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It's rare to see a motorcycle with more cylinders than you can count on one hand. Two is common, four is plenty, and six is almost unheard-of. More than that is just for the hell of it, which is why someone built a custom Kawasaki with a 48-cylinder engine. And if you wanna feel what that many cylinders can do, then put in a bid when it comes up for auction this spring.
This famous, Guinness World Record-holding motorcycle was the creation of one Simon Whitelock, a guy who liked Kawasaki Triples so much that he multiplied its cylinders by a power of three. And then double again, cobbling together so many KH250 engines that he made this 4.2-liter bike with six banks of eight cylinders. He calls it the Tinker Toy; the rest of us can barely comprehend it, much less speak its hallowed name.
The engine needs a 125-cc scooter engine just to start it, then a car alternator to provide electricity. Its internals are custom along with the throttle linkage for its multiple connected carburetors, not to mention its dual 24-into-1 exhausts. How much horsepower it makes isn't known (it could theoretically exceed 500 hp), but it delivers it through a BMW K100 transmission. In total, it weighs about 1,300 pounds, while a 2024 Honda Gold Wing tops out at just 853. It's closer in bulk to the Dodge Viper V10-engined Tomahawk than to one of the heaviest bikes on sale today.
Sadly, there are no good clips of the bike running that give us an idea of how its one-of-a-kind engine sounds. You might be able to find that out for yourself, as it'll be auctioned by Bonhams at the International Classic Motorcycle Show on April 21 in Staffordshire, England. The Tinker Toy is estimated to sell for $51,000 to $76,000, so be ready to fork over some serious money. Still, it might be worth it just to have more cylinders in one bike than the rest of your neighborhood has in their cars combined.
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