Honda CBX V12 by Andreas Georgeades

Andreas Georgeades and his Honda CBX V12

Andreas Georgeades and his Honda CBX V12

Building a V12 from a pair of Honda CBX engines would be quite an accomplishment if it was the only motorcycle project a builder ever did, unlikely of course, but by itself it would stand alone quite well. Andreas Georgeades' most recent project is exactly that, the bike shown here, but "most recent" are the key words. He's been doing things with motorcycles his entire life, starting out as a racer but quickly becoming a builder with some very unusual and creative skills.

Andreas Georgeades V12 CBX

Andreas Georgeades V12 CBX

Andreas, a former motorcycle racer from South Africa who raced his Matchless 500 at the Isle of Man in 1964 and 500cc GP racing in Europe, he also raced in Canada and the US. He also raced and won in Canada with a bike powered by a Honda 600 auto engine, a water cooled engine converted to air cooling by removing the water jacket and adding cooling fins!

This CBX V12 came to my attention over a year ago but there didn't seem to be many photos available, probably because the project was ongoing and still incomplete for so long, then Doug sent me a link to these photos which show quite a bit of the build of the now complete bike, and it's truly impressive.

His building technique is truly "old school," no CAD or computer work of any kind, just some sketches, and even those, sometimes not until after the work is complete to explain what he did. Even more impressive is his workshop, for those who think a project like this requires an immense workshop filled with the latest machine tools, Andreas does his work in more modest surroundings.

Honda CBX V12 in the workshop

Honda CBX V12 in the workshop

Earlier bikes include 3 Ferrari powered machines, 2 with V6 powerplants, one of those supercharged, and one V8 from a Ferrari 308. He's obviously not hesitant to attempt whatever he sets his mind to.

CBX V12 block

CBX V12 block

There is simply no way to tell you everything about this man and his projects in one short article so I've included several links below that will fill out many of the details. Quite an amazing story and worth your while to read them in depth. Very impressive!

Thanks for the photo tip, Doug!

Link: Flickr photos CBX V12
Link: Flickr photos of CBX V12 engine build
Link: DucCutters story and more detailed pdf

Comments

  1. Tin Man 2 says

    Holy Cow!! Thanks Mr Kneeslider, I feel this one is for Me. Incredable story. I can not imagine the Torque and smoothness of this Bike. What an inspiration, Who could dream this could be done by one man.( extremely talented)

  2. says

    I’ve seen this before and heard it run in the video. That thing is absolutely wicked! Plus the bodywork is stunning as well. I would paint some of it, but that’s just me.

  3. juanitotheclumsy says

    I think it’s simply amazing that by just offsetting the two sets of bores a little bit he can stuff not only 6 more con-rods, but also associated bearings into what is essentially the same length crankcase. I don’t suppose the cornering clearance is quite up to MotoGP standards, though (~60 degrees from vertical).

  4. says

    Reminds me of that scene in Crocodile Dundee, where he’s held up by some guy with a knife. Call that a knife? [pulls out huge knife].. Now that’s a knife!

    two thumbs up!

  5. rl says

    I wonder if he could take his V-12, put a water jacket around it and stuff it into the back seat of a Honda 600! I had a ’72 Honda 600 sedan. It had an air-cooled twin. Maybe later Hondas in South Africa came water-cooled.

  6. Doug says

    I remember “George the Greek” running that home brewed four cylinder Honda here in South Africa in the early 70’s. The curved megaphones were a work of art in themselves!

  7. Paulinator says

    I read a quote from Wilbur Wright. It went something like this, “I see thing more clearly with my eyes closed”. People with that gift don’t need CAD.

  8. bkowal says

    Again WOW!!

    I think the frame/chassis is more impressive than the engine. I has a very old-school aircraft feel to it. I like it.

  9. Walt says

    I am speechless. I thought I knew a little about craftsmanship. Now I realize that the key word is “little.” An amazing achievement.

  10. Gitan says

    Very impressive ! I’m on my ass.
    Even for me who love half-cut motors, as Buell Blast thumper ;)

  11. pabsyboots says

    wait a minute
    am i losing it or does his throttle work BACKWARDS ???
    check out DaverR youtube link above

  12. Boog says

    Wow! What a technical exercise…and he pulls it off so well…

    Really, I would rather have a bone stock cbx…

    This is one bike I wish I had bought new when it came out. Alas, the time was not right..

  13. steve w says

    stunning workmanship! For years I got to listen to the Outhouse engineering V8 Suzuki run in a midget here in Wisconsin. First as a high rev version and later as a torque version. All interesting stuff. But not just this engine but wow to the whole bike.

