16 Cylinder H16 Engine to Power New Motorcycle Under Construction by Andreas Georgeades

H16 engine by Andreas Georgeades from 4 YZF600 engine top ends

H16 engine by Andreas Georgeades from 4 YZF600 engine top ends

Andreas Georgeades, our favorite example of old school garage wizardry, the man behind the V12 CBX, as well as several Ferrari engined motorcycles, is at it again. Working in the same small garage workshop, he's building a new engine, an H16, a 16 cylinder engine consisting of two flat 8 cylinder boxers engines stacked on top of one another and joined by a common drive gear linking the two crankshafts. Its design is much like the old Formula One engines built by BRM in the 1960s.

H16 engine by Andreas Georgeades placed to check position and measurements with frame

H16 engine by Andreas Georgeades placed to check position and measurements with frame

The new engine is using cylinders and heads from four Yamaha YZF600 engines attached to custom machined crankcases. It will run four Dellorto carburetors. He's using pieces from a CBX clutch and a slipper clutch from a Honda VF1000R. The frame will be a much modified GSX-R with a 58 inch wheelbase, only a few inches more than stock.

Old school mark and measure before machining

Old school mark and measure before machining

He is strictly old school, measuring, marking and machining, no computer controlled anything. He thinks it through, sketches it out and goes to work. I can't begin to get my head around this. If he was any other guy who said he was going to build an H16 in his garage, everyone would roll their eyes and walk away, but Andreas, whose V12 CBX was constructed exactly the same way is already well along in the process. Absolutely astounding.

Crankcase after initial machining

Crankcase after initial machining

There are no predictions about when the bike will be finished, but judging from what we can see here, we can expect steady progress in the coming months and one day another amazing engine will come to life and then a spectacular bike will hit the road. I am in awe of this man's skill.

Thank you Rémi for the tip.

Be sure to watch the videos below to see Andreas explaining what he's doing:

Comments

  1. akaaccount says

    Wow. I have trouble sorting out whether something like this would even be possible THEORETICALLY and this guy goes out and does it over and over.

  2. Walt says

    And here I was feeling pretty good about my mechanical abilities, because I’m about to replace my fork springs.

    • Klaus says

      Funny, I do just the same! The sound of a 16 cylinder is just amazing.
      I wonder if this “double-boxer” sounds the same.

      • ran says

        It is the same engine configuration (H) sans forced induction. The sound should be very similar but I think this will sound even nicer (big call)

        • Russell says

          It wont sound (as good) as the p15/30 v16 Brm. You CAN listen to the H16 Brm on youtube too. That engine has a deeper growl, though I havent heard it in the higher RPM’s.

          This is great its being tried out. However I see too many problems for the design to look good, or even work.

          I always fantasize about re-creating Brm’s p30 v16 and building a café racer around it. I imagine that would be a big bike.

  3. Norm says

    Sort of a punched up version of a Brough Superior Golden Dream. It would be incredibly smooth and I don’t know if you could ever really get out of the power band with 16 cylinders. I would assume that he is going to time the cranks so that each cylinder bank on the upper and lower will be opposed diagonally to one another to cancel out vibration. Another thing that comes to mind would be the bed of snakes the exhaust system is going to be. Overall, quite a concept and at 2400cc I don’t think many would be able to compete in the straights.

  4. says

    Un- freakin believable… Now, lets see… I already have two Kawi ZG1000, an unheated storage unit, no electricity… Yep, I could do it! :P

    • says

      I thought the same (I’d prefer it). It appears going beyond the V12 project in terms of cylinders is one of the goals.

      “Boxer” is mentioned. Does each cylinder have its own crank pin or is this a pair of 180-degree 8’s in keeping with Ferrari’s approach with their flat 12?

      • BoxerFanatic says

        The crank case shows one of the crankshafts, and it has four journals… driving 8 pistons, that would make it a 180-degree Vee, which is not a true boxer, and in common with a Ferrari flat 12.

