Streetable Streamliner – 1989 Pulse AutoCycle

In 3 Wheels, America by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

Don’t let this vehicle’s steering wheel and training wheels fool you, this is very much a motorcycle, (or at least a single track machine.) This rare 1989 Pulse Rocket Cycle example is all kinds of interesting. This behemoth of an enclosed scoot is powered by a water-cooled 1980’s Honda Gold Wing 1200 engine and reportedly is good for a cool 140mph. I’m not entirely sure who the manufacturer had in mind when creating this streamliner, but it’s nonetheless pretty cool.

In addition to being controlled via a steering wheel, the Pulse also boasted a handful of other features that you’d expect to find in a car and not on a motorcycle such as air-conditioning (though it’s disconnected on this example) and an AM/FM radio which the current owner just replaced with a new unit. A new starter and reverse starter have also been added, as have new tires all around. The relatively clean paint job on this example leaves no doubt as to this machine’s country of origin and is surely a design Evel Knievel would approve of.

The Pulse was built in Owosso, Michigan by the Owosso Motor Car Company from ’85 to ’90. I don’t know how many are left but from what I’ve read there were about 347 of these made. [Editor’s Note: The seller claims that 234 are left but I can’t determine how he/she knows that.] The first 21 units went under the moniker of “the Litestar” before OMCC would change the name to Pulse. Surprisingly, this is classified in most states as a three-wheel motorcycle. The Pulse sported a 123-inch wheelbase and an overall weight of around 1000 lbs. Sadly, OMCC’s factory closed in 1990, meaning no parts have been available from OMCC since, making the handful of new components found on this example (VIN: 17JTW15G5KM000331) increasingly impressive.

The chassis of these “AutoCycles” were constructed of welded steel tubing, which is fitted into the fuselage “shell.” OMCC used to offer 1100cc or 1200cc four cylinder horizontally opposed water-cooled motorcycle engines that featured a five-speed manual transmission (with reverse) coupled with shaft drive, using a ratchet type gear shift lever located in the right side panel. The suspenders on these machines were comprised of air shock absorbers mounted on the rear with specially-designed spring-over front shocks. The front tire is a 13-inch car tire. The outrigger tires are smaller 8″ trailer tires which only support the vehicle at low speeds. The brakes are located on the two main wheels and are comprised of hydraulic discs.

Despite my personal inability to see these machines as safe, the Pulse is supposedly one of the safest motorcycle-esque vehicles in existence with the rollbar said to be able to handle six times the vehicle’s total weight. These vehicles are also said to have ten times less drag than a normal motorcycle (with pilot) and as a result get pretty incredible mileage considering the size and weight of this vehicle. While this is obviously somewhat of a novelty vehicle, it’s hard to deny it’s being worthy of a post.

You can find this 1989 Owosso Motor Car Company Pulse AutoCycle in all its patriotic glory for sale here on Craigslist in Warren, Ohio with a price of $27,500.