Exceptional test: Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3


A Chevrolet Camaro 6.2 V8: 445 hp, 57 m / kg of torque, 484 kilos dry, € 72,000

The biggest motorcycle in the world delivers absolutely unique sensations !

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 in profile

It is the biggest motorcycle in the world and yet its designers claim it "rather easy to ride"! Which leads to immediately taking them for happy jokers and sending them beefy gentlemen who will offer them white pajamas with sleeves behind their backs.. They then specify, "in any case, not much more difficult to drive than a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide or a Honda GoldWing". However, this assertion comes up against a paradox: the technical sheet rather makes you want to run away. Judge for yourself: 6,200cc V-8 engine (for those with two fingers of car culture, it’s the LS3 block of entry-level Chevrolet Camaros and Corvettes), with an advertised power of 445 hp at 5,750 rpm and 57 m / kg of torque at 4750 rpm. Obviously, there are not several types of mapping or ABS or traction control adjustable on 8 levels as on the assisted bikes that we do at the moment. In fact, there is nothing other than this big engine. And you. All misogyny aside: a man’s motorcycle, perhaps, a notion that would take shape in the 484 dry kilos of the machine. Without the 32 liters of gasoline, therefore, placed high on the V8. In other words, no arms, no Boss Hoss !

If at this point you are not already immersed in an ocean of perplexity, wait for the rest. The handlebars are over a meter wide, the wheelbase is over two meters and the machine is 2.70 meters long, making it bulkier than a Smart Fortwo. And just 8 times more powerful. Gasp.

After a few days of testing and among all the people I met (the Boss Hoss helps to start conversations!), The reactions converged on a mixture of fascination, amazement and incomprehension. "But why ?" However, the history of the motorcycle includes a few machines integrating a car engine in their guts: we think of the German Munch Mammut and its 4-cylinder 998 cm3 from NSU, to the Brazilian Amazonas and its flat four 1600 from VW Beetle, to the French BFG and its Citroën GS 1300 flat four (and to the lesser known MF and its 2CV flat twin 600). But here we are at 6.2! Realize! For the anecdote, Ben, our photographer (who also photographs cars and who has some nice machines from 400 to 550 horsepower to his list), admitted: "well in fact, the biggest engine I have driven, it is therefore installed on a motorcycle ".

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 Engine

The story goes back to 1990. In a Cincinnati biker show, Monte Warne exhibits a prototype of his design: he managed to fit a V8 into a home setting and when he starts the machine, it’s riot. and not only because of the "somewhat" released exhausts.

It is that everything (almost!) Makes sense if you make the effort to understand American culture. There, the equivalent of our Renault Clio Diesel (the best seller on 4 wheels) is the Ford F150: a big pickup powered by a big V8. The V8 is the building block of the basic American car: it’s cultural. Add to this an essentially flat road network and wider than a landing strip at Roissy, great distances, bikers mainly inhabited by the spirit of cruising and who sum up the notion of performance to the capacity of acceleration, and , mix everything well, here is the Boss Hoss. Consistent, right? But two fingers of rationality lead us, however, to consider Warne as seriously ill..

However, requests poured in and Warne decided to market his motorcycle as a kit. For 6 years, a few hundred bikers will hit the road with this thing built in their garage before Warne decides to build it himself and sell it, adding a trike to his offer. Talking about success is perhaps a big word, but in the land of excessiveness, the machine is sufficiently attractive, in addition to being fully bearer of American values ​​(for Chevy and Harley fans, having a V8 cruiser represents necessarily the best of both worlds) to sell in respectable volumes. Quite popular in Germany and the Nordic countries, the Boss Hoss is imported into France by American Customs, Cars and Bikes, located in Thiais (94).


In the motorcycle encyclopedia, the Boss Hoss has its place at the "oversized" entry. Besides the engine that is no longer useful to present, the rest is, fortunately, to match. The fork ? 63 mm in diameter (more frail telegraph poles are known). The tires ? A 130/90 x 16 in front, but a good 300/35 x 18 behind. Strong.

We find the V8 logo everywhere

We could have fun going around and counting the "V8" inscriptions (sometimes we might not have noticed!), Which abound on the machine: each of the 5 counters on the dashboard, but also and above all , all aluminum parts, such as the handlebars on the fork, the gear lever, the end of the right-hand oil dipstick. What is also striking, seen from the front or three-quarters before, is the disproportionate place taken by the radiator and its propeller which constitute, at choice, a character trait or the visual weak point of the machine. But it is that the engine room must be cooled, especially since, as we will see later, the technical choices in terms of transmission do not contribute to optimal cooling on a daily basis..

