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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Norah the Jet Bike: horribly unsafe, terribly fun

About The Author

CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Colin Furze)

Hobby inventor and several-time Guinness World Record holder Colin Furze has strapped a pulse jet to a rickety old bicycle. Why? Well, why not?

When he's not racing 125cc baby prams, plumber by day, mad inventor by night Colin Furze is likely to be doing something even more mad. Take, for instance, his most recent project: building what he calls a "big-a** pulse jet".

Of course, once you have a pulse jet, you can't just let it languish in a shed. Which is why Furze decided to rig it up to an old lady's bicycle that used to belong to his friend's mum, Norah, for whom the bike is now named. It has a certain ring to it, no? And Norah the Jet Bicycle is hot. Literally. Furze had to lengthen the bicycle not just to fit the jet, but also to keep the rider away from the heat.

"Had I binned the pedals idea, yeah, it could have been shorter, but the heat this thing chucks of is intense, and at times I've struggled to turn a valve of 40 centimetres away from it, so sitting on top of it would need some sort of heat shield, and I think it would start to look less bicycle like," Furze said on his website. "With all that in mind, we cut and stretched Norah by around a metre."

The gas bottle that fuels the jet sits just behind the rider, and is operated with valves. It has a few issues — to go to full throttle, you need to wait until the jet is hot enough, but you can't idle waiting for it to heat up, because it will melt the bicycle tyre — so you can't just zoom off straight away. The bike itself is also really rickety and unstable.

But, as Furze said in his inimical style, "Yes, we could have cured it with better frame better wheels etc, but I like it's a s*** bike [and] still is."

You can see it in action in the video below, and head over to YouTube to find out how Furze made the jet in the first place.

Add Your Comment 4

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ShaunD posted a comment   

Can't hear it for the crappy music.


ClaudioM posted a comment   

Why not? Because doing something stupid that may be your last mistake isn't worth doing


nxtfari posted a reply   

No, no... I think it's worth it.


ToddL posted a comment   


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