Welcome to Friday Fudge, where we bring you all the best motorcycle content of the Internet. Well, not actually the best, more the weirdest, and some of it is definitely the worst. You decide.
Blowing off steam
Here’s yet another potentially lethal contraption we’ve spotted on the interwebz, a steam-powered motorcycle that looks straight out of a Jules Verne novel. Why would someone devote the time to building such a horrid contraption, when there are millions perfectly serviceable gasoline-powered motorcycles, you ask?
We don’t know. We asked the same question too. Although, maybe this inventor drew inspiration from gearhead legend Von Dutch, who reportedly once built a steam-powered television set? As we can’t speak German, we’ll never be able to contact this steampunk to find out. But watch for yourself: he gets going at about 2’30” in, and you can’t unsee it.
Last month, we told you about the flying cops of Dubai and their new airborne motorcycle/helicopter mashup. Seems the idea is catching, as French custom motorcycle builder Ludovic Lazareth has put together his own take on the concept, the LMV 496.
The LMV 496 is supposed to be fully unveiled later this month, but even now, we do have a few details on the machine. It’s a four-wheeled motorcycle (??) that can take off when the wheels turn on their sides and turn into jet-powered turbines.
Yep, it’s an idea that either came from a Transformers movie, or from Bollywood. But at least it does roll on wheels, which gives it more street cred than the other overgrown drones called flying motorcycles, which have no land-based capability.
So, thumbs up to you, Mr. Lazareth, for building a vehicle that its customers will no doubt use to escape a yellow vest-wearing mob as they close in with pitchforks and torches. ‘Cuz let’s face it, only the rich and famous are ever going to be able to afford this toy.
Taking off, Part II
And since we’re on the theme of potentially highly unsafe moto-contraptions, here’s a very interesting vehicle built from the shell of a 1936 Harley-Davidson. But, not a Harley-Davidson motorcycle — this “Aero Thrust” was built out of an old MoCo sidecar. And, considering this was built in an age of overweight bikes with crappy drum brakes and no rear suspension, this machine still appears to be far more dangerous and unsafe than those pre-war motorcycles.
Consider what you’ve got here: a giant motorized fan propelling a likely rickety sled, with no visible means of braking. And this isn’t a one-off either, they were made in some volume in the US by one William Waligorski.
According to the ad (this machine was on eBay), this particular machine was rented out to thrill-seekers in the midwest, at least in its earlier years. Considering how sissified and lawyered up our modern world is, it’s almost mind-boggling to think that A) the public actually wanted to rent this deathtrap and B) someone was willing to actually risk the liability of sending customers out to perform death-defying runs on the ice.
At time of auction, this machine was in Michigan, and it sold for $3,038 just before Christmas. No word yet on what the new owner plans to do with it, but we fully expect to see it show up in a YouTube fail compilation video soon.
What’s the best way to fight motorcycle gangs? We’ve seen many tactics over the years in the pages of Friday Fudge. We’ve seen federal prosecutors sue hardened outlaw gangs in an attempt to prohibit them from using their logos. We’ve seen cops use cars to knock fleeing crims off their scooters. We’ve even seen vigilante justice, with bike thieves strung up for ripping off someone else’s ride (and we were heartbroken when we read about the violation of their civil rights).
However, we’ve now seen one that might be the weirdest tactic yet. With bike-borne baddies taking over a town park in the British city of Bristol, city council has moved to fight back. Instead of hiring the A-Team (which sounds like a reasonable strategy), the politicos have moved to ban the sale of toasted cheese sandwiches in the park. Supposedly, THAT is the move that will rid public spaces of these scum!
If it works, we’re betting Montreal’s city council will kick themselves for not thinking of employing a similar move in the ’90s. Could that whole nasty outlaw biker war have been avoided if the town’s politicians had simply banned poutine?
Want to get a new motorcycle this winter, but you’re fresh out of money after Christmas? No worries, Yamaha has your back.
In the past, Yamaha has given out plans to make origami copies of motorcycles, but this time around, we’ve got a how-to guide on how to knit your own copy of a Yamaha Niken. Practical application of this is probably non-existent, but it beats watching reruns of the Teutuls or other dysfunctional chopper-building outfits. Of course, if you’re really bored, you could do both at the same time.
Getting down in the dirt
And finally, here’s your monthly reminder to never let your throttle hand write cheques that your riding skills can’t cash.