Four engines good, two wheels badass! The eye-popping, jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring Red Porsche Killer drag-racing art bike was created by Rötger Feldmann, the graphic artist and motorcycle maniac behind Germany's wildly popular “Werner” comics, books and movies. Unlike most art projects of its kind, the Red Porsche Killer is fully functional and actually did race a red Porsche – twice.
Feldmann, who uses the nom de plume Brösel, introduced the Werner character in the 1981 book “Werner - Oder was?”, and the stereotypical North German beer-guzzling gearhead made his most recent appearance in the 2011 animated film Werner – Eiskalt!, based on the 1985 book of the same name.
Both the book and the movie feature the "Red Porsche Killer", a four-engined drag bike designed to beat a 1972 Porsche 911 S in a straight-line, standing start, 500-meter (1,640ft) drag race.
In the books and movie, Werner sought out Olfuss, a fellow member of the MC Klappstuhl biker and rocker club to design and build the monster bike as Olfuss (literally “Grease Foot”) was the club's eccentric mechanical genius.
In real life, Rötger Feldmann spurred the creation of a real, road-going Red Porsche Killer after Werner – Eiskalt! was published and being a self-professed gearhead himself, knew replicating his concept was quite doable... NOT like this video clip from the movie.
Doable yes, simple no: the heart of the drag bike is the powerplant made from four 1955 Horex Regina 400 motorcycle engines rebuilt in aluminum and reinforced with a pound of aluminum each. The engines featured new homemade cylinders bored out to 86mm (from the stock 74.5mm) and reduced in stroke from 91.5mm to 86mm.
The engines were fitted out with dual sparkplug Horex Regina heads with large Guzzi valves, Dellorto 40mm carbs, a modified Piranha ignition, custom-made camshafts by Staschel, a Harley 4-speed gearbox with 85mm belt-drive, and 38mm Ceriani forks with homemade trees. All of the above were built into a homemade dragster bike frame painted metalflake pink.
All show and no go? Hardly – in Werner – Eiskalt!, the Red Porsche Killer was built to show up Werner's rival, Holgi, once and for all. Holgi was a self-styled Porsche fanatic (and owner) who considered the marque to be a cut above any motorbike. Sooner or later, Holgi's insufferable pride had to be put to the test.
In the end it was sooner: In August of 1988, approximately 200,000 bikers, Werner-fans and comic-freaks descended upon a small airstrip/dragstrip in Hartenholm to witness an epic battle between the optimistically-named Red Porsche Killer and an actual red Porsche belonging to Rötger Feldmann's publisher.
Supposedly two Red Porsche Killer bikes were brought to the event and it's just as well: in the first race, a mechanic forgot to oil the cylinders and the bike disintegrated halfway down the course. The second race was run unmarred my mechanical issues and the Red Porsche Killer emerged victorious. Or did it...
Another take on Das Rennen (“the race”) states the Porsche won because Rötger Feldmann was too drunk to shift the gears in a timely manner. That sounds about right, and in the end both Brösel and the bike survived without a scratch. Bravo Werner... we'll raise a stein of Flensburger Bölkstoff in your honor! (via Dark Roasted Blend and Coolest Bikes, images via Frederic Plambeck, BikerZeit, FotoCommunity/Lutz Paetzel, Rhein-Zeitung, FBLife, and Carsten Bracho)