Monday, December 31, 2007

The art of Range Murata.

"Renji "Range" Murata (村田 蓮爾 Murata Renji, born October 2, 1968 in Osaka) is a Japanese artist and designer, known for his unique style combining Art Deco and Japanese anime elements. He is best known for his conceptual design work on anime series.

He began his career in the early 1990s doing design work for video games. He still continues to do some work in this area today, having recently done the character designs for the PlayStation 2 game Spy Fiction.

Range Murata's TT Butterfly PVC Statue $71.99 from

He has published more than a dozen books of his work, some of the most notable being robot, rule, and futurhythm. He is also voted "Best Artist of the Year" 2006 in the Seiun Award.

Murata loves all things mechanical-including bicycles, and has now begun to produce a limited series of this stunning bike based on one of his illustrations.

The International School of Design BMW/IMME 1200 concept.

From Bikes in the Fast Lane:
"French motorcycle magazine, Moto Revue, reports on two students from the ISD (International School of Design) in Valenciennes, France that are in a very advanced stage of a prototype motorcycle based on BMW's R1200 engine. The project is named IMME 1200 (named after the now defunct German motorcycle manufacturer IMME), and is so interesting that BMW have taken an active interest.

The modular sportsbike will weigh 155 kilos, and have 150 horses in the 1200 cc flat twin of. Nicolas Dubar and Yves Dufeutrelle are currently finishing the prototype with help from the German manufacturer. It is their intention to display the motorcycle at the upcoming Intermot, world's biggest motorcycle show at Cologne, Germany. You'll be able to see this motorcycle at the BMW stand.

What's really nice of this motorcycle, apart from a very high tech and sleek design, is that with one tool (the engine contact key) you can remove all "road" parts (license plate, lights, mirrors etc) of the motorcycle for when you plan to run your bike on a circuit.

So for the price of one motorcycle, you get two...

Nicolas and Yves are still looking for further partners for this project. I'd love to see the concept motorcycle when it appears at the Intermot show."

Go with the Flow.

Ever wonder what the air is doing as you ride on the interstate? Well, thanks to PowerVIZ software you can now see it in action. PowerVIZ animation capabilities allow users to view and analyze results from PowerFLOW Simulations (a software simulating some of the world's most complex fluid flow problems)

..and now you know.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The stinkwheel no longer stinks-the electric Solex.

"Eighteen years after the closure of the production lines in Saint-Quentin, the Solex has risen from its ashes in a modern form. No longer just economic, but ecological to boot!

Italians have the Vespa, the French have their Solex! These two-wheelers were designed in the aftermath of WWII for the same reason: as a popular means of individual transport in countries weakened by the war. All in all, some eight million VéloSolex were produced and sold, mainly in France.

Incidentally, Solex and Vespa are both celebrating their sixtieth anniversary this year. On this occasion, the Cible group, which brought the brand in 2004, has decided to bring out a new version of the famous 'bike that rides itself' by adapting it to fashion and the concerns of the time.

The design of the e-Solex has been entrusted to the Italian design company, Pininfarina, known worldwide for its work with Ferrari. So the e-Solex is automatically beautiful! The main elements of the original model have been kept, in particular the large black case on the front wheel. This case hid the small two stroke engine that drove the front wheel by a roller. This is no longer the case today since this re-dimensioned attachment now serves to carry the battery charger. That's right, the 2006 version of the Solex is electric-powered!

The central tube of the frame hides a housing for a Lithium-ion type battery (weighing 5 kg) that can be removed and recharged on mains power either at home or at your office. In three hours this battery is 70% recharged (100% in 6 hours) and its life is estimated at 1000 recharging cycles.
This electrical source supplies a small 36V 400 Watt engine, placed in the rear wheel hub. The e-Solex has therefore switched to rear-engine rear-wheel drive!

The rider can choose between two operating modes: 'economic' or 'maximum'. The former allows a 60 km driving range or 2h 15 of use approximately, whereas the latter has a better performance but is limited to 45 km or 1h 30. In economic mode, peak speed is 25 km/h, while in maximum mode it is 35 km/h.

