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What better way to party, thought famed custom

creator Ludovic Lazareth, than with a machine that takes

horsepower to the extreme?

Lazareth’s LM 847 is, to the objective eye, a conflation of

impractical ideas, awkwardly overengineered into a

hulking mass of unrideable ostentation that will probably

never turn a wheel on the road.

If that’s your assessment, fine; it’s never stopped Lazareth

before. His outrageous vehicles are about making

statements, visual and mechanical, and in that sense the

LM 847 has plenty to say.

The heart of the matter is a ludicrous motor: the 4.7-liter,

32-valve V8 from the Maserati Quattroporte, a 620

newton-meter bone crusher that puts out exactly 4.7

times the old horsepower limit.

One rear tire was never going to be enough to put 470

horsepower to the ground, so Lazareth supplies two,

each with its own chain drive, and each on its own hefty

single-sided swingarm.

The obvious choice here would be to suspend each

wheel individually, but Lazareth has no time for obvious

choices. He mounts a TFX rear shock transversely, in a

fashion that looks like it will not only damp bump-

handling movements that affect both rear wheels, but

also any motion that moves one wheel relative to the

other – for example, cornering lean angle changes. How

this works dynamically on the road, who knows?

At the front end, there’s another two giant single sided

swingarms, each featuring its own hub-steered front

wheel with a Buell-style rim-mounted brake. This time,

each gets its own shock, as well as an unsprung weight

figure that’d probably be admirable on a B-double truck.

Between the front and rear wheels are split carbon fiber

aerodynamic shields that work together when the bike is

upright to give the impression of a third tire … Or that the

whole monstrous thing is just one two-foot wide piece of

rubber.

One hint as to how hard that front end is to steer comes

from the gigantic width of the handlebar poking up out

of the airbox. Lazareth has been quoted as saying if he

can’t make something work beautifully, he’ll hide it, so

lord knows what that steering mechanism looks like under

there. The bars are made even wider with the addition of

bar-end mirrors (that’ll be annoying when you’re lane-

splitting through traffic to get to work), and the levers are

reverse-action, because screw you, he’s Ludovic

Lazareth.

Not a bolt on this crazy creation is anything like any other

bike you’ve seen this side of the show-only Dodge

Tomahawk. From the winged front lamps, to the rude,

stout air intake behind the screen, to the incongruous

footboards, to the fact that it runs a single-speed

transmission with a hydraulic coupling and electric

reverse, it’s a complete original until you notice he’s stuck

a Ducati Panigale tail section on it, virtually unchanged,

and somehow made it work visually despite the fact that

it’s fixed to a 2.6 meter long, 400 kg, tilting quad bike.

I can’t even imagine how a human would fit on it, let

alone find the throttle stop on an engine so violently

powerful. But I love it, and I’d give it a go in a second,

and I’d be delighted to hand it back half an hour later,

wide-eyed and trembling, to this French Dr. Frankenstein.

The scariest thing is, he’s surely elbow deep in something

even more bizarre as we speak.

Lazareth LM 847