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The trikes can give you the “mile-eating” comfort that many sport bikes, cruisers cannot. The trikes become more popular especially among the people who still love the life on the road although they have reached a certain age. From Harley’s Tri Glide Ultra to the original Honda Goldwing, trikes can offer comfort. For those who want to get their hands dirty, the trikes are a great opportunity for a custom-build project. The Rocket II is one of the most unique trikes. It was designed and built by two of the most creative artists in the world and has 1,000-horse Hemi.

Tim “The Frogman” Cotterill is an English sculptor whose artistic talents extend to vehicle design. Somewhere around 1989 he was inspired to build a radical, three-wheeled, six-cylinder trike.

A few years ago, Cotterill met another artistic gearhead: Michael Leeds of Blastolene. Leeds designs and builds high-profile machines, including a stunning retro/future roadster called the Blastolene Special owned by Jay Leno. They started planning what Tim called “A custom motorbike like no other” which became known as the Rocket II.

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They created a rough frame on an assembly jig, put down 2×2 cedar boards to create a 12-foot wheelbase, and placed a dummy foam 426 Hemi block into it. Then they replaced the wood with 1.75x.25-inch-wall DOM steel tubing and welded it up. Wood prototypes were cut on a band saw to help speed up the development process. Once the arms were fine tuned, the production versions were cut out of 25-inch steel plate. The arms had to be beautiful and strong, as they’d mount a 40-pound, 18×26 front wheel, two 24-inch Metzeler motorcycle tires, an aftermarket brake system, and the steering linkage. It took them eight tries in eight months to zero in the handlebar-to-draglink setup.

Rocket II needs massive power and this is where John Arruzza, an expert Hemi builder, comes in who made a monster for this machine. It started with a rare, 1 of only 50 cast 426 Hemi blocks. Its forged internals have to contend with a massive 8-71 blower, which puts the squeeze on massive amounts of fuel from two big carbs. It takes a Dave Nelson-built MSD ignition, to charge the 16 spark plugs (two per cylinder) to ignite the highly compressed mixture. The engine runs on plain old 91-octane pump gas and achieves an amazing 1,000 HP.

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All of those ponies pass through a 3-speed TorqueFlite trans and a Kugel Komponents rear axle, before punishing the 20-inch rear rims and 18×31 Mickey Thompson tires. Coilovers smooth the ride, while inboard disc brakes scrub off speed in a hurry. Final touches include a custom Classic Instruments gauge cluster molded into the back of the blower, some legendary “rocket” taillamps from a ’59 Caddy, and of course, a miniature red frog.

Tim doesn’t know how fast it will go, but he installed a 240-mph speedo. What he knows is that in just four seconds it will go from 0 to 100 mph.

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