Motorcycle engine powered cars


Autoblog recently posted about the LusoMotors LM23, a track car powered by a Honda CBR1000 that weighs less than 900 pounds. We knew there have been quite a few other home built cars that have foregone traditional engines for motorcycle power plants, so we asked Google for a few project suggestions. It turned up this excellent round up of motorcycle powered cars by The Kneeslider. The usual Caterham suspects show up, but there are many other unique vehicles: from Mini and Fiat conversions to the unique sidemounted engine in the DP1 pictured above. Definitely check out this excellent collection.

35 thoughts on “Motorcycle engine powered cars

  1. I crew for some guys who race a ‘D’ sports racer (DSR) in the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) that use a similar setup. The car is fast as hell. This car appears to be front wheel drive though, which is just not nearly as cool.

  2. I’ve built one of these 2 years ago. In fact, close to my house was a race circuit for these vehicles :P
    oh, and someone in my town have a fiat 600 with a motor from an honda motorclycle.

    i dont see nothing new here, what its the matter of this post? This is not a hack, its just a mod. not the same ;)

    saludos desde argentina

  3. There’s a whole class of these cars made by universities as part of the international Formula SAE design competition. Just about every school with a mechanical engineering department has one. Worth checking out, the cars range from things strung together on a non-existant budget to expensive all carbon fibre cars.

  4. “many other unique vehicles”
    I guess it depends on what your frame of reference is on that one; I don’t see a [caps]BEC[/caps] (“Bike Engined Car” for those who couldn’t figure it out) as anything particularly novel any more (I own and drive one myself) as I’m part of a very large UK community where they are almost the norm. A lot of the UK kit-car industry is now based around the assumption that you use a bike engine because they work out as the best bang-for-your-buck in terms of power, weight and cost compared to a normal (car) engine. There is even a race series dedicated to them because they tend to get excluded from a lot of “normal” ones as they are too quick!

  5. Motorcycle engine based cars kewl but try to find one that’s not a race car, doesn’t need a ‘donor’ to hack, etc. Who’s got plans to ‘roll your own’ from the ground up? Some folks want to build …well, more utilitarian stuff.

  6. I’ve long wondered if it was practical to build a dual-drive hybrid vehicle: start with, say, a Subaru Baja, and tear out the existing ICE. Set it up as a front-drive EV with some/most of the batteries on a removable skid in back, that’d take care of the 95% local trips. For the 5% of trips needing more range, pull out the battery pack, slide in a motorcycle-based ICE pack, direct-drive to the back end. Certainly this is less efficient than a pure EV, but it seems like an interesting compromise. (Heck, our Prius is less than 2000cc displacement.)

    Thoughts?

  7. It is always encoutaging to see vehicles like these. Competition has just got so expensive for most people. “Cheap” machines like this one at least open it up a bit more. I remember what happened to go-cart racing, it went from a real cheap sport to highly expensive one almost overnight.

  8. I am building a 1969 SAAB 95 wagonback, installing a Honda V65 Magna 1100cc engine that is 116HP stock and a BMW 318 rear LSD differential for the final drive, compared to the 64HP 1700cc stock V4 engine in the SAAB. The nice thing will be the 6 speed sequential shift transmission from the Honda. The drive train will be almost 200lbs lighter than the SAAB drivetrain.

  9. It honestly just makes a lot more sense to put a motorcycle engine in a vehicle that weighs closer to what a motorcycle would than a car.

    Some of these motorcycle motors can produce close to 200hp, which is a lot in a car that weighs sub 1,000lbs. Kind of like an (even) smaller Ariel Atom.

  10. Wearing black leather and riding huge Harleys, a motorcycle gang thunders through northern Georgia as if en route to a rumble. But the only rumble for this gang–the Atlanta Harley Owners Group (HOG)–is the one in their stomachs. It’s another Sunday ride in the country for the group, and as usual it ends with a feast. “We live to ride, and we ride to eat,” says club assistant director B.K. Ellis, a systems analyst.

  11. Really cool ride. Reminds me of the ride that Dream Machines did for 50c using a Hayabusa motor. I wonder what kind of speeds can these types of cars achieve?

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