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Drysdale GP engine based on road V8

Published: 28 October 2001

Australian engineer Ian Drysdale is close to completing his second road-going V8-based road bike. But as he puts the finishing touches to The Cruiser, he’s already designing and building his next project – the V8 GP engine.

The new rules in 500 GP allow bikes of six or more cylinders into the premier racing class, although they do carry a weight penalty. Drysdale has taken full advantage to build this 988cc V8 motor, 2cc lower than the maximum capacity allowed for bikes in the class.

Drysdale is confident the motor will be competitive in GP.

" The V8 configuration offers the best combination of power, weight balance and frontal area. "

This is the first V8 GP engine since the Moto Guzzi 500-V8 that raced in 1955. Although consistently the fastest bike on the grid, the Guzzi was dogged by problems and after two years was withdrawn from racing.

Drysdale’s engine is remarkably small. With a width of just 380mm, length of 450mm and height of.

With a weight of 52kg (114lb), complete with electrics, the motor is also light.

As this is a mock up there are no performance figures for the 80 degree-V motor. But the road going V8, made with parts from a YZF600 makes 140bhp at the rear wheel. The race motor is likely to make over 220bhp, revving to 22000rpm.

Drysdale has no plans to make the chassis for the GP bike himself and is looking for someone to buy the engine from him and run it in the class. He is currently in talks with some Chinese companies.

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