Radial Engine Motorcycles – Past to Present

Motorcycle Radial Engine

Radial Engine Motorcycles

Haul N Ride would like to introduce you to a very attractive alternative to the standard accepted view of what makes up a motorcycle engine.

Motorcycles are usually recognised as having a Single Cylinder, Parallel Twin, V-Twin, Boxer Twin, Triples, Inline-4, V-4, Inline-6, Flat-4, Flat-6 and Oval-Piston V-4.

What you may not realise is that Radial Engines are not a new invention, and have a history of being used in both aeroplanes and motorcycles.

We are about to take a journey into radial engine motorcycle history from the early 1900s to bikes currently being built today.

What is a Radial Engine Motorcycle?

A Radial Engine Motorcycle is a motorcycle specially designed to be powered by an aviation aircraft engine.

Radial Engine Motorcycle


Robert Santiago

3d Artist

Lewisville, TX, United States of America

Visit Site: Click Here


Radial Engines – How Do They Work

Radial Engines consist of multiple engines working together in an intricate dance of perfect timing, uniting their horsepower, to drive a propeller or drive train. Here is a demonstration provided by simple solenoids to help you understand visually.

If you would like to make your own: Click Here

Here is the best explanation of – How a Radial Engine Works – presented in a way that is easy to understand

Read the Full Story: Click Here

Watch the Inner Workings of a Radial Engine Working

It is great to be able to look inside a Radial Engine operating.

Here is a time-lapse video showing the complete assembly of a Radial Engine

The most powerful radial engine was the Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone, produced in the United States, having a twin-row, supercharged, air-cooled, radial engine with 18 cylinders. Power ranged from 2,200 to over 3,700 hp (1,640 to 2,760 kW), depending on the model. In terms a motorcyclist can understand: 3,347in³ (54,847.50cm³).

“Hi honey, I just purchased a 54,847cc motorbike, grab your riding gear”.

Now that we have a pretty good understanding of Radial Engines and how they work, I think we are ready to look at the history of Radial Engines in Motorcycles.

Radial Engine Motorcycle History

We begin our trip back in time with Peugeot. Although Velocycles predate them, Peugeot Motorcycles are generally considered the oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, who built their first motorcycle in 1898. In 1930 Peugeot built the P50T oval board track racer that would typically have a single cylinder 100cc engine.

Peugeot P50tIt appears some websites on the Internet, perhaps unknowingly, are giving the impression that Peugeot produced a P50t motorcycle with a Radial Engine.

However, after looking into it further it seems the Radial Engine was added later. Modified by Bo Hare, he used a modern scale version of WW1 Gnome & Rhone Overhead Valve 9 Cylinder Radial Aircraft Engine. Source: Here and Here and Here.

Peugeot Radial Engine Motorcycle

Peugeot Radial Engine Motorcycle

Peugeot Radial Engine Motorcycle

Considering Peugeot did not produce a Radial Engine Motorcycle, let’s take a trip back to 1921, where we will find the Megola. This motorcycle was actually manufactured with a Radial Engine.

Megola 1921 Radial Engine German Motorcycle

“Look at that children, a motorcycle without a fuel tank or engine”.

Megola Rotory Engine Motorcycle

Well the Megola does have an engine, you just have to take a closer look at the front wheel. Designed by Fritz Cockerell in 1920, the Megola has a 5-cylinder 640 cc Radial Engine and exhaust completely housed inside the front wheel. This motorbike produces 14 hp and can reach speeds of 140 km/h (88 mph).

What looks like a great idea did have some disadvantages when compared to your modern ride. Firstly, to start the engine required elevating the front wheel off the ground and physically spinning the wheel.

The second disadvantage would be moving slowly through traffic. Without a clutch or gearbox, you would be unable to ride the friction zone to perform slow speed maneuvers. The Radial Engine had to be turned off to stop the bike.

Verdel 1912 Radial Engine Motorcycle

Although it is believed that none of the original Verdel Radial Engine motorcycles exist today, there are a few working replicas.

The 1912 Verdel was powered by a 750cc Overhead Valve 5 Cylinder Radial Engine manufactured by Verdel, while the motorcycle was built by Packard, both companies located in the United Kingdom.

As this is a modern replica, and unlike the Megola, it does have a clutch and gearbox. Personally I would be concerned about the ground clearance below the lower engines. I guess that was not an issue as they were mainly used to race.

Verdel 1912 Radial Engine Motorcycle

Source: Click Here

Verdel Radial Engine Motorcycle

Source: Click Here

It is great that we have found two Radial Engine Motorcycles in history that were manufactured from 1912 to 1920. The story does not end there. Fifteen years later we find another creation in Munich Germany.

The Peace Dove or Final Victory 1935 Radial Engine Motorcycle

Killinger and Freund 3 cylinder Motorcycle Radial Engine

Killenger and Freund Radial Motorcycle Engine

The 1935 Peace Dove (Flying Victory) Radial Engine Motorcycle was built by five German engineers, who were formerly working for Megola. The motorcycle weighs 135 kg and was powered by a 600cc, 3 Cylinder, 2 Stoke Radial Engine.

It was an improvement on the Megola as it had a two-speed gearbox and clutch. The engine intake is controlled by a rotary valve, which is a turning disk, with intake holes for exact timing of the fuel-air mixture intake.

Full story (German) and photos: Click Here

Radial Engine Motorcycles seem to have disappeared from history until after the Second Millennium.

2005 – The Return of Radial Engine Motorcycles

Today they are being built in three basic designs, Crossway, Inline and Horizontal.

