Weird Car of the Week: When Dodge Almost Made the World’s Fastest Motorcycle

Dodge Tomahawk image

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t considered a ‘car,’ but it did have four wheels, and it was built by Dodge. And back in 2003, the Detroit automaker unveiled the Tomahawk motorcycle to the world at the North American International Auto Show. They pinned it as the world’s fastest motorcycle— though, there were some issues with that claim.

Dodge Viper Tomahawk

How Fast Was It?

Very fast…in theory. In order to get this thing up to speed, Dodge felt the need to build it around an 8.3-liter Viper V10. It had 500 horsepower, 525 lb-ft torque, and an estimated top speed of — wait for it — 300 mph. Though, Dodge initially said it could reach speeds of 420 mph. Of course, neither were achieved.

These estimates were based purely on power; aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and other factors weren’t taken into account by engineers. In reality, the fastest the Tomahawk ever went was just over 100 mph, which doesn’t make it nearly as fast as initial estimates, nor the fastest in the world.

Interestingly enough, Dodge actually sold a limited number to consumers through the Neiman Marcus catalog. Each one cost $555,000, with up to nine of them being sold. Seriously, nine people paid money for this thing. Even then, Dodge said it was more of a “rolling sculpture” than an actual motorcycle.

Dodge Viper Tomahawk

Where Is It Now?

It’s likely that at least one resides in a Chrysler office in Detroit, and I’m sure a few owners still have theirs locked away in a garage somewhere. But so far, no one has been brave crazy enough to test out that estimated top speed.

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