R-Bike Shape Shifting Motorcycle

R-Bike Shape Shifting Motorcycle

R-Bike Shape Shifting Motorcycle

R-Bike Shape Shifting Motorcycle

R-Bike Shape Shifting Motorcycle

R-Bike Shape Shifting Motorcycle

R-Bike Shape Shifting Motorcycle

R-Bike Shape Shifting Motorcycle

Every motorcycle is a compromise of sorts, buy a cruiser and you can’t ride off road, buy something for the back woods and highway riding becomes uncomfortable. Erik Brinkman, an inventor and designer with IDS (Interactive Design Studios) in Victoria, British Columbia, thought about the problem and came up with the R-Bike, a shape shifting motorcycle.

The key to the R-Bike is the frame which has a scissor action built in. It can be changed from a stretched out cruiser to a standard to a high clearance off road bike whenever the rider finds it necessary.

The bike has a multi link suspension on both front and rear and is designed around a single cylinder engine. The seat, footpegs and handlebars all adjust as the frame shifts giving the rider the correct riding position for each style of bike. A nice feature is the ability for anyone to easily mount the bike with the seat in the lowest position and yet still have the ability of riding a high seat off road bike when the frame adjusts.

The bike only exists in the computer at the moment while they look for investors. According to the web site they plan to produce the first bikes in March of 2008.

This is an interesting design. It would be nice to see a prototype to evaluate how well it actually works. If they get the funding that will probably be first on their to do list. Neat.

Goldwing Retriever

The Retriever
What happens when a car stalls in traffic on a busy highway? Instant traffic jam, naturally, but how does the tow truck get to the car if the highway is filled with cars? Suppose you had a small agile vehicle like a motorcycle that could also tow the car from where it was stuck? Enter The Retriever. It’s a Honda Goldwing with a foldable towing rig that rides through traffic like a normal motorcycle, splitting lanes and weaving through the jam until it arrives at the scene. Then it unfolds the towing rig, loads up the car and rolls away.

The RetrieverThe Retriever’s towing rig carries the weight of the car on three wheels so the motorcycle can still be ridden normally. Since the motorcycle is only providing the torque necessary for towing and doesn’t have to carry extra weight, the vehicle is easily moved and a six cylinder Goldwing has all of the power you need. The Retriver can tow cars up to 5500 pounds.

The Retriever is the product of a Swedish company, Coming Through, that took something like 5 years to perfect the product. The designer got the idea when he was stuck in a traffic jam and saw a motorcycle ride by and he wondered if a motorcycle could tow a car to relieve the congestion. That is great thinking combined with no small amount of follow through. I like this a lot.

You need to watch the video to see how well this really works. There are several on the site as well as one from the Discovery Channel.

ACE Cycle Car from Liberty Motors

ACE Cycle Car from Liberty Motors

Liberty Motors of Seattle, Washington, builds and restores some very nice sidecars. The business is the work of Pete Larsen and his wife Patty. Pete is an industrial designer and fabricator and recently started building something a little different, the ACE Cycle Car, a 3 wheeler that looks an awful lot like the old Morgan 3 wheelers, only this one is powered by a Harley Davidson V-twin engine. It looks rather nice from what I can see.

They tried to import a Moto Guzzi powered car from the U.K., (a Triking, perhaps?) without success and decided instead to build their own, powered by a Harley twin cam engine and using modern running gear. The ACE has a TIG welded tube frame, rack and pinion steering, a single sided swingarm in the rear with shaft drive and disc brakes all around. The ACE weighs 950 pounds, has a 10 gallon fuel tank and a top speed of 120 mph.

Projected base price is $34,500.00, less paint and the customer gets to specify a lot of the final details. “Each ACE is built up to order from the standard chassis using the engine of choice and outfitted with the buyer’s selection of wheels, chrome, powder-coat, interior and body colors. ” The end result looks like a fun little car perfect for scooting around some back country roads. I like it.

