If 2016-17 were the years of the Cafe-Racers, 2018-19 are for the Street Trackers
Looking at what customers were making out of their products in the last couple of years, manufacturers forayed into satisfying the current wave of enthusiasts wanting custom and classic motorbikes. Café-Racers, Bobbers and the lot.
Visually powerful, intellectually elegant and above all, timeless. They became a cornucopia of sorts for people wanting a machine that could take them back in time and re-live the classic age.
With the winters settled, and the holiday season excitingly close, the motorcycle industry has already set the pace for the next couple of years by showcasing bonkers designs and products that will take on our roads pretty soon.
Luckily, there is one more breed of the ‘Classics’ amidst those. The makers have already shown appreciation to them and will head to production pretty soon. It’s what they as the Street Trackers.
Monsieur Lazereth and his Yamaha R1 Cafe-Racer
Remember watching Vin Diesel in the sci-fi Babylon A.D.? If you do, I pity the plight you had to sit through for it was a pile of steaming and smelly goo. But there was a motorcycle in it amongst other custom vehicles which obviously ended up in a crash, and it was nothing but a 1999 Yamaha R1 made by Frenchman, Ludovic Lazareth.
After the huge crash, Monsieur Lazereth worked his magic again to turn it into another monster with futuristic Café-Racer statements. It’s called the "Caferacer Lazareth - Back to the future" and it’s got the carbon all around it.
If the new CB1000R is the present, this CB4 ’Interceptor’ is Honda’s future
If you have a crazy sharp memory (won’t blame you if you don’t), Honda had showcased an interesting concept called the ’CB4 Concept’ at the 2015 EICMA. The concept showed us Honda’s capabilities in making a futuristic motorcycle that still gave it a retro appeal.
Fast forward to 2017 and Honda has gone ahead and done just that on a production model, the CB1000R that was launched at the ongoing EICMA. Along with that, Honda has taken the CB4 nameplate and stuck it on another new concept that is futuristic for sure, but also has an evocative ‘Sport Endurance’ tone added to the Cafe-Racer silhouette.
2016 - 2017 Arch Motorcycle KRGT-1
Arch Motorcycle’s flagship bike brings innovative design, crushing performance and artistic flair together for buyers looking for something, shall we say, a little more exclusive. Proprietary engine management components and an S&S twin-cam V-twin drive the bike with over 120 pound-feet of torque to work with, so it’s far from being just a showy curb ornament. A monster 2,032 cc engine drives this lovely beast for a bike that is as much art as it is transportation.
Continue reading for my review of the Arch Motorcycles KRGT-1.
As I peruse different concept and technology sites in my search for cool motorcycle innovations, things catch my attention and I like to share them with folks of similar interests. Sometimes innovative and creative designs leave me wondering “How did I ever live without this?” Then there’s the rest of the time when I have to wonder “What the Hell were they thinking?” For me, the UNI-CUB by Honda and Halbo from BMW each fit into one of the categories and are certainly interesting enough to share.
Continue reading for more information about these innovative two-wheeled creations.
Drakkar From Imaginactive
Imaginactive is the brainchild of one Charles Bombardier of BRP royalty, and it draws on some of the best engineering and design talent in the world to come up with fresh new ideas, as well as improvements on existing designs. Today, I want to take a look at one of their more interesting concept vehicles, the Drakkar trike designed in collaboration with Ashish Thulkar from the Indian Institute of Science. It’s a three-wheeler intended for off-road enduro environments and it sure does look the part.
Continue reading for my look at the Drakkar.
When we hear the word “drone,” most think of either the military version currently in use various theaters of operation around the world, or the small, “spy on your neighbor” variety popping up through retailers everywhere. To be fair, those craft are remotely controlled by a human pilot somewhere in the world, but what we have here is actually an autonomous, two-wheel vehicle — not quite the same thing — but for ease of conversation we’ll just call it a drone, and it is intended for use by the police in your neighborhood.
Continue reading for a look at the Interceptor drone.
Straight out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard comes the newest threat to the U.S-based, concept-bike market; the “Roadster” by Vanguard Moto, Inc. This is the first of three planned models, with a “Racer” and “Cruiser” just over the horizon, and what I’m seeing so far is quite impressive. Not only is this a pure-D cool looking ride, it comes with a digital pedigree that is almost unique in the full-size smoker-bike category having been largely designed in the electronic medium through CAD and 3-D printing technology.
This is a big step for would-be bike manufacturers, because it allows for relatively rapid design and production with a small team of engineers and workers, perfect for startups and builders looking to keep a small footprint. Edward Jacobs, formerly of Confederate Cycle, is the chief engineer and designer for the company with Francois-Xavier Terny serving as CEO and supply/logistics support, and this dynamic duo has created something truly unique under the sun.
Continue reading for my look at the Vanguard Roadster.
