Wild File: Turbo Diesel 2WD Kawasaki KLR 650 Custom Motorcycle

You can put a lawn tractor engine in a dual sport?

Ever wish your Kawasaki KLR 650 was more like a diesel engine? Ha, yea, neither have we! If you've ever ridden a KLR you'll know that it is perhaps the closest gasoline engine to a diesel that exists today. Just like a diesel, it will chug over just about any obstacle in it's way, and has been doing just that since it debuted in 1897. Errr, sorry, we mean 1987—it just feels like more than 100 years sometimes.

Still, if a little torque is good then more is better, right? Well, our friendly neighbors to the north obviously agree. In what we can only call a classically brilliant Canuck move, SWM Adventure Motorsports in British Columbia created this slick mashup between a Kubota and a Kawasaki. Dubbed the Kawabota 902, it uses a three-cylinder, turbocharged, 898cc diesel engine from a lawn tractor. It's mated to a six-speed gearbox and dry clutch, and is outfitted with a Christini two-wheel-drive system for good measure. Said the owner when asked about the 2WD system, "It's not that great, really. Especially in the sand, it just digs two holes!" Well, no bike is perfect, right?

On a serious note, the owner claims between 100 and 105mpg on a good day, which brings up some pretty serious questions about the legitimacy of diesel for motorcycle use. If a determined wrench in a shop in Canada can create a KLR with the potential of 600-plus miles of range, it seems like a company like Honda or BMW might really make some inroads if fancy engineering minds were put to the task. Then again, as we said in the beginning, it's pretty hard to argue against the resume of the standard KLR.

RELATED