Monday, August 12, 2013

5 Motorcycle Engine-Infused Cars

People have integrated motorcycle engines into various forms of transportation for decades. On many urban streets you’ll find mountain bikes and cruisers with motorcycle engines. However, these are small engines, and they don’t provide much power. Some people modify regular production cars, both two- and four-door varieties, by installing motorcycle engines because motorcycle engines are cheap, lightweight and get better fuel economy—or just because it’s cool to say, “My car has a motorcycle engine in it.”

The Honda GRX

The Honda GRX concept doesn’t look as cool as some of the other cars that made this list. It doesn’t go as fast as most of them either, so why and how did it make the list of “The Coolest Cars with Motorcycle Engines”? Easy. Powered by a 1,500cc engine used in the Honda Gold Wing, it’s something we might eventually see in production.

The Vandenbrink Carver-One

If you see a Vandenbrink Carver-One sitting still in a parking lot somewhere, you’d probably think that it was just a trike with a shell over it. However, you’d be dead wrong. The futuristic-looking “shell” on the Carver looks like something out of "Star Wars" or "Star Trek." This one not only makes the list because it’s super-fast but simply because its sci-fi aesthetic will likely look “modern” 20 years from now.

Radical SR4

The Radical SR4 looks like something you’d see on the IMSA GTP circuit. It’s got a pure racing body and a monstrously powerful motorcycle engine in the back powering it. This car has actually raced and performed pretty well at numerous internationally-sanctioned racing events, such as the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Unlike most of the other cars on this list, unless you have some serious engineering background, this isn’t something you can put together using an online motorcycle parts supplier.

Photo of Radical SR4 by Los Barbados via Flickr

Formula SAE Racers

The Formula SAE racers look like an old Indy car with a motorcycle engine stuck into it. Weighing only a few hundred pounds, the racer was developed by a bunch of speed-minded engineers. The vehicle's actual performance is mind-blowing and actually, almost scary.

The Ariel Atom V8

The Ariel Atom V8 is another futuristic-looking car, but it doesn’t have just one motorcycle engine—it has two! Two Hayabusa engines to be exact. This fusion of motorcycle, Formula 1 car and space fighter has no body panels, making it crazy light, giving it that, “Oh man, what have I done?” speed and styling. Looking at it, two things come to mind:
What in the world is that? That is just totally cool—wait...where’d it go?