The movie Top Gun came out in 1986, making Tom Cruise and fighter jets immensely popular. Probably by no coincidence, the late 1980s was also when the Owosso Motor Car Company built approximately 347 examples of the Pulse Autocycle, a strange motorcycle/fighter jet hybrid, and the answer to a question that nobody asked. Naturally, Bikes and Beards had to pick one up.

The Pulse Autocycle is weird. Technically it's a motorcycle. It definitely has a motorcycle drivetrain. It drives like a car, though, and strangest of all it has four wheels. How does a four-wheeled vehicle qualify as a car? Technically, only one of the two side wheels touches the ground at a time, making it a two or three-wheeler if you're only counting contact patches. I suppose that by that definition, I could register some of the cars I've worked rally stages with as motorcycles since at least one wheel was regularly airborne.

This particular Autocycle is a typical example like you'd find on Craigslist. "Ran when parked five years ago." Indeed, the bodywork looks beautiful, and the gas tank is in excellent condition. Once they dug down to the engine, though, they were quite disappointed. It had nasty corrosion all over it. The carburetor was seized. The spark plug wire looked like someone had chewed through them, and they carried no spark to the plugs. Resident mechanic Craig had his work cut out for him.

Miraculously, just when they give up all hope, in rides Shawn on a 1981 Yamaha SX400 with only 251 original miles on it. This is the bike that originally donated its engine to the early Autocycles. He assures us he just happened to find this at a local dealer and this was in no way staged at all. Given how disorganized some of their other videos have been, I'm inclined to believe him.

With the perfect donor in hand, they had everything they needed to get the Autocycle running, right? Well, no, they didn't. They ended up trailering it back to the shop anyway, despite their best efforts. It sounds like Bikes and Beards has some big plans for the Autocycle, though. Shawn already has a proper flight suit. I want to see them go maximum Top Gun with this thing. Okay, they probably shouldn't maintain diplomatic relations while flying inverted. That probably wouldn't go well with the Autocycle.

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