Be the first on your block!
May 17, 2013 7:07 PM   Subscribe

The sweetest chopper on the planet is the "Red Baron", a custom-built motorcycle powered by a 9-cylinder radial aircraft engine.
posted by Chocolate Pickle (35 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
That looks hilariously awesome, but shouldn't it be turned 90° to drive a wheel directly?
posted by DU at 7:14 PM on May 17, 2013


Not my kind of bike, but a thing of beauty nonetheless.
posted by 256 at 7:18 PM on May 17, 2013


it is pretty funny. though if they say POWER they really mean NOISE and SMOKE, since 150 hp isn't very much for a real bike (well it's a lot, but unremarkable )
posted by wilful at 7:19 PM on May 17, 2013


Interesting, but for all that work and noise I was almost hoping the result would be something like:
1. He touches his foot to the gas pedal.
2. His remains are found somewhere in Denmark.
posted by JHarris at 7:21 PM on May 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


does it turn really sharply to the right?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:22 PM on May 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


2. His remains are found somewhere in Denmark.

Should be in Northern France, actually.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:26 PM on May 17, 2013


I'd be totally okay with a massive exposed drive belt spinning away an inch or two from my leg.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:27 PM on May 17, 2013


Needs the Snoopy tag. Also, shouldn't it have some big dials and a klaxon?
posted by arcticseal at 7:27 PM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


There is a long and beautiful history of radial engined motorcycles. This one is stupid, largely as it's oriented in such a way where the rider is perpetually trying to keep the damn thing from flipping over and killing him, simply because it's easier to connect to a transmission and cool that way.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:27 PM on May 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


Also, this is useless without twin mounted machine guns on the handlebars.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:27 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, that little propeller is just silly.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:28 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Megola deserves more attention. One of my favorite bikes.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:32 PM on May 17, 2013


I'd be totally okay with a massive exposed drive belt spinning away an inch or two from my leg.

You're in luck!
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:43 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just another way to abuse the public with horrid levels of noise. Thumbs DOWN.
posted by michellenoel at 7:47 PM on May 17, 2013


I'd be totally okay with a massive exposed drive belt spinning away an inch or two from my leg.

You're in luck!


Okay, fine, I confess. I'm not totally okay with that.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:50 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just another way to abuse the public with horrid levels of noise.

Back when I was bouncing at the Shark Lounge (to put myself thru art school), one of the wrench monkeys got really drunk and dared me to come up with a hog he couldn't build.

"Make a quiet bike. Looks like a Harley, feels like a Harley, rides like a Harley, dead silent like a Toyota."

I think I broke him.

(Also, awesome post, Chocolate Pickle! Thanks.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:53 PM on May 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


>2. His remains are found somewhere in Denmark.
Should be in Northern France, actually.


The way I imagined it, he got some degree of lift from the engine.
posted by JHarris at 7:56 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Megola deserves more attention.

It'd certainly demand your attention if you were insane enough to try to drive it! I bet it corners really really well with that gyroscope (unsprung weight, no less) on the front axle.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:01 PM on May 17, 2013


The way I imagined it, he got some degree of lift from the engine.

I think that was a joke about the original Red Baron.
posted by XMLicious at 8:02 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I pass a GoldWing...

OK, I just laugh....

And, this post needs this
posted by HuronBob at 8:04 PM on May 17, 2013


Reminds me of another insane German vehicle powered by an aircraft engine (and duly fawned over by Top Gear) - Brutus.
posted by ZaphodB at 11:26 PM on May 17, 2013


Okay, fine, I confess. I'm not totally okay with that.

The problem solves itself - fairly rapidly the drive and gyroscope would combine to ensure you have no leg on that side.
posted by jaduncan at 11:32 PM on May 17, 2013


Here is another version
posted by quazichimp at 11:43 PM on May 17, 2013


Pretty cool, but I don't really see this style of chopper taking off.
posted by carsonb at 11:53 PM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


The problem solves itself - fairly rapidly the drive and gyroscope would combine to ensure you have no leg on that side.

Fair enough. Obviously, in regards to my feelings on this issue, I don't have a leg to stand on.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:56 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the huge gyroscopic forces come from having a rotating block engine. This engine is a radial, but the block is obviously stationary (and it's not like the pistons or changing cylinders with each stroke) so I'm not sure there's that much more of a gyroscopic effect than you'd see in any normal multi-cylinder engine.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:35 AM on May 18, 2013


I followed links to another project called Bomber Bike, which is the most sublimely silly machine I've seen in a long time. They've been at it a few years now, but despite the noise and smoke from the comically large 12L 500hp radial engine (from an actual WWII bomber), it's not going anywhere on its own power soon. Mostly because they haven't gotten around to designing the rest of the drivetrain yet.
posted by vanar sena at 12:40 AM on May 18, 2013


I'd be totally okay with a massive exposed drive belt spinning away an inch or two from my leg.

You're in luck!


I actually saw one of those outside ALDI last week, would have thought that any sort of torque would just shred the teeth off of it: but apparently not...

The whole bit where you don't have to oil/lube them and clean said lube from the bike (and self if your scottoiler goes on the fritz) is rather nice. As is not having to do the bit where you sit with the back wheel hovering over your voolnerables when you adjust the chain tension/wheel alignment, for that matter.
posted by titus-g at 2:58 AM on May 18, 2013


For me, engineerig beauty comes from form designed for function. This was designed primarily to look good with little regard for function.
posted by BenPens at 7:30 AM on May 18, 2013


> This was designed primarily to look good with little regard for function.

Pretty much true of all choppers, though, unless the function you're designing for is riding from one end of Kansas to the other on a perfectly flat, perfectly straight road while you put your boots up on the bars and take a nap.
posted by jfuller at 7:53 AM on May 18, 2013


Pretty cool, but I don't really see this style of chopper taking off.

Well no, not without a treadmill.


Pretty much true of all choppers, though, unless the function you're designing for is riding from one end of Kansas to the other on a perfectly flat, perfectly straight road while you put your boots up on the bars and take a nap.

That only works if you're already deaf.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:22 AM on May 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well no, not without a treadmill.

ha! I think that just made my day...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 10:53 AM on May 18, 2013


Well, it's a good start, with nine cylinders. But it's certainly no Dolmette, with twenty-four Dolmar chainsaw engines running it. Or even more definitively, a forty-eight cylinder Kawasaki.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 1:33 AM on May 19, 2013


Did they really make that Kawasaki from an H2?
As if the original wasn't dangerous enough ...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:24 AM on May 19, 2013


michellenoel: "Just another way to abuse the public with horrid levels of noise. Thumbs DOWN."

One of the worst conversations I've had started off with me saying, "You know, a helmet and leathers also save lives."
posted by boo_radley at 11:44 AM on June 17, 2013


« Older LOOKIT HIS LITTLE FEETIES   |   Beat the Cheat Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments