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Track T800CDI Diesel Motorcycle Quick Ride

Monday, September 21, 2009
Motorcycle USA continues its cultural exchange program with our pals overseas at MCN. There's plenty of bikes coming out of Europe that we may never get to hike a leg over but are nonetheless curious about the technology. Here's a quick ride report from MCN after a recent outing on the Track T800CDI, a diesel-powered production motorcycle.

By Chris Newbigging
Pics Courtesy of Phil Masters



The diesel-powered Track T800CDI has a continuously-variable transmission and shaft drive.
With adventure-motorcycle styling and a chassis composed of a WP fork, Brembo brakes, and a trellis frame, the diesel-powered Track T800CDI looks to break into the market dominated by the KTM Adventure and BMW R1200GS.
Evaproducts Track T800CDI is the most-advanced diesel production bike built yet and MCN got the exclusive honors of test riding it. The Track T800CDI is a new adventure-style motorcycle from Dutch manufacturer Evaproducts using a turbo-charged, 800cc triple-cylinder from a Smart car, mated with a CVT transmission and shaft drive to keep the engine at peak torque.

The engine gives a claimed 45 hp and 78 lb-ft of torque, but more significantly Evaproducts claims the T800CDI has fuel consumption up to 140 mpg for general riding – twice the economy of the most efficient large capacity petrol motorcycles.
 
The chassis is designed to compete directly with the KTM 990 Adventure and BMW R1200GS, so it has WP suspension, Brembo brakes and a modern trellis frame.

MCN’s Chris Newbigging is the first journalist to hike a leg over the prototype on a quick ride -here’s his first impressions:
 
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.
The turbo-charged  triple-cylinder engine powering the Track T800CDI is sourced from a Smart car.
The turbo-charged, triple-cylinder engine powering the Track T800CDI is sourced from a Smart car.

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.
 
Tough
Evaproducts out of the Netherlands is producing one of the most-advanced diesel-powered production motorcycles around.
Evaproducts hopes to have the Track T800CDI diesel motorcycle ready for production in the Netherlands by the summer of 2010.
The reason for the bike’s low power output is Evaproduct’s desire to make it last– an engine life of 250,000 miles is claimed – and give excellent fuel consumption. Those qualities only appeal to a limited number of people – for the rest of the world, they’re attributes of limited use that come at the expense of riding enjoyment, so until diesel bikes tune in to the needs to the wider biking public, it’ll stay as a niche machine.

Evaproducts aims to have this motorcycle available by the summer of 2010 in the Netherlands first, followed by the European Union.
 
THE FACTS
Track T800CDI
MSRP: £15,000
Engine: 799cc, six-valves, liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder, turbo-charged diesel
Transmission: Continuously-variable transmission.
Fuel System: Common rail fuel injection
Power (claimed): 45 hp
Final Drive: Shaft
Front Suspension: WP upside-down 48mm fork
Wheelbase: 1610mm
Brakes: Front Dual Disc, 310mm diameter
               Rear Single Disc, 265mm diameter
Wheels: Front 1.85 in: 21 in.
                Rear  4.25 in: 17 in.
Length: 2450mm
Seat height (adjustable): 780/900mm
Fuel: 22.5 liters
Weight: 220kg (fluids, no fuel)
Colors: Silver, black or white
Contact: http://www.dieselmotorcycles.eu/
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Comments
Diesel Dean -Diesel MPG claims  May 8, 2010 10:53 PM
I'm old enough to remember the "Diesel Craze" of the 1970's, that was sparked by the '73 oil embargo, here in the US.
Most conversions, using "like-sized" (well, approximately "like-sized" anyway) diesel engines, only netted an average fuel milage increase of around 30%, over the former gasoline powerplant.
So, if your car was getting 25 mpg (pretty good, btw, for 1973), the diesel conversion (again, assuming an approximately "like-sized" engine), the diesel coversion would only increase your milage to approximately 30-32 MPG.
Not a huge change, but every little bit counts.
Using that figure (30%) and assuming that generally, the average gas-powered mid/large motor bike gets around 50-55 MPG, a similarly sized diesel powerplant is probably only going to realize around 65-70 MPG.
Granted, technology in general has taken a few leaps and bounds in the ensuing 30-40 years, but I'm skeptical of the 140 MPG claim.
Maybe in "ideal" condition (i.e., on a tread-mill and running a constant 35 mph in high gear), but I think "real-world" conditions would show something closer to about 1/2 that claim.
45HP from 800cc's is pretty good, though.
My '80 Rabbit with 4-speed and the 1471cc diesel engine was only rated at 48HP and I averaged 45-48 MPG for the 5 years I owned that car.
Stuart -Track T800  March 18, 2010 03:25 PM
It's very common in Europe for buyers of modern Diesel cars to have them 'chipped' that is having the ECU remapped. Most manufacturers tune their vehicles towards the middle of the range but some go lower for reliability etc. It may well be possible to change this bike if you wanted to. The good thing about diesel is that in doing it you would get even better MPG figures. Cool eh?
With the new Ducati Multistada offering four riding modes, all through the push of a button I predict it will not be long before this option is available other bikes.
I've ridden this bike by the way and liked it. More at DieselBike.net