If a 3 wheeler looks like fun to you, check out their web site, then talk to Pete and tell him what you need.

Yamaha paper motorcycle models

Yamaha paper MotoGP racerWant your own 50th anniversary edition of the Yamaha MotoGP bike? Yamaha will give you one, sort of, at the Yamaha papercraft site. You can download a paper foldup model and build it yourself. Want a V-Max or an R1? You can have one. These look very cool. You might figure those folks from the land of origami might come up with something like this. You need the free Adobe Acrobat reader to open the files. They come in either white or color versions and there are many pages of parts to download and fold. Complete assembly instructions are available as well, obviously, because this isn’t your average wrench and screwdriver project. I am definitely going to get one of these.

It seems these have been around for a while but they’re new to me.

Hyanide and Baal - all terrain motorcycles

Baal tracked motorcycle
Here’s some creative thinking for motorcycling off road, it’s a tracked motorcycle. Ready to do battle with sand, snow or anything else, the Hyanide and Baal design concepts are part of the Michelin Challenge Design 2006 that’s taking place at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Hyanidetracked motorcycleBoth the Hyanide and Baal designs are based on a bendable rubber track. The vehicles are steered by both hands and feet. The concepts are capable of many different engine variations, these were designed to accept a 500cc ATV engine, the type which are already mass produced. The Baal concept was thought to be the sort of vehicle that could be used in the Paris-Dakar or Baja races.

The German designers are Tilmann Schlootz and Oliver Keller. Nice work guys!

Suzuki Hayabusa Police Interceptor

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Hayabusa

If you’re passing through Oklahoma and you think you can just speed through the state without any chance of getting run down from behind, think again. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a little surprise for you, a Suzuki Hayabusa Police Interceptor, all nice and shiny and black and radar equipped. The OHP is set to get special training at the California Superbike School. Better slow ‘er down boys.

Wakan 1640 - New French V-Twin Motorcycle

Wakan 1640 by Wakan Motorcycles

Wakan 1640 by Wakan MotorcyclesA new motorcycle company from France? It looks that way and their first bike is pretty sweet. Wakan Motorcycles has produced the Wakan 1640, a single seat, V-Twin powered sport bike built around the AC Cobra idea of dropping a big American powerplant into a sporty European frame.

Joel Domergue, the man behind Scorpa, a company known for some excellent trials motorcycles, and an expert trials rider himself, figured it was time to sell the company which left him with some cash in his pocket and ideas in his head. Actually, those ideas had been floating around for years but, busy with Scorpa, he didn’t have the time to do anything with them. Now, with free time and a bit of capital, he went to work.

The Wakan 1640 starts with a single spine oil carrying frame, a 54 inch wheelbase, with inverted Ceriani forks mounted at 22 degrees. Power comes from a 100 cubic inch S&S V-Twin producing 115hp and 115 foot pounds of torque and those horses are moving a motorcycle that weighs only 390 pounds with oil, no fuel. The engine sports a single Keihin flatslide carb that gets ram air through a blower type scoop situated above the airbox cover. The fuel tank is below the seat, molded to double as a sort of rear mudguard with the filler mounted on the tailsection.

The engine has been dynamically balanced to reduce vibration plus the bar end weights help and the result is a much smoother bike than you might expect.

Braking chores go to a single 340mm front disc with a six piston caliper, which first road tester, Alan Cathcart, calls, “OK” but which might need to be tweaked a bit for serious stopping power. Cathcart also says the handling is similar to the Buell Firebolt XB12R but performance from the S&S V-Twin is definitely a step up.

The first 15 bikes are scheduled to be produced by October for €28,000 ($35,000),but as production ramps up the price is expected to fall quite a bit. The next 100 bikes for 2007 will retain the Keihin carb but afterwards, fuel injection will be necessary to meet Euro 3 emissions requirements in 2008.

