Custom Corvair Powered Motorcycle

Corvair Powered Motorcycle

I tend to be leery of custom home built vehicles. We often take all the engineering, testing and manhours for granted that go into creating the vehicles we use everyday, which is why I get a bit nervous about trusting my life with something that was built over a short period of time in someone’s garage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people out there with the know how and skills necessary to build something as durable and safe as anything to come from a major company, but you just never know. I actually think this custom motorcycle could be one of those ones built by someone with the skills and knowledge to do it right! This custom bike is quite incredible and can be found here on eBay in Vineland, New Jersey with a BIN of $7,500. Special thanks to Jim S for this tip!

 

Corvair Powered Motorcycle Engine

Here are the specs on the bike, or at least from what I can make of the listing. It is a custom built frame that was built using a jig. All the brackets and hardware were custom machined. The front fork was taken from a Harley Davidson, which is probably a good choice! And this is where things start getting interesting. Rather than installing the typical motorcycle engine, the seller fitted the bike with a Corvair boxer 6.

Custom New Yorker Gauge Cluster

Using a Corvair engine actually makes a lot of sense to me. It’s air cooled, just like your typically motorcycle, and offers car level power! I imagine this thing is quite insane to drive, as this is a lot of engine for something as light as a motorcycle. Sadly, the seller parked the bike because the engine was having issues. One day it runs well, the next it won’t start. The seller admits he is a welder and not a mechanic, so he can’t figure out what is causing the issue. He has a spare motor, so even it if is something major, you should still able to get this bike on the road!

Corvair Motorcycle

I love some of the features on this, like the Chrysler New Yorker gauge cluster and gas tank! I’m still a bit nervous about the idea of riding a bike that hasn’t had a team of engineers design, test and evaluate it, but it looks well built. I wonder how stable it is at speed and how it handles with a boxer 6 crammed in it?

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Comments

  1. Dairymen

    I don’t know a lot about bikes, but the distance from the seats to the handle bars can be measured it miles!

  2. Vince Habel

    Can’t make out what his intake system is. Says it seem to be running on 3 cylinders which leads me to think he has a intake problem.

  3. wynkin

    Most of it looks quite old but the rear tire is quite modern.

  4. Chris A.

    Just because that engine is air cooled doesn’t mean it won’t overheat with no fan or airflow ducting. Might better have used a Subaru flat 4 with water cooling. Somewhere I’ve seen a Corvair powered trike that really looked neat.

  5. Gary I

    Perfect opportunity to kill yourself. I’m not liking the engineering of the handlebar to seat set up, if not properly balanced this could get a little wonkie at speed. The last thing you want on a home built motorcycle is improperly balanced design. Then you throw in a bad weld or bad engineering in the frame and good luck taking that ride. Says he used a jig, so you should be just fine! I tore a Triumph Bonneville chopper apart to redo it and found things like cut down sockets used to fill the space where the Hardtail is wider than the frame and my neck was full of blown through welding wire from an inexperienced welder. Be safe, and go over these things like you trust your life with them, because you do!

  6. AMC STEVE

    So if you’re rear ended will it blowup, sans Ralph Nader

  7. dave

    Comm In the day.

  8. jimbosidecar

    Why bother? With so many 110+ HP bikes now factory built, this one is a dinosaur

  9. TLouisJ

    Saw a home brewed Motorcycle at a local car show that had a big Wisconsin VH4D Heavy-Duty Air Cooled 4-Cylinder engine. I voted for it for “People’s Choice”. It looked well built. The owner/builder said that it had a characteristic that took getting used to….when you cracked the throttle, the torque would throw the bike to one side. Guess that’s why motorcyle manufacturers have engineers on their staff. :-) Terry J

  10. George

    Engineers or beer. We know which one spoke more clearly. Depending on engine and setup, this will have anywhere from 90-140 HP. Most likely 110 as that was the most common output IIRC.

  11. Kevin Harper

    Not very impressed. We had a local guy here who built up a bike with an alfa v6 as the power. It was very well done and he was a superb craftsman. But I think it was more novelty than a good bike. You can Google it just Google alfa powered harley. The intakes come up through the gas tank.

  12. Allan

    I ride a Honda Valkyrie, which uses a flat 6 engine. It’s a cruiser that was designed by a team of Engineers at Honda and built in the factory in Marysville, OH. With 100 hp and 100 lb/ft of torque, it will do everything that this one will, but safely. Nothing on this one impresses me.

  13. PaulG

    Had the opportunity to ride a Boss-Hoss, (Google it…) with a Chevrolet 350 cu. in. engine. What a thrill, but a bit un-gainly. The torque was mind blowing…

  14. John H. in CT

    No one has mentioned the motorcycle(s) built with a V-10 Viper Engine. I would post an image but all the ones I found were plastered with copyright notices.

  15. Alan (Michigan)

    Same Old, Same Old….

    For $7.5K, you think the seller might have been kind enough to push the bike out from where it sat under the tarp, and use a real camera to get some actually decent photos.

    Common translation: “I have this (item) for sale (reluctantly, or I am just lazy) but I can’t be bothered to spend a little time and get some good photographs. Just trust me, give me your money and go away.”

    Sounding like a broken record….

    A (M)

  16. Charlie Member

    And there is a club for those who put V8’s in Corvairs.

  17. z1rider

    Hideous.

    The owner should just part this out. I can’t imagine anyone who would pay half of his asking price.

    Reminds me of an ad on our local Craigslist. Someone is trying to sell a “car” powered by a 4 cylinder UJM engine. It’s got a radiator that is someones attempt to remind you of a model T.

    The seller keeps renewing the ad almost daily so it gets to the front of the sort. Apparently has no idea how ridiculous it is. Just like this thing.

  18. Ed Williams

    The add doesn’t say if it has Shaft drive or Chain drive but my guess is that it is the former, not the latter.

  19. Wayne Thomas

    Too big. The best conversion was done into a Harley frame by this guy on YouTube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcrjx9qooPM

  20. Bill McCoskey

    Owner probably has overheating problems because the Corvair engine was designed to have constant supply of air over all 6 cylinders & heads when running. Even going down the road, without ducting to supply cool air to the middle & back cylinders, they are liable to overheat. Multi-cylinder motorcycle engines have better “fin to air” ratios than ducted fan engines, as they had to be cool running when not being ridden.

    As a Tatra V8 car owner, I’ve always wanted to put a Tatra T603 air cooled V8 in a bike, but in a trike configuration.

  21. Robert

    Hey commentors…I built the red corvair,some said things as to y it’s not running rite,,I think it’s either fuel or ignition,but not sure,I live in a trailor park that won’t let U work on most things,my shed is not big enough to work in,all my buddies are full up in their garages…got to that point of being done an got divorced, it’s long because I used the corvair transaxle an 2 speed powerglide trans…not like I just gave up on it,but yes at the same time…Evan Jesse James couldn’t get his antique 2 cyl water cooled v twin to run rite,like I said,not much on mechanics,did what I could…

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