Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Four-Wheeled Outlaw

It looks like a motorcycle. It sounds like a motorcycle. And it is a motorcycle. Sort of.

GG Motorrad Technik's new GG Quadster is actually a four-wheeled BMW K1200S -- only its body's been replaced with a double-wide backside and front end.

The Quadster is like a centaur, with the heart of a motorcycle and the suspension of a car. It uses the same fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, inline four-cylinder motor as the 2008 K1200S. It's just set inside a billet aluminum chassis and suspended on four tires using a Formula 1-style, race car-inspired double A-arm and premium coil-over shocks. A high-end ATV for the street, it's unlike anything else on the road.

Unfortunately, the chance of seeing the GG Quadster on a California street anytime soon is like that of seeing a centaur. The state of California follows federal policy, which defines a motorcycle as having no more than three wheels. That makes the Swiss quadricycle unregisterable here.

According to the California Highway Patrol, riding an unregistered vehicle such as the Quadster on the street is grounds for a pullover and possibly an impound. The Department of Motor Vehicles, however, says it's more likely to prompt a ticket; it's punishable with a $150 fine for the first offense, $250 for the second and $1,000 or 90 days of imprisonment for the third violation within a single year.

That's a lot of trouble and a lot of dough for the average Joe. But it isn't average Joes who are purchasing the new $65,500 GG Quadster. So far, there are two buyers: Michael Jordan, who lives in Illinois where a Quad has already been registered, and a wealthy San Diego businessman.

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