Photos of the Custom Builder Radial Chopper. Customs JRL Cycles’ Radial Chopper.
- JRL Cycles' John Levey says he gets e-mails from pilots who likewise thought about the possibility of building a bike with a radial engine but never had the means to see their ideas to fruition.
- For the bike JRL is currently building, 'Lucky 7' will be almost ten feet long, have a bigger gas tank, a narrower radial engine, and a custom primary built by R&D Billet
- By mounting the engine inline with the wheels instead of crossways, JRL was able to use the forward controls and kept modifications to a minimum.
- John Levey's stint in aircraft mechanics school introduced him to the inner workings of the radial engine and stoked the fires of creativity necessary to complete the build.
- The Rotec radial engine is a 2800cc motor with a claimed hp of 110 and loads of torque.
- The sound of a radial engine is so distinct it used to clear out the garage when one flew overhead while Levey was still an aircraft mechanic.
- Can you say torque? The Radial Chopper has an estimated 160 ft-lbs of it, almost twice the amount of a stock V-Twin.
- What better place to debut a bike with an aircraft-inspired radial engine than one of the elite air shows in the country, the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Show.
- The Australian-based company Rotec provided its radial engine for the build and will be making another motor exclusively for JRL Cycles that is 5-inches slimmer and has mounts pre-fabricated so it should bolt right on.
- Even before it was finished, the Radial Chopper was already attracting a crowd.
- Capable of hitting 50 mph in first gear and 100 mph in second, Levey jokingly said,'I don't ever think she'll see sixth gear.'
- Little did Levey know that his background as an airplane mechanic would lead to the Radial Chopper.
- The Radial Chopper's striking silhouette prior to receiving its gas tank and seat.
- JRL's John Levey shakes hands with Ollie Stafford who JRL is in the process of building a radial bike for scheduled to debut at Sturgis.
- Fire the 2800cc Rotec engine up, close your eyes, and travel back in time to when radials ruled the skies.
- The only changes that had to be made on the Baker standard six-speed right-side drive were to offset the final-drive pulley, which moved the transmission over about a half-inch to the left.
- So how do you get an engine with a 39-inch circumfrence into a custom frame? For JRL Cycles, it meant three attempts at having the backbone bent and a little help from a welding torch.