Amphibious KTM Duke 690 BikeBoat which was essentially a motorcycle which carried an inflatable raft and portable propeller on its back was indeed an innovative backyard-built machine. However, during its maiden voyage in water, one of the fuel tanks melted and caught fire, resulting in the BikeBoat sinking in English Channel shortly before the midway point.
Thus, a three-year long effort went up in flames and plunged into the ocean bed in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, Francis, the creator and rider/sailor of BikeBoat, ditched it in time and swam towards the backup boat.
Not deterred by the setback, Francis and his partners are planning to build not one but two more Bikeboats. This time, the plan is to cross Bering straight from Russia and enter Alaska! In order to fund the adventurous venture, the team has floated a crowdfunding campaign under the name IndieGoGo.
The team wants to raise at least 10,000 pounds but an amount of around 20,000-30,000 pounds would give them more freedom. They are planning to hire professional scuba divers to salvage the sunk Bikeboat and build at least two units of BikeBoat II.
Duke 690-based amphibious Bikeboat was capable of a cruising speed of 10 knots. The single-cylinder 690 cc liquid cooled engine puts out 67 bhp and is mated to a 6-speed gearbox.