This is no prototype bike, it’s ready for production now and pre orders are already trickling in. They’ve kept the bike totally under wraps during the three year development time and these first stories show a complete bike.

This is another move, now by a European, in the same big torque, sport bike direction we’ve been talking about for the past year. If you’re a bike builder starting out, you might want to forget the chopper direction and think sport bike. The Wakan 1640, … I like it.

Wakan 1640 by Wakan Motorcycles

Wakan 1640 ram air scoop

Wakan 1640 racing version

Motorcycle Powered Cars

Current motorcycle engines are pretty sophisticated. You don't have to look at MotoGP engines to see it either, just visit any motorcycle dealer and look at the street bikes ready to follow you home. Many 600cc sportbikes produce over 100hp and 1000cc liter bikes develop over 150hp. The Suzuki Hayabusa comes in around 175hp and thanks to a well developed aftermarket, the big 'Busa can be turbocharged, given the big bore treatment and, of course, fitted with nitrous, for unbelievable horsepower gains. At a recent horsepower shootout, one well massaged Hayabusa cranked out over 700hp!

Why not cars?

Hayabusa V8With a little imagination you might look at those engines, note their compact dimensions, peer under the hood of a small car and go hmm...

Well, before you pat yourself on the back for being so creative, it should be noted that folks have been putting motorcycle engines in cars for quite some time.

The Cooper Car Company was putting 500cc JAP motorcycle engines into a ladder frame special and making a race car back in the late 1940's and BMW dropped a motorcycle engine into the Isetta in the mid 1950's. Even earlier, in the 20's and early 30's, the Morgan Motor Company built their famous 3 wheelers with V-twin engines from JAP and Matchless mounted right out front. If you're interested in very early micro cars and motorcycle powered cars you have a lot to choose from, there's the Peel, the Velorex, the Berkeley and many others that most people have never heard of. There's a large following and many active collectors for these early motorcycle/car hybrids but our focus here is on the modern engines produced today.

Factory built and kit based

Tiger Z100 Mk2 with twin GSXR1000 enginesThere are a number of companies currently building motorcycle engine powered cars for both street and track applications. Some are complete factory built, finished cars while others are in various stages of completion or kit form.

Depending on your skill level, tools and facilities at your disposal, time, energy and intended application you'll have to narrow down the choices and choose from there. If you're thinking of buying or building one of these beauties, keep in mind, road legal in one country may not be road legal anywhere else, so be sure to check with local registration authorities and with the company producing the car as they may already have the answers you need.

Construction issues

Twin R1 engines ready for fitment in a Mini - Z CarsPowering a car with a motorcycle engine is a bit more complex than dropping a smallblock Chevy into your old street machine. Motorcycle engines are not equipped with a transmission containing a reverse gear or motor mount placements designed to work with a car so any of these motorcycle/car hybrids are going to be custom built the first time around. If you're comfortable building one off prototypes, you can start from scratch. Otherwise, you can take advantage of those who have done this before.

Engine variations

Builders have found many engines suitable for powering cars. Some current favorites are the Yamaha R1, Kawasaki ZX12, Kawasaki ZX9 and, of course, the Suzuki Hayabusa, however, any time you begin with a clean sheet, you can design for any engine desired.

There are twin engine variations and various turbo setups, two wheel drive and four wheel drive as well. The only limits are imagination, creativity and skill.

Motorcycle engine car companies

There are a number of companies worldwide in the business of creating complete motorcycle powered vehicles. Some are very well known, others a bit obscure but over time we intend to have a fairly comprehensive list.


Super 7Many of the cars below are variations on the Caterham, Lotus and Super 7 from England, but the problem on this side of the Atlantic is they're all right hand drive. Super7Cars, up in Canada, builds a Super 7 in left hand drive powered by a Hayabusa engine with lots of available options, including turbo and intercooler.

