Did This Guy Really Build This Motorcycle From a Citroen 2CV in the Desert?

Did This Guy Really Build This Motorcycle From a Citroen 2CV in the Desert?

TLDR version: Guy drove his Citroen 2CVinto the desert, hit a rock that broke his axel (or chassis), tore his car down and built a motorcycle from the parts with only “a hacksaw, some screwdrivers, a hammer, pliers and a few wrenches and that was it.”

I’m not a mechanic, but it sounds fishy to me. Seems like if you could do all that, you could repair the original break. The fact that he took a bunch press-ready photos in process only heightens my suspicions. And one version claims he was only 20 miles away from the nearest town. Hiking that seems very doable to me - I’ve done it.

But maybe he did, like I said I’m not a mechanic. Myth Busters did an episode on it and failed to recreate it - they say myth. But, if they are to be believed, others have claimed to be able to do it.

So what say you, dopers, possible?

In the 12 days claimed where he built the thing, he could have walked 20 miles (32 km) 6 times, to the closest town
and then back again. That’s just a long walk, I’ve done that on mountains with a heavy backpack.

On the other hand he may be a nutter, who has some engineering skills.

Looking at the pictures I can’t see a way to steer the bike, nor how the motor is connected to the wheel.

If it was not for his proud selfie in his underpants… I would consider this fake. But no one would publicize that choice of underwear unless they were serious.


I believe the 2CV bike was indeed built in the desert, much as Leray claims, but he set out from France with the explicit intention of performing this task. Otherwise he’d have walked out like any normal person in a similar situation.
His claimed unease about leaving his stricken car doesn’t ring true, let alone the spontaneous idea of making it into a two-wheeler. Tellingly, in 2006 Leray went on to build a ‘2CV boat’ in Mali. He clearly likes mucking about with 2CVs. Fair play to him!

One of the more incredible aspects of this story is the shocking lack of tools he claimed to have had.

With a welder in a shop maybe, but a hacksaw and a wrench?

IIRC from my relatively brief time as a rider, you can steer a motorcycle entirely by leaning.

Possibly, on paved roads. Riding across the desert though, that’s not likely. I’ll have to see it to believe it.

Added: I just saw a snippet of the video and it does have a little steering capability.

Not to be unduly skeptical, but there are some pretty bizarre things people will do for Internet fame.

I concur that it likely did happen, but that he planned it and it wasn’t a spontaneous “Oh, Shit” event.

And there’s also the claim that he survived for 12 days in the desert doing hard work. Was he prepared for that?

And did he let anyone else inspect the motorcycle when he was done?

Having raced motocross for many years when i was younger i can assure you that steering by leaning is how it’s done the majority of the time unless you’re making a sharp turn. Even in deep sand.