t's the new 8.3-liter, 500-horsepower V-10 from that "other" American motorcycle maker, Dodge. Well, maybe calling a Daimler-Chrysler's Dodge division a "motorcycle maker" is pushing it, since there aren't any plans yet to put the Dodge Tomahawk into production. However, the idea hasn't been ruled out, assuming there are enough people interested in coughing up $250,000 or so for one of a limited number of the 8277cc (505 cubic-inch), 1500-pound crotch rockets. Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show on January 6, the machine is a concept vehicle, built both to grab the spotlight and to inspire both the public and Dodge's design team. "This is a bold-faced slap against mediocrity," enthused Trevor Creed, Chrysler's Senior VP of Design. "Tomahawk is a scintillating example of what creative minds can do when given the opportunity to run free. It is a pure mechanical sculpture and a joyous celebration of the artistry and emotion of design. Tomahawk moves design concept introductions and the concept car game to a whole new level. It's just that extreme and passionate; a glimpse into the soul and commitment of true enthusiasts."

Each wheel in the pairs is suspended independently of its partner.Cruiser

"A motorcycle is the most beautiful way to showcase an engine," said Wolfgang Bernhard, Chrysler's COO. And certainly this project is all about the engine. The aluminum Viper V-10 engine cranks out a claimed 500 ponies at 5600 rpm and 525 pounds feet of torque at 4200 rpm. It drives the dual spun-alloy rear wheels through a two-speed transmission and dual chains. Yes, there are two each 20-inch wheels front and rear, placed closely together, so it stretches the motorcycle concept a bit. Bernhard said the additional wheels were needed to handle all the power. Nonetheless, it still leans into corners.

The engine is the centerpiece and a stressed member of the monocoque-framed chassis, which features center-hub steering, a single-shock swingarm rear suspension and a 76-inch wheelbase. In its best automobile speak, Dodge describes the front suspension thus: "Outboard, single-sided parallel upper and lower control arms made from polished billet aluminum and mounted via ball joint to aluminum steering uprights and hubs with five degrees caster. Single, fully adjustable centrally located coil-over damper (2.25-inch coil with adjustable spring perch); pullrod and rocker-actuated mono linkage." There is a lockable parking stand.

Twist the throttle on 500 horsepower and you will probably want to rename Dodge's concept vehicle the Traumahawk.Cruiser

The seat height is listed at 29 inches, and fuel capacity is 3.25 gallons, which probably won't last 10 minutes at the machine's estimated 400-mph top speed. (We will believe that when we see it.) The estimated 0 to 60-mph time is 2.5 seconds, assuming you can find the necessary traction from the dual P150/50R-20 rear tires. "The Dodge brand philosophy always challenges us to grab life by the horns," said Creed. "In the case of Tomahawk, grabbing and holding onto anything for dear life is a necessity."

Any decision about actually producing this monster (in limited numbers) will be made in a few months, after the company has seen reaction on the show circuit. We think they should, not just because everyone needs a quarter-million-dollar motorcycle (or is it a motorcycle-like machine?), but it will give you something invigorating to get around with on the days when your Viper just doesn't seem like enough fun. Plus, if you didn't get a Valkyrie Rune or a CVO Road King because every biker on the block could afford one, this will give you exclusivity, something you won't see on every street corner.

We think its great that Dodge's design people have something fun to drive.Cruiser


Overall Length: 102 in.
Overall Width: 27.7 in.
Overall Height: 36.9 in.
Wheelbase: 76 in.
Seat Height: 29 in.
Curb Weight: 1,500 lbs
Track, Front: 8.75 in.
Track, Rear: 10 in.
Weight Dist.: 51%
Rear Ground Clearance: 3 in.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.25 gal.
Type: liquid-cooled 90-degree V-10
Displacement: 8277 cc (505 c.i.)
Bore x stroke: 102.4 x 100.6mm
Valve arrangement: 2 pushrod-actuated overhead valves per cylinder, roller-type hydraulic lifters
Fuel Injection: Sequential, multi-port electronic with individual runners
Compression: 9.6:1
Power: 500 bhp@5600 rpm
Torque: 525 lb.-ft. (712 Nom) @ 4200 rpm
Max rpm: 6000