MTT Readies the Next Generation Y2K Turbine Bike

01/29/2013 @ 11:21 am, by Jensen Beeler21 COMMENTS


The name Marine Turbine Technologies (MTT) may not immediately strike recognition, though we are pretty sure that if we said the company was repsonsible for the turbine-powered Y2K hyperbike, you would know what we mean. Built in time for the turn of the millennia, the Y2K features a Rolls-Royce-Allison Model 250 turbine motor that makes 320 hp at 52,000 rpm. Yes, that rpm figure is correct.

Unlike other turbine-driven road machines, which use the trust of the turbine jet engine for locomotion, MTT mated the helicopter turbine system to a two-speed gearbox, which in-turn drives a shaft to a final chain-drive system. Not exactly a huge success on the market, the MTT Y2K was still made famous by celebrity owner Jay Leno, who had a tendency to melt plastic car bumpers at stop lights.

Now reports say Marine Turbine Technologies is working on a new model of turbine-powered hyperbikes, awkwardly dubbed the 2013 MTT Y2K 420R.

Upgrading the drive package with a Rolls-Royce C-20B gas turbine engine that produces an apt 420hp. Other highlights include carbon fiber wheels and fairings, radial-mounted calipers on the front brakes with ABS, and a 240mm rear tire.

Street-legal in the US, with similar provisions being made in the EU, the 2013 MTT Y2K is currently undergoing wind-tunnel testing in the UK, and MTT hopes for a 260+ mph top speed figure. Expect to see the company’s latest creation later this year, with what we imagine will be a price in the six-figures.

Source: Autocar & Bikes in the Fast Lane

  • Since the average turbine helicopter consumes 25 gallons an hour I assume this thing isn’t being built with touring in mind.

  • How many seconds can the rider can apply 420HP?
    Real world use should reveal better mileage.

  • JoeD

    A smaller turbine may help in the wheelbase department and still provide adequate power. As is, cornering prowess may be lacking.

  • Prasenjit Kumar Debroy

    Mind boggling Specs.
    But, too much to be of much Road usage.

  • AK

    Why does front half look like Ducati??

  • Matt

    Who was this bike designed for? Stretch Armstrong?

  • paulus – Thailand

    it’s an interesting engineering project.

  • Rocket Punch

    One simply need to look at the rider triangle to see that this is impossible ride except for may be in a straight line; Which is the only way the bike will work since if you try to steer the thing you will see that the brake/clutch lever will collide with the fairing.

  • David

    I think it’s cool. Especially now that is has decent power. 420hp verses the weak 320hp.

    AND, I can power it with the cheap perfume and wine that I buy in 55 gallon drums.


  • L2C

    The word disgusting comes to mind.

  • Damo

    A neat little engineering exercise I supposed, but completely useless other than spreadsheet bragging and straight line interstate runs.

  • Interesting piece of exotica, but totally impractical. Our helicopters use the same engine. Although the engine is rated at 420 SHP, in our MD500E’s, the maximum continuous horsepower is 350, with 375 maximum available (5 minute limit) during take off’s and landings. It burns an average of 28 gallons/hour. The same engine runs more efficiently in our Bell OH-58’s, with a higher max continuous rating, and average burn of 22 g/hr.

    The engine has to be de-rated to different helicopter models due to weaknesses of various components in the driveline, and also to give a higher performance threshold at altitude.

    I don’t know if one of those bikes would even fit on a dyno, so maybe the manufacturer doesn’t need to worry about someone checking their power claims. But, I’d sure like to see how much power is actually being transmitted to the rear tire. They’d have to de-rate the engine down to a level where the weakest component in the drivetrain doesn’t fail.

    If I had that kind of money I’d just park a Desmosedici in my living room an call it a day. :))

  • …Oh, and as an aside to my last post, if you get the start sequence wrong, or try to start the engine while it still contains too much residual heat, well, then, you just fried a $275,000 turbine engine.

  • I agree with the commenters criticisms in this thread, why do people keep putting these full-size turbines into heavily modified motorcycle chassis? Why doesn’t someone create a purpose built microturbine that is Relatively efficient and about the same size as 1000cc engine? Hasn’t that already been done anyway?

