Would you dare ride this five-metre-long motorcycle?

In this video, the legendary ‘Roadog’ - purported to be the world’s biggest motorbike - is fired up and ridden

The Roadog being ridden

Lengthening wheelbases has been something of a trend for a while in the motorcycle industry. Stretching the wheelbase improves stability, but there is a tradeoff in terms of manoeuvrability. And so, it’s not something you’d want to take too far. Like putting the front and rear wheels so far apart you could park a Honda Goldwing between them and have space to spare. 

Such a motorcycle really does exist - it’s called the Roadog, and at around five metres in length, it makes the average Top Fuel motorcycle dragster look stunted. 

Often described as the biggest motorcycle in the world, the Roadog was built by an engineer in Wisconsin called ‘Wild Bill’ Gelbke (of course it was) in the early 1960s, with the intention of making the ultimate bike for long-distance highway cruising. And so, cornering agility wasn’t exactly high up on the agenda. 

Made from chunky chromoly steel tubes and powered by a 2.5-litre inline-four Chevrolet ‘Iron Duke’ engine, the whole thing weighs in at 1.5 tonnes. So it’s heavier than a lot of cars while also being longer than most. 

Gelbke frequently used the bike for its intended purpose. A little while after Gelbke’s death in 1978, the Roadog ended up at the National Motorcycle Museum in Iowa. With the museum sadly closing down, the bike was auctioned a few weeks ago and then immediately sold. Its new owner is the Bikes and Beards YouTube channel, and yes, it has been bought to actually ride, and not just to sit on display.

With some help from the Wheels Through Time museum, the bike is back up and running, and rideable. Well, if you can call it that - piloting this thing at low speeds looks difficult and downright scary. Would you fancy giving it a try?