  14. FREEMAN says

    And here I thought the stock CBX was scary enough…

    @ juanitotheclumsy: something tells me the owner of this bike has other things in mind than taking corners with his knee on the pavement (no pun intended, Mr Kneeslider, sir). Probably something more along the lines of outrunning the police while staining his shorts and looking damn good while doing so.

  15. zipidachimp says

    wow! I saw the original 600 car engine in his frame about 2 years before the original cb750 came out, at Harewood Acres racetrack in Ontario. I always wondered if that bike was the idea behind honda’s 750. this guy is really persistent, to be still doing original bikes 40 years later. good for you andreas!

  16. Philcat says

    I’m speachless, would add 12 throttle bodies to clean up the induction side and fuel inject it myself , but excellent stuff!!!!!!!!!

  17. jhase white says

    George is a good friend of mine, and it’s nice to see him get the publicity that he deserves!!! This man is an artist.

  18. joe says

    Magnificent engineerig project! And what a classy and unique looking bike. I guess it would be only good in fine weather riding,those open air intakes pointing forward and all that pollised alloy whould take day’s to bring back the shine.

  19. tim says

    OK, I’m not very bright. Can someone explain to a nontechnical person how a stock CBX lower crankcase and crankshaft can have aother six cylinders added to it? Looking at the flickr pics it looks as if it is a stock lower case and crankshaft but never having seen one apart I dont know. But if the second set of cylinders are offset (which they are) then does this not imply that the conrods are beside each other running on the same crankpin? Allen Millyards V12 Kawasaki had the second set of conrods attached to the first set of conrods so the crank was stock (IIRC: correct me if I am wrong).

    And how do you balance it so it doesnt shake itself to bits? To a non-technical person like me I can but agree with Arthur C Clarke (to paraphrase) that technology this advanced is akin to magic.

  20. Benjamin says

    I don’t think that is a stock crank, looks built-up to my eyes. A stock crank would not have the space for a second row of timing chain either. The conrods are mounted on a common crankpin, side by side rather than forked or otherwise. Balance would be a piece of cake – inline sixes are naturally well balanced. A sixty degree bank angle is perfect for V6 and V12 – this looks close enough and I doubt Andreas would choose an odd angle.

    If it is a stock crank, then the conrods he is using would need to be half as thick???

    Anyone else have a true engineer’s explanation, as opposed to my rudimentary observations?

  21. Benjamin says

    Another thought, do standard CBX sixes have single or double-row timing chains? If double, is he being cheeky and running single for each bank? Could be the source of the rattle…

  22. Adrian says

    oh. now im usually critical of ‘just cuz’ exercises in technology. this is a very fine effort requiring a lot of engineering knowledge and productive skills.

  23. Miles says

    I would have the throttle reversed on an engine that big, a couple hundred pounds of torque could make you wind it up on accident.

    It sounds unbelievable, I love a good v12, it sounds like a 3-pack of hatchbacks/liter-bikes, or a couple of jags/bmw’s racing.

  24. cwross48 says

    The 24-valve (with shims) six-carb machine was the very devil to maintain, not to mention the ever-loosening chain…. But, with 48 hard-to-reach valves!

  25. RMT says

    Amazing and very cool. Years ago I met this man and saw the v-8 Ferrari bike in person. He is a very talented mechanic and fabricator.

  26. jhase says

    It is a stock crank, with shaved down con rods and widened journals. The extra timing chain sprocket was grafted on with another tensioner. Crank was case hardened for extra insurance

  27. Dennis Murfin says

    Does anyone know anything about the 500cc four cylinder Honda engine Andreas built back in the sixties, pictures would be even better, does it still exist?

  28. Bruce Brennan says

    Does anyone know the whereabouts of George & Pat Montgomery, george was a Velo expert racer and later rode a factory Triumph, he was 3rd in the 65 Daytona Championship, behind reiman and lawill, he was a great personal friend of mine, then he retired and opened a shop in Virginia, I think he moved to Md. And opened up a Norton Dealership in Va. I lost contact with him about mid 70’s, anyone know how I can contact him please let me know. Thanks, Bruce Brennan

  29. Macxlii says

    It really is an imaginative and clever piece of work. How did he get two pistons to run on each crankpin? If the big ends were narrowed, the reduced bearing surface might create some longevity problems if the engine is hammered hard (but there’s no need for that, is there?). Now, the thing Andreas really needs to do next is what Honda should have done in the first place – fuel injection; is there an injection pump that might ingeniously be modified for the job?

