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The motorcycle built around a Lamborghini V12

Greg Kachadurian December 9, 2014 All Things Hoon, Two-Wheel Tuesday 14 Comments

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This story, like many other great ones, starts with “my wife was out of the country for the summer and I had nothing to do”.

That’s what inspired a local legend I ran into at Atlanta’s Caffeine and Octane by the name of Chuck Beck to build something very different. He had the skills and tools required to get creative and he had just been gifted with the right amount of time to do something ambitious. A friend of his recently lost a Lamborghini the honorable way (on fire) but it left behind its undamaged V12 engine. The stars aligned and when it was all said and done, he had a functional motorcycle with a Lamborghini’s V12 as its source of power.

Click past the jump for photos and a few details on what has to be the greatest thing I’ve ever seen at a car show.

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I came across this magnificent machine on a cold Sunday morning north of Atlanta at Caffeine and Octane: the biggest and most diverse monthly car show in the area. That show has provided lots of content to this site already because something truly unique and wonderful always finds its way there. Case in point: a motorcycle with a Lamborghini’s V12 engine stuffed in it.

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As mentioned earlier, the V12 came from a Lamborghini that was lost to a fire (a Countach, if I had to guess by the valve covers). The engine was more or less untouched by the flames, so while the rest of the car was scrapped, the V12 was sent to Chuck’s garage for a second chance at life. If most people came into possession of an old Lamborghini’s V12, they might stare at it for a while and turn it into a coffee table or try to stuff it in another car. Neither of those options are as awesome as cramming into a motorcycle though, so naturally…

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When I asked the builder/owner what bike he started out with, he replied with “nothing”. The frame is completely custom and was designed specifically to make room for the engine, which depending on the exact type of Countach it came from, could range from 4-liters in capacity to 5.2-liters and ~350 horsepower to ~450 horsepower. No frame from an OEM would be large enough for an engine like this, so custom was the only way.

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Making room for the V12 with a custom bike presented a few challenges, like where the rider is supposed to sit, how will the steering work, and how the power is going to be sent to the ground. The rider sits just behind the engine and steers with handlebars that sit in a fairly normal spot in relation to the seat, but they need a significant extension to reach over the engine and make it to the front wheel. Seeing how much longer the bike became for the purposes of engine fitment is interesting to say the least. It’s like a two-wheeled land yacht.

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With the engine fitment sorted, there was also the matter of making it all work. If fitting the Lamborghini V12 to a bike wasn’t seemingly impossible enough, then forget about fitting the matching transmission. In the quest to find something more compact to use instead, the builder found a three-speed automatic out of some Volkswagen which somehow paired up with a V12 just fine [insert Lamborghinis are fast Volkswagens joke here]. But it works. He didn’t drive it all the way to the show but he does drive it occasionally. This is a fully functional motorcycle (albeit not necessarily street legal) with a Lamborghini’s V12.

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Despite the bike’s unwieldy size, the gentleman responsible for all this says it rides like any other bike would once it gets moving. Getting through the first couple of ticks on the speedometer is a pain, but after that it’s easy riding. With a Lamborghini V12-powered motorcycle.

No matter how impractical or unnecessary something like this may be, it still takes a great amount of skill, determination, and passion to build something like this. Hats off to Chuck Beck for going through the effort to create this and then bringing it out for all to see. This truly is something awesome.

The best part is that he wrapped up this project just in time for his wife to come home…

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[Images © 2014 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian – Full resolution images available on my Flickr]

 

  • marmer01

    So did his wife give him a big kiss and say "You're so clever!" or did she say something like "I wish I had known you were insane before I married you." What, exactly, do you do with a giant street bike that is not street legal?

    • Everything is street legal if you're brave enough… (you can swap brave with stupid if you'd like).

    • PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

      My wife simply expects that whatever money I spend on crazy ideas means equal amounts are given to her crazy ideas.

      I've gotten so used to it, I double the price at every impulse and ask myself if it's still worth it.

      And the number of times I have said, "You knew what you were getting when you married me." can't be counted on my hands and feet.

      Her canned response? "I'm going to miss you when I kill you."

    • Ate Up With Motor

      If this is not the first bizarre mechanical contrivance, his wife might just look at it, shake her head, and walk off without saying another word. That would probably be my reaction.

  • audiofyl

    I found this if you want to hear it run for 5 seconds
    http://youtu.be/nl4LsrBarEY

  • marmer01

    I suppose he hasn't bothered with the lights and mirrors yet. I guess maybe it theoretically could be made street legal, maybe.

  • Rip Tide

    Looks like it's much more fun than an RX-2 rotary powered bar stool.

  • OA5599

    I know a guy who built a car from scratch except for the drive line. No headlights, except when he plans to take it out at night, then he attaches pod-mounted units via brackets that fit into concealed mounts. If you can put hundreds of hours into a build, what's another 15 minutes to not compromise aesthetics?

  • Looks like a nice engine that can fire 100km/h in a blink of an eye! This guy must be genius or something for building something like this. Would you enjoy a ride on this if they can prove safety is at least average?

    • GregKachadurian

      If by enjoy a ride you mean hold on for your life, then yes 🙂

  • Maymar

    Is this the Chuck Beck responsible for the SHOgun? Because that would explain a lot.

  • Kelly

    Seems like the strength of the drive chain would cut out the use of most of the HP that the V12 was making.

  • I *KNEW* that reminded me of something!

    <img src="http://tanshanomi.com/temp/IMG_1888-ferenzo-web.JPG"&gt;