Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Royal Enfield Taurus: The only mass produced diesel motorcycle

So you might have thought that if a car can have a petrol and diesel variant why can't the same be applicable for a bike. Well my friend, Royal Enfield had answered the question by producing a diesel powered 325cc air-cooled, engine. And they call it, Taurus.

Taurus: a diesel motorcycle

Initially street mechanics would mount an industrial diesel engine, around the frames of the RE Bullet, 350cc. They would place the engine in used Bullets and give a retro look to it. With the 350cc retrofit engine, the bike was capable of generating roughly 6.50 HP @ 3600 RPM. If sources and to be believed, it gave a decent mileage of 72 kmpl. Noticing the success of these bikes, Royal Enfield started producing Bullets with diesel engine and named it, Taurus. The Taurus came with a 325cc, 4-stroke air-cooled diesel engine and produced a maximum torque of 15.00 Nm @ 2500 RPM. It was available with an electric start and had a 4-speed gear transmission.

The Royal Enfield Taurus was an incredible feat in the Indian motorcycling history. The Taurus was the first motorcycle with a diesel engine in India.

But the introduction of the diesel engine brought forth its share of flaws and technicalities. When it comes to motorcycles, Diesel engine are infamous for their poor power to weight ratio. The characteristics of a good motorcycle is low weight, compact dimensions, high RPM & a decent acceleration. But the advent of diesel engine led to dip in the performance and created higher weight penalties. Also the sound generated by the diesel powered Taurus was unrefined and caused excessive vibrations. Moreover these diesel engines generated excessive pollution. Due to these reasons, the production of the Taurus was stopped.

But whatever might be the outcome of the Royal Enfield Taurus, did prove their point and still persists to be a leading motorcycle producer in India.

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