Autopia’s official daredevil Bob Maddox is at it again, with a new jet bike so hot we almost singed our eyebrows looking at the pictures.
The self-proclaimed “Rocketman” built the latest bike for a bike racer in Illinois who got sponsorship from a local bike-themed restaurant. According to Maddox, who did five test runs on the bike before handing it over to its new owner, it does 0-60 in “maybe five seconds.” Handling is “smooth and stable,” although it’s so powerful that it “wants to pull your arms off.”
Aside from the tires, rims and brakes, Maddox fabricated the entire bike — including the jet engines — in his shop. Building custom-made rocket-powered toys may have started as a hobby, but it’s become a supplemental business to his career as a cabinetmaker in Medford, Oregon.
Maddox estimates that the single pulse jet engine with two tailpipes puts out 250 pounds of thrust. Pulse jets are the not-so secret ingredient to all of his creations, from jet-powered Schwinn bikes to the jets he hopes to someday strap on and rocket himself four miles into the atmosphere. They’re incredibly simple, igniting a mixture of air and fuel in “pulses” that occur about 70 times a second.
Pulse jets run on virtually any fuel — Maddox tested out the latest bike with regular 87 octane gasoline — and they’re so loud that they’ll blow your eardrums if you aren’t careful.
According to Maddox, the new owner of the bike wants to try to break 200 mph. We’ll be sure to let you know if that happens, and we’ll let you know as soon as Bob Maddox finds something else to weld a jet engine onto.
Photos: Bob Maddox
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