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How to Convert a Motorcycle to Run on Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is a widely unrealized alternative fuel source, but only diesel engines can run on vegetable oil. Diesel engines are popular for being an efficient way to utilize alternative fuels as they run on petroleum diesel, biodiesel and straight vegetable oil. In addition to a number of commercially manufactured motorcycles that are now being produced with diesel engines, through a few simple modifications a motorcycle can be converted to run on vegetable oil.
Step 1
Purchase a motorcycle with a diesel engine, or replace a gasoline engine with a diesel. Only diesel engines without rubber seals can be converted to run on vegetable oil. These tend to be in newer model engines, but the seals can be removed from older models to run on vegetable oil. There are a few motorcycles on the market with diesel engines, specifically the Neander and the Kawasaki KLR650. If you chose to customize a bike with a diesel engine, adjust the transmission ratios to be compatible with the new engine’s RPM.

Step 2
Install a vegetable oil fuel conversion kit. You should keep the original gas tank to hold regular diesel or biodiesel fuel for cold weather. Install a second tank for vegetable oil. The conversion kit includes two or more hoses leading from the bike’s radiator to the vegetable oil tank that heat the oil through a heat exchanger before it enters the final fuel filter and injectors inside the engine.

Step 3
Install an auxiliary fuel system that can be activated by switch once the proper operating temperature has been achieved. This will shift your engine from running on diesel to running on vegetable oil. When operating the bike in cold weather, it is also advisable to switch back to diesel use 10 minutes before cutting the engine off. This will purge the engine to keep the vegetable oil from thickening and clogging when parked in cold climates.

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