F.Maxwell -This site seems to generate a lot of negativity...  January 21, 2010 01:37 PM
This site seems to generate a lot of negativity about non-mainstream bikes. I'm very glad that there are efforts to create commercial, rugged, long-life diesel bikes -- even if I don't want to buy one. I'm happy that there are automatic transmission bikes. I'm glad that there are bikes that have ABS, 2WD, and outside-the-box thinking for brakes and suspension. What's wrong with looking for the positive even if it's not your kind of bike?
F. Maxwell -Different bikes for different purposes...  January 20, 2010 02:10 PM
Criticizing this bike because it doesn't perform like a Gixxer 1000 is as stupid as criticizing the Gixxer for not being as long-lasting or fuel-efficient as this bike - or criticizing a Ducati for not being as comfortable as a Gold Wing. As for Randy, WTF is your problem? Someone has a different opinion than you so you're going to be an @ss in response? I'm not a human hater: I'm a sub-human hater, which means you're not going to be on my Christmas card list.
ardugpc -Looks very good  November 13, 2009 03:04 AM
Maybe we need to look at other reviews too, Chris Newbigging is the first reviewer (that I came across) who is not really rating it. If you want to take on R1's, then Adventure bikes isn't going to do it anyway. It certainly has the appeal if you like Adventure type bikes, and I'm sure that by the time that they're in full production it will cost little bit less. It fits perfectly if you're a world explorer, less worries about fuel stops. To EVA, congratulations on this new concept, and I hope that it will be available soon.
JD -tweaking  November 11, 2009 09:51 AM
Interesting to note that the original 41BHP can easily be taken to 65BHP with just a box, now that would be more interesting and more than my F650.
JR -Can't stop it  November 9, 2009 09:40 PM
You're not going to able to stop high mpg vehicles from happening. So get over it already. They're coming big time!
Sumanster -Decent start  October 14, 2009 01:21 PM
Early models of a new concept are always going to be pricey and a little rough (especially from a start-up company without vast cash reserves), since development costs are high while initial volumes are low (think Tesla Roadster, or even the first iPhones). I had stumbled onto EVA's website a few years ago and have been following their progress, so I'm glad to see they have a product available. It apparently still needs some work, and a lower price, for me to consider buying one, but I'm not crossing it off my list yet. Regarding the smelly fumes, just use biodiesel so it'll smell like french fries. MCN seems to praise the rest of the bike besides the engine.
DePaul -Almost $25,000?  October 9, 2009 09:25 PM
I have a friend that recently built a diesel motorcycle for under $4500, and based on the numbers of the Evaproducts bike, it will outperform it. The doner bike that he used was a Honda Trans Alp. He modified the frame to accept a 2-cylinder Kohler diesel. It has been converted to run on biofuel. He was also able to resell the unused Honda parts, so the total build ended up being closer to $3800. The bike looks like it rolled off of a factory assembly line. It's way better looking than the Track T-800CDI. I have no idea what the performace specs are on my friend's bike, but I know that he comutes 50 miles to work on mostly freeways, and has no trouble. He's working adding a super charger that he got off of a wrecked Mini Cooper-S.
Erik Holland -Track T-800CDI, commenting without riding it !!! Why is that ?  October 2, 2009 11:49 AM
dear former indian territory guys ;-), any chance you did ride it before commenting ?? I invite you all over to Holland to have a drive along our shores. After that be free to write what you think. Sceptisime is slowly moving to amazement also with the US guys that were allready here and did the drive. Hope you can all do this also one day. regards Erik ceo EVA Products BV From Holland
HDBreeze -It's definitely food for thought...  September 30, 2009 05:24 PM
I think it's a good start, but needs some more refinement. That will come in time, and maybe other manufacturers will follow suit. I would have no problem buying/riding a diesel motorcycle. For now, I think the best application for a diesel would be in a scooter or an enduro. Time will tell...
Randy -what ever  September 25, 2009 11:15 PM
who cares? I think the reviewer basically laid it out. A smelly rattling expensive POS. If you are a greenie human hater I guess you can cream your jeans on this one. And Joe Barker, you need to see a shrink about your envy and delusion complex.
Joe Barker -Diesel bike  September 25, 2009 03:49 AM
Great bike for any round the world traveler.It will cross the most primitive roads without stopping for fuel every few hundred miles.It will never sell to the crome and shiney paint brigade,why would they want something that dose'nt have the "look at me' pose factor.Why would they want something that uses less fuel when they can continue running a gas guzzler's.Brand anyone who likes to use less fuel a "Tree hugginhg greenie", and why not, so long as others are prepared to sacrifice thier lives to secure finite oil reseves.
Mark -diesel time  September 24, 2009 10:15 AM
The power is low and the weight a little high but it shows promise as a get down the road kinda bike.I think for the American market they will need a regular 5 speed tranny. Sport tour and adventure bikes are the best bet for a diesel if your gonna sell in the U.S.but it's gonna be a hard sell till we get out of the bigger is better mentality. In a world of 150hp sport bikes and 800 pound cruisers, mileage and longevity will just not get enough spot light to appeal to a broad audience and win many converts.
Tim B -Cool Concept, But...  September 22, 2009 09:13 AM
$24,501
485lbs dry
45hp
78ft-lbs

