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Red Tiger Racing
Diesel Dirtbike Experiment

So... I wanted to see if my 2008 Honda CRF450R would run on diesel. I had wondered this for quite some time and asked a few people and they said that it wouldn't work and that I shouldn't even try it. Being the type of person I am I tried it anyway. I even managed to challenge our local mechanic Aaron "One Eye" Hnatiuk in a race saying I could beat him using diesel as he was most against me trying diesel saying I would wreck things. I didn't know if it would run, but had to get some type of challenge in there anyway.

Finally our wednesday night race night came on June 16, 2010 that I nicknamed "Diesel Day." I decided to race the second oldtimer moto on diesel so I raced my class on regular gasoline to make sure everthing was good and it went well. Next step was to drain most of the gas out of my bike and keep it running on gas until the last moment. I kept the bike idling on the start line with gas and as the 30 second board went up had a friend dump in a few litres of diesel and I was off to the races.

I had a pretty good start and few good corners and was in about 4th place. That was when I noticed that I lost some power and assume the carbs were free of gas and on diesel. Did a few more corners and managed to get into third. Still was going good and saw "One Eye" up ahead in 1st, did some fighting and managed to pass him at the same time as another guy and into second. At about this time I noticed the bike was making more noise and assumed it was the diesel pre-igniting and pinging. Managed to make another pass and into first so I all I was hoping I was going to have to do was keep a good pace and hopefully keep the bike running. Crossed the finish line of the first lap of three thinking things are going okay. Well, I made it one more corner, hit a small jump and that was it. Bike quit, made a bad sound and had steam and smoke pouring out everywhere which made for a dramatic ending to my experiment. The pre-ignition was too hard on the engine and ended up folding my piston down causing it to spin in the cylinder. It also bent one of my exhast valves and put a nick in the cylinder wall and head.

In conclusion, I did want to try it and did, but didn't turn out the way I had hoped. I thought it would have just lost more and more power and eventually just quit running. Needless to say, it was a short lived, expensive experiment and I was far from winning the race, but I did try it. Here are some pictures of what my piston looked like!!

Devin Beaudoin