The Ecorider runs on diesel or homemade biodiesel
By Mike Hanlon
August 22, 2006
August 23, 2006 The Ecorider is a motorcycle like no other – for starters it’s a diesel, and hence a rare breed indeed. We only know of two other production diesel motorcycles, the Dutch Star Twin sports tourer and the military-only HDT, and they both have quite different roles to the Ecorider. Finally, it's not a motorcycle, or at least it isn't classified as one - it is classed under European Legislation as an ATV (Agricultural Type Vehicle) and in most countries (please check), you do not need a motorcycle licence to ride this vehicle. With rising demands on the Earth's vulnerable and finite resources, environmental concerns and increasing fuel costs, the Ecorider makes a lot of sense. It will deliver 120 mpg economy running on home-made biodiesel, and it is also deeply respectful of the environment as the wide tires offer a contact patch with just 2 PSI – given this equates to half the weight per square inch of the average human footfall, the bike actually does less damage than a human in the wilderness.
Accordingly, the Ecorider’s reduced environmental impact is ideal for use in protected wilderness reserves, gardens, golf courses and other areas where ground damage needs to be minimal. Apart from being green, it’s also an ideal agricultural workhorse with a high and low ratio gearbox and a reverse gear. Throw in loads of rear wheel traction and a torquey diesel motor and the Ecorider offers an ideal platform for towing. It’s also VERY easy to ride and extremely forgiving, so it can be entrusted to novices and in the hands of an expert will go just about anywhere thanks to the 11 inch wide balloon tires.
Designed and manufactured in the Highlands of Scotland, the Ecorider comes in any colour you like as long as it’s forest green and can be purchased new with either a Kohler 175 cc petrol engine (US$3700 / UKP2,220) or Hatz 230 cc Diesel engine (US$4500 / UKP2,750).
Interestingly, the engines are interchangeable and the frame is pre-drilled to accept both engine types and the machines are essentially identical other than the wiring and exhaust systems, so a post sale switch of engine type is easily achievable. Both machines have a top speed of 25 mph as standard although this can be increased to 32 mph if you’re prepared to sacrifice a little of the off-roadability – not very fast on the tarmac, but perfect for off-road.
The Ecorider comes with a range of accessories you’ll not find standard on any other motorcycle parts listing, such as a rifle holder (UKP45), an Ecorider tipping trailer (includes swivel hitch UKP295) and an Ecohauler (which eliminates the need for road transport trailer UKP297). The Ecorider is rated to tow 550lbs on firm, even ground.