Super 7 Hayabusa Engine in yellowPerformance? Well how's 0-60 in 3.78 with roof, spare wheel, tools, jack, side curtains, mirrors and all-season tires, and fitted with a completely stock engine? It can be ordered in configurations up to 340hp. I'm starting to get a real warm fuzzy for these things, you get the performance of a superbike with full weather protection and a heater along with room for a passenger and luggage. Just imagine what this sounds like at full song on a twisty road ...

DP Cars

DP1 by DP CarsThis company, which is basically one person, Dennis Palatov, has almost completed the DP1, an extraordinary Hayabusa powered track car. His web site documents in extreme detail the progress from initial concept to mockups and every step of the building process. He projects first delivery in February of 2006. If you are looking to see a very capable design engineer at work, visit his site, you will be amazed. I am definitely impressed. Don't take my word for it, check it out.

Radical Extreme Sportscars

SR8Formed in 1996 to build racecars powered by superbike engines, they have been very successful with a constantly evolving series of cars. Radical is also the creator of the SR8, powered by their own V8 engine, created by joining the top ends of two Suzuki Hayabusa engines to a common crankcase. This Hayabusa based V8 in original form is producing 363hp and looks stunning. Their newest SR9 is a larger displacement version, growing from 2.6 liters to 3.0 liters with a commensurate increase in horsepower.

Z Cars Ltd.

Mini by Z CarsZ Cars makes the motorcycle powered Mini, one of the most "gotta have" cars around as well as the Tiger. Several configurations are available, both single and twin engined R1 power, Hayabusa and turbo Hayabusa in the Mini and all sorts of Tiger variants.

SmartukiAnd just for good measure, their web site says they're working on a conversion for a Smart car. Remember those? Stock power output is 60hp. News Flash!! This just in... The Smartuki has now been built. It's a GSX-R1000 powered Smart Car with 180hp, 0-60 in 4.2 sec. and 12.4 quarter miles. I like it.

See it here : The Smartuki

Think a Motorcycle Powered Mini might be interesting? ... Start here ...

Mini : Classic Mini 1000 Rare Excellent Condition Classic Mini 1000 - One Owner!
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Mini : Classic Mini 1968 Morris Mini Cooper S, real deal, not a fake
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Tiger Racing

Tiger B6Distributes the Tiger in various forms for both street and racing. Powered by several motorcycle engine configurations. The Tiger Z100WR with twin ZX12R engines does 0-60 in 2.9 seconds!


Toniq RMakers of the Toniq R, powered by a 900cc Honda Fireblade engine. 0-60 in 4.2, comes with 6 speed paddle shifter, top speed 130mph. Available complete or in kit form.

Speads Race Cars

Speads Formula racerDesigned to look like a Formula 1 race car, it has a steel tube frame and will accept many different motorcycle engines. Also available as a full bodied sports racer.


Dax Rush MC ZX12RDax Cars makes several kit cars, some based on the AC Cobra and some modeled after the Lotus like many of the other companies here. Their Dax Rush MC is the Lotus version powered by one of several different motorcycle powerplants. The photo here is a ZX12R version. The regular configurations are for either a Honda Fireblade (CBR900RR in the states) or a Hayabusa.

Fisher Sports Cars UK

Fisher FuryFisher makes the Fury and the Menace. Their cars can be built for either road or track. The engine options are extensive and include a wide range of motorcycle engines, the R1, Hayabusa, Fireblade and ZX9. The Fury is a kit car and there is a gallery of cars on their web site that builders have already completed.

F500 by Hartham

Original Fiat 500Hartham is building a Ducati powered Fiat 500. The engine will be from a Ducati 999R with a power output of 150hp. A carbon fiber composite chassis, Brembo disc brakes, six point racing harness and similar components will make this a real mini racer. The car is supposed to retain the looks of the original Fiat 500 though no photos of the F500 are available yet, at least not that we've seen. The photo here is of the original Fiat 500 so imagine appropriate paint, wheels and tires along with all of the other components. It has the same appeal as the Mini conversion done by Z Cars.

