The radial three-cylinder race bike is taking shape very nicely.
Remember that radical three-cylinder motorcycle we talked about in February? Well, it turns out there have been quite a few updates to the bike, and things are taking shape really nicely. For those not yet in the loop, the Low Flying Object, as it was called, features a radial three-cylinder engine, meaning each cylinder is opposed 120-degrees from each other, and the entire engine takes the shape of a star.
Well, the folks behind the project, Kennedy Motorcycles and Sheppard Motorcycles, have teamed up to form SXK Motorcycles. They reached out to us and have given us some updates on the progress of the project. As it would turn out, this isn’t the first time the radial three-cylinder engine is being put to use. It previously saw some action on a Porsche 356 Outlaw race car. We mentioned previously that the engine was an air-cooled unit. However, it is indeed a liquid-cooled engine made to look like it was air-cooled to better fit the styling of the Porsche 356 Outlaw.
Perhaps the coolest part of it all is that the Low Flying Object is actually beginning to take shape. In our previous article, it was difficult to visualize just how the bike would look, given that it was really nothing more than a long frame, wheels, suspension, and of course, the radial triple. Now, though, we can see that SXK Motorcycles has built a body around the chassis, taking the form of a streamlined low-slung machine that looks like it means business. The photos depict an elongated fuel tank sitting above the frame, as well as extremely low handlebars that are meant to put the rider in a tucked position for maximum aerodynamics.
The tank, seat, and tail assembly look like a one-piece monocoque design. The large tail section doubles as the oil tank, and will feature ducting and will be routed to an oil cooler to keep temps at bay. As for the overall configuration of the engine, you may be wondering why the engine has been mounted longitudinally. While having a transverse-mounted engine makes sense in a street application, the Low Flying Object is a land speed racer, and will benefit from the added wheelbase and the minimized wind drag due to a smaller frontal area. Additionally, it makes the installation of a six-speed transmission a lot easier.
As for the engine itself, the team at Radial Motion are adding a few tweaks to bump up its performance. New cams and lifters, as well as other enhancements are under development. Previously, the engine was said to have a total displacement of 2,100cc and pump out around 240 horsepower—we’ll have to wait and see just how much more performance can be eked out of this engine. A video of how the engine sounds when it was installed on the Porsche 356 Outlaw was posted on Sheppard Motorcycles’ Instagram page. Check it out below.
SXK Motorcycles has its eyes set on setting a speed record at the 2022 Bonneville Speedweek. The company is seeking out sponsors to help get their team into the U.S. in time for the event. So if you happen to be in the position to support their project, feel free to get in touch with them through their social media platforms. Additionally, you can follow the build progress on the Low Flying Object by checking out any of SXK Motorcycles’ social media pages linked below.