Three-cylinder motorcycles have been around for decades now. In fact, some of the world's most popular, best-selling models are powered by this ubiquitous motor. Machines like the Yamaha MT-09, Triumph Speed Triple, and MV Agusta Brutale 800 all feature this engine configuration, and make for some of the most exhilarating street bikes on the market.
That being said, the fact that the inline-three has become the convention hasn't stopped this Australian company from pushing the envelope of design and engineering. Radial Motion is an aircraft engine specialist based in South Australia, and at this point, I'm guessing you already know what's up. Radial engines aren't new, especially in the aviation world. Because it is human nature to do crazy things, Radial Motion is developing a motorcycle that's powered by a three-cylinder aircraft motor. Perhaps the strangest part of it all is the way the engine sits in the frame.
The radial-triple is mounted longitudinally on the bike's bespoke frame, making it much longer than any other triple out there. To build the remarkable chassis, Radial Motion partnered up with Kennedy Motorcycle, who used an MV Agusta Brutale chassis for the creation. As you can see, the entire frame has been redesigned, and only the subframe, swingarm, and front end from the Brutale remain. As for the engine, it's an air-cooled unit with each cylinder bank opposed 120-degrees from each other.
Interestingly enough, this one-of-a-kind creation has been given the name "Low Flying Object", or LFO for short, as it's expected to hit some record-breaking speeds in the iconic Bonneville Speedweek in September, 2022. This massive engine has a total displacement of 2,100cc, delivers a whopping 240 horsepower, and revs all the way up to 10,000 RPM. I'd say that's pretty impressive, especially given how big it is and that it's an air-cooled unit. It'll certainly be interesting to hear how it sounds, especially since no engine of this configuration has ever been mass produced for use on motorcycles before.
At this point, there are still around six months before the bike is set to go on its record-breaking attempt. Clearly, Radial Motion and Kennedy Motorcycle still have a ways to go before they have something that's even close to race-ready. That said, keep your eyes peeled as updates on this absolutely bonkers Low Flying Object are sure to roll out in the coming months.