Originally Posted by dshealey
Typically, a diesel with the same overall power output as a gasoline engine will be considerably heavier. The much higher compression ration and higher combustion pressure requires more strength in most of the engine components, thus higher weight. In the past there have been automotive diesels which were basically adaptations of an existing gasoline engine with minor beef ups, but none of these had decent life expectancy.
In a bike like the LT, where most would like a lighter bike, a diesel is probably unlikely.
Well, you are writing about the half-hearted attempt at American passenger-car diesel motors from a generation ago. That was indeed a disaster - as evidenced by a certain 1980 Olds Cutlass diesel I had more acquaintance with than I'd wish.
But European car diesels are something else altogether, especially nowadays - and that was what the OP had in mind, I presume.
These are great motors and, for many years now, I keep saying that I'd love to buy them here if available on anything else but the lowliest of econoboxes, as it seems to be for some unknown reason.
I drive rentals in Europe several times a year and I'd say that probably for a decade now it is almost impossible to rent a gas engined car. So, my experience with these engines is pretty good. In particular, the TDI motors are excellent powerplants. I typically wind up with something like an Audi A4 - and twice recently I have been having some mountain fun in a Ford Mondeo with a 2L TDI.
Not a slug at all (and one does appreciate power when playing the usual game of chicken, passing while the opposite lane is occupied - just another quaint local custom in Eastern Europe...
) And, the Mondeo, while probably classed as mid-sized here, got some 50+ mpg last I checked.
On the other hand, after this big write-up in defense of diesels - would I get one for the LT? I don't know, it certainly has geek appeal for me. On the other hand, as far as the fuel economy savings go, it really does not matter. Several thousand miles a year on that bike may not justify the change.