Watch a water-powered trike do 0-62mph in 0.5secs | Top Gear
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Watch a water-powered trike do 0-62mph in 0.5secs

​Hold on tight as Francois Gissy gives you the only lesson in physics you’ll ever need

Published: 19 Sep 2017
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We’ve featured French bus driver Francois Gissy – quite possibly the ballsiest person on the planet – on TopGear.com before.

Three years ago, he rode a rocket-powered bicycle to a jaw-dropping, white-knuckle-inducing, bum-puckering speed of 207mph. Yes, you read that right. Two hundred and seven miles an hour. On a push bike.

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But now, with the help of an extra wheel, he’s producing even more extreme numbers thanks to a home-built tricycle that does 0-62 mph in just 0.55 seconds, can hit its 162mph top speed in just 1/8th of a mile while being powered by nothing else but compressed air and rainwater.

Yes, Francois has taken that age-old primary school engineering class of bottle rockets and put it on steroids. His trusty trike is a proper bit of home-brew engineering that’d leave the likes of the Bugatti Chiron, Hennessey’s Venom GT and all the other hyper or electric cars (yes we’re looking at you, Tesla fans) weeping at the start line.

It has a motorcycle front fork, go-kart rear wheels, and a carbonfibre-wrapped aluminium tank holding 35 gallons of rainwater (collected by hand after 76 trips to a reservoir and poured in using a saucepan). Water that’s been put under an excruciating 6000psi of pressure.

All Gissy had to do then was line the trike up on the line and hook it up to some timing equipment. With the touch of a button, all the physics is uncorked and silly, silly numbers happen, such as 0-62 mph in half a second while pulling 5.1g. Safe to say a Hulk-like grip is necessary to not topple off the back.

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This is probably the eco-friendliest way of going fast. So fast, in fact, you'll see (around the 60sec mark) that the camera's pixels can't keep up...

 

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