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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been thinking about how we could go even more "green" in the Monster world. Fuel economy over 40 MPG is a good thing, at least by US standards, but how about these two ideas.

"Dual-Fuel" Spark-Ignition Engine

This is becoming popular among makers of big cars, because dual-fuel capability exempts them from CAFE requirements. Without this, Ford couldn't produce the Crown Vic, for example. Yes, that's right -- a Crown Vic from the dealer is capable of running on any combination of ethanol and gasoline from 0/100 to 85/15. The FI computer automatically adjusts on the fly.

Would love to do this with a FI Ducati. Anybody got FI chip-mapping expertise?

Ducati Diesel Engine

No, I'm not talking about putting an existing diesel engine into a Duc. Rather, I'm thinking how a Duc engine could be converted to compression ignition, i.e., a diesel engine. In case this sounds crazy, be aware that Ducati designed and built diesels in the 1980s. It almost sank the company. As reported on the ducati.com website:

Despite the victories on the track and successful projects like the Pantah, Ducati management no longer believed in the production of motorcycle engines and Ducati risked becoming a company producing diesel engines for use on boats or agricultural vehicles. The production of motorcycle engines was minimal, approximately 1700 units total per year. Between 1979 and 1984, Ducati Mechanica worked closely with the company VM, located nearby in Cento, in the Ferrara province. VM hired Ducati to produce a 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine for some of the Alfa Romeo cars. This continued at least through 1988 when the Castiglioni saved the company from potential closing. The Castiglioni brothers and their great enthusiasm saved Ducati from becoming an engine storage house and nothing else and brought Ducati back to its original focus on motorcycles.
Go here for more: http://www.ducati.com/heritage/news/quattro_ruote2.jhtml;jsessionid=M2D4G2JBVG2KMCRNCB2SFFAKFUIHUIV4

So anyway, I'm wondering if the 4-valve or water-cooled two valve engines would be strong enough to handle the increased compression required for diesel ignition. Maybe I'll just try it and see....

Pic is of the engine Ducati designed and built for VM in the 1980s.
 

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Odd Duc said:
Have been thinking about how we could go even more "green" in the Monster world. Fuel economy over 40 MPG is a good thing, at least by US standards, but how about these two ideas.

"Dual-Fuel" Spark-Ignition Engine

This is becoming popular among makers of big cars, because dual-fuel capability exempts them from CAFE requirements. Without this, Ford couldn't produce the Crown Vic, for example. Yes, that's right -- a Crown Vic from the dealer is capable of running on any combination of ethanol and gasoline from 0/100 to 85/15. The FI computer automatically adjusts on the fly.

Would love to do this with a FI Ducati. Anybody got FI chip-mapping expertise?
Not sure where you are from but E85 is not that common in Ca. Also Ford has been making the FlexFuel cars, not just the Crown Vic, but also in many of the others in their model line up for quite some time.


Ducati Diesel Engine

No, I'm not talking about putting an existing diesel engine into a Duc. Rather, I'm thinking how a Duc engine could be converted to compression ignition, i.e., a diesel engine. In case this sounds crazy, be aware that Ducati designed and built diesels in the 1980s. It almost sank the company. As reported on the ducati.com website:

Go here for more: http://www.ducati.com/heritage/news/quattro_ruote2.jhtml;jsessionid=M2D4G2JBVG2KMCRNCB2SFFAKFUIHUIV4

So anyway, I'm wondering if the 4-valve or water-cooled two valve engines would be strong enough to handle the increased compression required for diesel ignition. Maybe I'll just try it and see....

Pic is of the engine Ducati designed and built for VM in the 1980s.
I think you are misreading that quote. I get from it that VM "hired" Ducati to "produce" their engine. I dont see as to where Ducati would drop production or design efforts of their existing engines to jump into something that they didnt use proprietarily. They were a subcontractor for VM as a means to get extra income into Ducati as they already had foundry and maching processes setup.

Also the Lancia was a Ferrarri designed engine made by Ducati as well.
 

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i'm fairly certain you can't mod a motor designed for gas to diesal. i might be wrong, and there's some crazy flex-fuel stuff out there (read: military vehicle motors that you can dump whatever you want into), but i'm betting that in this case, i'm right.

however, i would think it would be a reasonably easy task to modify a duc motor to run on straight corn juice, and that's very eco-friendly (though you'll see a drop in fuel enonomy, given ethanol has less energy potential than gas).

i know carb-modding wouldn't be a big issue, but does anybody know if the injectors can deliver straight ethanol?

edit: also, the heat needed to vaporize ethanol is greater than with gas, so winter riding could require some sort of fuel heating method, or gas priming till everything warms up a little.
 

