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Bike engine in a car?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Yosemite Hermit, May 20, 2004.

  1. Yosemite Hermit
    Joined: Sep 7, 2003
    Posts: 87

    Yosemite Hermit

    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. [​IMG] I know, I have dam wierd ideas, but I do love 'em! [​IMG] Thanks for any input!
  2. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,410


    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....
  3. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,032


    Check out Legends race cars:

    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.
  4. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,532

    Tech Editor

    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...
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  5. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,806

    abe lugo

    I believe, harley davidson servi-car have a ford style banjo rear that is chain drive
  6. K
    Joined: Dec 16, 2001
    Posts: 17


    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.
  7. burger
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 2,344

    from burbs

    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.

  8. Rix2Six
    Joined: Jun 24, 2003
    Posts: 806

    from So. Cal.

    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.
  9. just steve
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 234

    just steve

    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!

  10. Yosemite Hermit
    Joined: Sep 7, 2003
    Posts: 87

    Yosemite Hermit

    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....

  11. Deuce Rails
    Joined: Feb 1, 2002
    Posts: 2,015

    Deuce Rails


    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?

  12. whizzerick
    Joined: Nov 13, 2002
    Posts: 1,109


    Ooooorrr... If budget permits... Skip the fabrication part and get one of these! [​IMG]
  13. Crafty
    Joined: Jun 26, 2002
    Posts: 211

    from UK

    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
  14. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 20,326


    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.
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,284


    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
  16. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,532

    Tech Editor

    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...
  17. Tackett
    Joined: Feb 14, 2003
    Posts: 135


    [ QUOTE ]
    Ooooorrr... If budget permits... Skip the fabrication part and get one of these! [​IMG]

    [/ 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).
  18. Flipper
    Joined: May 10, 2003
    Posts: 3,245

    from Kentucky

    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!!!
  19. flynj1
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 583

    from C.B. IOWA

    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
  20. 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...

  21. a/fxcomet
    Joined: Mar 31, 2001
    Posts: 554

    from Eugene, OR

  22. [ 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. [​IMG]

    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. [​IMG]

    Anyway, when we ran it at SCCA events, we would totally kick ass... it was like a 110hp go kart.
  23. 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 [​IMG]
    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 Citroën 2CV. There is more innovation in this car than you can possibly imagine. All geared toward making the most for the least weight.
  24. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,532

    Tech Editor

    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?
  25. rockabillyjoe
    Joined: Jan 25, 2004
    Posts: 442

    from Seattle

    The BMW 600. The 2 door version of the Isetta is powered by the BMW 600 boxer engine.
  26. marq
    Joined: Aug 22, 2003
    Posts: 1,423


    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
  27. dixiedog
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,204


    [ 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.

  28. flynj1
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 583

    from C.B. IOWA

    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
  29. 48_HEMI
    Joined: Oct 3, 2002
    Posts: 840


    [ 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 [​IMG]

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