View Full Version : Bike engine in a car?


Yosemite Hermit
05-20-2004, 01:51 PM
OK, so this is a really weird question, but is there a way to hook up a motorcycle engine to a car transmission? Is this done anywhere in racecars or anything? I'm thinking of a small roadster. My concerns are that the car should have reverse and that putting a bike motor in a car would put a lot of strain on the motorcycle clutch.

On the other hand, if there were two transmissions that could yield something like 20 forward gears and 5 reverse! Plus good gas mileage. The motor in question makes about 170 crankshaft hp and is sitting in my living room. http://www.jalopyjournal.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif I know, I have dam wierd ideas, but I do love 'em! http://www.jalopyjournal.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif Thanks for any input!

AnimalAin
05-20-2004, 02:02 PM
Consider the way a Dwarf or Legends car is set up. Uses driveshaft off of the transmission output. Another possibility might be a shaft drive bike like a big Honda. Reverse gear might be a problem, though......

To have any sort of reasonable performance, the car would have to be small and really light, like a thousand pounds all up weight. I have seen it done, and Dwarf cars do go like hell, but these kinds of hot rods always seem to be more like a large toy than a real hot rod to me.... just an opinion, mind you....

Slide
05-20-2004, 02:09 PM
Check out Legends race cars:

http://www.600racing.com/legends.asp

I have been thinking of trying to make a street-legal belly tank (single-seater, of course!) as a econo-commuter, and I was looking at these possibilities...including the motorcycle motor.

I don't remember what kind of transmission Legends cars use, but I do know they run a Toyota or Datsun rear axle.

metalshapes
05-20-2004, 02:13 PM
This is popular in England.
They use Bike engines in small Road Track Race Cars and Lotus 7 type Steet Cars.
There are companies that specialise in this and some of them make gear boxes for reverse.
Some of those also have a Diff in them.
But it is all very expensive...
SCCA has a sports car class where Bike engines are used as well...

abe lugo
05-20-2004, 02:16 PM
I believe, harley davidson servi-car have a ford style banjo rear that is chain drive

K
05-20-2004, 02:18 PM
I believe that there is a company making a '32 roadster style body using a H-D sportster engine. I think it is 3/4 size but am not sure.

burger
05-20-2004, 02:21 PM
Almost all Formula SAE racecars use 600cc cycle engines. No reverse though.. you've gotta push it to go backwards.

Goldwings have reverse, and there are aftermarket kits to put reverse on the bigger H-D cruisers.

ELpolacko
05-20-2004, 02:22 PM
http://www.quaifeamerica.com/Motorcycle/cyclediff300.gif

Link to Quaife Motorcycle powered cars (http://www.quaifeamerica.com/Motorcycle/cyclecars.htm)

Like this? These guys are probably one of the best in the world. Very expensive and very freaking cool stuff!

Check out the transaxles and stuff these guys make too. Quaife America (http://www.quaifeamerica.com/)

Rix2Six
05-20-2004, 02:27 PM
At the last LA Roadster Show, I saw a Track T roadster powered by a big inch V-Twin. Don't think it was actually a Harley but one of the Harley clone V-Twins like an S&S.

just steve
05-20-2004, 02:33 PM
If it fits the plans, think about a transaxle. Porsche, VW, Corvair -- all would have reverse, and you'd just have to figure out a driveshaft from the engine output to the transaxle.

For what it's worth, my Sprite has an 80-ci A-series four-banger that puts out about 100 horsepower. Moves a 1,400-pound car around very well. That cycle engine in a lighter car would give you Lotus Super 7 performance and then some!

Steve.

Yosemite Hermit
05-20-2004, 03:01 PM
Hey, thanks for all of the replies, guys! It's sounding more feasible now with some availability of reverse gear options. The vw transaxle idea sounds cool too, I'll have to look into that as well. I'm thinking of a fiberglass T bucket or modified body on a minimalist chassis with an aluminum front axle. Hmm, much to ponder....

Deuce Rails
05-20-2004, 03:05 PM
Steve,

I think that the transaxle idea is a good one.

Do those German ones use some sort of torque tube setup? What kind of flange/yoke/pinion fits into them?

--Matt

whizzerick
05-20-2004, 03:27 PM
Ooooorrr... If budget permits... Skip the fabrication part and get one of these! http://www.jalopyjournal.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Crafty
05-20-2004, 03:54 PM
here in the UK we have several companies that build lotus 7 replicas, the two biggest are Caterham and Estfield. They both now do bike engined versions, often using yamaha or hybusa engines. Makes alot of sense really, the cars are light and use carbon fibre extensively. With minor fettling these engines can kick out 200hp. If I remember correctly there are even some twin engined versions about that people have built themselves. If you do a web search you should pull up plenty of info

The37Kid
05-20-2004, 03:56 PM
There were many Cyclecar makers here in the USA pre 1915, the low cost of a Model T Ford put them out of business. You might find some good ideas doing a Cyclecar search.

