Hooniverse Asks-What Car Manufacturer Should Really Make a Bike?

//Hooniverse Asks-What Car Manufacturer Should Really Make a Bike?

Hooniverse Asks-What Car Manufacturer Should Really Make a Bike?

Birds do it. . . bees do it. . . even Honda and the Beem do it. . . let’s do it, let’s build a bike. 
You know, it’s probably best to stick to what you know. You wouldn’t trust your open heart surgery to Norm Abrams, no matter how skilled with a saw he might be. But when it comes to cars and bikes, some companies really know how to rock the multitasking.
BMW, Suzuki, and Honda were known – heck, in some places revered – for their motorcycles long before they built anything with four wheels and flies.  Today, for the German company at least, the two-wheelers seem to take back pegs to the cars, but Honda still makes noise on both the bike and auto front. Considering their individual successes at being bi-curious, it’s surprising that no other company has jumped on the bandwagon and tried their hand at the leap from bike to car, or car to bike. Oh sure, Yamaha built that one-off tandem car thing a couple of decades back, but who’s counting that?
Imagine if you will a dirt bike as conceived by the trail gods at Jeep. Or maybe an Autobahn-stormer illuminated by the three-pointed star – how awesome could that potentially be? Could you envision how Ferrari might express themselves on two-wheels? Well, in that case, Ducati probably already fits the bill, but what of other makes? What would the minds that brought us the ‘Vette, Ford GT or Dodge Viper bring to the two-wheel table? What do you think, what car maker should get down to building a bike?
Image source: [motorcycle-usa.com]

By |2011-10-04T07:00:59+00:00October 4th, 2011|Hooniverse Asks|133 Comments

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  1. engineerd October 4, 2011 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Dodge already tried. Reports were the fit and finish did not meet motorcycle enthusiast's expectations.
    <img width=500 src="http://www.carlustblog.com/images/2008/12/23/tomohawk.jpg"&gt;
    Image from carlustblog, who obviously stole it from Allpar.

    • chrystlubitshi October 4, 2011 at 7:23 am - Reply

      sure, the motorcycle entusiast's expectations weren't met… however, the 4-wheel, independent suspension, and braking needs were met for those who worship in the short-pipe church of exhaust noise.

    • Tanshanomi October 4, 2011 at 7:42 am - Reply

      That is exactly why Chrysler should NEVER be allowed to make a motorcycle again. And I use the term "motorcycle" very loosely in this case.

    • pj134 October 4, 2011 at 7:51 am - Reply

      Who needs a bike to be well assembled when it only has, what, 450 horse?

      • Tanshanomi October 4, 2011 at 8:09 am - Reply

        A bike needs to be well assembled especially when it has 450 horses.

        • pj134 October 4, 2011 at 8:14 am - Reply

          I mean, whats the worse that could happen if they have a handful of bolts left over after its assembled? They clearly weren't important.
          Hoping the sarcasm is a bit heavier this time

          • chrystlubitshi October 4, 2011 at 8:56 am

            what is that smell? do I smell sweet death?
            –no sir or ma'am, (I cannot tell) you smell sarcasm.
            good kitty lays down, good kitty lays down….
            (the sarcasm was over-run by crazy…. better luck next time)

    • narayana.raj December 15, 2011 at 5:50 am - Reply

      it is well how we mate it

  2. Scandinavian Flick October 4, 2011 at 6:24 am - Reply

    Some exotic manufacturer like Pagani.
    I picture it looking something like this. I can't imagine what would power it though, since I can't think of any viable engines from Mercedes…
    <img src="http://www.benelli.com/eng/img/tech/rd_2_big.jpg"&gt;

    • chrystlubitshi October 4, 2011 at 7:32 am - Reply

      I can't imagine they'd find a place for a rider, due all the aero-dynamic body work…. but then again… they did manage to make a cockpit in the zonda… and well… now that I think more about it,
      If you could afford one of their bikes, you *WOULD* also afford the aer0-body suit that made you one with the machine… in both appearance and well life or death.
      good suggestion!

