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Forget the SRT Tomahawk... the Dodge Tomahawk is the real bada$$!

Discussion in 'Rumors and Speculation' started by redriderbob, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. redriderbob

    redriderbob Mopar Guru!
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    It's Saturday evening, and I am laying here on the couch and a buddy text me to ask if the SRT Tomahawk from Gran Turismo is a real car. Which I implied no, the closest thing I have ever seen the real thing is the 1:6 scale model the FCA US Product Design Office built. He then asked me they would ever build it, which I informed him its a theoretical concept and even with today's technologies it would be impossible to be an exact production version.



    I then told him, if he wanted to see a real "Dodge" Tomahawk to look at the concept that debuted at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. I told him a handful of that concept were built for production. About 10 minutes later, I got a text back saying he couldn't believe Dodge built a motorcycle. I told him, it's technically not a motorcycle since it has four wheels and had to send a dozen videos of the concept to him.

    902b3922a92d64797884c9a224ec7b52.jpg

    It amazes me how people forget about some of the most amazing things Chrysler has done. So for those of you who don't know or have forgotten, here is some Dodge Tomahawk Concept content. Enjoy.

    e5ffe917b9f5bfe7e817300b43d7939f.jpg
     
  2. JavelinAMX

    JavelinAMX Well-Known Member

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    .

    Since it's a four-wheeled vehicle, does it register as a motorcycle? Or a car?

    Obviously, a differently configured four-wheeled vehicle; but standard enough (two wheels fore; two wheels aft) to merely be a single-person open-air 'car'.

    Ah, but the regulators are a whole different animal ...

    Thus the question.

    .
     
  3. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    I remember it well. My young boy has a couple of hot wheels versions. It’s pretty awesome. Wolfgang Bernhard seemed pretty cool too at the time, riding it out onstage. Still talked about now and again these days. Couldn’t you buy (limited) these through Neiman Markus as a non functional unit?
     
  4. Erik Latranyi

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    Having put my hands on the real thing, it is an awesome work of art in person.
     
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  5. ImperialCrown

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    I saw it displayed in the basement of the WPC museum. Just Awesome. I think that they let Jay Leno sit on it or try it out once?
     
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  6. redriderbob

    redriderbob Mopar Guru!
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    That video of them putting it together is actually the third one assembled.
     
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  7. redriderbob

    redriderbob Mopar Guru!
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    I don't think Jay ever rode it.

    dodge-tomahawk-concept_100305627_h.jpg

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    fastest_bike_in_the_world_dodge_tomohawk_srt10_viper9.jpg

    DodgeTomahawkEngine.jpg
     
  8. redriderbob

    redriderbob Mopar Guru!
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    The Tomahawk was borne out of our concept car program. Every year, the design studios throw a thinking/sketching contest to come up with something for Dodge, Chrysler of Jeep that we don't currently build. The idea could be for an extension of the brand, an extension of one of the existing brand names or something that we don't build at all, yet might be a really cool product. We kick that off every year, and people come up with various ideas. The Dodge Viper was conceived very much the same way when it was created. And it just so happened that somebody suggested, "How about something as atrocious as a V-10 Viper-engined motorcycle?" My first reaction was conventional. To say, "Well, we don't build bikes. We don't know a lot about them." However, I came to find out that some of my designers do ride bikes and do know quite a bit about them. They said, "Well, it would be pretty cool." So I said, "Go ahead. Do some sketches. Show me what it would look like." And they went ahead and one particular designer did a really cool sketch.

    They actually borrowed a Viper engine from Performance Vehicle Operations and set it up on the floor with some tires and wheels. But motorcycle engines are usually very small. They're horizontally opposed or Vees, but they're never as long as the vehicle. The designers talked about the Boss Hoss, which has the small block Chevy V-8 in it and said, "Well, they do it." And we said, "Yeah, but we don't want anything that looks like THAT!" Which is to say goofy, because it's basically a conventional bike with a big engine in it. There's nothing special about that. Well, the design they came up with is mind-blowing. It's wonderful; futuristic and yet there's a nostalgic look about it. It almost looks as if it could have come from the 1930s. And what I loved about it is the fact that it was not "styled." It's not like a BMW motorcycle. It's not like a Japanese sport bike with fairings and fiberglass. The whole thing is made out of solid billet castings or billet machinings. We didn't tool stuff up. We actually created the design in CATIA. And then they said, "Ok, you want an arm shaped like that? Then we have to get a block of aluminum shaped like that, and that's how we're going to make it." The whole thing is really wild.