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Odd Duc said:
Ducati Diesel Engine

No, I'm not talking about putting an existing diesel engine into a Duc. Rather, I'm thinking how a Duc engine could be converted to compression ignition, i.e., a diesel engine.
I'm pretty sure you'd need some serious modifications (as in "it'd be easier to design and build a new engine") to keep the bottom end together - you're looking at 20:1 or more compression ratios for a high efficiency diesel (you _might_ get away with 15:1 on the stock bottom end and still have it run on diesel, but not with any of the benefits of modern diesel engine efficiency).

If you're serious about being "green", get a modern fuel injected 50cc scooter and use it for any trip where you don't need the extra power and carrying capacity of your monster (or your SUV)...

big
 

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bigiain said:
I'm pretty sure you'd need some serious modifications (as in "it'd be easier to design and build a new engine") to keep the bottom end together - you're looking at 20:1 or more compression ratios for a high efficiency diesel (you _might_ get away with 15:1 on the stock bottom end and still have it run on diesel, but not with any of the benefits of modern diesel engine efficiency).

If you're serious about being "green", get a modern fuel injected 50cc scooter and use it for any trip where you don't need the extra power and carrying capacity of your monster (or your SUV)...

big
Yeah, remember the Oldsmobile diesel fiasco? Gas engines converted to diesel. The highway was littered with crankshafts and cylinder heads.
 

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Surprised no one has mentioned hydrogen. Imagine a monster shaped tank only 5 times as big.

Better yet, maybe we could convert the L-twins to run on ground up jap bikes?
 

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Dietrich said:
Better yet, maybe we could convert the L-twins to run on ground up jap bikes?
can i fill up at my local non-duc dealer, or should i just go to the lot across the gas station where all the squids hang out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
bigiain said:
I'm pretty sure you'd need some serious modifications (as in "it'd be easier to design and build a new engine") to keep the bottom end together - you're looking at 20:1 or more compression ratios for a high efficiency diesel (you _might_ get away with 15:1 on the stock bottom end and still have it run on diesel, but not with any of the benefits of modern diesel engine efficiency).

If you're serious about being "green", get a modern fuel injected 50cc scooter and use it for any trip where you don't need the extra power and carrying capacity of your monster (or your SUV)...

big
silentbob said:
Yeah, remember the Oldsmobile diesel fiasco? Gas engines converted to diesel. The highway was littered with crankshafts and cylinder heads.
Hey guys, where's the sense of adventure, the excitement of trying something different. I'm not going to offer these bikes for sale like GM did. I'm entering the renewable fuel business (biodiesel from rendered animal fat, instead of soybeans; and ethanol from wood chips and yard waste, instead of corn), so these things might be good marketing tools. A tax-deductible Duc or two would be nice, no?

As for the compression ratio, actually modern turbo direct injection (TDI) diesels use around 15 or 16 to 1. The turbo keeps the inlet pressure close to 1 atmosphere all the time, so they don't need 20 or 22 to 1 like the old non-turbo indirect injection (IDI) diesels did. There are ways to keep the bottom end together, prevent heads being blown, avoid bent rods, holes in pistons, etc. GM just didn't bother with that -- cheaper to let the customer do the final development.

As for the 50cc scooter idea, I live way out in the country -- the closest place to buy anything is 10 miles away, as is the closest 4-lane road. I work at home, except for business trips, so commuting isn't an issue. When I put my protective gear on, I need to ride, not putt-putt, so I always need the Duc.
 

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Odd Duc said:
Hey guys, where's the sense of adventure, the excitement of trying something different.
Hey, don't get me wrong, I love the _idea_, I was just warning of what seemed to me to be some pretty big obstacles in your way...

I'm entering the renewable fuel business (biodiesel from rendered animal fat, instead of soybeans; and ethanol from wood chips and yard waste, instead of corn), so these things might be good marketing tools. A tax-deductible Duc or two would be nice, no?
Yeah, it'd be great, and, at least to me, a great demonstration of how useable the renewable fuel is if you can get something like a Monster to run on it nicely...

As for the compression ratio, actually modern turbo direct injection (TDI) diesels use around 15 or 16 to 1. The turbo keeps the inlet pressure close to 1 atmosphere all the time, so they don't need 20 or 22 to 1 like the old non-turbo indirect injection (IDI) diesels did.
Ouch! You realise 15:1 @ 1 bar boost is an effective compression ratio of 30:1, don't you?