JOECOOL
05-20-2004, 04:08 PM
It's really not that hard. Mount the motor lenghtwise with the sprocket pointed to the rear.

If it's a shaft drive just mount a ring gear flex plate at the rear U- joint and use a starter motor to turn it backwards when needed.

If it's a chain drive just get another sprocket the same as what's on the bike. Have a machine shop cut splines in it to match a trans 3,4, or 5 speed. Use a double roller chain to hold the two sprockets together( side by side ) and use the motorcycle clutch to drive with and the car trans for reverse.

The double sprocket with a double roller chain is a very workable idea. That is how we connected twin motors in the old Tractor pull days.

Hope that helps

metalshapes
05-20-2004, 04:11 PM
Crafty, isn't that Westfield?
I have seen at least one twin 'Cycle engine 7 Clone in tripple C Magazine.
And a Twin rear engine Peugeot Grass Racer...

Tackett
05-20-2004, 04:13 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Ooooorrr... If budget permits... Skip the fabrication part and get one of these! http://www.jalopyjournal.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif


[/ QUOTE ]

I got to sit in one of those the other day. Fucking radical. Not traditional at all, but damn cool.

It has a 1100cc or 1200cc Kawi motor, and the guy who was driving it (designer at Honda, borrowed it for the weekend) claims it'll spin the rear tire in second gear - a 335/35/17.

Sadly, it's out of my budget and I don't really fit (6'1" and big feet).

Flipper
05-20-2004, 06:17 PM
Look at some of the "pulling tractors" that are based off of lawn mowers. I saw one where the motor cycle engine was turned sideways and had a drive flange where the sprocket should be. they had a small driveshaft going from that to a car 4 speed. They only used the gears on the bike trans to adjust their final drive ratio (it was shifted into the desired gear before the pull started.

A lawn mower with 1100 cc ,set on kill, is officially insane!!!

flynj1
05-20-2004, 07:40 PM
I have built some 200+ drawf cars in the past. Check to see if the output shaft turns in the right direction on your moter. Most of the shaft drives turn backwords so you have to turn the rearend over to make it work. The rearends are mostly toyota because thy are easy to cut down and leaghten axles. For the adaptor to bolt the drive to a sprocket you can use a yock of toyota rearend

Junkyard Dog 32
05-20-2004, 07:50 PM
I was thinking about building a T-Rex type three wheeler. I have a Fiero frontend, that I cut out for a guy who was putting one on a 4x4 chassis. All you'd need is the back half of almost any bike, some tubing and a seat. I bet those things just get up and fly!!!
I'd use a Goldwing or Venture Royale for the donor bike...

JOEhttp://www.jalopyjournal.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

a/fxcomet
05-20-2004, 07:56 PM
Didnt the Honda Z600 (http://www.honda600owners.com/) use a motorcycle motor?

SamIyam
05-20-2004, 09:25 PM
[ QUOTE ]

Almost all Formula SAE racecars use 600cc cycle engines. No reverse though.. you've gotta push it to go backwards.


[/ QUOTE ]

I was on a team in College that built a Formula SAE car... Fresno State in '91-'94... we built one hell of a car... only to have the guys who came after us FUCK IT UP. http://www.jalopyjournal.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Anyway, the motor was a Honda Hurricane 600... blown, elc. fuel injection on alcohol... went like hell... I was one of the drivers, and had a BLAST back in Michigan driving it one year... though I spun it out. http://www.jalopyjournal.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Anyway, when we ran it at SCCA events, we would totally kick ass... it was like a 110hp go kart.
Sam.

cosmo
05-20-2004, 10:51 PM
The below has a BMW - type 602 cc engine in it (horizontally opposed twin, air cooled).
Weight is around #1200, minus me (make that #1400, then).
Trans is small, and FWD, which may not be what you want.
BUT, even at a rated 29 horsepower (small, sickly pony-power??), it'll cruise at 65 mph all day. And takes most of the day to get there http://www.jalopyjournal.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Look to smaller cars to find what you need.
Reverse could be as simple as a starter motor geared to the output shaft (driveshaft), and operated electrically (umm, duh, starter motor).
Do take a careful look at the small car innovator: Pierre Boulanger, father of the CitroŽn 2CV. There is more innovation in this car than you can possibly imagine. All geared toward making the most for the least weight.

