This steam-powered Hayabusa marries Japanese steel and British engineering.

Think of it as Sushi with a cup of Earl Grey, but why has Chris Wegdwood created the 'steambusa'?

2y ago
6.4K

A steam-powered motorbike? Yes, like some steamy bikes of the past, it's simple as creating pressure and away you go... but the Suzuki Hayabusa is known for its power and unlimited coolness. So to combine both old fashion steam and modern high performance, creates something crazy and magical. So what is it purpose?

Records...

It's all about breaking records. In the past, way back in 2014 Bill Barnes of the United States of America broke the world land speed record for steam powered motorcycles - hitting a whopping 80 MPH. "Wow" in a sarcastic tone you may say, but think about it? It might be much lighter than, say, a steam train, but compared to conventionally powered bikes, steam-powered bikes are much heavier, making top speed runs much trickier - think of it like steamy torque. So that's what the American can do, so what about the British?

Chris Wedgwood has a thing about motorcycles in general, it might have something to do with the fact he is from the Isle of Man. Having grown up around the machines, it was second nature to join in with the TT races. A logical progression must of took place in his head - normal racing wasn't enough, so what was different, niche and Unorthodox. One day, he must have thought "Yea, why not, a steam bike?" and decided to create the 'Steambusa'.

How it works...

The donor Hayabusa is almost ripped apart, only leaving the front bodywork, chassis and forks as standard. The back on the other hand has been lengthened to compensate for the extra gubbins - a longer rear end and chain can be seen. Along with a conventional Bower & Bell V-Twin engine, which can be seen attached to the rear wheel, there is something you can't see, the steam generator. That's hidden away inside the chest of the Haybusa.

The generator works with something called a contraflow monotube, basically it's paraffin heater that heats a coiled tube of water that sits inside. Cold air is also used to control the temperature, which they aim to keep at 510-degrees Celsius. Toasty. The resulting steam creates 2000 PSI of power that turns that V-twin engine, then the wheel and Bob's your uncle! POWER! It's all to do with pressure with steam powered vehicles, the more you have, the more power you will generate - but it's how it's used that also matters.

So, what is the aim of the game?

Records, again. But it's more than that. Wedgwood's goal is to beat the speed record and more. At the moment, the bike has clocked around 77 MPH, so close to the American's 80 - yet Wedgwood thinks it will do much more than that. 120 MPH. On steam. Good luck to you Chris, I'm rooting for you.

Also, what was nice was that he got sponsorship for it too from a Scania truck dealership called Keltruck. Mr Wedgwood owns a construction firm and frequently uses low-loaders and other bits and bobs from Scania, so when they heard he was using more and more parts for the Steambusa, they gave them a helping hand. This proves you don't have to be a high end racing team to get sponsorships, nor do you have to be a rich kid either - you just have to have a dream.

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And as always, thanks for reading...

_Emma. x

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Comments (8)

  • Great article Emma

      2 years ago
  • Think I know one man who would love to have a go...

    ?

      2 years ago
  • I'm just wondering about all that steam dumping on the rear tire.? To much heat.... Bad to much moisture.... Bad.

      2 years ago
  • I knew you were the ideal person to cover this. great post

      2 years ago
  • Sexy beast

      2 years ago
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