    I assume they can’t get sufficient power to make it practical… yet. So turbine engines remain impractical for anything but planes, tanks and helicopters.

  • Jimbo

    ProudAmerican, there is no chance you could ever get the tire to grip well enough to stress any of the driveline parts!

  • Good point, Jimbo.

  • Zef Eisenberg

    The truth about the MTT turbine bike….

    The press release of the 420ss is not official and neither are the facts correct. It was copied from an Indian forum after a 3D render was released without permission. Below is the reality to dispel all the myths and educate fans of this amazing motorbike.

    MTT stopped making the last ‘Y2K’ in 2005. That bike had a RR Allison 250 series C18, (from the Bell 206 helicopter) which offered 318shp (shaft horsepower) and about 286hp at the rear wheel, (10% loss from the drive chain).

    A Joint Venture between Zef Eisenberg and MTT was created in 2009 to take the last 2005 C18 powered bike to Europe (UK) and test, race and land speed it to see what it could really do, under ACU/MSA sanctioned events and which areas could be improved. Since then it has been at Elvington, several top speed events, Goodwood festival of speed and expos in the UK.

    Anyone with an understanding of the laws of physics will know that the drag always gets in the way of top speed, ie: The faster you go, the more drag is created and the more power you need to go faster… not in a linear way, but in a massive way, ie: depending on drag efficiency levels (how smoothly the object slips through the air) a normal motorbike will need circa 200rear wheel HP to achieve 200mph, 300rwHP to achieve 225mph, 450rwHP to do 250mph, etc…

    Until you’ve been at these crazy high speeds, you have no idea how much resistance air itself creates. If you don’t believe me try sticking your arm out the car window at just 100mph and see if you can hold it straight!

    You then create another problem, the more horsepower (and torque) you produce, the more traction (laying the power down) becomes an issue. That is why a 1500hp drag bike has a tyre the size of a lorry. If they used a normal 190 or 240 road legal tyre, it would just spin, smoke and go no where. For a road legal bike and safe high speed stability, curved road tyres is what you want, not giant flat drag tyres.

    For the benefit of high speed stability ‘250mph bikes’ don’t want to have the front forks set like a GP bike at 23 degrees for quick turns and reaction, they prefer slower steering such as 26 to 30 degrees This will make the bike longer and more stable. Trust me, you don’t want a speed wobble at 250mph. The compromise is length hence the Turbine bike is longer than the average bike at 2450mm, but no longer than many cruising and touring bikes. Ignore the illusion of half finished 3D renders.

    In May 2012, The C18 powered ‘Y2K’ bike achieved a certified GPS speed of 205.87mph in its fastest run. The gearing (front and rear sprockets combo) was wrong, so the turbine spooled to 5300rpm, instead of its 6000rpm governed speed. This resulted in a loss of much needed horsepower for the higher speeds. Lots of testing has been done since on tweaking and improving many areas, with greater results expected in 2013.

    With all the C18 testing and knowledge, a new model was created – The 420ss. This bike is 90% built, but has not undergone high speed testing yet. Everything about the bike is new. Although the bike without it’s fairing, looks similar; the frame, forks, wheels, brakes, tank, gearbox, swingarm, aerodynamic fairing, electronics, triple tree, rake/trial, suspension, etc… has all been improved, strengthened and tweaked.

    Most newsworthy is that it is using the RR Allison 250 series C20B turbine, as found in the 6 seater luxury VIP Augusta 109 Helicopter. At 100% N1 (fuel input) at 6000rpm (N2) it achieves between 420 and 440shp (at the shaft), which will be 378-396 rear wheel HP. The torque is considerably more than the C18, being 367 lbft v 280lbft. These power ratings have been achieved on a RR turbine engine dyno and Dyno250, without any component failure.

    To understand this, a Honda gold wing makes about 110lb ft and a 500hp Turbo Hayabusa makes around 238 lbft at 11,000rpm. The concern with the 420ss is will the 240mm rear tyre be wide enough to lay down the power to achieve the acceleration and top speed its capable of?

