Previously, we published a story on one of the most diabolically insane drag racing vehicles ever concocted — a drag bike that can only be called a motorcycle because it has two wheels, known as the Jade Warrior. What we didn’t do was share videos of this death trap in action, so we felt it was time for a follow-up to our initial story, allowing our readers to see this thing in all its glory.
For some background, the Jade Warrior was the brainchild of Bristish motorcycle racer Angus MacPhail, who designed and built the forward-facing, lying-down racer that looks like the most incredible snow sled ever conceived, bolted to an engine and a set of wheels.
In our minds, the Jade Warrior isn’t among the most extraordinary and downright dangerous drag racing creations of all-time, but rather, it’s a contender for the title. One can only imagine what MacPhail was thinking when he drew it up, or rather, what he might have been drinking. Looking back, a rear-engine Funny Car or a monocoque streamliner made perfectly logical sense as concepts, and rocket or hydrogen-powered cars also seemed pretty legitimate on some sort of death-wish type of level, but laying down on a motorcycle, face down and pointing forward? That’s a different pay grade of nuts.
MacPhail tripped the quarter mile timers in under eight seconds on this bike, and he certainly knew where the finish line was, because his nose was about six inches short of tripping the beams. The Jade Warrior was powered by an inline four cylinder that blended MacPhail’s own engineering with that of a Ford Cosworth, and utilized a roots supercharger to produce in the neighborhood of 400-500 horsepower.
The bike had a monocoque frame, with an alloy center section formed to the rest of the bike with an Araldite adhesive and Monel rivets. Despite it’s speed and undoubtedly one-of-a-kind design that borrowed nothing for information from other bikes that preceded it, MacPhail was quoted as stating that it was very easy to ride, even at nearly 200 MPH.
Sadly, ingenuity like this that stretched the mind and left the status quo in its dust is largely a thing of the past, but at least we have videos like that shown here to relive some of the glory days, when there was nothing someone wouldn’t try once.