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Go big with the Gunbus 410

2012-04-05 10:37

HOW DO YOU NOT FALL OFF?: In the realm of crazy bike designs, the Gunbus 410 should be instant royalty. We can't help but think that in a straight line it could be pretty quick, but what about cornering or coming to a stop?

Author: DAVE FALL

 
Thumbing through a motorcycle magazine earlier this week I came across a picture of a German-built Gunbus 410 motorcycle and truly wanted to know more. The article alongside suggested it was the biggest motorcycle yet… so no surprise there, then.

Goodness me, the 2010 Honda Gold Wing I rode recently was big enough but a motorcycle that weighs in at 652kg seems downright ridiculous. Yet the more I got to thinking about the Gunbus the more it began to make sense when I discovered that the builder/designer, Clemens Leonhardt, is about to manufacture a sidecar for it, thus making it really useful after all.

BUILT FOR A MAD MAN

Apparently German engineer Leonhardt loves to build outrageous things – the Gunbus being his latest challenge. My immediate thoughts were 'this can't ever be ridden' and why would anyone design such a monstrosity.

Because he can, I suppose.

I’m told the Gunbus can indeed be ridden solo but I wouldn’t dare try – perhaps if I was bolted to the seat it might be all right, otherwise I think I’d pass up the opportunity. Obviously I’d love to turn up at the South African Vee-Twin Club with one – can you imagine the crowds that would gather around this hand-built bike. 

I'd probably need at least five goggle-eyed onlookers to put it on the centre stand.

The all-alloy, 6.7-litre vee-twin motor sure has some power - a whopping 257kW to be exact. It’s a moot point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a Gunbus was to turn up at Bonneville Salt Flats some time in the near future for a crack at the Land-speed Record, as it’s hard to envisage the bike ever being capable of anything but straight-line motorcycling. It has a three-speed gearbox as standard fitment – one of the ratios provides the all-important reverse gear.

We have some great roads in South Africa, especially in the Western Cape, but I can’t even picture the most accomplished rider ever riding one across Chapman’s Peak Drive – or even Clarence Drive, Gordon’s Bay.

If everything is built to scale on the bike, and the picture seems to suggest it is, I’d imagine the speedometer must be the size of a dinner plate, while the switches for the lights and indicators are probably the size of domestic earth leakage protectors found in your house.

I couldn’t find any reference to how much fuel the tank carries but I’d wager it would take a month’s salary to fill it, in any event, the sensible side of me wonders why it wasn’t diesel-powered.

You might be surprised to learn that Leonhardt has managed to take a few orders for the machine already. American collector Jay Leno has already put down his deposit and specified the delivery date.

Feel motivated enough to get your cheque book out and be prepared to spend 235 000 euros (R2.4-million) for this two-wheeled monstrosity!

Specifications:
Two-cylinder; V-type arrangement
Cylinder angle: 45°
Stroke of piston: 176 mm
Boring diameter: 156 mm
Piston capacity: 6728 cc
Compression ratio: 8,7 : 1
Power: 257kW at 2800 rpm
Torque: 710Nm at 2 1900rpm
Three-gear sequential transmission with reverse gear
Front tyres: 38” diameter; 11” width
Rear: 42” diameter; 15” width
Front brakes: twin discs; 310 mm diameter
Rear brakes: one disc; 310 mm diameter
Dimensions
Total length of vehicle: 3450 mm
Wheel base: 2410 mm
Total height: 1480 mm
Seat height: 800 mm
Total weight, empty/kerb weight: 650 kg
 
 

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