  30. william says

    I have a 1981 CBX SuperSport and I have wanted one since they came out and was able to buy a low milage one (500 miles) in 1989. I just dumped a bunch of cash into updating mine for simple show and go, but Andreas Georgeades V12 coversion tells me that I’m not the only one that worships the CBX! You go, Andre!

  31. Porschephile says

    This thing is borderline pornographic! It actually looks rideable too, unlike many of these crazy-engined bikes.

  32. Animedevildog says

    Simply incredible. That machine is sex on two wheels!

    @ Dennis Merfin:
    I do not know much about the 500cc 4 in question, but I did read something interesting related to it. Turns out A certain Italian bike builder by the name of Benilli took that 500cc motor, and added two more cylinders. They called it the 750 Sei, and that thing was so smooth that, reportedly, when the engineers took a cigarette and stood it on end on the tank, fired up the bike, and revved it, the cigarette did not fall!

  33. jojo says

    i am curious about getting all the lay out of the engine? ihave had plans on doing somthing like this to 2 cb750’s. but more set up like a small 90 degree v8 i havent figured the way to properly do the crankshaft assembly and getting the motor rigid and vibe free as to use the engine as part of the frame. to me this bike looks like a lot of planning whent into it. great job!

  34. mechtech retired says

    Its purely my opinion! that the crank will snap! like a carrot, at the outside ends! inside the outer cranks weights whats left of them! if you hold it on full power for twenty or so seconds- and that will happen right beside the outer con rods-due to the massive thinning down of the crank weights –
    half! of the crank throw oil feeds are seemingly! now in the wrong place causing oil psi loss and over oiled piston skirts from the oil blow by, between the sides of the rods big end thrust faces thus! resulting in clouds of oil smoke from the mufflers-and finally dripping spark plugs = senseless extravagance for what!
    watch the oil gauge George trust me. a distant acquaintance BC. PS- maybe i should check out the rest eh! lol.
    otherwise great a great concept idea-and wear ya lid buddy!

  35. Mike says

    Very, Very admirable workmanship! I would love to see BMW turn you loose on a couple of K1600GTL’s :-)

  36. Mike says

    Mechtech – While the sacrificed width from the rods and journals may weaken them marginally (no worse than going from an inline 6 to a V6), I doubt the crank would snap from any extra power, as the power pulses are no more intense – just more frequent. If anything would fail, it would be something from the clutch back, although Honda builds pretty tough tranny’s. Besides, this thing is an artistic masterpiece – without the intent of hauling freight.

    • mechtech retired says

      OK! there is also another set of SIX pistons rods pins and rings on that SAME CRANK! THAT HAS BEEN CONSERVATIVELY WEIGHT REDUCED BY AT LEAST 30% WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THE BALANCE FACTOR COMES OUT AT? >>

  37. Dan Campbell says

    people with vision and creativity cant be held back he reminds me of john britton another genious hiding in the body of a dreamer

  38. djtonkovich says

    I have had the pleasure of knowing the man the myth the legend in person for the past 20 years, and to say the least he is an unbelievable artistic craftsman genius whom works with only the dream, the vision, the knowledge in his own mind. He works with no schematics, no computers, no drawn out design, only his thorough aptitude of bike mechanics and how to wrap married engines, Ferrari engines, inside custom aircraft aluminum crafted frames and fairings. To see pics is one thing but to see him at work and bring his prized possessions (a total of 4 bikes) to life makes one speechless. I wonder if he has started on his Mazda rotary powered dream yet.

  39. DuneRat says

    I too have met George, Working as a maintenance tech on the building where the ferrari V8 was built in the late 80’s. it was a dilapidated garage he rented to work out of. He repaired European cars in the driveway to finance the project. He was living in a Volkswagen van while the bike was built. his dedication and attention to detail amazed me at the time as it still does today. I remember coming in one day and he was working on a planetary gear case to enable a motorcycle starter and battery to start the V8. if you think the pictures are impressive you should see this guy’s work in person, truly mechanical art

  40. Crazy says

    Krauser was regarded as a radical for years with his BMW inovations on specials.
    we now see his work in mainstream BMW!

  41. Crazy says

    mech retired,
    just love you old fellas with ya bowel optic attitudes to life and all things.
    Did not find one up-lifting remark in your note.
    Sad, but you need to lighten up.

    even if the crank grinds to a halt something has been created.

    me, i was mightily impressed