The answer is Cyclotron; a concept vehicle that seems to promise a lot, but for the most part works with existing technology and thus isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem at first. First off, it is designed as an all-electric vehicle, which is nothing new. Second, it will use a pair of gyroscopes to stabilize itself, more old technology at its core.
Lit Motors out of San Fransico, California has demonstrated the viability of the dual-gyro system on its C1; a driver-controlled, self-balancing motorcycle-like vehicle. The proposed wireless energy-transfer system that can automatically buy and sell power from and to other vehicles sounds nice on paper, and it effectively turns all the vehicles into part of the power grid which is cool, but it worries my nerves thinking about that kind of energy penetrating my body and brain tissues. Of course, the wildest part is the automated, self-driving feature that allows for hands-free commutes, but that too is a developing technology that has recently shown some real-world success with at least one owner claiming the car saved his life by driving him to the hospital after a medical event.
Continue reading for more on the Cyclotron.
Seems like nowadays, any activity pursued by two or more people gets labeled as a “sport,” and everyday we see new activities and hardware added to the mix. Stunt riding is just such an activity. Professional riders have taken elements that are widely regarded as dangerous and unnecessary on the road, and moved them to a closed-circuit, or otherwise controlled environment, where they belong. These intrepid riders have taken raw shenanigannery and honed it to an art form all its own. Now usually, stunt bikes are relatively stock machines with customized additions such as extra footpegs, engine guards (for obvious reasons) and unique features such as a 12- o’clock bar for some of the more extreme (read: vertical) maneuvers. However, since they aren’t purpose-built in a factory, bike-building ability is part of the overall skillset for the sport.
Enter the G 310, a concept stunt bike built by BMW Motorrad that is meant to go straight from showroom to event with a minimum of mechanical dickering. This roadster comes stripped, with no turn signals or lights of any sort, or even a license plate holder, so not only is it built for a specific purpose, it’s no good for any sort of (legal) road transportation. Before you read that as a negative, bear in mind that all of BMW’s resources went into handling stunts, with nothing wasted on any sort of non-essential bits and bobs. The result: we have the opposite of a Jack-of-all-trades, a purpose-built master of one particular style of riding.
Continue reading for my first look at the BMW Concept Stunt G 310.
One of the most talked-about motorcycle concepts in recent memory could be coming to the market after it was revealed that Suzuki had just filed trademarks to the name “Recursion” in both the US and European markets. Now this doesn’t automatically mean that the Suzuki Recusion will arrive in the market, but it does open the door on the possibility that Suzuki could very well be thinking of doing just that.
Suzuki hasn’t officially confirmed or denied speculation about a production version of the Recursion. It’s just that it’s easy to get excited over news like this one. Besides, a planned production model of the Recursion Concept falls right in line with the growing trend among motorcycle companies who are shifting more and more into forced induction models in a bid to attract more buyers who prefer smaller but more powerful machines. Kawasaki’s already there, having released a handful of new bikes that fit in that mold, including the 300-horsepower Ninja H2R and its less powerful, street version, the Ninja H2. Even Honda is reportedly concocting a special blend of turbochargers and superchargers in its R&D facilities.
Should Suzuki follow down this road, there’s really no better candidate to banner its entry into the forced-induction motorcycle segment than a production version of the Recursion. Those trademark filings could very well be the first step in that direction.
Continue reading to learn more about the future of the Suzuki Recursion Concept.
Scooters these days can come in all shapes and sizes. Some are traditionally built while others are designed to resemble motorcycles. Then there’s the Tulip three-wheel electric scooter by designer Ognyan Bozhilov. To properly describe what the Tulip looks like, you’re going to need to know what an actual tulip looks like. Yep. The Tulip electric scooter looks like a tulip. Points for creativity there, Mr. Bozhilov.
To be fair, the Tulip is still a concept so it’s not like this is the exact some thing we’re going to see in the event it hits production. But you still have to give Bozhilov credit for creatively infusing the design DNA of a tulip into his creation. The quirky aluminum frame in the front takes the shape of the flower and functions as protection shields that encase the rider in a cocoon-like cockpit. Wheel fenders were also placed on the two front wheels, completely covering them up to create the illusion of the scooter sliding forward with just one Tron-like rear wheel aiding it.
Powering the Tulip is a lithium-ion battery that’s comprised of a motor and an inventer that Bozhilov combined in a single unit to space precious weight and space. According to Bozhilov, the Tulip is capable of hitting a top speed of 50 mph while covering a range of 60 miles on a single full charge.
It’s not certain how far Bozhilov’s concept will go, but I personally hope it makes it into production. We may have a lot of electric scooters in the market today, but I think we can do with one more in the fold, especially if it looks as ambitious as the Tulip.
Continue reading to read more about Ognyan Bozhilov’s Tulip three-wheel electric scooter.