Bistella 500 boasts a homemade 10-cylinder supercharged radial engine in a Jawa . frame
We think there might be a lot of cars or motorcycle enthusiasts – some of whom may be reading it right now, in fact – people who dream of what they would build if they had the time, skills and money needed for a project so. And we get it; most of us who write about the means of making a living fall into the same camp. But there are also a very select few who decide to stop dreaming and break the tools. Marek Foltis belongs to that second group.
We exchanged a few emails with Marek and before going into the details of his incredible Bistella 500 motorcycle, it would be helpful to understand what it is like to have one person to carry out a task. such a grand affair. “Honestly, I don’t know what kind of demon possessed me,” he tells us before splitting his true motivation into two parts. He said he’s “been tinkering with motorcycles for 15 years” and wondered “what should I do to test the limits of my abilities.”
By setting a threshold higher than the skill set he had at the start ensures that he will fail. And that’s the whole point. Marek explained to us that: “With failure comes experience, and” with experience your ability increases. So I knew I was going to fail a lot. I knew that even before I started. So I’m not surprised it happened… Each time I failed, I knew it was necessary to gain a little more experience. So it doesn’t drain me emotionally, that’s how I need persistence. “
In a more practical sub-answer to our main question, Marek told us he wanted to build something truly one-of-a-kind. He laid out a set of clear parameters: It had to be road legal, it had to be built with Jawa-built parts, but with an engine of his own design, it would be inspired by 50s and 60s motorcycles but calls for a certain kind of shock and awe response and without too much modern equipment.
Since Jawa only makes two-stroke engines, Marek’s bike will also be two-stroke. His desire to be unique led him to design a single-radius two-stroke with a built-in supercharger. He decided to go with 10 cylinders because 8 would be more difficult with his crank design and 12 would not fit in the extremely small Jawa frame he uses for his machine.
You wouldn’t think this was just a piece of museum work, here is video evidence of it running and Marek, the builder, riding it. As you can see, the oversized engine fits snugly into the small Jawa frame, but everything stays in its place and looks great.
Not that the process of making Bistella’s dream come true was not without incident. “I blew up the engine five times,” Marek told us. “Keeping my mind positive is the hardest part, I’m not sure if the concept will work,” he said. “I’m not sure it will work until the first boot.”
But start it did. In its current form, Marek explains that the Bistella 500 makes a relatively low 12 horsepower, but that’s only because he had to tune it that way to get it road-legal. “The EU bureaucracy is too rigid,” Marek explained to us. “I had to go through a lot of safety checks, trials and similarity checks. It took me a year of stamp hunting. But in the end, it was legal and insured. “
Marek calculates that the Bistella’s 10-cylinder supercharged two-stroke engine can make 120hp when not at full work, though it’s set to a 60hp limited tune in mismatched guise. France. Regardless of its tone status, however, it sounds great, as you can hear in the video above.
What’s next for Marek? He told us that he was considering a few options, one of which was the spin option where the cylinders rotate around a stationary crankshaft. It sounds crazy, but we wouldn’t put anything past him. And he won’t ignore you for anything either. “Anyone can make these things happen,” he says, crediting his perseverance rather than intelligence or education to the Bistella 500’s success.
“I believe there are thousands of projects like this waiting to be done, and the only missing part is the incentive,” says Marek. “That’s the message I wanted to convey with this project.”
Consider the message sent, Marek. And congratulations on a truly impressive work.