      • Scandinavian Flick October 4, 2011 at 9:22 am - Reply

        Aerosuit… Yes……. Words fail me in describing the awesome images going through my head.

    • narayana.raj December 15, 2011 at 5:53 am - Reply

      really its wonder i like it how u make it?

  3. chrystlubitshi October 4, 2011 at 7:10 am - Reply

    since VW already has crap-tons of trikes… let's go for something fun. I bet Fiat would do something interesting– with Ferarri's love of racing, I'm kinda surprised they're not in to moto-GP.. maybe Spyker, for low-production-level super bikes or the super-model looking equivalent of such…

    • pj134 October 4, 2011 at 7:13 am - Reply

      I guess sponsoring Yamaha is enough for them.
      <img src="http://baguslife.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/n496367_bikeoriginal.jpg&quot; width=500>

      • chrystlubitshi October 4, 2011 at 7:14 am - Reply

        yeah, sponsorship just doesn't cut it, now, does it…
        unless they start using yamaha engines for something fun, they can't claim it as their own….
        Also, I know that the VW trikes are aftermarket… but they seem to be a pretty popular option….

        • SSurfer321 October 4, 2011 at 9:22 am - Reply

          GXRR motor in a 500?

          • chrystlubitshi October 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

            done by corporate factories??? i mean… that is awesome and all… but….

    • Smells_Homeless October 4, 2011 at 7:23 am - Reply

      Oh man, a Spyker bike could be epic. It'd be like riding an Antikythera mechanism.

    • Scandinavian Flick October 4, 2011 at 7:32 am - Reply

      Ohh, a Ferrari motorcycle would be epic. Imagine combining the already somewhat increased sense of risk of death with a whole new fear of spontaneous combustion! A true thrill a minute!

  4. Alff October 4, 2011 at 7:16 am - Reply
  5. tonyola October 4, 2011 at 7:17 am - Reply
  6. Jimmy7 October 4, 2011 at 7:20 am - Reply

    How about a Jaguar / Swallow with an optimized sidecar?

  7. engineerd October 4, 2011 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Lancia should build a bike with the engine from the Delta S4 Grp B car. I would ride it. Even though it would be the last thing I ever did.
    <img src="http://www.autozine.org/strange_car/strange_pic_lancia_s4_charge.jpg"&gt;

    • pj134 October 4, 2011 at 7:52 am - Reply


      • Smells_Homeless October 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm - Reply

        I've ridden a couple of GPz that had that soundtrack.

  8. OA5599 October 4, 2011 at 7:21 am - Reply
    • Alcology October 4, 2011 at 8:31 am - Reply

      His next show of man in spacesuit on skateboard wasn't nearly as popular.
      Is this low gravity testing or something?

      • Mike_the_Dog October 4, 2011 at 8:49 am - Reply

        It looks like he's riding an electric minibike in the vomit comet. And his suit has a lunar egress look about it. I'll bet Rupp got half a mil for that bike.

      • OA5599 October 4, 2011 at 8:57 am - Reply

        NASA wasn't certain they would have the Lunar Rover finished in time for Apollo 15, so they developed an electric minibike as a fallback. The picture shows low-gravity testing in the Vomit Comet, apparently low-g jumping over obstacles.
        The LRV was indeed finished in time and the minibike project was scrapped.

        • Alcology October 4, 2011 at 10:12 am - Reply

          Very interesting, thanks

  9. pj134 October 4, 2011 at 7:30 am - Reply

    Well, you know what Ford, GM and Dodge/Chrysler bikes would look like. (see: Harley-Davidson, Victory and your local Pep-Boys (too mean?) respectively)
    Nissan is out because, even if the designs are cool, they'd throw a CVT on EVERYTHING.
    I think that Jeep could be awesome, I could see something like a Ural with an I6 being pretty cool and something scrambler style with a single cylinder base model would be awesome. Just all around KTM competition from the American front, maybe not the RC8, but they could go after most of the model line up.
    The contrast of this question though, that would be interesting. Harley Davidson would put out a matte black lead sled that is actually made of lead to achieve the appropriate weight with, I guess, the equivalent of an LT1 under the hood.

