Even though we might not get to see custom builds from New Zealand quite as often as we do from other places, when we do get to see one, it’s usually flat-out amazing. After all, one of the greatest shed builds of all time was the Britten V1000. I know some New Zealanders must be getting tired of Lord of the Rings jokes by now, but it definitely seems like there’s been some kind of magic in the water even before the world knew Peter Jackson’s name.
This is the Madboxer. It’s not a Jean-Claude Van Damme remake; it’s a Subaru WRX-engined motorcycle built by proud New Zealander Marcel van Hooijdonk. He’s a machinist by trade, so his particular set of skills was well suited to the task at hand. Why did he build it? Apparently, because someone dared him, according to the Drive.
Customs building is a little bit of a different process in New Zealand than it is elsewhere. To proceed with his mission, van Hooijdonk had to continually run both his plans and any revisions past the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association. Luckily, he told Bike EXIF that the process wasn’t too bad, and the finished bike is completely road-legal.
He already knew that he wanted to build his bike around the EJ25 engine out of a second-gen WRX. Soon after, he got to work creating designs in AutoCAD. Some parts required CNC milling, while others were repurposed parts from other things, such as the Kawasaki fuel tank. Van Hooijdonk decided that the original turbo wouldn’t do, so he sourced a smaller twin-turbo unit out of a Subaru Legacy instead.
How does it shift? There’s a Japanese two-speed automatic transmission mated to that engine. It stops with Buell brakes that run up to hand levers, like a scooter. How much does a beast like this weigh? It’s, uh, pretty chunky. Total weight is 313.5 kilograms, or just over 691 pounds. Hey, at least it has a low center of gravity, right?
The engine makes nearly 250 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, alongside about 339 Nm (or 250 ft.-lbs) of torque at 3,600 rpm. There’s no flywheel involved, just that two-speed automatic and a chain drive. The entire build took five years. While it’s definitely on the hefty side for a bike, it’s pretty lightweight for what that engine is used to pulling, and it has to be utterly ridiculous to ride.
Photo via Subaru Canada on Facebook