Motorcycle with airplane engine makes a roaring racket

The Red Baron motorcycle is an unholy combination of bike mechanics and airplane mechanics, creating a demon of a ride.

Red Baron bike
Louder than a Harley. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

When motorcycle enthusiasts say "loud pipes save lives," I don't think are imagining the Red Baron, an insane two-wheel machine powered by an actual aircraft engine. It's a beast. A monster. A crazed marriage of sky and land. It's also incredibly loud.

German tinkerer Frank Ohle spent 18 months bringing the Red Baron from concept to reality. It's not like you can just pull the engine out of a regular bike and pop in an aircraft engine. Just about every part of the motorcycle had to be customized to make room for the Rotec Radial R3600, a 150-horsepower, nine-cylinder engine.

The Rotec R3600 is more commonly used as a replacement engine for World War I-era airplanes. It was even placed into a Sopwith Camel, a vintage biplane first introduced in 1917. One place you wouldn't expect to see an R3600 is revving down the highway with a rider on its back.

The only thing we don't really know is why Ohle created the Red Baron. His Facebook page proves he's into unusual motorcycles, so at least it makes sense that he would want this one-of-a-kind hellion chopper.

The engine makes an almighty noise when it's running. Video evidence shows that Ohle really did manage to make the motorcycle work just fine. There's even an impressive plume of smoke when he starts it up.

See the bike in action below. The video may be in German, but you can crank up the volume to get an inkling of what this crazy transportation device sounds like.

(Via Top Gear)

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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