Because MTT’s original Y2K turbine motorcycle wasn’t fast enough, the kids down there on the bayou in Franklin, Louisiana are at it again. The original bike was powered by a Rolls-Royce Allison gas turbine (think Vietnam-era Huey helicopter) and was clocked at 227 mph. I don’t know how fast I went on the original on an airport runway down there, but it was fast enough to make me close the throttle well before I needed to, since the thing seemed to accelerate harder the faster it went. That’s kind of the nature of a turbine.

Since they called it Y2K, my ride must’ve been circa 2001. I don’t have a copy of the story I wrote for Motorcyclist, but the three or four days I spent in New Orleans with photographer Tom Riles on assignment is another prime example of the glory of BI (Before Internet) hedonistic journalism. After riding the Y2K for a couple of days, I needed the convenient drive-thru daiquiri bars… and all those amazing N’Awlins meals.

MTT got its start putting those turbines in boats, usually in pairs, and they had lots of magazine covers in the office to offer proof of concept: large vessels scooting across the waves putting out tremendous rooster tails of water. They also took us for an excellent, also terrifying ride through the bayou in a turbine-powered airboat. Work offered some great vacations in those days.

Anyway, where was I? MTT is building a new version, the 420 RR (Race Ready), with an uprated R-R Allison turbine producing 420 HP @ 52,000-rpm, but more notable for its 500 ft/lbs torque @ 2,000-rpm. You’ll be glad for the long, 68-inch wheelbase anytime the turbine begins spinning up in earnest, as that’s enough power to get things accelerating briskly.

If that sounds like too much, fear not. They’re also building a trike version.

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