There are ways to keep the bottom end together, prevent heads being blown, avoid bent rods, holes in pistons, etc.
I'm sure there are, I was just making sure you were aware of the need to do _something_ there...

As for the 50cc scooter idea, I live way out in the country -- the closest place to buy anything is 10 miles away, as is the closest 4-lane road.
Fair enough. Sounds like you're already doing your bit to lower your ecological footprint, good on you!

I dunno how advanced you are in your research into alternative fuels, but I know the Burningman people were experimenting with bio-diesel in some of their generators this year, I'm sure someone there would be happy to talk to you about the problems and solutions they've discovered...

big
 

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bigiain said:
Hydrogen?



big (sorry, I've been waiting _ages_ for an excuse to post that...)
[laugh] That's so obscure, I love it. I bet half the folks don't *get* it. [laugh]

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A turbo-diesel Duc would be an enormous project, even an NA-diesel would be a giant project.

An ethanol burning Duc would be fairly straightforward, the injectors may not have enough flowrate as you've got to squirt almost twice as much.
Perhaps a higher line pressure would be enough.
 

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I'm actually into the idea of alt fuels, and applaud anyone willing to venture in to actually trying to make something work. There are some pretty active groups around here, everything from bio-diesel to ICE vehicles converted to hydrogen, to full electric vehicles. You might try to see who is doing what in your neck of the woods. Get used to hangin out with some wierd people though, I actually like it as it can be very entertaining. Why do you think I hang out on here?

Anyway, didn't think I'd ever post this on here, but I made this from scratch a couple years ago, 50 MPH top speed and a bout a 30 mile range. Spins the rear tire and passes traffic while cruising in the bike lane: http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/476
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dietrich said:
Anyway, didn't think I'd ever post this on here, but I made this from scratch a couple years ago, 50 MPH top speed and a bout a 30 mile range. Spins the rear tire and passes traffic while cruising in the bike lane: http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/476
Hey Dietrich, glad you posted. What you did is how great things get created. Pretty amazing for a Mark I effort, and a very cool design.

Speeddog said:
A turbo-diesel Duc would be an enormous project, even an NA-diesel would be a giant project.

An ethanol burning Duc would be fairly straightforward, the injectors may not have enough flowrate as you've got to squirt almost twice as much.
Perhaps a higher line pressure would be enough.
Yeah, definitely going to start with the alky-burner and probably just create a FI map for E85, in order to see if the injectors can handle that. Then maybe try maps for other ethanol percentages, using a multi-map chip.

bigiain said:
Ouch! You realise 15:1 @ 1 bar boost is an effective compression ratio of 30:1, don't you?
Uh, that's like 450 PSI, right? Well, we could do some static air-pressure testing in the shop and see which blows first -- the engine or the compressor! Or rig a hydraulic ram up to one cylinder w/ the piston locked at TDC. Then we'd apply, let's see, 450 X (46/25.4)2 X 3.14592 = 4,600 pounds of force to the assembly. Okay, Iain, the question probably would be what breaks first! Dayum! No wonder diesels are so heavy!
 

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Odd Duc said:
Hey Dietrich, glad you posted. What you did is how great things get created. Pretty amazing for a Mark I effort, and a very cool design.

Yeah, definitely going to start with the alky-burner and probably just create a FI map for E85, in order to see if the injectors can handle that. Then maybe try maps for other ethanol percentages, using a multi-map chip.
If you do run into injector flow issues you could always locate and adapt a set of dual injector throttle bodies from a Superbike.

Uh, that's like 450 PSI, right? Well, we could do some static air-pressure testing in the shop and see which blows first -- the engine or the compressor! Or rig a hydraulic ram up to one cylinder w/ the piston locked at TDC. Then we'd apply, let's see, 450 X (46/25.4)2 X 3.14592 = 4,600 pounds of force to the assembly. Okay, Iain, the question probably would be what breaks first! Dayum! No wonder diesels are so heavy!
By George I think hes gotten it.
 

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"I'd imagine that it would be more feasible to convert yer Ducati to run on propane."


The compresion does not need to be way up there like what is required by most diesel engines. You WOULD need a place to store fuel, and if you're comfy with the look of saddlebags, I'm sure something could be worked-out. Alternatively, you could consider swapping tanks, although you'd need to build something custom that Looks like a monster tank to handle the LPG storage pressure. The propane would be injected via a plate that rests under the existing throttle body. No pump or anything, just a pressure regulator. I wish I had more time to tinker with this idea, because I'm 100% sure that it is possible. I'm not 100% sure about how practical it would be, but it would be a clean burner for sure.
[thumbsup]​
 
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