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John LeveyCountry: USACost: £120,000Time to build: 1 year
Engine: Rotec R2800Chassis: Tubular steelBrakes: PMWheels: Ride WrightPower: 160lbs/ft
I went to school to work on aeroplanes way back in the late 1980s and when I saw the rotary engine the first thing that popped into my head was ‘wouldn’t it be neat to put that in a motorcycle.’ I have no idea where that came from, I wasn’t into custom bikes back then, but it sort of all came together. My brother actually designs custom bikes and when I told him about my idea he said it would never work, but in 2004 he saw things my way and a year later we built it. We actually designed Lucky 7 on a napkin at Sturgis and a year later rode it there. It turned out better than I thought, it looks right and runs well. It’s definitely rideable day-to-day, the motor runs really well and has loads of torque. You don’t need to rev it over 4,000rpm, it pulls like crazy, and surprisingly has very little vibration. And it sounds amazing, a really low rumble when you rev it up.
We are custom building the bike now and have four on the go, which will take us about a year to make. Pilots who are riders love them, a radial in the airplane world is like a Knucklehead to the Harley rider, and anyway it’s nothing new, there was a radial engined motorcycle in the late 1890s, I guess we are part of the revival!
Although this bike uses a 2,800cc seven cylinder motor, the company also does a nine cylinder and I’m working on a bike with that now, I think it’s a nicer looking motor…”
Posted: 09/07/2010 at 01:11
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