metalshapes
05-20-2004, 11:16 PM
Over 200 Flynj? Wow...
I have a question for you.
Do you need to make any changes to the oil pickup, or put some baffles in the lower part of the block?
A good Race car will pull well over a G cornering on warm slicks, and you dont lean it into the corner like a bike.
Has oil starvation ever been a problem on the cars that you worked on?

rockabillyjoe
05-21-2004, 02:35 AM
The BMW 600. The 2 door version of the Isetta is powered by the BMW 600 boxer engine.

marq
05-21-2004, 04:49 AM
Yes you can over here they use Suzuki hyabusa engines in some of the kit cars they race and they are blowing away cars like porche,maclaren f1,vipers and so on .The tiger z100 uses motorcycle engines and does 0-60 in 2.9 seconds now thats fast that car uses 2 kawasaki zx12 r engines.westfield also utilize motorcycle engines on their cars now i am not sure how the drive is attached but i do know they keep the sequential gearbox...........Marq

dixiedog
05-21-2004, 08:29 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I believe that there is a company making a '32 roadster style body using a H-D sportster engine. I think it is 3/4 size but am not sure.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yep there sure was, I have pics of the cars from Bike Week back in 95-97?. The cars were 3/4 size knock offs of a 32 roadster with IFS and a HD 80ci motor & tranny mounted the same direction as on a bike, for some reason I think they were chain drive with a long heavy chain??? The "drive chain" & tunnel was on the far right inside of the car, no doors. All the lights and horn and I believe they were even street legal. Very good craftsmanship and the price started around $9000 for a nice single color, the last I heard he had the whole operation up for sale for $30K. He used to advertise in the back of the bike mags like Hot Bike.

flynj1
05-21-2004, 09:32 AM
metalshapes we did have some oil problems. My engine builder was changeing the pickup to solve it. Heat was the bigest problem though we had to lover or punch holes in the hood, reshape the fire wall to get more air past the engine and do some carb work and you still had to change oil every two nights to be on the safe side

48_HEMI
05-21-2004, 10:20 AM
[ QUOTE ]
The BMW 600. The 2 door version of the Isetta is powered by the BMW 600 boxer engine.

[/ QUOTE ]






This Isetta runs a 500 four cyl. Honda http://www.jalopyjournal.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Dreamweaver
05-21-2004, 10:26 AM
I think that motorcycle engined 3/4 scale 32 was bought out by Chupps.

Chupp's (http://www.chuppshotrods.com/)


There are quite a few Brit Lotus seven type cars that use bike engines, just search the web for lotus 7 or "locost" lotsa guys build those "locost" cars at home much like we do.

just steve
05-21-2004, 10:43 AM
Had more thoughts on the transaxle idea -- VW and Corvairs have the engine hanging off the back of the transaxle, so the transaxle would have to be turned around to work with a front engine layout. This would make the car go backwards with an engine that turned the right way.

However, if your motorcycle engine turns "backwards," like someone mentioned, it might be an ideal setup.

This is where it might help to talk to some of the sand rail/dune buggy guys. I think some of them convert the transaxles to they can use mid-engine layouts.

Steve.

disastron13
05-21-2004, 11:13 AM
Google search "triking moto guzzi"
You'll find a little English sports car with a Guzzi motor.
You don't need reverse if you build light.
The first Cooper cars had Norton motors.
Old HD Servicar gearboxes had reverse but they are only good for about 28 HP, they're a twenties design.
Lots of bike-motored cars have been built, you can do it.

G V Gordon
05-21-2004, 11:24 AM
On a VW trans-axle it is simply a matter of fliping the ring gear to reverse rotation.

marq
05-21-2004, 11:27 AM
The 3 wheel motorcycle engined sports car you talk of is most probably a Morgan or a copy of one these have the engine right up front.......................Marq

briggs&strattonChev
05-21-2004, 11:43 AM
cosmo, isnt that the same kinda car that was in American Graffiti that Curt Henderson drove?

swissmike
05-21-2004, 11:50 AM
I have always loved those Morgan 3-wheelers...

Rix2Six
05-21-2004, 04:56 PM
[ QUOTE ]
If it fits the plans, think about a transaxle. Porsche, VW, Corvair -- all would have reverse, and you'd just have to figure out a driveshaft from the engine output to the transaxle.

For what it's worth, my Sprite has an 80-ci A-series four-banger that puts out about 100 horsepower. Moves a 1,400-pound car around very well. That cycle engine in a lighter car would give you Lotus Super 7 performance and then some!

Steve.

[/ QUOTE ]

If my memory is right, I think that Corvairs rotate in the opposite direction as VWs.

