PGM V8: A 1996cc V-8 Sportbike

Kevin Duke
by Kevin Duke

Another wacky Australian motorbike contraption, pairing two R1 cylinder banks

There appears to be no shortage of audacity in Australia, evidenced by at least three motorcycles from Oz that are powered by V-8 engines. The originator was Ian Drysdale, who first mated a pair of four-cylinder banks to a common crankshaft in the late 1990s. In 2015, we saw the intimidating Aurora Hellfire OZ26, powered by a home-built 2575cc V-8 claimed to produce 417 horsepower.

Drysdale V8: A Closer Look

Aurora Hellfire OZ26 At EICMA

Recently we ran across this latest V-8 from Oz, the PGM V8, which is the brainchild of Pat Maloney. After retiring from jobs as a mechanic in World Superbike and at Sauber F1, where he helped develop the ill-fated Petronas three-cylinder MotoGP engine, Maloney set forth building the bike you see here. Coincidentally, Maloney’s Maltec Performance Engineering shop in Victoria is only about 60 miles from Drysdale’s shop, located near Melbourne. Maybe Aussie audacity is found in vegemite…?

Maloney first began work on his V-8 project by pairing two ZX-7RR cylinder banks to yield a 1500cc mill, but he then discovered Yamaha’s mid-2000s R1 motor was equally as wide, so he decided to build a 2.0-liter V-8 for maximum FYF. The pair of Yamaha cylinder banks are joined at 90 degrees to a flat-plane crankshaft inside bespoke engine cases.

Maloney says the PGM V-8 produces a monstrous 334 hp at 12,800 rpm when rated at its countershaft, a reading location that typically falls between crankshaft power and rear-wheel numbers. Peak torque of 157.8 lb-ft is supposedly found at 9500 rpm. Engineering the gearbox proved troublesome, as the clutch shaft and the output shaft had to be reversed on the rear cylinder bank, which is offset slightly to the left.

That sweet V-8 doubles duty as a stressed member inside a chro-moly trellis frame mated to CNC-machined 7075 aluminum rear elements. Its steering-head angle is raked to 25.5-degrees and uses a 107mm trail figure, which is fairly sporty for a bike of this size, even if the 60.6-inch wheelbase is rangy for a sportbike. All up, Maloney claims a reasonable wet weight of 534 lbs.

Exhaust headers don’t get any prettier than these.

Noted motojournalist Alan Cathcart took out the PGM V8 for a spin in 2015 and pronounced its low-speed handling as ungainly but said it otherwise operated like a ungodly fast naked sportbike. Additionally, he described the bike’s oddball gearbox, surprisingly, as flawless. Cathcart, who has also ridden the 750cc Drysdale and the 1000cc version, says the PGM V8 sounds even better than either, which you’ll hear in the video below.

Translucent paint on the bodywork allows the carbon weave to show through.

Suspension is by Ohlins, using an FGRT301 48mm fork up front and a TTX36 shock in the rear. Marchesini forged alloy wheels are slowed by a pair of Brembo nickel-plated GP4 calipers biting on 320mm discs, augmented at the rear by a Brembo P4-34 nickel-plated caliper and 220mm rotor. Akropovic provides the titanium exhaust system.

Motec components are used for the ECU and the color instrumentation. With more than 300 horses to beckon, this is where you hold on tight!

Of course, anything this audacious will be priced out of reach for those of us with modest means, and that’s extra true for the PGM V8, which has a list price of – wait for it – $180,000! But one listen to the sonic delight of the flat-plane V-8 revving out might have you researching the prices you can get for a used kidney. I suggest fast-forwarding to the 1:30 mark when the exhaust music begins. In the meantime, I’d better start a GoFundMe page for airfare to Oz…

PGM V-8 Specifications

Engine Type:Liquid-cooled, DOHC, five valves per cylinder, 90-degree V8
Capacity:1996 cc
Power: 334 hp at 12,800 rpm (At the countershaft sprocket)
Torque:214Nm @ 9,500 rpm (At the countershaft sprocket)
Bore/stroke:77 x 54mm
Fuelling:8 x 45mm Mikuni Drive-By-Wire throttle bodies
Engine Management:Motec M130 ECU and software
Exhaust:2 x 4-2-1 titanium
Transmission Type:Six-speed sequential gearbox
Clutch:Wet, multi-plate
Final Drive:Chain (17/45)
Rake:25.5 degrees
Chassis Material:Front – Chrome-moly tube trellis, Rear – CNC machined Aluminium
Front Suspension:Ohlins FGRT301 48mm inverted fork, fully adjustable
Rear Suspension:Ohlins TTX Mk2 shock, with custom link
Front Wheels/Tires:17.0 x 3.50 Marchesini 10 spoke, forged aluminium
120/70ZR-17 Michelin Pilot Power 3
Rear Wheels/Tires:17.0 x 6.00 Marchesini 10 spoke, forged aluminium
190/50ZR-17 Michelin Pilot Power 3
Brakes Front:Brembo GP4 nickel-plated calipers, 320mm discs
Brakes Rear:Brembo P4-34 nickel-plated caliper, 220mm disc
Weight:242 kg wet (534 lbs) with fuel, water and lubricants
Weight bias:51/49 front to rear static
Wheelbase:1540mm (60.6 inches)
Seat Height:840mm (33.1 inches)
Fuel Capacity16.5 litres
Kevin Duke
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