VW Beetle versus Yamaha VMAX

Markus Jahn
Car versus motorcycle
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V W Beetles and drag racing. That sounds just as daring as Erna's bowling party in international sports bowling. But if such a beetle drags around wildly and also challenges the most powerful two-wheelers, then there is probably something behind it. So, out with driver and machine - and now the whole truth on the drag strip. However, anyone expecting the tattooed rockabilly will be mistaken. A calm, matter-of-fact, humble pilot emerges from the Wolfsburg sports studio. Thomas Kemp, that's the name of the bug driver - 44 years old and a civil servant in real life.

The VW Beetle now has 308 hp

But what is real life? For this gentleman it is guaranteed to mean his bug. Thomas Kemp spent more than half of it on, in, for, with exactly this vehicle. Little Thomas was already sitting in the back seat as an eight-year-old - because his dad bought this economic miracle vehicle in 1973. Exactly ten years later, the son was given the car to pass his driving test. and of course the Beetle to get enthusiastic about drag racing. And this passion leads to the current intermediate status of an automotive creative object. Over the years, the PS only formed like this: 200, 235, 276, until - yes, until today 308 PS evaporate. Mechanically solid - based on a classic, air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine VW Type 4. Would you like a few details? We had already mentioned 308 hp, which leaves 680 kilograms in weight, four-fold 62 mm throttle valve carburettors, doors plus bumpers and hoods - all carbon, titanium valves, 103 mm pistons, 2.9 liter displacement, 911 blower, two-inch manifold, Floater clutch, launch control and - anyway, everything special and really changed every screw.

But seriously interested people should stop by at a public drag day in Bitburg. Thomas Kemp undoubtedly opens the quick-release fasteners on the fenders with the screwdriver - what follows is a clear view of the mighty engine. By the way: Bitburg in the Eifel, former US airbase and now a popular training area for the red Kemp Mobil.

VW Beetle versus 200 HP Yamaha VMAX

The Beetle has already lost a few victims on the 402.34 meters of the quartermile racecourse: A DTM car, Ferraris, a former Formula 1 - now it should be a powerful, fast motorcycle. The sister magazineMOTORRAD did not take long when asked, and sent their most experienced tester and a Yamaha VMAX. 'Powercruiser' describes quite harmlessly the purpose of this set of 200 HP specified by Yamaha. At 314 kilograms and a long wheelbase, she actually stands on two wheels to put annoying challengers at the traffic lights of this world in their place between Herne, Tokyo and San Francisco. But let's stay in Bitburg, let the drag traffic light run down, stretch our necks, look ahead and wait for the green.

First, at least it seems, the Yamaha VMAX is waiting for grip. The original road tire whimpers over the asphalt and paints black lines. So lower the starting speed, look for traction and hammer through gears. The result on the clock: 3.0 seconds from zero to 100 km /h and 10.54 seconds for the quarter mile. Then the Beetle: it lifts the front wheels briefly, literally claws into the asphalt and shoots forward. In order to get from zero to 50 km /h, the red lightning bolt needs just 5 meters and 58 centimeters distance! The acceleration from zero to a hundred things is 2.44 seconds, the Herbie completes the quarter mile in a formidable 10.34 seconds. The beetle is already looking for new opponents. Would you have something else in the garage?


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