Armor: November 12, 2004


The U.S. Marine Corps is buying 522 diesel powered motorcycles for battlefield use. These are the first diesel powered motorcycles to enter military service. Diesel power means better reliability, and much greater fuel efficiency; up to 175 kilometers per gallon of fuel. This is about twice the range of a conventional motorcycle engine. The cost of the diesel powered bike is about 25 percent higher, but the greater reliability, and range, is worth it for a troops operating in the combat zone. The marine bike is based on the Kawasaki KLR650 trail bike, and weighs about 350 pounds, has a six gallon fuel tank (good for about a thousand kilometers) and 28 horsepower. The marines will use the bike mainly for scouting. 


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