    • theTokenGreek October 4, 2011 at 9:02 am - Reply

      as depressingly accurate as the Harley/Ford crossover thought is, you hit the nail on the head with Nissan.

  10. muthalovin October 4, 2011 at 7:35 am - Reply

    Toyota – Scooters (Thinking scooty puff jr., with wheels)
    Honestly, it would have to be a low volume manufacturer to do so. Bugatti, mayhap?

    • jeremy![™] October 4, 2011 at 10:03 am - Reply

      nice, that one made me lol.

    • chrystlubitshi October 4, 2011 at 11:45 am - Reply

      remember, scooty puff jr. sucks.

  11. Number_Six October 4, 2011 at 7:35 am - Reply

    Never mind new entries, I wish Honda would get back to making desirable motorcycles. Their current lineup is as grotesque as the crud they're peddling on the automotive side.

  12. JeepyJayhawk October 4, 2011 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Mazda rotary motorcycle. Weird and handles like it's on rails.

    • Feds_II October 4, 2011 at 7:40 am - Reply

      You beat me to it. I'd love to see a RE-MSP longitudinally in a bike.

    • chrystlubitshi October 4, 2011 at 7:48 am - Reply

      good suggestion. excellent gyroscopic values.
      ……………. fits in your hand like… no that was another post……

      • pj134 October 4, 2011 at 8:06 am - Reply

        Mmmmm, yeah.

    • Number_Six October 4, 2011 at 7:51 am - Reply

      This was tried in 70's under the Norton name – problem was that the Wankel wasn't far enough along in its development (still the case today, I know as an RX-8 owner).

      • pj134 October 4, 2011 at 8:06 am - Reply

        Everyone always brings up the Norton… I'm just not rich enough for that stuff.

      • Black Steelies October 4, 2011 at 9:14 am - Reply

        Suzuki did as well.

    • 993cc October 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      How DOES a motorcycle handle when it's on rails?

      • Tiller188 October 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm - Reply

        Not very well, I'd imagine…mainly because in the image in my head it's rail, singular. Leaning into turns is suddenly even more important… Throw on a sidecar with its extra wheel spaced over from the main wheels at a standard railroad gauge, though, and now we're talking.

  13. dwegmull October 4, 2011 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Peugeot still makes scooters (and pepper grinders!). They used to make motorcycles too: http://www.peugeot.com/en/history/cycles/motorcyc
    The company has been around for a while: http://peugeotcom.2010.staging.extdev.4ddigital.c

  14. mdharrell October 4, 2011 at 7:44 am - Reply

    "Or maybe an Autobahn-stormer illuminated by the three-pointed star – how awesome could that potentially be?"
    Sort of awesome? Mostly awkward? A bit silly?
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3611/3565002196_b569f29325.jpg&quot; width="350">
    Welcome to Three-Wheel Tuesday.

    • pj134 October 4, 2011 at 8:35 am - Reply

      I'm going to put a spray painted cardboard box over a trikey and put a 2.4 bhp engine on it and sell it to you as some rare french name for $500 over what I paid for it.

      • mdharrell October 4, 2011 at 8:45 am - Reply

        How…. How did you know I'm in the market for an Acoma Mini-Comtesse? What color is it?

        • pj134 October 4, 2011 at 9:37 am - Reply

          Rustoleum black hammered metal.
          although, I can change the color for nominal $450.
          Note: Matte err… "Frost" will cost you $2500 per BMW guidelines
          Note 2: Clearcoat not included, $750 option

  15. Tanshanomi October 4, 2011 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Holden. I imagine that it would surely be some über-powerful, totally-non-PC, V-4 supermoto hoonibike.

