The modern day machines, technologies, and incredible performances in the sport of drag racing are certainly a great thing, but we here at DRAGZINE would be growing Pinocchio noses if we said we didn’t miss the good ole days, just a little bit. When ingenuity trumped cubic dollars. In this day and age, you just aren’t going to find a two-wheeled, automotive-powered sled on the quarter mile. I know what you’re asking yourself…”a WHAT!?”
In 1985, Performance Bikes Magazine featured this amazing creation of British motorcycle racer Angus MacPhail – who built it himself in his garage – that could best be described as some sort of cross between a motorcycle and a snow sled. Known as the “Jade Warrior,” this one-of-a-kind ride traversed the quarter mile in under 8 seconds a quarter century ago without the use of nitromethane. That’s quite a feat for the time, and an experience that could probably be best described as riding on the tip of a bullet.
MacPhail literally laid head-first and stretched out full length on the Jade Warrior, which ran on a small scooter tire out front and a massive meat ala a Top Fuel Motorcycle out back. It was powered by an inline 4-cylinder that blended MacPhail’s own engineering with that of a Ford Cosworth and sported a Roots supercharger amongst the gaggle of pulleys and belts that the particular style of engine utilized. MacPhail estimated it to produce somewhere between 400 and 500 horsepower.
The frame was, obviously, a completely one-off piece that was built monocoque-style – with a main center section made of alloy and put together with Araldite adhesive and Monel rivets. A well-designed body with ground effects incorporated helped keep it stable and hooked up at close to 200 MPH. Despite it’s unique and borderline crazy method of riding, Angus claimed it was actually very easy to navigate down the track.
Needless to say, this is one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen and it’s a crying shame this kind of creativity isn’t as prevalent as it used to be.
To see the Performance Bikes article, check out the links below…