        Opposed pistons do not rise or fall together, the are inverse, joined to the same crank journal.

        This thing is going to be a complex beast. Where is all of the induction, all of the ignition coils and wires, all of the exhaust, and all of the fuel this thing will burn, going to go?

        This would be an ambitious space-planning issue in a CAR, let alone on a bike.

        A flat 8 would have been impressive enough. A V12 CBX is very cool, and I hope someone like this, or maybe Hartley (of Hayabusa-based V8 fame) could join two BMW K1600 inline 6 engines together into a flat or V12.

        But re-creating the H16, like the aforementioned BRM open-wheel race car, but on a BIKE… is way, way over the top. If he gets it working… more kudos to him for it!

      • Paul Crowe - "The Kneeslider" says

        You’re both correct, it’s not a boxer. I was incorrect on my terminology.

  5. B*A*M*F says

    That’s just wicked. I want one. I would be scared to ride it, but it would be fun to fire it up and rev it.

  6. Miles says

    Damn, now I want a flat 8 for my VW Beetle. (Nuts I just realized that to make a Boxer I would need a custom crank, oh well, I can dream.)

    The H is abso-friggin-lutely insane, I hope it works out.

    That block in “machinist’s blue” is friggin awesome, I wonder if it was spray painted on?

  7. Sick Cylinder says

    A fantastic project and I wish him all the best. There is a certain madness about it – a flat 8 would be ample, but as they say you never know when you’ve got enough until you’ve got too much.

    The BRM H16 for the new 3 litre formula one rules was not a success – although very powerful at 420bhp it was heavy and plagued by vibration problems. jackie Stewart once said of this engine ” as a Formula One engine it makes a great boat anchor”

    The first year of the new formula was won by the Repco Brabham which was based on an Oldsmobile stock block and had 300bhp and about a quarter the number of components.

    The Napier Sabre H24 was also not a success and took a massive amount of development before reliability problems were overcome.

    Best of luck with this project even though it takes excess to a new level of madness!

  8. Klaus says

    So what exactly constitutes a boxer? 180-degree opposed pistons that rise and fall together?
    Meaning a 180-degree Vee, as mentioned by BoxerFanatic, is a “flat” or “pancake” engine but not necessarily a boxer?
    At 180 degrees it’s not a “V” anymore?
    The engine is called “H” because of two stacked 180* opposed banks of four connected by the crank, right?

    • says

      boxer: each piston has its own crank pin so the pistons opposite one another move in the same stroke.

      flat: pairs of pistons share a single crank pin, so there is no way they rise and fall together. I believe the “v” designation is due to many early v engines sharing a crank pin.

      A flat engine should be narrower than a boxer

      • says

        clarification…
        the boxer’s pistons move together in their opposite cylinders, always equal distances from TDC or BDC, but a single crank pin can’t do that in a flattened v (180)

        Google the two and look at the images/simulations

    • says

      WW2 era Zündapp twins were also considered boxers, even though technicaly it’s a very flat V design of 170 degrees.

  9. Klaus says

    It’s quite an amazing project, if successful it might get the Greeks out of their economic slump :-)
    I wonder if a 16 cyl 2,4L monster engine isn’t a bit over the top; of course as a one-off project it’s more than impressive.
    But try using the Honda 250cc inline four instead – a 1000cc H16 would be smaller, lighter and thus enable the builder to create a more controllable bike with better handling which should still be able to produce 180 hp+.

    After seeing this H16 it should be child’s play for Triumph to build a 1350cc 90* V6 based on the 675 triple?

    • JR says

      I like the way you think Klaus. A 1000cc H16! A 1350cc V6… a Triumph version of the Laverda! I would like to see that mounted longitudinally in a sporty frame.

  10. Buck Norton says

    This reminds me of the Napier Sabre H-24 sleeve valve engine for the Tempest.
    It will be exciting to watch this come together. I intend to keep track of it.