    So after we had our first concept car review -- I'll call it car-slash-SUV-slash-truck review - I said to Wolfgang (Bernhard, COO) and Dieter (Zetsche, Chairman and CEO), "I've got another idea at the studio that I'd like you to take a look at. You're really going to be impressed. It's going to be a challenge to you, but you're really going to be impressed with the design that we've come up." They said, "What is it?" And I said, "No, no. Wait and see. Wait and see." And so we went into the studio and they had a full-sized illustration of the bike in the actual size it would be. And then they had a mock up sitting there on the floor with the four wheels. And Wolfgang and Dieter both looked at each other and said, "Let's build it! Let's build it!" The Dodge Tomahawk concept will demonstrate how our company is not bound by the conventional boundries of, "But we don't build motorcycles." And, "Why would we do that?" And, "What's the point?" The designers came up with the idea, and why pile on a whole bunch of left-brain rationale as to why you should or shouldn't do it?

    Nobody ever sat down and analyzed something to death and came up with a great invention. Great inventions are often the inspiration to say, "Hey, I just had a crazy idea..." But that crazy idea isn't always so crazy. It's not a sort of watered-down concept or the answer to some trend or flavor of the moment. It doesn't fit into any segment or any category. It's something that came from the top of somebody's head. It was exciting and it demonstrates the way this company will respond to ideas. The Dodge Tomahawk concept itself is just a one off. It's billet and machined materials and everything else. If you were going to build some more, you would need to channge the way you go about building it. My first reaction was one of surprise. We showed the vehicle to several people who said, "You have to build more of those. It's for people who may never ride it, but they are avid collectors, whether it's historic vehicles or new concepts or advanced concepts. There are people who are going to want to have one of these. And you really ought to plan to build some more." So, we currently are doing an investigation.

    I mentioned that to Dieter and he was in agreement that we should investigate building up to 100 that would go to very special peolpe who either would ride it or have as part of their collections. Jay Leno for example. He's going to want to put an order in for one right away. He's got that jet helicopter engine-powered one. So we're assuming he's going to be a customer. Is it rideable? Yes. We gave that assignment to the company that built it - RM Motorsports. RM Motorsports builds and restores historic race cars for every kind of motorsport. I happen to know the guys who run the company. They said they were looking to build something pretty wild, along the lines of another concept they had built. We realized that this would be unlike other concepts where we engineer the vehicle - the concept - and then use either carryover components or automobile industry technology and then have an outside fabricator put it together. In this case, we knew the project would require special skills.

    So we went to RM Motorsports and worked with them to engineer the vehicle. We told them we need to have total credibility. The bike has to run, lean, steer, stop, everything. It was only fired up recently, but it fired the first time. You can see it twist with the torque. They had to put some damping in to use up some of the torque. It's like the shove of a bull or a horse. It's not very extreme. It just simply rocks a few degrees in each direction. It has four wheels and tires. Dual wheels in the front and dual wheel in the rear. So it actually stands by itself. It doesn't require a kickstand. And it sounds phenomenal. It sounds like a light aircraft. And it's very mellow, a basso profundo kind of a note. It's dumping the exhaust out the back with only about a two-foot run between the two rear wheels.

    There's a two-speed transmission. It's a racing-style, two-speed transmission. Dog ring, straight-cut gears, invented just for the motorcycle. It uses a dry plate clutch with organic materials. Very much an automotive clutch. It's got stiff action, as the rider will tell you, but you'd expect that. We have had absolutely no test time. None whatsoever. We're trying to do that now. We've done some filming. We had to shoot material for the Cobo Hall intro. So our rider, Scott Parker, hasn't had the pleasure of clean, bright, sunny days. We've got snow here, and it's been damn cold for about the last five or six days. We're trying to rent an indoor exhibition center so that he and Wolfgang can drive it in the dry and learn something about it. We'll begin doing further refinement to the motorcycle, for example in the area of the suspension. It's got these double front suspension arms that come out from the left and the right. And there's a central horizontal spring and damping device that allows the wheels to turn parallel to each other to the left and to the right. And so, they were going to put in an additional damping system to make the turning more gradual, with more transition. The steering is manual, believe it or not. It's not as heavy as you'd expect. The clutch is heavy, to handle the horsepower, but the steering is perfectly fine; It would be like driving an old-time sports car without power-assisted steering. It's got that kind of a feel. The steering is designed to have four tires in contact with the road at all times. If you put your open hands out in front of you, palms facing each other, two inches apart and then twist them parallel, your little finger will always stay on the table. That's the principle, design and geometry of it.

