Diesel is a bit of an odd choice for motorcycles, but it’s not an entirely alien idea. Several builders and custom shops have already taken the plunge and have tried with their own creations resulting in some success.
The problem with fitting such a torque-heavy engine into a small and light chassis is the torque. With so much pulling power, the motor could run into longevity issues far down the line after it rolls off the lot. This is, of course, in tandem with the fact that diesel is just a dirtier fuel to burn, often smogging things up behind the rider, and making things unpleasant for anyone tailing.
Axiom is a company that has been around since 2019, but it has roots that stretch far back into 2012. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio, and the main segment that the brand is targeting are cruisers, which seems like a decent idea. I mean, a lot of builders and custom shops have plopped in V8 engines into cruiser bodies for crying out loud! Completely awesome stuff, by the way.
The first efforts by the brand to create a bike powered by a turbo-diesel engine had its motor built by Yanmar, a Japanese industrial builder. The V-twin motor produced 27 horsepower at just 3,500 revolutions per minute, while it made its peak torque figure of 44.2 pound-feet of torque at a measly 2,500 revolutions per minute.
Following that try, the company moved on to yet another diesel-fed motor, but this time built and produced by Doosan. Still comes with a little snail spooling away, it’s a three-cylinder engine with about 1,000ccs worth of displacement and is mated to a four-speed manual gearbox.
Axiom is also working on a new concept called the Knight, which is more of a touring model and is about 80% complete according to the team.
If you’re all aboard the diesel train, then prepare about $29,500 USD for the Knight once it’s finished. After that, Axiom’s site lists a snazzier version called the Knight Errant, and its final form is the Paladin, which goes up to $49,500 USD.
Also, the brand touts that it’ll have a multi-fuel system, which means that there is a possibility of running multiple fuels on its platform and not just diesel. The site even lists down the possibility of pulling a trailer.
Seems pricey, but perhaps the concept is perfect for a cruiser. Long miles on the saddle with a noticeable rumble, anyone? Perhaps just easy riding all the way? It’ll be interesting to see how far Axiom goes once their concept is done, and if their oil burners will light a fire under the predominantly gasoline-fed motorcycle industry.