Too expensive
Too heavy
Not enough power

My Buell makes more torque and double the HP than this thing. We all know MPG claims are always lofty and almost never are true. Let's say my Buell gets half the MPGs that this does, but my bike also cost less than half of the price of this bike. Now I'm not trying to convince anybody to buy a Buell, I'm just showing that a bike with a very dated engine bests this bike by a long shot in some areas. It's a good try, but they need to rethink the design.

If the seat heat height range on this bike is true (30"-35") that is awesome.
bikerrandy -Diesel street/dirt bike  September 21, 2009 08:53 PM
I'm interested in this bike. If the motor comes out of a Smart car, it can't be that gutless. Torque is for acceleration, Hp is for top speed. If this thing can take hard bags and a passenger, it could make a great economical touring rig. Of course it's OTD price would be critical.

Right now I ride an Aprilia Scarabeo 500GT scooter that gets 50-55 mpg on regular and can be ridden 80 mph 2up and loaded all day and only has 39 hp with a 95 mph top speed. This diesel rig could blow it into the weeds !
x2468 -milwaukee mike  September 21, 2009 08:16 PM
Are you for real? Or are you like an online version of Stephen Colbert? As in ignorant and extremely right wing for the purpose of ironic satire? If that's the case you're hilarious! If not, you're pretty sad. Btw, I hope the next time you're with a group of real American truckers, you tell them Diesels are for liberal greenie sissies and see what they do to you.
Tessier -Calm down sissy boy  September 21, 2009 07:16 PM
As a True American I am interested in this bike. I would love to see a compact light weight Diesel off road bike developed. 100+ MPG's for a typical bike is great news and there is no reason why we should be stifling innovation. But then again we could always keep our heads in the sad and stick with milwaukee mike.
milwaukee mike -Sissy greenie bike  September 21, 2009 05:55 PM
Those Al Gore liberals should be jumping for joy! A diesel/atuo trans bike should make those silly euro tree huggers just giddy with joy.

I just hope true American riders find it just as disgusting as I do, and ignore this silliness.