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 Radiator

And for the rest, let’s say prosaically that this Boss Hoss is a permanent hallucination. Have you seen the massive commodos? "Are they cut in the mass?", Asks me our Nikonized Ben … "No, they are THE mass", I answer him with this characteristic trait of delicate and sophisticated humor with which, in general, I take myself a wind.

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 Comodos

Whatever, because I’m right: look at this rear brake disc, double thickness with its ventilation in the middle. And have you ever seen a motorcycle rear disc pinched by a 4 piston caliper? And this oscillating arm, which could serve as a spacer for the Millau Viaduct? And the passenger grab handle, made of a good braided metal rod, probably from an old stock of Canadian crane operators who used it to drag sequoias ?

And to anyone who would find its appearance a bit rustic, know that the Boss Hoss from the early 90s were downright rough in their presentation and have steadily improved over the years..

The Boss Hoss is Supersize Me !

In the saddle

Okay, there is no more question of slipping away. Must go. In their blissful optimism, the folks at Boss Hoss say she’s easy to pull off her kickstand. And this is not entirely wrong: once the apprehension has passed, on perfectly flat ground, you can climb on it, keep your arms crossed and, with a movement of the pelvis, put it vertically. Be careful, however: as on all very large machines, taking more than 2 ° of heel when stationary or during maneuvers puts the ship in perdition. In fact, it still takes a little energy to remove it from its crutch..

Once in the saddle, we find ourselves arms and legs spread apart: the V8 takes up space and it takes quite a bit of leverage to manipulate the machine. The commodos are homemade and their handling is logical, with a turn signal control per side and a button on the left to activate reverse gear.

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 counters

The center console is of the strong type: five dials (water temperature, oil pressure, counter, tachometer and voltmeter) allow monitoring of the engine room. In the lower part, a fuel gauge with display by green diodes and the gear selection indicator (very difficult to read in the sun) which, like in daddy’s automatic cars, displays an "R / N / D / 2" according to the chosen mode.

It is the lever, on the left, which allows you to choose the speeds. It’s simple. Start in neutral, push forward and you are in Drive, come back once, then another backwards and there you are in reverse. Easy? In fact, not that much, but suspense…

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 Shifter

When starting, hold the machine in your hand, firmly braced on your legs. The V8 comes to life and shakes you sharply to the right. Some bikers will talk to you, the tremolos in their voices and the heard air of belonging to those who know how to control, of the overturning torque of old BMW flat twins and Moto Guzzi V2s. Well, it’s the same, but times 10.

In the city

Do you have to be stupid to plunge into the Parisian chaos a machine designed for Route 66? A little, but at the same time, no choice and then you have to try.

First point: do not try to fight against the weight of the beast but put your feet on the footrests as soon as possible, from 2 km / h, then play with your balance and its long wheelbase, with slight movements. handlebars and pelvis. The Boss Hoss folks are not totally wrong: the machine is still well balanced and the center of gravity should not be far from the crankshaft of the V8, all the way down, in line with the bike. The limit of this exercise lies in the turning radius, of the wide kind..

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 in town

Then, the transmission makes your life easier: in Drive mode, you actually stay in first gear and, with the automatic transmission, if you open the throttle by counting the millimeters, you can then move smoothly and without getting stuck. fear. The automatic transmission does not slip in a disproportionate way even if, in first at 50 km / h, one turns a little bit below 2000 rpm. The V8 gurgles without too much discretion and next to you, scooter riders and other users look at you with a dumbfounded air. With a stronger gas stroke, the V8 roars briefly, the rear tire leaves a small mark on the asphalt and they are only a distant memory in your rearview mirror..

Second mode of use: open wide to the fire, leave everyone there with a large trace of rubber and the roar of the V8 as a bonus. Terribly funny, but to be done in moderation. Because if the grip is good, the Boss Hoss is given for the 0 to 100 in a little more than 2 seconds…

As you can imagine: in small narrow streets, the Boss Hoss is in agony. On the other hand and it is rather a good surprise, on the big boulevards or the relatively wide peripheral lanes, the Boss Hoss allows to make the interfile without too much stress, especially as the wide handlebars pass over the retro cars. On the other hand, the V8 gives off a lot of heat and cooks your calves downright….

