15 August 2006

Getting Creative With Motorcycles

I just finished watching a documentary about motorcycles, and learned about some fascinating bikes out there. The Y2K, which uses a recycled helicopter turbine (Jay Leno owns one), the four-wheeled V-10 Dodge Tomahawk, and the Britten V1000, of which only ten were made, are just a few examples of advanced technology and design turning out something totally new.

By far the most interesting to me is the Roadog (pictured above), a Frankenstein bike built out of aircraft tubing, the engine of a Chevy Nova and the brakes of a Corvette. The Roadog's creator, "Wild Bill" Gelbke, built only two. The Roadog weighs over 3200 pounds and has an amazing and impractical overall length of seventeen feet! The two bikes are in the hands of collectors now, on display because no one seems to be able to ride them except the late Mr. Gelbke himself. Wild Bill apparently used his Roadog for commuting around Chicago, and covered 20,000 miles in the first year after he built it.

Who knows what this aircraft engineer would have come up with next - he died in 1969, just a few years after he completed his second Roadog.

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