The e-Solex weighs 40 kg with its battery, making it slightly heavier than Aprilia electric-assist bikes (Enjoy model), yet it is very easy to handle nevertheless. On the other hand, the e-Solex's modest performances will make driving somewhat tricky in busy London streets. Turning the right handle propels the engine in almost total silence (you just hear the slight murmur of the electric engine), but accelerations remain typical of a ... Solex. Facing the capital's hysteric traffic on a 50 cc scooter, legally limited to 45 km/h, is already complicated in itself, but with such accelerations there is only one solution: avoid large thoroughfares and stick to quiet back streets.

The e-Solex does however surpass the behaviour of its ancestor: it has far better road holding, brakes much better (front and rear discs) and takes care of the rider's comfort (mechanical suspension at the front, spring-mounted seat).

As with its ancestor, you can use the e-Solex in bicycle mode or pedal to add more oomph to accelerations..."

Marcus Moto Design's Husqvarna V1000 Gran Turismo Concept.

We found this stunning Husqvarna V1000 Gran Turismo concept by Marcus Moto designs in the newest issue of P.B. magazine. Marcus's Inspiration came from from the 1935 Husqvarna 500cc road racer. If there is enough interest in the bike Marcus may put the concept out in kit-form..let us hope.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Game art of Stephen Jameson.

Quad-Wheel Motorcycle
Via: Stephen Jameson
"In our world game world "Damnation"(a steam-punk fantasy western that was released as a mod for Unreal Tournament in 2004), almost all horses have died in the ongoing civil war, and the mounts of choice have become steam powered motorcycles and other such mechanical conveyances. This bike has four wheels, and does not turn the way a regular motorcycle does, but instead scissors its wheels up and down, causing it to lean into turns. Just as with the robotic Automan, an asset such as this has a great danger of appearing too modern, or even futuristic, when the intent is to make it seem just the opposite. The shapes and metal choices played a key role in accomplishing this, as well as the Native American touches."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Ingsoc motorcycle club gets its own patch.

These patches were inspired by the novel Nine-Teen Eighty-Four written by George Orwell and designed for the comic book adaptation currently in progress at 1984comic The badge may be sewn on your coat, hand bag, pack sack or outer party uniform. US $10.00 (+ US $1.00 shipping)

Patches can also be had via: The Lionhearted

Monday, December 24, 2007

The return of the Delphin...

Son Heinz and the shadow of his fathers past
With its large tail fin, it reminds you of an enormous fish. The 3.70-meter long, 1.10-meter high Delphin III is no ordinary bike. Fifty years ago the legendary motorcycle racer Wilhelm Herz caused a furor on just such a remarkable machine. Riding his NSU Delphin on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, he broke both the 300 km/h and 200 mph barriers and set an absolute world record for motorcycles.

In memory of his father’s heart-stopping exploit, his son Heinz has now had an exact reproduction of the record-breaking vehicle built according to the original NSU plans. “Without the help of sponsors and friends, the project would have been impossible”, says Heinz Herz.

In honor of his late father, Heinz Herz intends to go for a demonstration ride “on this dinosaur” at the original Salt Flats venue during Speed Week. “I want to pay tribute once more to my father’s historical sporting achievement, which took place there 50 years ago.

Youtube: Indian women riders.

Thanks to Helmet Hair for the great link!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Television: Street Hawk.

Desperate Television producers create a motorcycle: Street Hawk

Via: Street Hawk online:
"Street Hawk was a short lived television series that aired back in 1985 on ABC. It lasted only one season and there was only 13 episodes ever made. The show was about a cop name Jessie Mach who was picked to test a top secret government project called Street Hawk. His partner Norman Tuttle, the designer of the motorcycle, was in charge of the project. Jessie would cruise the streets of L.A. on the bike while Norman sat back at command center guiding Jessie. Together they would fight crime on the Streets of Los Angeles.

Street Hawk made its debut on January 4, 1985 on ABC at 9 PM EST and lasted until May 16, 1985. It's such a shame that this show didn't last longer than it did. Some say the show just came a little too late. All of the other "Super Vehicle" shows such a Airwolf and Knight Rider already had their fans and there just wasn't room left for Street Hawk.

There were actually a total of 15 bikes made for the show built by The Bike was constructed by Gene Winfield's 'Rod and Custom Construction, Inc.'and there were three different types of dirt bikes that were used, a 1983 Honda XL500, a 1984 Honda XR500 sand a 1984 Honda CR250's were used to make the bikes for the stunt scenes during the series.

