It’s more engine than motorcycle. Yep, you read the headline correctly; this baby runs on a Subaru WRX engine.

When New Zealand toolmaker Marcel van Hooijdonk received a challenge from his Aussie friend to build a motorcycle around a car engine, he couldn’t say no.  You see, this isn’t the first Subaru WRX motorcycle. (Of course, it isn’t!) In 2009, we told you about Ian McElroy’s Kickboxer motorcycle concept designed in SolidWorks. This served as the inspiration for Marcel’s build. The Kickboxer was just a concept. Marcel’s MadBoxer cycle is the real, working, road legal (in New Zealand at least) deal. The project is the result of five years of hard work and design, and the finished product is an absolute beast.

Hooijdonk started by spacing the motor case betwixt the tires to see if it would even be feasible. Once he decided it was, he worked up the initial design getting sign-off from New Zealand’s modified vehicle regulatory body, the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association (LVVTA), to ensure it would be deemed street legal.

With the motor case and wheels in place, he then had to find a way to fit all the necessary parts into a small frame. Considering the car engine takes up way more space than a motorcycle engine, this must have been a nightmare to figure out. He ended up using a Kawasaki fuel tank, a small twin-turbo Subaru Legacy primary turbo, and Trade Me-sourced wheels which all make the Madboxer run smoothly. The bike has an automatic transmission, so it doesn’t have a clutch, but it does have the standard button which allows you to change gears and a mounted lever that kicks in the Buell brakes. The rest of the parts were custom-made to fit this monstrosity of a machine.

All the while, he had to ensure his revisions would fit LVVTA standards. A number of inspections by the association were conducted to ensure his changes still adhered to road legal motorcycles, and after years of working within the lines, he managed to pull it off.

The result is a 691 lb (313.5 kg) motorcycle which runs faster than any motorcycle you’ve seen on the road. Even with its hefty weight, the added horsepower of the car engine propels the MadBoxer like a morning person on a barrel of coffee.

Via: Bike Rider Magazine Photos: Lindsay Gibb


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.