In the world of custom bikes, there are few bigger challenges than to build a bike around a car engine. They’re heavy, torque-focused, and trying to physically fit one into a standard motorcycle frame is easier said than done.
But what if your starting point is a car engine and you build everything around it? That’s what Hawke’s Bay local Marcel van Hooijdonk did to create his incredible Madboxer custom.
The Madboxer, as good a name as any, has been in the build for more than five years.
A toolmaker by trade, Marcel is more than a dab hand with a set of tools, so when a friend sent him an email with a photo, issuing a challenge, he leapt at the chance to put his skills towards something a little different.
Through the long build time, the bike slowly took shape, with a Kawasaki fuel tank, online-sourced wheels, and a smaller twin-turbo Subaru Legacy primary turbo replacing the big WRX turbo.
The result is an engine that runs very smoothly Marcel says, even though it has no real flywheel as such, with Marcel opting for a modified Japanese 2-speed, automatic transmission then using a chain drive to get power to the rear wheel.
Like other “automatic” motorcycles, there is no gear lever on the footpegs, rather a button on the handlebar to change gears while braking is just like a scooter with a bar mounted lever for the Buell-sourced brakes.
With all that work gone in, it would be a right shame if it was all for a trailer queen, and thankfully Marcel fought it out with the LVVTA Certification Panel and won the day.