasaki KLR650 Miliary Edition and together with Hayes Diversified Technologies (HDT) of California converted it to run either diesel or aviation kerosene fuel. It runs a very impressive 120 miles per gallon at 80 miles per hour.

It is even rumored that Kawasaki might market this machine since with its relative high speed, but very high torque, the bike could really be used for off-road adventure riding.


The Kawasaki KLR 584cc Diesel Motorcycle

The HDT-RMCS motorcycle is a collaborative venture between Hayes Diversified Technologies (HDT) of California and RMCS to develop a production diesel motorcycle. The engine was designed at RMCS and is being produced by HDT. Development has been undertaken jointly by HDT and RMCS. The bike uses a Kawasaki KLR 650 rolling chassis, modified for military use. Current status of the project is that pre-production bikes have been fully trialled and evaluated by the US Marine Corps. As a result of these trials, the USMC has now accepted the bike for service, and production is expected to commence next year.

USMC currently has gasoline KLR650s in service and all these will ultimately be converted for the diesel engine. The UK MoD currently has several bikes under test, and other NATO armies, including France and Germany, have expressed serious interest. We are now looking at other applications, both motorcycle and non-motorcycle, for this engine technology. However, there are NO immediate plans to offer the motorcycle to civilian customers, as we are presently fully committed in satisfying military orders. It is possible that a civilian version of the bike will be made available eventually but this the cost would be about 20% up from a standard bike. For the forseeable future, while the Military are swallowing the cost of this machine, they are unlikely to want to see it sold cheaply to the general public.

Based on a Kawasaki KLR650 the 584cc engine is designed to run on either diesel or aviation kerosene. Some parts from the original engine, such as the generator, have been used on the new machine in order to save money but essentially this motorcycles engine is completely new. This makes this machine completely unique, it being the first purpose built diesel motorcycle engine ever built.

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