    It is for these reasons that claims of 200mph in 5.4seconds is rubbish. Such times would make the bike win every prostock ¼ mile drag race in the world. Top speeds of 275mph is also rubbish. 240mph is realistic, 250mph a big maybe if the aerodynamics of the bike was improved over the original, which we all agree was not optimised in design or looks. Yes, if the bike was made into a 20 foot long pencil thin ‘bonneville’ stream liner, 275mph would be very realistic, but then it’s not road legal, which is all the fun!

    Turbine’s are unique compared to piston engines. They take about 45 seconds to spool up to maximum rpm (N2) and rev slowly when under load, as they are designed to operate for hours at 100% RPM, as opposed to revving like a piston engine. There are ways to achieve very fast acceleration on the bike by using a technique where you spool the turbine up to the limit of the tyre traction and then release the turbine brake, resulting in you being catapulted from the start line. However as the bike is single geared you can end up spinning the tyre up to 200mph in seconds, without moving forward, so great care is required to avoid causing catastrophic tyre failure.

    The gearbox is not really a 2 speed auto. It is actually 2 speeds that you select as the conditions require via the handlebar switch using hydraulics. 1st speed is 0-100mph allowing for lower cruising speeds and better RPM for town use. 2nd speed is 0-250mph or however else it is geared, for cruising along the motorway or racing. You do not change gears during use.

    In terms of fuel; the bike does not need Avgas, as it does not need the high altitude additives to stop the fuel freezing. The bike runs very well on boiler oil (Kerosene) or basic pump diesel. It can also run on Biodiesel B100 (purified vegetable oil). In terms of MPG, it is very inefficient during normal cruising speeds or traffic jams, as the turbine spins at 27,500 rpm (3500 shaft) at idle !

    However it is very efficient (in comparison to other engines) when cruising at 200mph + at 6000rpm, which is what the engine is designed to do for hours on end with total reliability.

    Unknown to may, when it achieved it’s Diesel and Turbine record in May 2012, Zef, the rider actually rode it up the M6 from Birmingham, UK, all the way to Elvington in Yorkshire without any issues or reliability problems, filling up with Diesel along the way and enjoying the fast highways and twisty B roads alike.

    The reality is if you want an affordable, practical, good economy, commuter bike or great handling track day bike, don’t buy an MTT turbine bike ever, you will be disappointed.

    However, if you want a second bike with a sound and presence to turn heads and stop everyone in their tracks without fail wherever you go, a turbine bike is the ultimate choice! If you’ve never heard a turbine bike start and ride past you in real life, it’s jaw dropping. It still impresses me every time!

    All the best,

    Zef Eisenberg

    MTT 420ss Project co-ordinator
    British Record holder for Diesel and Turbine wheel powered motorbike

  • Gutterslob

    ^ I’m sorry, Mr Eisenberg, but if I wanted a second bike to simply turn heads at pubs and blow supercars away, I’d much rather get a Desmodesidici or the (supposed) upcoming Honda RC, or maybe some limited edition Yoshimura bike like the Zero-50 Tornado III. At least those things can corner. Straight line prowess might be cool at the salt flats, but that’s it. Turn up at a pub in one of these and you might as well wear leathers with the word “knob” stiched on.

  • LOL Chasdev – you just said “real world use” talking about a jet turbine motorbike.

    Cheers for that info Zef.

    I know a bike like that is “impractical”, but then if everything was about practicality you would see no one commuting on a sportsbike… for me bikes are all about having fun, and I reckon it’s a special type of fun to be riding a frickin’ jet engine! If I ever had a chance I’d ride one (even better if I was in a position to own one!)

  • Bob DeMuth

    Zef….Being a motorcycle nut and a helicopter mechanic I totally agree with your statements in all aspects. There’s nothing like the sound of a turbine spooling up. I am building a rather smaller turbine bike using a small APU turbine that maybe puts out 100hp but is only the size of a volleyball. I picked it up for $300 at a military surplus auction. After all is said and done I might have my own Turbine bike for under $2000. Look for completed bike summer 2013.

  • Pawan

    Hey i want to buy this bike so pls tell me how is it possible