    • acarr260 October 4, 2011 at 8:17 am - Reply

      Where would you put the 6-71 blower on a bike? I only ask because 95% of cars I see from down under seem to have ginormous blowers strapped to the top of the engine.

    • Black Steelies October 4, 2011 at 9:13 am - Reply

      Sounds like a Motus.

    • sporty88 October 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm - Reply

      Australia has a long-standing V-8 culture, so I'd hope for a mass-production version of the Drysdale V-8

  16. MusclesMarinara October 4, 2011 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Hmmm… something British.
    Let's say Jaguar took something that looked like this:
    <img src="http://www.pipeburn.com/storage/triumph_cafe_racer1.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1272237940077"&gt;
    …and happened to build an "XK4" version of their famous engine for it…

  17. P161911 October 4, 2011 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Chevrolet could just keep the original small block line down in Mexico running and start churning out these:
    <img src="http://images03.olx.com/ui/9/52/89/1287336756_129724389_3-BOSS-HOSS-Black-1997-350-Small-Block-Motorcycles-1287336756.jpg"width=500&gt;

  18. $kaycog October 4, 2011 at 8:06 am - Reply

    I still miss Mercury. They had a good thing going here (or not.)
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2681/5760661272_ff16c65367.jpg"width="500"/&gt;

    • Tanshanomi October 4, 2011 at 8:13 am - Reply
    • Mike_the_Dog October 4, 2011 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Not to be too prickish, but if you're going to use copyrighted photos from Flickr, you should at least use the "share" function so they link back to the original (per Flickr's TOS).
      [Disclosure: This Flickr user, sjb4photos, is a friend of mine. I recognized his work immediately]

      • $kaycog October 4, 2011 at 9:13 am - Reply

        You're not prickish at all. So, I should put down at the bottom of my comment "Image Source: (Link)". ? Nobody told me I should do that.

        • Mike_the_Dog October 4, 2011 at 9:23 am - Reply

          If you go to the image page (my link above) There's a bar above the upper-left corner of the picture, at the right end you should see Facebook and Twitter icons and the word "Share" and a drop-down arrow. Clicking the arrow should automatically show you the embed HTML for the 500 pixel version of the photo. Copy and paste into the comment box and it automatically links back to the source. If the user has disabled sharing, the HTML code will not appear, and you should respect the photographer's wishes by not embedding the image. A regular link to it (like mine above) should cause no offense.

          • $kaycog October 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

            Thanks, Mike….I learned something.

    • The Professor October 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      That thing is scary looking. Needs more tailfins.

  19. Alff October 4, 2011 at 8:09 am - Reply


    • Tanshanomi October 4, 2011 at 8:18 am - Reply


    • The Professor October 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      I agree with you for a change. Earlier, I was thinking that McLaren could probably make a killer bike.

      • Alff October 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm - Reply

        Whether you like it or not, you and I aren't so different. It's probably why we're such pals.

        • The Professor October 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm - Reply

          What? You're a cranky old geezer too?

  20. NMRA Nick October 4, 2011 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Volvo Motorcycle.

  21. Zach October 4, 2011 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Bentley. A big, smooth bike sort of along the lines of a Gold Wing, but not covered with plastic, not a long-distance tourer and an order of magnitude more elegant and sophisticated. Gold Wing not because it would look like one, but because I don't want it to look like a cruiser.

  22. muthalovin October 4, 2011 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Flip the script, and I come up with KTM. X-Bow is bodacious.

  23. mdharrell October 4, 2011 at 8:54 am - Reply

    SAAB seems to be running out of options on cars, so they could always get back into the business of cranking out three-cylinder two-strokes.
    <img src="http://www.vsaab.com/images/current/thord1.jpg&quot; width="500">

    • The Professor October 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      Hmm, update that a bit and they'd have a winner, I think. Man, that's a nasty green.

  24. CptSevere October 4, 2011 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Caterpillar. A diesel powered, hydraulic transmission Rokon type 2×2. Slow, heavy and indestructible.