Sylva Autokits

R1ot - R1 powered track carThe R1ot, is a purpose built track day car powered by a 150hp Yamaha R1 engine. And if you’re wondering about performance, the total package weighs 410 kilograms, that’s 903 pounds! I’ll bet some Harley dressers get close to that weight. Built by Sylva Autokits, a company that’s put together a lot of very quick and successful track cars, they look like they have another nice one.

Owosso Pulse and Jim Bede's LiteStar

Owosso PulseBoth the Pulse and the LiteStar were essentially the same car, originally designed by Jim Bede of BD5 and BD5J fame, the little experimental aircraft that was very neat. After the aircraft was built, Bede decided to try his hand at cars and came up with the LiteStar. After some business disagreements, the Owosso Pulse was born which was the same car but built without Jim Bede's involvement. Power was a Yamaha 400 with an electric reverse. Story here.


Hotrodhawg This Harley Davidson V twin powered roadster is built on a tube frame with a fiberglass body. The engine runs through a three speed automatic transmission with overdrive from the Mazda RX-7. The car will easily get up to 100mph. It's built in South Africa and sold in California and Arizona as a roller minus the engine. Looks nice.

Sundoulos Sportstar

SportstarThis started out as a racer, designed to compete with Corvettes and Vipers. It was designed for a twin turbo V8 with 960 horsepower, but after things were well along, the sanctioning body, Grand-Am, changed the rules and focused on Daytona prototypes making this obsolete as designed, so Barry Watkins came up with an alternative using two Harley Davidson V twins. If there are awards for knockout looks, this one wins big. Story here.

Motorcycle Powered Go Karts


GixxerKartGo karts are a natural choice when thinking about motorcycle power. They're small, lightweight and easy to modify for a variety of engines. This kart comes in two flavors, the original is powered by a 1988 GSX-R 1100 engine putting out 115hp with a 0-60 of under 3 seconds and top speed of 105mph which has to be pretty exciting with your butt about an inch above the asphalt. The newer version sports two seats and the engine from a 1994 Honda CBR 1100 XX. Output is 164hp.


BladeKart - Honda Fireblade powered kartThree students at a Dutch technical school were thinking about a proper graduation project and came up with the BladeKart. A 900cc engine from a Honda Fireblade combined with a TIG welded frame resulted in a pretty nice piece. Final performance figures are not yet available but considering power to weight, those figures should be pretty stout. Full story here.

Scale NASCAR type cars with motorcycle power

Pro Challenge Race Cars

Pro Challenge Road RacerThese cars come in two versions, an oval racer and a road racer, the first powered by a Kawasaki ZX1100cc or ZZR1200cc engine while the road racer gets a Kawasaki ZX 1200cc (standard) or ZZR 1200cc (optional). The oval racer has about 140hp while the road racer is around 185hp. Speeds are proportional from 150mph to 175mph respectively.

Baby Grand Racing

Baby Grand RacerThese 2/3 scale cars are replicas of Nextel Cup racers and use Yamaha XJR1300 engines with about 125hp. Bodies are just like their big brothers, plus they have full roll cages and tube chassis, you get in through the window, 5 point harness, the whole deal.

They’ve been racing since 1996 and they run ovals and road courses. New cars are constructed in Bowling Green, Kentucky and are available as a roller or complete car

BMW V12 Powered Motorcycle

BMW V12 Powered Motorcycle

BMW V12 Powered MotorcycleIf 8 cylinders are good then 12 cylinders are better, right? We showed you the BMW V8 motorcycle the other day and now we’ll show you what happens when someone takes a 5.5 liter BMW V12 and builds a drag bike around it. HMS Sportbikes, over in Germany, has been working on this project, taking the engine from a BMW 750i and creating something a little more sporting. They say it will have twin turbos and NOS but it looks to be a bit short of complete at this point.