Rix2Six
05-21-2004, 05:04 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Had more thoughts on the transaxle idea -- VW and Corvairs have the engine hanging off the back of the transaxle, so the transaxle would have to be turned around to work with a front engine layout. This would make the car go backwards with an engine that turned the right way.

However, if your motorcycle engine turns "backwards," like someone mentioned, it might be an ideal setup.

This is where it might help to talk to some of the sand rail/dune buggy guys. I think some of them convert the transaxles to they can use mid-engine layouts.

Steve.

[/ QUOTE ]

Ok here's the scoop if you're using a VW transaxle... you gotta match the rostation of the input shaft. You can flip the ring and pinion if you want to change the rotation of the wheels. Pre-68 Busses use the same transaxle as a Beetle but they have reduction gearboxes at the end of the axles. They just swap the R&P to get everything spining the right way.

noboD
05-21-2004, 07:00 PM
Rix2Six is correct, Corvairs and Vdub turn opposite directions. Ring gear flips in Vdub, not sure about Corvair. Early Pontiac Tempests used a Corvair Transaxle with a torquetube affair, even with the 326 V8. I've seen Corvair's with BB Chevys and Porsche 914s with Chevy V8s. Transaxle would solve alot of problems. Corvair suspension is similar to Corvettes, open halfshafts with u-joints on each end. Would be easy to shorten them to narrow the rear. Saw a Crosley convert. at Oley, Pa. motorcycle show this year. It had a flathead Harley motor and trany, complete with kick start. You've got a cool idea

nzsimon
05-22-2004, 07:52 AM
This one does 233kmh down the back straight and goes round corners like its on rails no reverse though and stopping and starting can be a nightmare as the clutch is either on or off 1300cc motorcyle engine

skull
01-17-2008, 12:10 PM
l am putting my 34 chevy dwarf car on the road,, making it street legal and gonna cruise the heck outta it,, you can try talking to people who build/work on dwarf and legend cars// [there are several web sites]/// l called many and most were very helpful,, one even got a sprocket for me to hook up my 1100cc honda motor to my chain drive adapter so l could hook up from the chain drive to the driveshaft then out to the toyota truck rearend [most places told me dealers only on this part but this guy gave me the warehouse # and the company shipped the sprocket right to my door] l think a dwarf car on the street will rock..

gears-n-grease
02-07-2008, 07:21 AM
After some research, i am thinking of using a polaris gearbox that is either hi/lo/rev or forward/reverse with a comet cvt. the one's i have been looking at are from 400cc-600cc atv's. i havent found out the ratios yet, so that maybe an issue. They seem to be plentiful.

i have even considered using a polaris 400cc motor but i havent been able to find much info on hp ratings on them. i am thinking a rear engine design to keep it simple.

any input is appreciated.

SaltCityCustoms
02-07-2008, 08:03 AM
It's funny that this comes up, I've been toying with the idea of having a T roadster powered by a motorcycle engine. I didn't want to build it for power but more for fuel economy and put a hood on it so it still looks like a normal T, I figured if I built it as basic as possible and used a modern but common jap bike motor that it could be done for cheap be lightweight and I could enjoy the hell out of my new daily driver. thanks for all the links you guy's that helps me out a ton.

CrkInsp
02-07-2008, 08:20 AM
I've seen a VW with a H-D motor running around town. It runs real good. Sounds a little different, but can light up the tires.

zman
02-07-2008, 08:29 AM
I'm glad this has come to the top again.

There is a place about 5 or 6 doors down that builds trikes, they have a diff/suspension set up sitting in the window. Every time I drive by this all goes through my mind.... One of my customers that builds SFI spec chassis and I were talking about it the other day..

pitman
02-07-2008, 08:49 AM
Another means of having reverse gear, would be to draft-up a planetary gear set, that became the hub, of the bike's output sprocket. When locked, you have direct drive (and the gear teeth need to be able to handle the HP) if the planet "spider" (joins the planet gear hubs together) was fixed, then you'd have a reverse! :eek:
The starter motor solution is simple enough, if the "clutching" and speed can be varied.

mustangsix
02-07-2008, 09:35 AM
Most of these issues have been tackled by the guys building those insane bike-engine Locosts. Sub-1000 lb roadsters with Hayabusa or Fireblade engines - incredibly quick.

elcornus
02-07-2008, 02:22 PM
Not street legal by any means, but both could cover the 100 yard sand drag track in less than 3 1/2 sec., at around 95mph going thru the lights.
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b351/elcornus/SandToys.jpg

Lucky Strike
02-07-2008, 02:27 PM
OK, so this is a really weird question, but is there a way to hook up a motorcycle engine to a car transmission?


