Building a Turboshaft Powered Motorcycle Land Speed Racer - I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning

 Anders Johansson's turboshaft powered land speed racer

Anders Johansson's turboshaft powered land speed racer

When Anders Johansson got the idea of building a land speed racer powered by a TV94 turboshaft engine, he did what many dreamers don't, he went out to his shop and got to work. This was back in 2010. He just took his project out for its first test run and from the looks of it, he's definitely on the right track. The turbo was running at high idle and he just rolled in a bit of throttle a couple of times to see what it would do and it's very impressive and the engine isn't working hard at all.

 Anders Johansson's turboshaft powered land speed racer

Anders Johansson's turboshaft powered land speed racer

He has a very long build thread on JATO, the Jet And Turbine Owner's forum with a lot of photos showing everything from the initial sketch to where he is now. There's no CNC equipment involved, all of the machining is done manually on a lathe and milling machine and he's done quite a bit of it, plus there's the aluminum compressor housing which was cast by Anders. (I never knew there were so many guys doing their own casting!)

Early in the build process

Early in the build process

Anders says the current record in his class is 349km/h which is about 217 mph so that's his target. Will he get there? Only one way to find out.

Bodywork coming together

Bodywork coming together. Speed records are not all horsepower, streamlining means a lot.

This is another one of those really cool garage builds pretty much under the radar. It sounds like a jet and goes really fast, what's not to like?

Thanks for the tip, Andy!

Links: Hackaday and JATO


    • says

      Didn’t the third reciever of the Darwin Awards strap a JATO to an Impala? The foundry work is not that bad because you cn always have the machinist straighen it up.

      • eddi says

        Sorry, the JATO car is just an urban legend. Debunked by Darwin and attempted and busted by Mythbusters. On the other hand, I wonder what would happen if you strapped a few to a Vespa?

  1. Yeti2bikes says

    Turbines to speed… I’m surprised there is no suspension on the rear end. It looked pretty smooth on the test drive but you’d have to think that’ll get a little rough at 200mph+.

  2. Leston says

    A lot of salt flat bikes dont have rear suspensions and I’ve seen a few completely rigid. Everyone should take a second and look at his page dedicated to this build. His machining skills are top notch. I am floored that none of this is cnc’d

  3. Paulinator says

    That is the meanest sounding vacuum cleaner I’ve ever heard. My cats would fill the litter box if that thing came around the house.

  4. says

    Now THAT custom has authenticity! And that JATO link is fun!

    An awful lot of customs have the builder’s (Or more honestly, the contractor’s) fingerprints and brand name on them, and little/nothing else that they can honestly say they made. THIS, to me, is what custom bikes ought to be about instead of the low effort, low skill, and low imagination pipewrap & firestones clunkers on virtual parade these days.

    I need to learn some foundry skills…

    • Nicolas says

      You just read Jason Cormier’s article, didn’t you ? 😉

      This thing is awesome ! After I’m done with my low skills no talent hackjob, I need to build one of those …

      • Nicolas says

        wow, I thought he used an ex-military turbine of some sort, but no, he’s building his turbine from scratch ! impressive …

        • Paulinator says

          Isn’t that just nuts? I spent weeks designing, building, redesigning, rebuilding (and repeat) a little “gas-pipe” burner for my tilt-smelter. It makes about 5 pounds thrust and has no moving parts.

      • Bob says

        What gave that away?

        Hey, I’ve owned/ridden my share of “low skill no talent hackjob” sanity savers – and enjoyed them a lot – I just thought they were like other joys in life that ought not be shared on the internet.

  5. B*A*M*F says

    Pretty amazing watching the exhaust temperature climb so quickly!

    The machining he did to make this engine happen is incredible.

  6. Bart says

    That is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen posted here. A LSR bike that corners! Love that turbine whine

    Yeah, I wanna ride it too. Better yet, build a back seat and go for 2-up LSR! Add a sidecar…another record!

  7. Giella Lea Fapmu says

    His site says 200hp+40hp after the water/methanol injection system is installed, is it actually possible to go above 200Mph on salt with “just” 240hp? Just curios, great build whatever it does.


  8. says

    Hey guys! A friend told me that an article on my bike was published at The Kneeslider so I had to take a look, thanks for a good article!

    I´ve had a couple of articles written in Swedish magazines about some other jet related projects built with a couple of friends but the reporters are often more interested in writing a jaw dropping story than actually telling the truth so the articles tend to be filled with misguiding information.

    Thanks as well you guys for the supporting comments, I am currently modifying the gas producer for an upcoming test where I will measure a bunch of pressures, temps and engine revs to try to find out why the engine runs a bit hot with the power turbine section in place. Keep an eye out at the JATO forum where I post updates a couple of times every week.