Home / Social media / News / A 4.2 litre, 48-cylinder bike called Tinker Toy spotted on the auction block.


Guinness World Records have been around for many, many years and getting your name listed isn’t easy or cheap. Guinness World Records began in 1951 when Sir Hugh Beaver, the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, found himself in an argument while on a hunting expedition about what the fastest game bird in Europe is. With no source of info, Beaver recognised a need for a comprehensive and reliable compilation of facts and figures. He enlisted the help of Norris and Ross McWhirter, well-known fact-finders and editors of the time, to compile a collection of world records, the first edition of what would later become the Guinness World Records book was published in 1955 and it became an instant success. Guinness World Records has a meticulous verification process with each record attempt scrutinised by a team of experts to ensure accuracy and authenticity. Guinness World Records serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for people around the world as it showcases the boundless potential of human achievement and encourages individuals to push the limits of what is possible. The list of records is as strange as the people setting them, and some have been around for years simply because they’re so weird that no one wants to try and break them, even for notoriety. Some records also can’t be broken as the things done and components of the record may not be available anymore, or even legal to attempt. We’ve seen items from the automotive world involved in various world records go up for sale before, and the one you see here is the result of a 5-year build and the record it holds may stick around for some time yet.

This is Tinker Toy, and it owns the Guinness World Record for the land vehicle with the most cylinders, and it only has two wheels. You’d half-expect something with a record like that to be a monstrous car of some kind. Experienced custom bike builder and Kawasaki fanatic Simon Whitelock built a few multi-cylinder bikes over the years, and when another builder also started building similar bikes, Whitelock decided to make it hard to compete and took on a build to end all builds. Using the Kawasaki KH250 triple engines, thanks to their size and affordability, Whitelock managed to couple sixteen of these 3-cylinder motors together to create the monster 48-cylinder Kawasaki bike. The name of the bike was taken from the B17 Flying Fortress bomber from World War 2, a plane with a multi-cylinder aero engine. The cylinders were configured as six straight-eights, each with its own ignition and Mikuni carburettor and the exhaust was built as a 24-into-1 on each side. The main tank is a modified KH250 piece that’s now a cover for electrical and ignition components and the actual fuel tank was fitted between the middle and lower cylinder banks. The gearbox comes from a BMW K100, the wheels are from Hagon with heavy-duty spokes to handle the 600 kg weight and the forks received extra springs for the same reason.  The frame is custom, as expected, with a Honda Gold Wing front-end. A cool thing is the 125 cc scooter engine that’s used as the starter motor. The setup hasn’t run since 2015, it seems like the carbs are blocked, but the successful buyer from the Bonhams auction was promised help by Whitelock to get it running and riding - it’s even road-legal. How much did the World Record holder sell for? A mere £92,000, or around R2,173,000.

Take a look at the YouTube video that isn't the best around, but the original bike builder restricted his videos for sharing, but it does show off the amazing 48-cylinder motorbike that is the current Guinness World Record holder for the land vehicle with the most cylinders: Strange Monster: A 48-cylinder motorcycle | I WANT TO KNOW

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