An engine swap is done basically if your old engine fails or if you want more horses, efficiency and performance under the hood. Sometimes your vintage two-wheeler cannot find spare parts and is always more expensive to keep it in running order. This swapping of engines in cars are a common practice but rarely do we come across people doing engine swaps on a motorcycle.
But here are two chaps who have upgraded their old charming Vespas into a monster truck of two wheelers by getting it a Harley Davidson engine and a Diesel powerhouse. To do so, they have each built custom engine mounts and transmission bell housing adaptors to interface them along with a custom built driveshaft. Then you have that big-ol radiator to cool things down and, of course, that exhaust note.
This breed of custom builders who turned these spirited machines into a beacon of beauty, simplicity, class and definition are found everywhere around the globe. Some build motorcycles, which by all senses is a work of art. So is this Vespa guy who wants his scooter to run like a Harley Davidson.
Swaping engines will definetely have its implications on the safety, warranty and insurance aspects of your vehicle. Moreover, in two wheelers especially, there are many things that could go wrong with respect to handling and usability of your ride. Every component like the suspension and brake units would have been calibrated to take up that motorcycle safely with the original engine performance and weights. The swap will hamper all of that and you will have to deal with adding a more expensive replacement units.
You would rather buy a Harley-Davidson. But then again, where will you find a scooter with a V-4 engine that develops close to 80 bhp and 100 Nm? This chap tells us ‘If there is a will, then there is a way’.
So does the next guy who has swapped a Diesel single cylinder engine that looks custom built to his Lambretta. Here you can exactly see the mechanical outfits made to the scooter to connect the diesel motor to the driveterrain. Also, he uses a age-old technique of hand crancking the motor to life. If you kids didn’t know, that was how early machines were started.