Every breakthrough in modern transportation, from the first airplane to the first hybrid car, was forged by a combination of genius, determination, and imagination. However, for every Orville and Wilbur Wright trying to achieve immortal greatness and propel mankind into the future, there is a John DeLorean who just wants to get his cocaine-fueled hallucination out onto the road so he can afford to buy even more cocaine.
The following are all examples of that second type of self-indulgent craftsman, the kind of people who look at a perfectly good automobile and/or piece of furniture and say, "What if I stuck six engines and a pair of wings on that son of a bitch?"
(The first car was invented before the American Revolution. Find even more modern inventions our snuff-addicted ancestors came up with first in The De-Textbook.)
#7. The 48-Cylinder Motorcycle
The 48-cylinder Kawasaki is the creation of custom motorcycle builder Simon Whitlock, who boldly decided to take the standard number of cylinders in a motorcycle and multiply it by 8, because to some people engineering and physics are just an escalating series of dares. The end result is a steel torpedo with six freaking engines stacked on top of each other like loafs of Parmesan oregano in a Subway bread warmer.
Because this behemoth has so many cylinders, a regular electric starter simply doesn't cut the mustard -- it takes a smaller, separate gas-powered engine, installed underneath the seat, just to get the damn thing to start. Once the Herculean task of turning the motorcycle on has been accomplished, you are free to attempt to ride it. This requires you to lean forward as far as you can until you are basically lying face down with your arms stretched out in front of you like a Kryptonian demigod and lash your hands in a white-knuckle grip around the handlebars like you're about to have a musket ball removed from your spine by a Civil War field surgeon.
via Motorcycle News
Yes, the engines roast your genitals. Suck it up and steer.
The only acceptable reasons for driving a motorcycle like this are if you are a mini-boss in a Contra video game or a paranormal investigator from the late 19th century. Your center of gravity is so far forward that we're pretty sure any attempt to turn this mythical beast would immediately result in the motorcycle tipping over and pancaking your leg into crimson memory dust at 60 mph.
#6. The FastFood
The FastFood is a 100 percent street legal dining room table with a top speed of over 100 mph built by British custom car designer Perry Watkins for the explicit purpose of turning Christmas dinner into a white-knuckle thrill ride.
As we've discussed before, building vehicular logic puzzles is the reason Perry Watkins was put on this planet by whatever chaps-wearing motorcycle deity invented him, so it should come as little surprise that his efforts would eventually lead to a mobile dining room set. This pile of wax fruit and thrift store furniture can rocket from 0 to 60 in about four seconds, which is certainly faster than a motel still life was ever meant to travel.
via NY Times
The vehicle is clearly excited at the thought.
As you can see, the albino G.I. Joe ninja (whom some of you may recognize as the Stig from the British TV series Top Gear) isn't actually the one driving the table. He's just sitting there waiting for service. The driver actually sits underneath the table, strapped into a bucket seat by a racing harness. His head pokes up through a trench cut into the tabletop just below the turkey, which is a sentence that should never be used in a description of a motorized vehicle.
Also, there are fire jets, because we're already driving a table down the street, so why the hell not?
via Korean Herald
The candles stay unlit, though. Let's not go too crazy.
We would like to shake hands with whichever public official took a look at this demonstration, nodded sagely, and said, "Yeah, we can put a license plate on that."
#5. Lazareth's Wazuma V8F
At a glance, that might look like an actual car, but then you see the handlebars and seat and realize that this is a goddamned all-terrain vehicle, like those four wheelers typically seen catapulting drunk people in YouTube fail compilations.
That is Lazareth's Wazuma V8F, an ATV that looks like what Batman forces Robin to drive instead of letting him ride shotgun in the Batmobile. It looks less like an actual means of conveyance and more like a selection from the toy chest at the dentist's office.
So what makes the Wazuma V8F different from a typical ATV (other than the obvious lack of a cup holder for your Keystone Light)? Well, the "V8F" in its name stands for "V8 Ferrari," meaning the Wazuma is powered by an eight-cylinder Ferrari engine. That gives it around 250 horsepower and a top speed approximately three times as fast as what Marty McFly required to travel back in time.
It's roughly equivalent to a helicopter, apparently.
The makers of this beast, Lazareth (which is a fitting name, considering that driving one of these things will almost certainly result in an immediate need for a divine resurrection spell), also outfitted the Wazuma with a six-speed sequential BMW gearbox and custom made Momo rims. Essentially everything about this ATV is a custom job, which means you're going to need around a quarter of a million dollars if you want to roll one over on top of you while trying to go mudding in the dirt field behind the old high school.
#4. The Maniwa
The Maniwa boldly thumbs its splintery nose at the notion that cars should be maneuverable and resistant to extreme conditions, because someone decided that it would be neat to drive their front porch down to the liquor store. Which is to say, almost every piece of the car is made out of wood, including the hubcaps (hell, the windshield would be made of wood if wood were transparent).
Otherwise it's essentially a heavily modified electric scooter -- you even steer it using a set of scooter handlebars. It also sports a handy pair of bathmats to prevent you from tracking mud all over the fine hardwood floor, although we hasten to point out that the Maniwa has no roof, so unless the whole thing has been water-sealed, the bathmats are a gigantic waste of time.
The maker of the Maniwa, a woodworking company called Sada-Kenbi, prides itself on the motto "There is nothing that can't be made with wood." While this statement is technically true, it is noticeably lacking the important caveat "Being made of wood immediately limits the practical functionality of most things." For instance, you can whittle a donor heart out of industrial timber, but most would draw the line at actually putting it inside someone's chest.