Would you buy this bizarre 48-cylinder motorcycle for R1.4m?

The Tinker Toy uses a 48 cylinder engine combining 16 Kawasaki 250cc engines.
The Tinker Toy uses a 48 cylinder engine combining 16 Kawasaki 250cc engines.
Image: Supplied

Motorcycles usually have up to four cylinders, sometimes six and very rarely eight. The Tinker Toy has 48 and holds the Guinness World Record for the vehicle engine with the most cylinders.

It has 49 if you count the 125cc two-stroke engine used as a starter motor.

The bizarre bike engine has a cubic capacity of 4,200cc and was built using 16 Kawasaki KH250 three-cylinder two-stroke engines arranged into six banks of eight.

The engineering marvel, built in 2003 by Simon Whitelock of Britain, is being offered for auction by Bonhams as part of its Spring Stafford Sale in the UK on April 21. The one-off custom creation, which has developed something of a cult following online, is expected to fetch between R960,000 and R1,400,000.

It took Whitelock five years to build the bike and included fabricating a custom frame around the supersized engine, which sits under an extra-long dummy fuel tank (the actual tank is hidden out of sight). The bike is road legal in the UK, though the unwieldy 600kg lump isn’t easy to ride, requiring a big stretch to reach the handlebars.

The top speed isn’t known but each Kawasaki KH250 three-cylinder engine produces 23.8kW so 16 of them together make 381kW.

Watch Simon start and ride his spectacular-sounding machine here.


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