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Motorcycle -Motored Mayhem

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On: Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 5:13PM | By: John Welch

Motorcycle -Motored Mayhem

I absolutely despise kypping other blog's stories for my own benefit, but these cars are just waaay to rad to pass up. Do we all know what the 24 Hours of LeMons is? Probably not.

An amateur race held all over the country, the 24 Hours of LeMons can be broken down in a fairly concise manner. You go junkyard-hopping until you find a beater you like. After spending no more then $500 on the car and modifications (brake and safety-related parts are exempt from the mandated budget),  you have to be able to prove that five bills was the ceiling. Proper documentation is a good idea, because if the organizers don't believe you spent only $500 getting that Roush supercharger for your '89 Town Car, well then they're gunna bash the crap out of the poor girl. Or they're going to force you to let them buy it from you. Or they'll decree an immediate crushing. Needless to say, buy a complete hunk-of-ess and engineer/penny-pinch your ass off! Complete rules and history of the 24 Hours of LeMons can be found here . . .

So, this was all somebody else's idea, and I really have absolutely nothing to do with it; why am I just now mentioning this marathon of corner-carving destruction derby? Simple: the outlandishly brilliant technology born of severe determination and a $500 budget. Inside the post: links to every scrap of info I could find regarding tiny front-drive econoboxes and the motorcycle powerplants that have been lovingly stuffed into their passenger seats . . .

Who the hell wants to drive a Geo Metro? Not me. Until I saw this one with a CBR1000 engine occupying its passenger seat. Delve a little further, and you have an engineering exercise in absolute lunacy. The drivetrain is operated via chain, the suspension is a freaking work of art, there is more custom engineering and technology than you will find on most SEMA trailer-pigs, and this thing (sans brakes and safety) comes in under $500, completely assembled!! Incredible, Amazing, ASTOUNDING!

The interesting thing is, this is the second iteration of the "Metro Gnome," but not the only mid-engined, bike-powered terror on the block. Someone dun Magna-fied themselves a Honda too. A tiny Honda, with barely enough room for the engine and driver. Angry Hamster racing, the team responsible for this monstrosity, have put so much effort into this car that there is no way it could possibly come in under $500. The transmission is a custom piece, completely fabricated on site. The assorted mounting hardware and suspension bits are sourced from junkyards and then re-engineered to make this freak work properly. Oh yeah, and it is, in fact, worth only five hundred dollars.

There are several organizations that have covered, and participated in, the 24 Hours of LeMons, most notably Car and Driver. I generally consider the event to be Jalopnik's baby, and they have extensive photos and coverage available; click on the first "Source." Ex-Sport Compact Car geek-extrordinare Dave Coleman has participated in many LeMons; his coverage of these cars and his own FrankenMiata can be found at MotoIQ, the second source. Amazing things are born of impossible situations; these $500 dollar mastewerks are proof of that . ..

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



RoadKill | 3:01PM (Fri, Nov 27, 2009)

Wow I never thought I would ever say " I wish I could drive that Geo Metro" that thing is bad ass!
even we could get a car and race team together with the budget...That looks like a blast!


imwithcoco | 10:55AM (Mon, Nov 30, 2009)

Have you ever been to Disney's Hollywood Studios? They have a great stunt show that features Opal vehicles. All of the car engines have been replaced with high revving motorcycle engines.

  • imwithcoco


RoadKill | 3:09PM (Fri, Nov 27, 2009)

I really like the chain guard just give me a piece of cardboard with zip ties and grease the palm of the inspection guy. Looks like nothing is spared for safety sake...

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