diesel motorcycle

Discussion in '1982-Present GM Diesel' started by 69K5, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. 69K5

    69K5 1/2 ton status

    Nov 10, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Monroe, LA
    double post its in the garage as well

    i have been aquiring the parts and knbowledge to swap my 69 blazer to run on SVO (straight vegtable oil) not biodiesel and a friend of mine sent me this. thought yall would be intrested.

    <font color="green"> by Joseph Baneth Allen

    Harold Benich's motorcycles gets 100 miles to the gallon on biodiesel fuel.
    Isaac Brekken
    Whenever Harold Benich wants to get away from his hometown of Albion, Pa., (pop. 1,607) for a road trip on his custom-built Harley Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle, he bypasses the neighborhood gas station.
    No, he isn’t searching for the best bargain on gasoline. The fuel Benich buys can’t be found at any typical gas station because Benich’s motorcycle runs on soybean oil.

    In fact, Benich has built the world’s first motorcycle running entirely on a biodiesel fuel based on soybean oil—and it gets 100 miles to the gallon. Though fuel costs $2.50 a gallon and he has to get it from Columbus Foods in Chicago, Benich figures he’s still ahead of the mileage game. Besides, the world should never run out of soybeans.

    “The idea of building a motorcycle that could run on biodiesel fuel started out as a joke,” recalls Harold’s wife, Jody. “Nobody thought it could be done. That was the wrong thing to tell Harold. He worked as a diesel mechanic for Detroit Diesel, and now runs the Vehicle Restoration Plant at the state prison in Albion. He also repairs diesel-powered boat engines. Harold is simply a workaholic who knows diesel engines inside and out, and he can make them run.”

    “It really wasn’t that hard to do,” Benich says. “I spent two years building it in my garage during my spare time after work and on weekends.” He also spent $15,000 on parts for his one-of-a-kind motorcycle. The engine was rescued from a construction site.

    Building it turned out to be a little cheaper than buying a brand new Fat Boy motorcycle, Benich says. “I bought a new frame (from Harley Davidson), but it required some modifications. The biodiesel, three cylinder, inline engine had to be mounted crossways, so I had to (fabricate) a mounting bracket for it.”

    Benich finished his motorcycle ahead of several others who are still building their own versions of alternate fuel bikes. “Harold is the first one to have a motorcycle powered by biodiesel fuel on the road,” says Jenna Higgins, director of communications for the National Biodiesel Board, based in Jefferson, Mo.

    “Use of biodiesel fuel-powered vehicles isn’t new,” Higgins says. “Biodiesel fuel is already being used by Florida Power’s vehicle fleet and in more than 60 major vehicle fleets around the country.” Biodiesel fuel also saw some previous, limited use by the Allied and Axis Powers during World War II—and the inventor of the diesel engine, Rudolph Diesel, used a peanut oil-based fuel in the 1890s to run the first engines that bear his name.

    Harold’s biodiesel Harley isn’t as powerful as a traditional Fat Boy motorcycle. “It runs a little bit weaker,” he says. “There’s a power difference of about 20 percent.”

    His motorcycle also doesn’t make that traditional Harley vibrato when he takes Jody on road trips. “It sounds like a farm tractor,” she says. Even the smell of his motorcycle is different.

    “It smells like french fries,” Jody says.

    Benich’s motorcycle has attracted attention up and down the East Coast. He’s gone on 11 radio shows to talk about how he built it and how it runs. He also welcomes and answers inquiries about his motorcycle at his email address: smoker@erie.net.

    “Harold’s motorcycle always draws a crowd because people automatically seem to sense there’s something different about it, and they want to know why. They just can’t figure out what the difference is until we tell them,” Jody says.

    When not making road trips with Jody, Benich travels to biker events all across the country. “My ultimate dream road trip would be to drive out to California to be on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno—who also rides Harleys,” he says.

    Benich’s next project is already taking shape in his garage. “Electric vehicles have long been viewed as impractical, so I’m now working on the first practical electric pickup truck.”

    “And to those who say it can’t be done,” he says, “the Wright Brothers also were told flying couldn’t be done . . . before they took to the skies.”


    69k5 /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

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