Though the weather was bad, Fred Hayes, founder of Hayes Diversified Technologies, rides the bike his company developed and built to a world speed record for production diesel-powered motorcycles, just over 85 mph.

Though the weather was bad, Fred Hayes, founder of Hayes Diversified Technologies, rides the bike his company developed and built to a world speed record for production diesel-powered motorcycles, just over 85 mph.


HDT has a contract to deliver over 500 of its dieselpowered bikes to the U.S. Marine Corp.

HDT has a contract to deliver over 500 of its dieselpowered bikes to the U.S. Marine Corp.


A diesel-powered motorcycle built by Hayes Diversified Technologies Inc., Hesperia, Calif. (www.m1030.com), and faculty from Cranfield University recently set a speed record for commercial diesel motorcycles. It hit 85.46 mph at sea level on hard pavement and with production gearing. Developers claim they could've broken the 90-mph barrier with upgraded gearing if the weather had cooperated.

The 369-lb motorcycle, called the M1030M1 or just M1, was designed as a military vehicle powerful enough for battlefield reconnaissance and other off-road travel, as well as crowd control. It had to run on diesel fuel or aviation-grade kerosene to be compatible with other military vehicles. The engine, developed specifically for the M1, is based on the running gear from a Kawasaki KLR650 trail bike. The engine itself is a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four stroker displacing 584 cc. It uses dual overhead crankshafts and a four-valve cylinder head.

The idea of using more than one cylinder was quickly rejected during design because of the weight and the fact diesels work more efficiently with larger cylinders. The engine turns out 24 bhp and 34 ft-lb of torque at 4,200 rpm through a five-speed constant-mesh transmission. It gets about 95 mpg and has a 408-mile range at 55 mph and with a full tank.

The bike carries both a DOT-approved lighting system and blackout lighting that meets military standards. An IR lighting package is optional.

HDT now has a contract to supply the U.S. Marine Corp with 522 of the motorcycles. There are also plans to bring out a commercial version and to capitalize on the technologies used to build the small, light, yet powerful, diesel engine.