Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley 7 days ago 25
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This Insane Twin-Turbo Subaru WRX-Engined Motorbike Is Garage Project Building At Its Best

We love a good project build, and this custom-designed motorbike with the modified boxer heart of a Subaru Impreza WRX has floored us

Remind me later
Image: Lindsay Gibb
Image: Lindsay Gibb

This is all you need to see if you ever wanted an explanation of why we love all things petrol-powered. It’s a jaw-dropping combination of brutal power, (nearly) flawless aesthetics and, above all, amazing dedication. Also, possibly beer. Lots of beer.

A New Zealand toolmaker by the name of Marcel van Hooijdonk is the man responsible for this, the Mad Boxer. It’s built around an old 2.5-litre Subaru WRX engine, which pretty much earns the bike’s name on its own.

Image: Lindsay Gibb
Image: Lindsay Gibb

The four-cylinder EJ-series boxer lump is one of relatively few tuner-appropriate engines that are readily available in New Zealand. With official approval granted for his design sketches and build plans, Marcel got to work on his handy CNC milling tools and lathe. It’s always an advantage if you’ve got that sort of stuff in your garage…

Amazingly, he didn’t exactly take the easy route. Conventional-style forks were an option but Marcel plumped for the much more exotic – and technically vastly more difficult to build and set up – single-sided steering arm. The rear suspension uses a single-sided swingarm as well; the whole thing is stunning, with just a hint of steampunk, especially around the swingarms. A rim-mounted disc at the front is squeezed by a six-piston caliper.

Image: Lindsay Gibb
Image: Lindsay Gibb

The turbo was switched from the standard WRX snail, a big individual unit for maximum boost, to a smaller twin-turbo setup lifted from a Subaru Legacy. Size constraints mean it has no flywheel to speak of, but the claims say it runs amazingly smoothly.

With this much power and torque a gearbox is pretty much superfluous. It has a Japanese two-speed automatic and simple chain drive to sent power to the back. With no clutch needed, the two handlebar levers are brakes, like on a mountain bike or a moped.

There are one of two signs of shedgeneering, like the wonky rear mudguard (or fender, if you prefer). What a beast of a project, though! Marcel, we salute you. We only have brief footage of the bike testing, but we’d love to see more.