A Crossway Radial Motorcycle Engine
Crossway Radial Engine Motorcycle

An Inline Radial Motorcycle Engine
Inline Radial Engine Motorcycle
A Horizontal Radial Motorcycle Engine

Horizontal Motorcycle Radial Engine

The Engines

R180: 5 Cylinder

R2800: The R2800 is a 7 Cylinder Air Cooled Single Row 2800cc (172 in³) Radial Aeroplane Engine

R3600: The R2800 is a 9 Cylinder Air Cooled Single Row 3600cc (220 in³) Radial Aeroplane Engine

2005-2006 Kosmic Krome R2800 – 7 Cylinder Inline

Owner: John Levey

Motorcycle: JRL Chopper

Country: USA

Kosmic Krome Radial Engine Motorcycle

Kosmic Krome Radial Engine Motorcycle




2005-2007 Radial Hell R2800 – 7 Cylinder Crossway

Owner: Jesse James

Motorcycle: West Coast Chopper

Country: USA

Radial Hell Radial Engine Motorcycle

Radial Hell Radial Engine Motorbike


The Kneeslider

2011-2013 Red Baron R3600 – 9 Cylinder Crossway

Owner: Frank Ohle

Motorcycle: Chopper

Country: Germany

Red Baron Radial Engine Motorcycle

Red Baron Radial Engine Motorcycle
Frank Ohle

2007-2010 Black Jack R2800 – 7 Cylinder Inline

Owner: Scott Hamann

Motorcycle: Chopper

Country: USA

Black Jack Radial Engine Motorcycle

Black Jack Radial Engine Motorcycle

Visit Scott Hamann Metal Magic Website: Click Here

Redoubt Reporter

2007 Lucky Seven R2800 – 7 Cylinder Inline

Owner: Ollie Staffeld

Motorcycle: Chopper

Country: USA

Lucky 7 Radial Engine Motorcycle

Kosmic Krome and Lucky 7 Dual Ride

Lucky 7 Radial Engine Motorcycle


Source: Rotec Engines

2007 Iron Gatsby R2800 – 7 Cylinder Inline

Owner: Paul Yang

Motorcycle: Harley Davidson

Country: USA

Iron Gatsby Radial Engine Motorcycle

Iron Gatsby Radial Engine Motorcycle

Bomberbike – Crossway

Owner: C. Mitchell Boulton

Company: Radial Engine Innovations

Engine: Alvis Leonides Mark 127 from a west German Percival Pembroke C.54

Unknown Bike – 7 Cylinder Inline

2016 Naga Lima (Dragon Five) – 5 Cylinder Horizontal

Owner: M Yusuf Adib Mustofa

Motorcycle: Honda CB 2002 Tiger

Country: Indonesia

More Stories and Photos:
Rotec Aerosport

Purchase Radial Engines – Build Your Own

For your Moped or Scooter

7 Cylinder 77cc Radial Engine


Evolution 7 cylinder 77cc 4 stroke glow engine

Current Price: Click Here



3 Cylinder Radial Engine

FA-120R3 Four Stroke 3 Cylinder Engine
Current Price: Click Here





Moki Radial Engine 40cc

Moki 400cc Radial

Current Price: Click Here



9 Cylinder 99cc Radial Engine


9-Cyl 99cc 4-Stroke Glow Radial Engine

Current Price: Click Here




For your Beast

R2800 7 Cyclinder Radial Motorcycle Engine


R2800 7 Cylinder Radial Engine

Current Price & Many More Motorcycle Videos: Click Here



R3600 9 Cylinder Motorcycle Radial Engine


R3600 9 Cylinder Radial Engine

Current Price: Click Here

Or Click Here


Innovation in Radial Engines: Canton’s Radial Engine

Time to See a Radial Engine in Action

After that journey, I can’t help wondering what happened to Radial Engine Motorcycles between 1935 to 2005. Did it really take 70 years for the return? Or perhaps there are some other motorcycles hiding in the shadows, quietly unnoticed by the public.

I wonder how long it will take for a major Japanese or American company to begin mass-producing these beautiful motorcycles. Or maybe it will return to where it began in Germany and the UK.

Haul N Ride would like to congratulate the incredible engineers and inventors that have put so much work into resurrecting a vision and passion of the past, bringing it back into reality.

Can you Help Roland Identify a Radial Engine Motorcycle?

Please Help Identify My Radial Engine Motorcycle

If your interest in reading this article is to create a Radial Engine Motorcycle, then I not only wish you success in your project, I also invite you to share your story with Haul N Ride. We would love to hear from you.

You may email any photos and details that I can share your project.

To see another radical redesign of motorcycles, visit The Dark Side – The Love of Car Tires on Motorcycles

The Dark Side – The Love of Car Tires on Motorcycles

Haul N Ride website was created to explore Innovation and Human Creativity with a focus on Interesting, Rare and Unusual Motorcycles and Accessories. Haul N Ride welcomes the sharing of projects and ideas, creating an enjoyable and educational online resource. We like to hear from readers so please leave a comment below and let us know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

Thank you for visiting Haul N Ride. Dave

9 thoughts on “Radial Engine Motorcycles – Past to Present

  1. Eirikur da Czech says:

    The engine in the Bomberbike is an Alvis Leonides Mark 127 from a west German Percival Pembroke C.54.

  2. Dave says:

    Hi Rick, thank your positive comments on the article. I am glad you enjoyed the information and videos. If you click around, you will find many other interesting motorcycles on Haul N Ride. Have a great day. Dave

  3. Dave says:

    Hi Fleur, thank you for spending the time to view the Radial Engine motorcycles. I am sure your son will get a lot out of it. He may even surprise you and build one. Have a great day. Dave

  4. Fleur Allen says:

    Thanks Dave this is a very thorough walk down history lane about radial engines in motorcycles. My son is interested in all types of engines whether for cars, boats, trucks or motorcycles. I’ll be showing him this article for sure!

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