    Those who have seen it run liken it to an AMA ProStar drag bike launch, minus the methanol fumes. It's certainly intended to be ridden. We are going to want to take it to all the major motorcycle happenings like Bike Week and all those events. We didn't set out to break any speed records, if you know what I mean. It's as if someone created a Saturn Rocket bike. It's more the spectacle and "wow" factor, than setting out to have the lowest 0-60 time in the world. We could do that, but at the moment, that isn't the goal. We're taking it to events and just having people come and look at it. Like, "Wow, what an incredible thing. Can you start it up for us?" Or ,"Can you show us how you ride it?" It's definitely not a bike that you'd take to a track and race. It's definitely crude like a chopper. With the tall handlebars, and little wheel. You have to be a little careful when you're making turns on those things. And they're more for cruising and for show and straight-line stuff. The time frame for building the bike is open ended. The company that's working on it (RM) is studying it. We talked about a ballpark price that would be acceptable to the people who would want to have it. They're going to tell us how they would make it in quantity and at what sort of price. It would be Dodge branded, but manufactured by RM Motorsports.
     
  9. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    I ride. I want one!
     
  10. semihemi287

    semihemi287 Member

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  11. mopar22

    mopar22 Well-Known Member

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    I would say still motorcycle since the 3 wheeled motorcycles that acts just like a car (has a car chassis i believe but i know for a fact the engine is from a car) you must have a motorcycle license
     
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  12. TXCOMT

    TXCOMT New Member

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    So Scott Parker as in Scottie Parker, the cycle dirt track legend ? So cool!!

    Mike H
     
  13. eggwhite93

    eggwhite93 Active Member

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    That requirement differs from state to state.
     
  14. redriderbob

    redriderbob Mopar Guru!
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    Best thing about this concept was it got the eyes of not just automotive world, but the motorcycle world too...

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  15. VoiceOfReason

    VoiceOfReason Active Member

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    I also remember it well. Back when it came out, I was not a biker, but have since become motorcycle obsessed to a small degree (I watch MotoGP religiously) and can even drag my knee around corners under certain circumstances (but I also had a friend lose both arms above the elbow in a recent motorcycle accident, so - there is that).
    I must say, I'm surprised to see people talking about serious builds of this thing. Interesting, yes. Motorcycle? No. I'm also a huge fan of the Moller Skycar and they are able to classify the M400 as a motorcycle for roadworthiness because it only has three wheels. That fourth wheel makes a tremendous difference as the legal restrictions change drastically. Four wheels qualifies it as a car, which has to meet certain crash impact requirements that this thing (Dodge Tomahawk) will never come close to approaching. It is one thing to produce a vehicle that isn't meant to be ridden on public roads, but with some minor modifications could be (think Kawasaki H2R) and something that has absolutely no reasonable chance of ever meeting a long list of restrictive requirements to be legally road worthy. That alone is not a reason to refuse to build it, but it does put the effort into perspective. It's a toy for the "more money than brains club" (Leno's words, not mine) and will never in any reasonable foreseeable context see light of day as a production street legal vehicle. I applaud the "why not?" approach.
    But, since we're taking a "why not?" approach and making things that look like bikes when we aren't a bike company, but we are also not an aero plane company, so why are we not actively researching flying cars? The technology is there. I'm still not sure what the hold up is on the FAA certifying the Moller Skycar, though I suspect it has something to do with the multi-engine configuration (eight engines in a four nacelle with redundant engines in each nacelle config) forcing it into one of the more complicated pilot licensing categorizations (may also require co-pilot, navigator, etc. - I don't know, I am not a pilot).
    That *could* conceivably become street legal (under motorcycle laws) and revolutionize the transportation industry. 747s have been able to take off, fly, and land without a human on-board for decades. This (flying cars) isn't happening and I'm sure there are reasons why it isn't, but I don't know what those reasons are. I've heard concerns about flying cars being flown/driven by dingbats and crashing into houses, but if it flies at all, that puts it into the jurisdiction of the FAA and anyone leaving the ground in one would need to be a licensed pilot. And it takes a great deal more study, knowledge, skill, expertise, etc. to become a pilot than get a driver's license.
    If we're going to do outrageous, I'd much rather see flying cars than four wheeled V-10 non-motorcycles. They have a legitimate future and much of the work could be done in parallel with driverless car research. But, that is just me . . .
    Moller (dot) com for more info. Yes, I own stock in the company (which struggles to maintain a penny a share, since they don't yet make anything that can be sold for use as intended).
     

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