Some people never forget their childhood toys or ways to have fun and by judging from this kid’s face, he will never ever forget about his very own, one-off Vespa rocking horse made of metal, fiberglass and imitation leather. The thing even gets the Vespa and Piaggio logos as well as the boy’s name – Diego – at the back of the seat. I don’t believe they could have done a better job with this one. Suddenly, even the memory of my first bicycle fades away.
Now that Harley-Davidson is concentrating on its own brand after bringing Buell to a sad end of the road and planning to sell MV Agusta, we became even more interested in their future plans and came across a concept bike designed by Miguel Cotto. The interesting part about it is that, unlike the usual concept designs that we see nowadays, power comes from a high-revving 883cc engine claimed to retain the HD sound that drives bikers crazy about their bikes.
We like the hubless wheels and this concept HD motorcycle in general, but certainly can’t imagine a pack of highway wolfs getting their beards on this baby not even ten years from this day.
A month ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda unveils their own approach towards the idea of a personal mobility device, a funky little unicycle that they call simply U3-X. This invention is based on ASIMO research, so it features an incline sensor that detects the leaning angle based on the rider’s weight shift and reacts according to direction and speed requirements detected. Making it possible for the user to go forward, backward, side-to-side or diagonally are a series of small wheels housed within the large wheel. Honda calls this the Omni-directional driving wheel system.
Powered by electric motors capable to move the U3-X around with a top speed of no more than 4 mph, Honda’s latest innovation has a lithium ion battery that can keep it operating for a full hour. The thing is also very light (only 22 pounds) and features foldable seat cushions and footrests, making it very easy to use and carry around.
Honda will show the U3-X at the Tokyo Motor Show next month, but they’ve also just released the official pics and press release, so check them out after the break.
Remember our post from yesterday about the “KTM Concept Motorbike ”? Well, we’ve come across yet another concept bike that starts pretty much from the same requirements and ends up fairly similar to what British designer Matt Williams created if you look at the big picture here. Forget about KTM’s flawless bodywork, sharp nose and tail, this thing looks like the cruiser of the future and everything is there for you to see, especially the V-Twin engine and the front swingarm.
The cruiser-like riding position is also there and given the low center of gravity and powerful engine, we reckon the ride should be essentially similar if these kinds of concepts ever find their way to the production line. Still, we like them.
Global specialist in energy management Schneider Electric has contracted Orange County Choppers to build their first hybrid motorcycle about which Paul Teutul , Sr. says it will be "capable of traveling farther, without refueling or recharging, than any other OCC bike in history." The parallel hybrid powertrain will be supplied by Schneider Electric while the guys at OCC bring in their design ideas as well as top quality build.
Obviously, you’re gonna see the whole story and the actual bike during a future American Chopper episode scheduled for next year, unless you’re a selected Schneider Electric contractor partner, meaning that you’ll see the hybrid chopper later this year and even get the change to win one of the eight such bikes that OCC and Schneider Electric give away.
After the jump, we’ve attached the video and the press release that resulted from this partnership. We’re eagerly waiting for the actual bike.
If concept bikes are supposed to be windows of the future, this thing here is a veritable glass wall. Created by British designer Matt Williams, the “KTM Motorbike” not only offers a great view over design brilliancy, but also has the innovation factor to back it up. Featuring a hub-center steering system which eliminates dive under braking, this KTM concept should handle like a superbike, while the steering angle is much more generous than on classic motorcycles.
Although it is supposed to be built around a small frame and powered by a KTM V-Twin engine, we simply cannot get over the aggressive looks of this concept and the cruiser-like riding position that it offers. If we’re right, if made, this motorcycle will offer the best of both worlds: superbike performance and cruiser comfort. Ouch, that will surely change some things in the motorcycle industry.
The 4MC is the creation of engineer and company director Nick Shotter, who got busy working on a traffic safe and efficient motorcycle after suffering a crash during his London currier days. Being practically an average-sized motorcycle rolling on four wheels instead of two, this four-wheeled vehicle retains the thrill and benefits of riding a machine that is fast, agile and very comfortable without presenting the same level of accident risk as on a classic motorcycle.
What you can see in the videos attached after the jump is a prototype performing both on a dry track and on a skid pan. Also, they show how this innovative motorcycle is much more stable when ridden through traffic and they do a quick Car vs 4MC test in tricky situations.
See the demo videos after the break.
Honda designers and engineers are busy working on the all-new VFR1200 sport-touring motorcycle, as the bike will be unveiled next month, and they’re no cheapskates when it comes to revealing technical information along the way. Last week, we found about the development of a dual clutch transmission that they’re preparing for this all-new model and now the Japanese company has released a video in which Honda senior engine manager Tsutomu Ishii takes us through the details of the 1200cc V4 engine.
The mastermind behind this motorcycle engine explains how they managed to achieve the width of a v-twin and the length of an inline-four, while the freshly created unit has a unicam head design, phase-pin crankshaft, 28° firing order and no balancer. Watch Honda’s official video after the jump.
The City is a concept vehicle designed by Jameson Klug to be affordable, lightweight, and simple. The idea came by joining a motorcycle with a car shell and, obviously, this brings benefits characteristic to both these types of vehicles: the versatility, low fuel consumption and thrill of riding a motorcycle when this is separated from the shell and the ability to carry two persons and cargo when attached to it.
Jameson Klug says: “My concept is based around the motorcycle architecture, and allows the car shell to attach when needed, to provide for extra cargo capacity, protection from the weather, or to carry two additional passengers. The driver still sits on the motorcycle even as he attaches it to the car, and utilizes its controls to save complexity.”
The entire bodywork is made of roto-molded high strength plastics, with a biodegradable honeycomb soy core, while the star rotor engine powering this entire assembly is capable of recycling heat that would normally be wasted.
The fact that Honda is planning to launch an all-new VFR model powered by a 1200cc V4 engine in 2010 is no news for any of our readers, but the fact that the all-new bike will feature a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission does sound fairly interesting even for those who aren’t that much into motorcycles.
Derived from a similar system used in the car industry for several years, Honda’s much more compact three-mode system is supposed to offer faster and yet smoother shifts. Riders of next year’s VFR will be able to select one of three different modes: two fully automatic ones and a manual (although not classic) shifting mode.
Having two clutches, it means that each one will be responsible for an equal number of gears among the six available.
We’ve attached Honda’s dual-clutch demonstration video as well as the press release after the break.