Ten-cylinder, supercharged two-stroke: Czech-built Bistella 500 is an engineering marvel

1 of 5

The Bistella 500cc may just be the only custom on the planet that could make Allen Millyard scratch his head – a supercharged 10-cylinder two-stroke radial.

Czech engineer Marek Foltis is the brains behind the creation which uses a 1953 Czech-built Jawa 18 as the base model. The main goal, says Marek, was to: “Create my own engine design, something that had never been used before in any vehicle.”

The engineer says he was keen to challenge established thinking and come up with something for which no templates existed.

Marek Foltis with the Bistella 500

The engine case, crankshaft, five Roots-type blower supercharger assemblies and master conrods were made on a CNC mill. The cylinders, pistons, transmission case, and clutch are stock, taken from vintage Jawa motorcycles.

Complete, the engine has two rows of slightly overlapping cylinders and a single crank, which helps reduce the overall diameter.

The choice of 10 cylinders was the maximum Marek could use while still allowing the engine to fit in the Jawa’s unmodified frame. Aside from the engine, which produces a restricted 60bhp, the other engineering marvel is the exhaust system, made from 17 separate pieces which Marek describes as a “pipe octopus” and took a month to perfect.

Bistella 500 engine

Marek added: “One step further in complexity and I would need magic, not science, to make it work.”