Diesel is a bit of a strange choice for motorcycles, but it’s not an entirely foreign idea. Several manufacturers and custom shops have already taken the plunge and have tried their own creations with some success.
The problem with fitting such a powerful motor into a small, lightweight chassis is torque. With such pulling power, the engine could run into longevity issues down the line after it comes out of the lot. This is, of course, in tandem with the fact that diesel is just a dirtier fuel to burn, often fouling things up behind the rider and making things unpleasant for anyone following.
Axiom is a company that has been around since 2019, but its roots go back to 2012. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio, and the primary segment targeted by the brand is cruisers, which sounds like a good idea. I mean, a lot of builders and custom shops put V8 engines in cruiser bodies for screaming out loud! Completely awesome stuff, by the way.
The brand’s early efforts to create a motorcycle powered by a turbo-diesel engine had its engine built by Yanmar, a Japanese industrial manufacturer. The V-twin engine produced 27 horsepower at just 3,500 rpm, while it hit its peak torque of 44.2 pound-feet of torque at a meager 2,500 rpm.
Axiom Diesel Cycles at IMS Cleveland
After this test, the company switched to another diesel engine, but this time built and produced by Doosan. It is still a little snail that winds up, it is a three-cylinder engine with a displacement of about 1000 cm3 and coupled to a manual four-speed gearbox.
Axiom is also working on a new concept called Knight, which is more of a touring model and is around 80% complete according to the team.
If you’re all aboard the Diesel Train, prepare around US $ 29,500 for the Knight once it’s finished. After that, Axiom’s site lists a more elegant version called Knight Errant, and its final form is the Paladin, which goes up to US $ 49,500.
In addition, the brand boasts that it will have a multi-fuel system, which means that it is possible to run multiple fuels on its platform and not just diesel. The site even lists the possibility of towing a trailer.
It sounds expensive, but maybe the concept is perfect for a cruiser. Long kilometers in the saddle with a perceptible rumble, do you like it? Maybe just easy driving all the way? It will be interesting to see how far Axiom will go once their concept is complete, and whether their oil burners start a fire under the predominantly gasoline-powered motorcycle industry.