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Nick Argyle´s shop was only big enough to work on a motorcycle, but his only engine belonged in a monster truck. So the 44-year-old British engineer did what any power-mad gearhead would do: He built a 1,000-horsepower, methanol-guzzling, two-wheeled colossus.
Argyle had two priorities. First, he had to keep the bike light despite its 800-pound engine. So instead of building a traditional, heavy drag-racing frame, he used the engine itself as the main load-bearing structure.
The next objective: keeping it short. Drag-racing motorcycles are very long and, as a result, don´t turn well. But Argyle knew he´d need to ride on winding country roads to get to his local track, so he cut a foot off the length by sticking the supercharger belt-which helps generate extra power-between the forks, rather than behind them. The chariot may be shorter than its competitors, but the roar of 1,000 horses should make it clear who´s in charge.
How It Works
Time: 3 years
- Fuel: The bike runs on alcohol-rich methanol, a common fuel for racers. Alcohol keeps the engine cooler than gasoline would. Methanol is cheaper, too-and at four miles a gallon, price is important.
- Safety: Argyle ran the exhaust pipes coming down from the cylinder heads wide and close to the ground. That way, if the back wheel kicks out during a race, the large pipes will scrape against the track and stabilize the bike, enabling the driver to right it.
Performance: Argyle hasn´t clocked the bike´s speed yet, but now that he´s installed a new gearbox, he hopes to get it on the strip and top 200 miles an hour.