    • Tanshanomi October 4, 2011 at 10:43 am - Reply

      Trust me, you don't want to go there.
      <img src="http://classof1989.org/images/docu0040.JPG"&gt;

      • Alff October 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm - Reply

        I think we're talking about OEM products, not something those OCC boys shat out.

        • Devin October 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm - Reply

          I always thought that, given what the most notable part of the OCC boys is, they should have named their business "Mustache Rides."
          There was also a crepe business in university which I thought was missing an opportunity by not calling itself "The Crepe Escape."
          So what I'm saying is I like things named with puns or double entendres.

        • The Professor October 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm - Reply

          Yeah. It needs tracks, not wheels.

      • CptSevere October 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm - Reply

        That's lame as hell, not even like what I envision. Yeah, typical OCC lameness.

    • The Professor October 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Hmmm. Maybe, but it'd be a bitch if it fell over on you.

    • nofrillls October 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm - Reply
      • JeepyJayhawk October 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm - Reply

        That's no Blastolene…

        • nofrillls October 5, 2011 at 6:21 am - Reply

          True…I guess I was going for more of a proof of concept. Giant, diesel rediculousness.
          Needs more yellow paint and black lettering.

      • CptSevere October 4, 2011 at 8:50 pm - Reply

        No, not even close enough. I like it, but not what I'm thinking of. This is sick and wrong, and I like that.

  25. Black Steelies October 4, 2011 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Let's see a rear-engined two-wheeled Porsche.

  26. SSurfer321 October 4, 2011 at 9:30 am - Reply

    May I present the new motorcycle from Lotus. Lightness added!
    <img src="http://jmuafvlab.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/electric-unicycle-1.jpg"&gt;
    IMG shamelessly stolen from JMU AFV Lab Blog

  27. PowerTryp October 4, 2011 at 9:55 am - Reply

    I don't have any suggestions, I just wana pat you on the back for refferencing a Cole Porter tune.

  28. wmoyer October 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    I'd imagine that if Subaru made a bike right now it would be an enduro with a boxer engine. The seat height would be somewhere in the 35" range. Only a select few would be able to fit on it without any issues but it would also be a very short wheelbase and have some weird handling characteristics.

    • sporty88 October 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      Interesting, I don't think that it would be very short in the wheelbase – packaging the big (for a bike) engine will make it pretty long – you'll probably end up with a cross between a BMW GS and an AME Amazonas. Still, it will probably go just about anywhere….

  29. James October 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    OK. Now you gotta turn this question around.
    What bike company should start making cars?
    Aprilia? ooh that'd be fun.
    Harley Davidson? No, god, please don't.
    Ural? Hmmm.
    Vespa? Return of the 400 as a Smart/Fiat 500 fighter? I can see that actually happening…

  30. sport_wagon October 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Hey, you forgot Suzuki! They make good bikes and . . . well . . . okay? cars!

  31. GregKachadurian October 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    I personally would love to see what kind of madness Pagani can put in a sport bike. Just imagine all the carbon fiber…

    • sporty88 October 4, 2011 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      Very interesting, a Hayabusa in an Italian suit. Could end up utterly mental.

  32. sporty88 October 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Given the history of the name, and their current 4-wheeled product, I'd nominate Ariel, except there are already a lot of manufacturers that build minimalist naked bikes. Still, it might be interesting to see what they come up with.

  33. Maymar October 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    I don't know if this is a mark of shame or not, but I like the CBR125 and 250.

    • Number_Six October 4, 2011 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      They're currently the most desirable Hondas available outside Japan.

  34. Mechanically Inept October 5, 2011 at 1:08 am - Reply

    *Insert picture of a Peugeot road bike

  35. marmer October 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Audi. They made plenty of four-ringed DKW bikes back in the day. Somewhere there's a pic of a modern Audi motorcycle prototype.
    Like here.

  36. rocketrodeo October 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Not a car manufacturer per se (altho they do build delivery trucks), but I always thought that Grumman could build an interesting sportbike. A little F-14 heritage would be appropriate.

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