As soon as there were internal combustion engines, someone was looking at his bicycle and wondering how to fit the two together. In recent years, there have been quite a few builders making kits to transform bicycles into motorized commuters and some have built bikes emulating the style of those very early years. But, as long as you have wheels and an engine, the obvious next step is racing, right? That's what Baird Bergenthal and a few of his friends thought. They're in Tuscon, Arizona and after riding these racers around for a while, it became obvious they needed to get on a real track.
It's no longer a few guys on crappy Chinese two stroke bike engines, smoking around at 25mph. Those same motors are being modified to reach speeds of 45+, and there are a few guys mounting 212cc 4 strokes on bikes, and a few nutty e-bike guys pushing bikes over 100mph. There's everything from homemade Briggs and Stratton motors, to 11hp watercooled Morini's, all custom tailored to bicycles.
He's put together some races at Adams Motorsport Park in Riverside, California, beginning on June 16th. The primary rule for these racers is they have to have functional pedals. It probably helps a lot on the start, too.
It's obvious you don't have to be a big bucks racer to have some motorized fun on a track and with these bikes, you get the chance to use a few of your wrenching skills, too. What's not to like?
I don't usually follow this sort of thing, so if you race mopeds or scooters, this is probably no big deal, but it shows it's easy for a few guys to build some very low cost racers and have some fun. No GSX-Rs or R1s involved, no 180 mph speeds either, just a good time.
Think it looks like fun? If you're around Riverside, maybe you should check it out.
UPDATE: After some poking around in the links these guys provided, as I mentioned in a comment below, I see they're building some pretty interesting bikes. Here's one from Joker Machine with a Honda GC160 engine. That's an impressive build. I like it.