With diesel engines gaining more of the spotlight, let's take a closer look at another diesel, the Neander turbo diesel motorcycle. A number of readers have pointed out this bike before which has been around for a while in prototype form but their intention is to begin production in limited quantities later this year so what do they have to offer?
Neander Motors looked at diesels and saw small displacement diesel engines of the one, two or three cylinder variety underrepresented in most applications. The major reasons were weight and vibration. Although ideal in large displacement and stationary applications, you didn't see many diesels in small watercraft, ATVs and, of course, motorcycles. Rather than trying to fit an existing diesel into those roles, they designed a new diesel engine with the idea of low weight and vibration as goals, the result is a twin counter-rotating crankshaft design that looks like they might have come up with a winner.
They've built a vertical parallel twin cylinder diesel, which would be plagued with far too much vibration in the configuration and displacement chosen, yet the counter rotating crankshafts all but cancel the majority of the vibration. And this is no computer model, the engine has been built, tested and installed in a prototye motorcycle which has been showing up around Europe in a variety of venues where folks could get a look at it.
The final configuration is a 1400cc, twin cam, four valve per cylinder, vertical twin turbo diesel with intercooling producing 100hp and 144 foot pounds of torque at 2600rpm. It looks nice without some of the bulky and clunky appearance you might expect when you hear the word diesel. Performance figures are quoted on their site as 0-60mph in approximately 4 seconds. Not bad for a cruiser and sure to improve as the engine is refined.
The engine, as set up in the bike, is equipped with particulate filters for low emissions. The bike will have a six speed transmission and belt final drive.
Although the bike they plan to produce will not look exactly like the prototype and is only presented in computer images, it is similar in appearance to the prototype which doesn't look bad as is.
They have not set a price yet which I imagine might be rather high but whether or not this bike succeeds as a sales hit, it may very well succeed as a great demonstration platform to prove the viability of their new twin crank diesel design. If it does that, they might find huge markets in many other areas and at the same time other companies may want to source their engine for use in a diesel motorcycle of their own.