Note that a relatively large trunk located under the passenger seat can accommodate small items, such as a puncture spray….

On motorways and main roads

With 445 horsepower, we suspect that highway cruising is just a formality. This is the case, but the specifics of the Boss Hoss in terms of transmission should be taken into account. Because if you have ever seen a car gearbox and, a fortiori, a V8 box, then you have this certainty: it does not fit in a motorcycle.

Suddenly, the Boss Hoss, in Drive, is almost in direct grip. Whatever, the V8 has the extension: 3000 rpm at 90, around 4000 rpm at 130 and, for our German friends, 5000 at 170 and 6000 at 200 km / h. First. It still turns high for such a mechanism and, in fact, we better understand both the calories it releases and the surface of the radiator and its propeller..

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 on road

To overcome this problem, Boss Hoss developed an overdrive in 2002: it works like a reduction gear which considerably lengthens the transmission ratio. To operate it, it’s simple: while driving, push the gear lever forward again and go to "2". The overdrive engages then, but causes a gigantic effect of torque of reversal which makes you make a gap of almost a meter on the roadway. And since you should only switch it on above 130 km / h, it’s both anti-mechanical and in addition, a little creepy.

In Overdrive mode, the Boss Hoss only spins at 2500 rpm at 130 and we understand that on the US Interstates, swallowed in cruising mode at 60 mph and at just 2000 rpm, the Boss Hoss consumes only 9 l / 100. But she will only be sober under these conditions.

For the rest, the screen protects rather well and the driving position is rather comfortable, while the stability remains good. The suspensions do their job and also do what they can: it’s okay overall but not necessarily well tuned and then with more than 600 kilos in motion, it’s hard to expect miracles..

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 straight line

Let us not forget that when the speed decreases (entry of town, highway ramp …), it is then necessary to de-select the overdrive, under penalty of driving in flagrant under-revving and damaging the box. By the way, we get a mega effect of reversal torque. If we understand the interest of lowering the rotation speed of the V8 in cruising, the operation of the whole is still a little shadok.

On departmental

"Hey, this is the first time I’ve heard of this," Ben told me. Before I go for the action shots, which require a bit of dynamism, I sigh an "I’m going, but I’m scared". Because there, we will have to put the Boss Hoss a little under stress and test the limits of the ground clearance. Remember: more than 500 kilos, 57 m / kg of torque. whoops…

Especially since, as we have seen, speeds below 130 km / h require you to stay in Drive, that is, in fact, in first. There is therefore a respondent. The first good news is to note the relative docility of the Boss Hoss. Designed for the endless American straights, this extraordinary machine is also capable of descending the famous 17 bends that lead to the Chevreuse Valley (78), but obviously forgetting any notion of attack..

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 cornering

Because if it remains relatively easy to handle, the Boss Hoss cannot claim the same balance as the other behemoths on the market. The work on the geometry of the chassis did not take into account the size difference between the front and rear tires and the machine gives the impression of turning twice. The automatic transmission smooths the engine brake a little and destroys any precision of the little "trickle of gas in the curve" that one would really need, while the enormous reversing torque on the go-around can surprise in tight bends….

The suspensions, poorly tuned, do what they can in the face of such cavalry and the braking, however correct in absolute terms, is also harshly put to use. In other words: the precision of the trajectories is not really his thing (we don’t even dare to imagine a crossing of the Morvan at night and in the rain!), The Boss Hoss pushes aside, bounces on the bumps and the limits ground clearance are reached quickly. Riding the Boss Hoss, you never forget that you are riding a … Boss Hoss (!), Where with a big Harley, a Triumph Rocket III or better yet, a GoldWing, you can ignore the machine to concentrate on the rest.

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 on the corner

Thus, the Boss Hoss is not for tender feet: on departmental, we anticipate, we aim wide, we round off its trajectories but above all, we revel in the resumptions of the big V8 in each stretch and we open our ears to s ” impregnate rumblings from 6.2 on deceleration. And let’s not forget that in less than 10 seconds you can end up at 200 km / h. Frightening !

