State-of-the-art rocket-powered motorcycle sells on eBay
A state-of-the-art rocket-powered motorcycle that was recently advertised for sale on eBay has been sold to Gerd Habermann Racing. Engineered to hit speeds in excess of 400 mph (640 km/h) during the quarter-mile, the bike was designed and built by Glenn Brittian, one of the few drivers licensed by the National Hot Rod Association to drive a rocket dragster. The asking price was US$27,000, but the actual selling price has not been made public.
While we tend to think of manned rockets in terms of spaceflight, adventurers have been using them to power other vehicles for nearly a century. In the late 1920s, Fritz von Opel, of the Opel automobile family, built rocket cars, rocket trains, rocket gliders, rocket snow sleds, and the first known attempt at creating a rocket-powered motorcycle, imaginatively called the Raketen Motorrad (RM – Rocket Motorcycle).
The RM was built on a 500cc Opel Neander SuperSport motorcycle. The Opel Neander was propelled by a one-cylinder 500cc engine that produced a massive 22 hp. Opel modified the Opel Neander by adding mounts for six (later fourteen) rockets fueled with compressed smokeless powder. The estimated top speed was 220 km/h (140 mph), but a full speed run was never attempted due to the intervention of the Weimar government, which thought the whole idea was too dangerous.
Many other rocket motorcycles have been made since that time, some for racing and speed, and a few to support motorcycle jumps. Brittian's rocket motorcycle is designed as a dragster from the frame outwards – it is not intended to turn under power, nor will it run more than quarter-mile time trials and drag races. It is built for one thing alone – speed.
Brittian's rocket motorcycle is powered by a dual nozzle rocket engine providing a design maximum of 3500 pounds (15.6 kN) of thrust. When running at that thrust it eats about 30 lb (14 kg) of fuel every second, sucking the fuel tank dry after the few seconds of a quarter-mile drag. The rocket engine uses high-test (80-98 percent pure) hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide does not burn when used in a rocket engine, but passes by a catalyst that makes it decompose into water and oxygen. The water released is converted into steam at about 1100° F (870° C), which then exits through the nozzle producing thrust.
It has become nearly impossible in recent years to buy high-test hydrogen peroxide (in the United States sales to the public have even been banned by the Department of Homeland Security), so it is often concentrated by various methods. As the concentration process is perhaps more dangerous than handling and using hydrogen peroxide, it is not to be undertaken lightly.
This series of photographs taken during construction show many additional details of the rocket system as well as the bike itself. The motorcycle has been tested with a smaller engine producing about half the thrust, and has hit speeds in excess of 220 mph (354 km/h) in the quarter-mile. The full design that Mr. Habermann has bought is designed to hit speeds of over 400 mph (640 km/h) in the quarter mile. The real question is can the rider hold on at such speeds? Time will tell, if the bike doesn't blow up first!
Source: Rocket Crusade via eBay
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First, as the article states, this Bike was specifically built for Breaking Motorcycle Drag Racing Records.
The current Top Fuel Dragster Record is still well below 350mph.
On dragstrips, bikes and cars really do not have the shutdown area to safely stop from 400mph and if that speed was reached with this Bike, stopping would be especially difficult, even with the parachute, since the Rocket provides no engine braking.
Only one car has ever passed the 400mph Mark in the Quarter Mile and that was by Kitty O'Neil at a special course set up at the El Mirage Dry Lake course.... long ago in 1977.
Out there in the desert, shut down area is not so much a problem.
Due to fuel capacity, track length,tires and other factors, this Bike is specifically built to be The First Bike to Break the 300mph Mark on the Dragstrip AND The First Bike to ever get into the 4 second bracket in The Quarter Mile.
The Goal is ALSO to exceed 311mph- That is the current Record for The World's Fastest "Ride on Top" Motorcycle, (as opposed to enclosed Streamliners) set at the Loring,Maine LSR event.
The Motor makes The Power (the equivalent of 7,000HP!) to push the Bike to 400mph- but The Power is obviously only part of the challenge.
The current Record for the Fastest Drag Bike Speed&Time is 5.2sec@249mph by Eric Taboul at Santa Pod,England on 5/31/2010.
That was done with a Rocket Engine the size of our smaller test engine and is considerably faster(by drag racing standards) than Larry McBride's NHRA Drag Record on a piston-powered bike.
Our Dominator motor is much larger than Eric T.'s and now it's time to make Motorcycle and Drag Racing history.
The $27,000 mark was the opening bid on a no reserve auction. Terms were agreed to before any bids were made and the auction was closed.
The actual selling price will not be disclosed by the sellers.
Thanks,Brian, for that extra history on Rocket Bikes!
Thanks to everybody for checking this out and remember: Dream BIG! ....and don't listen to "experts" without experience!
A Hydrogen-peroxide molecule(H2O2) is only one Oxygen atom away from Water(H2O).
The Engine uses no oil and truly produces ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS!
Modest heat&electricity is used in the fuel refining process- power from "the grid" is not even necessary.
This is a MUCH cleaner,greener form of Motorsports!