I used to have a FIAT spyder 850. Engine in the trunk hooked to the rear wheels. I'm sure this would be the ideal car to try your scheme with. Light and easy access to the motor. Mine was extra light throught the natural weight loss the rust eating it caused... but she did sag in the middle...

Lucky Strike
02-07-2008, 02:29 PM
Check this out. Corbin Merlin. Three wheel car with bike motor.

http://matt_birchard.tripod.com/cars/merlin.htm

Rootie Kazoootie
02-07-2008, 04:24 PM
It's funny that this comes up, I've been toying with the idea of having a T roadster powered by a motorcycle engine. I didn't want to build it for power but more for fuel economy and put a hood on it so it still looks like a normal T, I figured if I built it as basic as possible and used a modern but common jap bike motor that it could be done for cheap be lightweight and I could enjoy the hell out of my new daily driver. thanks for all the links you guy's that helps me out a ton.
Re: Bike engine in a car?

knotheads
02-07-2008, 04:46 PM
I believe, harley davidson servi-car have a ford style banjo rear that is chain drive

they also had a reverse gear!

Mercmad
02-07-2008, 04:49 PM
:mad:Fuck the small change ..Hit the dollar!!!:D
BUSA ,the only engine to use!!! try two together
http://thekneeslider.com/images/hayabusav8.jpg
http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2005/02/09/hayabusa-v8-engine/

I have a GF who rides one....300KPH two up :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

Mercmad
02-07-2008, 04:53 PM
go baby..
http://home.no.net/ahagst/aaaa.JPGhttp://home.no.net/ahagst/Minisidene.htm

MetalMike
02-07-2008, 04:54 PM
http://www.vincentstreamliner.com/

If you dig, it will come...

rooman
02-07-2008, 05:26 PM
This photo has been posted in a couple of other threads here on the HAMB but appears to be relevant here.
88" Twin Cam B Harley motor, Toyota 5 speed box and Toyota rear end. Street legal in Indiana.

Roo

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t18/aussierooman/DSCN0279.jpg

J Man
02-07-2008, 05:47 PM
There is a guy in MI that put a harley style motor in a crosley. I think it was hooked up to a 350 or 700r4. I will have to try and find the link to his site.

Rootie Kazoootie
02-07-2008, 06:20 PM
Re: Bike engine in a car?

... http://www.lowster.net/duncan_004.htm

Rex Schimmer
02-07-2008, 08:35 PM
I saw a T with a big Kawalski in it and the guy used a Lenco reverser from a dragster. He bought it at a swap meet for $100.

Rex

speedtool
02-07-2008, 11:34 PM
There are a lot of fast cars at Bonneville running bike motors, many are BUSA's.

gears-n-grease
02-08-2008, 06:53 AM
this was a cool link http://thekneeslider.com/motorcycle-powered-cars/

tjm73
02-08-2008, 07:12 AM
The Hayabusa if turned to a North-South orientaion will have the output chaft spinning counter-clockwise.

revkev6
02-08-2008, 07:22 AM
The Hayabusa if turned to a North-South orientaion will have the output chaft spinning counter-clockwise.

all chain driven bikes do. if they didn't, the bike would go backwards :D


on BEC's (bike engine cars) if you use heavy duty clutches and springs and gear it for 100 mph or so, it is only fairly streetable. unless you are winding the piss out of it, it's almost undrivable. the heavy duty clutch will last about half as long as a stocker in the bike would, if you don't beat on it.

on a high performance note though, performance is awesome if you are winding it out, the sequential 6 speed gearbox can be setup with an air shifter and ignition interupt. hit a paddle on the steering wheel and bang you got the next gear without even lifting.

basically I wouldn't put a bike motor in anything more than a lotus 7 or a full on race car.

other things to consider is the oiling system. bike motors are not designed for the side loads that would be placed on them in a car (cars don't lean into corners) so you end up sucking air on most of the bike motors. custom baffles are made for the more popular models that help with this.

BOBBY FORD
02-08-2008, 08:38 AM
First honda cars had a bike engine. Around mid 70's

Digger61
02-08-2008, 09:21 AM
Quite popular here in the UK.
I have a freind who is looking to fit a motorbike engine in a mini, there is a company over here that makes a kit to do it.
And there is a man who is on the NSRA forum [UK]as well who is buildng a Fordson van with one in...should be well quick!!

heres a link to one company, http://www.zcars.org.uk/

and here is another that does a kit for the 'smart car'

http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2005/06/08/smart-car-plus-gsxr-equals-smartuki-a-very-smart-car/