  11. Gerhard says

    @ Klaus…A small correction…Andreas Georgeades is South African, although I believe he lives in the States now, San Diego I think.

  12. zipidachimp says

    as I said in a previous post, this is the same guy who built a 4 cylinder honda racebike (honda car engine) about 2 years before the first CB750. still at it 40 years later!
    p.s.: unless he’s moved, still in toronto. dunno.

  13. Kenny says

    The H16 engine is fascinating but what I really want to see is how he’s gonna mount that engine, incorporate all the plumbing, intake and exhaust plus suspension and still leave enough room to squeeze in a reasonable riding position

  14. says

    I’ve been looking through the thesaurus. There isn’t a word that even remotely begins to approach the capacity to describe this.

  15. Alby says

    The really cool thing about this is the guy’s workshop. It looks no more tidy or organised than mine….I guess there is hope for me yet… ;)

  16. says

    Hi,

    Not sure if it’s mentioned in the videos (I’m at work :) )and glancing through the thread but I’m curious as to how the two engines are synchronized. Are they going to be configured to fire in parallel or is one going to be shifted to be @ 22.5 degrees out of phase, for 16 ignitions per cycle vs 8?

  17. Greg says

    Andreas,
    Please keep us posted with updates. Can’t wait to see the completed bike!!

  18. WestOfBen says

    No engineering expert. This is just amazing stuff. I wonder why was this layout chosen? Unless I have missed something, nobody in here has directly questioned why across the frame wouldn’t be a better choice. Across frame would be wider of course, but it would allow more freedom with intake and exhaust routing.

    All that said. Andreas knows things I don’t know, so now I keep my mouth shut and applaud/enjoy his efforts!

  19. says

    Roman,

    This isn’t 2 engines, it’s parts from 4 engines. It’s two sets of two mounted back to back on a common crank. I wonder if he’s using a set of original crank shafts with narrowed rods.

  20. Russell Sutton says

    This project is brillant.. And Sorcery must be involved to get such a large engine to function inside a motorcycle frame.
    When deciding on top ends for my engine I discounted modern engines with bucket followers. I was worried that they would seize because oil could not migrate down into the bucket bores. I wonder again how the oil is going to be able to lubricate these buckets now that the cylinders are lying down. Especially the lower set on each head.
    Mr Georgeades with out doubt, has many more neurons firing between his ears than most of us and he may have decided its not a problem, or he has a solution. I for one would like to know his thoughts on this.

  21. Russell Sutton says

    Tom, Your comment about the cranks is a very interesting one. It looks standard because the oil holes are centre on the BE journals. This may not work with two rods side by side.The oil would just squirt out between them. Knife and fork would be worse . The outside brgs would get no oil. Looking at the pictures, there does not appear to be any cylinder off set. Taking a punt he might make new rods with a link rod attached as on some vee engine designs and radials. It will be fascinating to find out how he’s doing it.
    An awesome project. Just gets me thinking and thinking…….

  22. thomas lewis says

    My late cousins husband Steven Wright worked restoring bikes for Solar Productions, Steve McQueens company prior to his death.He worked out of a small garage just like this,in Hunting Beach,Calif.I remember visiting once,he was restoring , I believe a rare Yamaha road racer,might of been a 250 cc at around a hundred horsepower.So it;s not required to have a state of the art workshop,just a vision and desire to make some magic.

  23. jo13 says

    Why should using cylinders and head of yamaha yzf600 not using heads and cylinders of suzuki hayabusa 1300, but i hope he done this great work, and the bike can be running on the road

  24. Roy C says

    Just as I was beginning to loose faith in mankind up pops a mad scientist building on the most fundamental of principals, big motor + small package = mad fun. I weep at the beauty of his creation.

  25. Tim says

    It looks much like the Hawker Tempest/Typhoon engine from WWII. That Napier Saber engine had sleve valves and used a pair of shotgun shells to start.