This paper deals with the combustion characteristics and exhaust emissions of a diesel engine fuelled with conventional diesel fuel and a biodiesel blend, in particular a 20% v/v concentration of rapeseed methyl ester (RME) mixed with diesel fuel. The investigation was carried out on a prototype three-cylinder engine with 1000 cc of displacement for quadricycle applications. The engine is equipped with a direct common-rail injection system that reaches a maximum pressure of 1400 bar. The engine was designed to comply with Euro 4 and BS IV exhaust emission regulations without a diesel particulate filter. Both in-cylinder pressure and rate of heat release traces were analyzed at different engine speeds and loads. Gaseous emissions were measured at the exhaust. A smoke meter was used to measure the particulate matter concentration. The sizing and the counting of the particles were performed by means of an engine exhaust particle sizer spectrometer. It was found that the number-size distribution of particles is strongly dependent on the engine operating conditions. The effect of biofuel on particle emissions is more evident ad high engine speed.