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.
How much is a parts bike worth? Depends who you ask! For your average Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace/Kijiji/whatever user, a scrap heap of rusted GS750 parts from 1978 is worth big money, because after all, they aren’t making those bikes anymore (never mind the fact that everything in the parts bin is rusty and the threads are all stripped).
However, despite years of seeing ridiculous asking prices on “project bikes,” we have never seen anything like this 1930 Brough Superior SS100, which sold for £416,250 (approximately $730,000 CAD) at auction in the UK recently. That’s a lot of money for any motorcycle, but for one that is in pieces, as this bike is, it’s absolutely unthinkable. When you’re spending close to a million dollars on a machine that’s “partially and loosely assembled,” you know you have more money than you know what to do with. Granted, this is a very cool bike – originally owned by George Brough, raced in the 1930 ISDE, and reconditioned engine parts – but for that kind of money, you could own a lot of other very, very cool motorcycles—and they wouldn’t be in pieces. If someone ever wants to ride this again, it will cost another small fortune, most likely. But then, if you’ve spent that much money on an old motorcycle, what’s another half-million?
Ride the lightning
There are a few common themes when it comes to online pictures and videos of motorcycle fails. You see a lot of wheelies gone wrong, and you see a lot of egregious errors when it comes to loading motorcycles into the backs of trucks.
You don’t generally see a lot of disasters once the bike is loaded onto the truck, but a Thai rider found out the hard way there’s never a guarantee of safety. According to the Bangkok Post, a truck was transporting a motorcycle when it was involved in a crash, a crash so serious that it sent five people to hospital. Not only did it bang up a few people, the crash also sent the motorcycle flying out of the bed of the pickup and into the air, where it came to rest in a snarl of high-voltage power lines, 10 metres above the ground.
No word yet on how the motorcycle was retrieved, but we’re guessing the local media had a heyday with electricity-related puns afterwards. We’d be shocked otherwise!
Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of hardcore motorcycle endurance challenges, people who try to ride across the continent in the least amount of time, or ride the furthest distance on the least fuel, or ride the fastest average speed over 24 hours—that sort of thing. But we’ve never seen anyone attempt what Paul Pelland is proposing.
Pelland, who’s known around the Internet as Longhaulpaul, is trying to raise money for multiple sclerosis research, and has decided to spend 24 hours riding a bike on a dyno to do so. As far as we know, that’s a world record. But Pelland isn’t content to stop at a simple world record! He’s also planning to attempt other madness mid-ride; he’s planning on stunts like getting a shave, getting a tattoo, maybe even taking the Tide Pod Challenge (real proof of madness, we say!).
The stunt is going to go down March 29-30, at a dyno in Massachusetts. For more details, or if you want to help Pelland raise funds, check out his website.
Thrills on track
Are Harry Potter books works of art, or simply sub-par novels that became popular as they were exciting yarns, not because of any literary complexity? Arguments such as this have divided first-year English studies classes for years now.
However, all our readers here will likely agree on one thing—it’s a good thing when motorcycles make it into the movies, and in both the book and film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, there’s a scene where the eponymous wizard makes a harrowing escape tucked into his godfather’s sidecar.
Now, Universal Studios is giving amusement park fans the chance to recreate that thrill, with the Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure roller coaster ride, which will start operation at Universal’s Orlando park in June. Alas, while the promo photos look kind of fun, the ride will most likely be a repackaged version of the existing roller coaster formula, leaving it up to some other amusement park to put together what we’re really waiting for: a roller coaster that straps you onto a MotoGP bike and hurls you around a recreated roadracing course at max race speed.
Behold the Speeder
Ah yes, another take on the idea of the flying motorcycle, this time from Jetpack Aviation. This ad has it all: CGI which promises thrills from a vehicle that is, in reality “currently flight testing,” along with a demand for pre-orders ($10,000 USD deposit, $380,000 more upon delivery …). If these machines actually make it to market, you’ll be trained to fly it in Jetpack Aviation’s facility, and you’ll need a pilot’s licence to keep the FAA off your back. That’s a lot of hassle for a machine that only offers 30 minutes of flight time.
The Speeder is powered by a turbine engine that can run on kerosene, diesel or jet fuel—you’re probably going to come back from your ride with a bit of a smell. But hey, who cares if you stink like burnt hydrocarbons? If you’re rich enough to buy the Speeder, you’ll never have trouble finding friends. That is, of course, presuming the machines are actually delivered. As one YouTube commenter put it:
“My problem with developers of these vehicles are that they are in a perpetual state of development and never get to a point of selling vehicles. … There is always a newer, better model in development, but never one that can be sold. Then, inevitably funding dries up, because investors want returns, and the developer becomes a memory.” It’s hard to argue, because he’s right.