In short: some machines are revealed in the entrances to the curve. The Boss Hoss thing is definitely corner exits…

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 in vehicle view

Comfort and duo

As we have said, the suspensions are a little outdated, but it is especially in arsouille mode. When cruising on a good surface, the comfort is quite good, with suspensions that offer enough restraint both in compression and in relaxation so as not to be obsessed with avoiding potholes and other irregularities in the asphalt. Designed by Bagster, the saddle is also of good composition while the windscreen is effective in deflecting air above 100 km / h.

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 saddle

Consumption / autonomy

Thus, the 32 liters of the tank allow stages of more than 300 kilometers, if the road is sufficiently flat to be able to remain in 2nd. Because an enthusiastic use of the resources of the V8 on the first report gives a consumption that flirts with 25 l / 100.


The frame of the Boss Hoss is homemade: it is a double cradle in 4130 chromium-molybdenum steel with a section of 3.81 cm, reinforced with an aluminum alloy at the level of the steering column. The hardware and bearings are also sized for the weight and performance of the machine. The rest is classic, albeit generously sized: 63mm diameter inverted fork, dual adjustable rear shocks and a swingarm about 4 times thicker than that of a classic Japanese motorcycle..

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 Shock Absorber


Three discs on the program, including a double specificity at the rear: the ventilated disc and the 4-piston caliper. The braking power is honest in the absolute and the controls are precise and metered, but let’s not forget that the stratospheric performance of the machine can put the system to the test. No ABS on the program: good luck for emergency braking in the rain…

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 Wheel

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 Ventilated Brake


Obviously a Boss Hoss is of no use other than having fun, a lot and scared, a little too! Over the kilometers and the progress of the grip, it is true that it allows itself to be tamed a little and that we say to ourselves that in fact, the people of Boss Hoss were right and that she is easy to drive. Until we pass the second, that we find ourselves moved away from a slow turn by the reversing torque, that we border the loss of balance in maneuver or, better still, that the we find ourselves hanging on the handlebars flag style by storm force 12 with the howl of the V8 in the ears.

Living with the Boss Hoss is like sleeping with a tigress (a real one, not your mistress), appreciating her silky coat, deep purrs, and being mesmerized by her powerful gaze. Even if it means forgetting that the scratch, one day … Rarely has the expression "to have dynamite under the handle" been so correct.

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3 from behind

The Boss Hoss is neither reasonable nor rational. But every start of the V8 activates the adrenaline pump. Each acceleration sticks your banana to the bottom of the helmet. And to think that some customers put nitro kits, or even ask for conversions in 7.4! Boss Hoss even produced, from 1997 to 2002, a version equipped with a big block of muscle car: 8200 cm3 and 700 hp. With the reinforcements of the frame, the machine weighed 700 kilos! On the other hand, the 1997 and 1998 vintages saw the arrival of a V6 version 4.0 of approximately 200 hp (an entry-level engine for Mustangs and other Camaros) which did not have a great commercial success: the customers want excess.

And who are these clients? Usually from 40 to 50 CEOs, fan of US culture and already owner of a few American cars and motorcycles. So yes, the Boss Hoss is, at choice, irrational, stupid, totally disproportionate and terribly addictive. And probably all of this at once.

At € 72,000, it will remain a fantasy for many. But for those for whom it constitutes a question, those who wonder what can represent the absolute and the extreme in terms of motorcycles, American Bikes Custom and Cars offers rentals at an almost reasonable price: 285 € per day, Unlimited mileage. Not very expensive to go to confront Raw Power (with a capital P!) And make memories for life.

Boss Hoss BHC3-LS3

Strong points

  • Total excess !
  • A 6.2 V8 in a motorcycle !
  • Comfort in cruising
  • Monstrous power
  • Monster couple
  • Monstrous sensations

Weak points

  • Monstrous overthrow couple
  • Monstrous consumption (except in cruising)
  • V8 heat rises
  • Logic of the overdrive a little "shadok"
  • Braking not monstrous (given the perfs)

Boss Hoss BHC-3 LS3 technical sheet

Test conditions

  • Itinerary: 2 days of use in and around Paris
  • Motorcycle mileage: 8,400 km
  • Problem encountered: now that I’ve tasted the absolute, the rest will seem bland

The competition: a Chevrolet Camaro 6.2 for the engine, an F16 for the acceleration, go diving with white sharks for the sensations, failing that, a Triumph 2300 Rocket III for the little ones

  • The Boss Hoss France website
  • The Boss Hoss USA website
  • All custom tests

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