No Survivors: 1909 Torpedo V4

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Photo by Phillip Tooth
1909 Torpedo V4

1909 Torpedo V4
Claimed power: 10-12hp @ 2,200rpm
Top speed: 75mph (est.)
Engine: 1,640cc air-cooled inlet-over-exhaust 36-degree inline V4, 73mm x 100mm bore and stroke, 5:1 compression ratio (est.)
Weight (dry): 242lb (110kg), est.
Fuel capacity: 2gal (8ltr)

Only one semi-radial inline V4 Torpedo racer was built, and it was lost to history long ago. But thanks to a Czech enthusiast who spent 2,500 hours in his workshop to create this replica, we can hear it roar into life again.

We’ve all seen Jurassic Park, the movie where a billionaire with a passion for dinosaurs employs a team of genetic scientists to create a wildlife park on a tropical island and fill it with cloned Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor and Brachiosaurus.

But what if your passion is old motorcycles, and there are no survivors of the most important models that your country ever made? While you can’t clone them, if you’re an engineer with enough skill and determination, then anything is possible. If you don’t believe us, just look at what Pavel Malanik has brought back from extinction using only the old lathe and a milling machine he has in his home workshop.

Order the November/December 2014 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the 1904 Torpedo V4. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email.

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