Chainsaw Motors With an Identity Crisis

Chainsaws are awesome, right? Noisy, smoke-blasting, powerful wood-chewing monsters. They’re even a little bit scary and dangerous in the wrong hands – we’re looking at you, Leatherface – but that just adds to their overall awesomeness. So what happens when your trusty old Stihl needs replacing, but you just can’t find a way to part with it, even though the blade bent months ago and the teeth are blunter than blunt? Answer: you turn it into something even more awesome.

Here we’ve put together a few of our favorite uses for chainsaw motors but the ideas don’t stop here. Be sure to let us know of all the creative ways you’ve used or seen chainsaw motors used for something other than cutting wood. Like the Germans themselves, German machinery and equipment is dependable and extremely efficient, and Dolmar, based in Hamburg, has been churning out tough as boots chainsaws since 1927.


It is one of the oldest makers of gas chainsaws around, and its founder, Emil Lerp, would be proud of the company’s standing in today’s ultra-competitive world of wood-grinding beasts. What he’d be even more proud of, though, is what crazy Dolmar mechanics came up with a few years ago: an outrageous marriage of Harley Davidson and 24 chainsaw motors to produce the ‘madness on two wheels’ called The Dolmette.

This animal is a sight to behold: 24 bright red engines from Dolmar PS-7900 chainsaws, hooked into the chrome frame of a Harley Davidson with 5-speed transmission and 12 toothed belts to make a 1.9 liter, 24 cylinder monstrosity which kicks out 125 Kw of power. According to Dolmar, it fires four times more often per revolution than a 12 cylinder, 4 stroke engine. The Dolmette is a crazed engineer’s dream, and the four meter long offspring of a custom chopper and very, very loud drag racer.

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This is insane!

Chainsaw to Helicopter

We’ve done along the ground with the demented bike, so how about up into the sky? In 2011 a genius/madman (take your pick) named Loukas in Greece was probably bored so chose to spend a few weeks creating a handmade remote control helicopter. No biggie there, plenty of people have built RC chopper kits and gone flying them around the local park before, right? Except Loukas decided to bolt two old 50cc chainsaw motors together and build a helicopter frame around the resultant massive 100cc twin cylinder gas engine for his new toy. This is a feat of technical prowess and engineering that would leave most guys weeping onto their broken McCulloch parts in the garage – it took outstanding skill and patience to put together and, best of all, on its maiden flight it took to the skies with ease.

Chainsaw to Go-Cart

Kids love go karts. Big kids in their twenties and thirties still love them, and can be found tinkering and adding motors and engines to tubular steel frames and bucket seats, just to push that kart a little bit faster. Speeds of 40 kilometers an hour are easily within reach when you bolt a diesel engine to the back of a child’s street buggy.

But that’s nothing compared to what some British go kart enthusiasts did in 2007, at a UK Power Tool Drag Racing event. On that epic day everything from motorizzed wheelbarrows, high speed garden blowers and even a belt sander driven toaster – which toasted slices of bread as it raced – made their way down the track. The crowd-pleaser, though, was a go kart on steroids: a steel framed rocket powered by eight chainsaw engines which tore up the opposition and sent the audience wild. But it wasn’t all good news: it failed to make a single piece of toast…

Chainsaw to Scooter

Scooters are fun, but tiring. Pushing with the same leg, over and over to reach speeds of, oh, three kilometers an hour. So why not let your old chainsaw motor do the ‘leg work’ with an easy, entry level do it yourself chainsaw mod for a scooter? You’ll need a basic store-bought scooter with hand brakes and inflatable tires, and you’re ready to start.

What You Do

Take your bladeless chainsaw (i.e. just the motor in its housing) and if it is a 4-stroke, unscrew its centrifugal clutch from the crank shaft (for a 2-stroke leave the centrifugal clutch on to ensure the motor does not burn out when coasting downhill). The motor will throw its power through sprockets and then a bicycle chain (you can keep the clutch if you like, but will need to use a chain that fits the sprocket on the clutch bell).

Bolt the other sprocket to the rear axle of the scooter, ensuring it is completely secure, then place the chainsaw motor on the scooter platform close to the rear tire; make sure both sprockets line up in order to connect the chain. Once they are lined up, bolt or drill the motor to the scooter platform securely. Once this is done, wrap a bicycle chain around both sprockets (you may need to adjust the chain or remove some links to make it tight), then attach a hand accelerator to one side of the handlebars. All that is left to do is a simple wire job to connect the accelerator to the ‘on and off’ wires on the motor so you can control when the engine will power your new motor scooter!

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This animal is a sight to behold: 24 bright red engines from Dolmar PS-7900 chainsaws, hooked into the chrome frame of a Harley Davidson with 5-speed transmission and 12 toothed b