Jet Power in a Retro-Cool Package!

I’m a certified sport bike nut.  However, I have seen enough futuristic jet powered bikes.  Jay Leno’s jet bike is great, but by now we’ve all seen it.  I know futuristic fits the “jet” theme, but it’s time for something unique.

Well, unique is at the core of the new jet bike by Bob Maddox.  At first glance, you may think you’re looking at a classic Harley Davidson.  It has the black frame, the red tank with the classic lettering, and the low seating position.  However, a nanosecond later, it’s clear that you’re not looking at your grandpa’s ride.


Maddox, the “Rocketman” of Autopia fame, has become renowned for his unique and entertaining daredevil antics.  Whether he is skydiving or strapping jet engines on anything and everything (including himself), the guy lives on adrenaline.

This latest creation is truly Maddox’s handiwork.  He fabricated virtually everything, including the jet engine, in his shop.  The only outsourced parts on the bike are the tires, rims and brakes.  Maddox estimates that the twin tailpipe jet engine puts out 250 pounds of thrust and that the bike will do 0-60 in about 5 seconds.

The “pulse” jet engine technology that Maddox uses is actually a fairly simple design. The process involves igniting a mixture of air and fuel in “pulses” that occur about 70 times a second. And get this, the engine can be run on regular 87 octane fuel!  That is what Maddox used in his testing.


Maddox did five test runs on the jet bike and called its handling “stable.”  He went on to say that at full thrust, the bike “wants to pull your arms off.”  Maddox has now turned the creation over to its new owner, a bike racer in Illinois who is sponsored by a motorcycle-themed restaurant.

So what’s next for the Rocketman?  No one really knows, but he has indicated that he wants to strap on four jet engines and rocket himself four miles into the atmosphere.  His goal is to rocket 25 thousand feet into the air, and then skydive back to earth.  Some would contend based on his history of crazy stunts and off-the-wall machines that he’s already somewhere in the stratosphere.  Let’s just hope that wherever he is, he stays there – it’s very entertaining!

Take a look (and listen) to the bike running in the clip below:

Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of

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