Probert's Final concept
Street hawk was originally created by designer of "Star Treck The Next Generation"Andrew Probert. His design was used to create the bike used in the pilot episode of Street Hawk.

Probert put a lot of serious thought in to the design of the these clever hand controls
..and the must have for those irritating driving cellphone users: a cowl mounted laser.

The second bike, which was designed by Illustrator and Cinema production designer (example: the film "Aliens" for one) Ron Cobb-witch was quite different from the bike used in the pilot episode. The nose now contains a missile launcher and machine guns. The body of the bike is also very differentfrom the bike in the pilot episode. As you can tell there isn't nearly as much detail in the exhaust of the bike and the body of the bike is much wider.

One of the bikes from when it went up for sale on EBay in September 2000. It sold for $12,000 -. This bike is now owned by Chris Bromham, one of the stuntmen for Street Hawk. There are currently 2 replicas of the bike being built. One of them will be a replica of the pilot bike and the other will be a replica of the series bike"

Comics: Mom's Apple Pie.

I remember this story by legendary French comic art Moebius (Jean Giraud) when I was young and still was rather naive about the sinister incest/bondage theme that followed this page, but the cafe racer image was vividly burned in my memory.

A few months ago in the act of digging my brothers basement out of years and years of various book collections I re-discovered it in the bound edition of National Lampoon's French Comics (the kind that men like). So enjoy this now yellowed art in its all first-time-scanned (so we believe) glory.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Motorcycles from watch parts.

Chris Arnold's Xs Durandal Motorcycle.


Chris Arnold graduated from The Art Institute of Dallas in 2006 and am now currently employed at BOKA Powell. It is an architectural firm in Dallas TX that specializes in high end architectural renderings.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The art of Sana Takeda.

"The Samurider"
"Sana Takeda's has created artwork for manga and collectable card games. Her work has very distinctive Japanese influences - the Japanese masks in Oni, Samurai references in Oni-Kiri-Maru and fox spirits in Kitsune."

The Jet Boy.

Little is known in the U.S. about Shonen Jet (The Jet Boy). We know he comes from Japan, and is one of the first original "Tokusatsu" ("live action science fiction" t.v. hero) to be aired. The definitive website for all things heroic in Japan is japanhero. A few images are available from their impressive and rich site- but all are the same as the one above. Tedious Googling has found nothing else-with the exception of a small indie rock band with the same name.
I'm always searching more and more about this brave little hero-its a tiny personal quest of mine. But I do know this: a crimefighting boy, his a loyal German Shepard, a Honda 50 scooter, and with the love of justice on their side....together they could take the world by storm.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The art of Herman Divers.

Divers motorcycle made from pop can pull-tabs.

A Thoroughly Modern Brough Superior-The Banquer Superior.

At last a Harley we can get our head around-the Banquer Superior

Via the Kneeslider:
"Gwen Banquer has had a lot of motorcycles but a few years ago he decided to build a modern version of one of the most highly sought after classics, the Brough Superior. The result is the Banquer Superior.

The Banquer Superior started with a photo of a Brough Superior SS100. He bought a frame from Milwaukee Iron, a Harley Davidson 1340 Evo motor, a RevTech 5 speed transmission and a springer front end from Paughco. He modified the springer pieces to look like the original Brough Superior’s Castle forks. He had to fabricate the tank and very distinctive Brough style exhaust. Banquer number 2 uses a RevTech 100 cubic inch engine as does number 3. It looks like he’s done a pretty nice job of capturing the Brough Superior look.
Gwen will build one on a custom order basis, which gives you a bit of leeway in the details. Price is in the high 30k range depending on specific options. If you’re looking for vintage style with modern components and reliability, this might be for you.

Gwen can be contacted for orders at: Gwen Banquer. There is also one dealer with a Banquer available: Velocity Vintage"

All fine and good but what would T.E. Lawrence think?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bullet proof monk.

Via: Thai Blogs

"Sales of bulletproof vests have been popular in the deep south of Thailand where roadside killings are common. Now they come in shades of orange to protect monks who have also been targeted.

...if they don't think the vest is enough, they could also try this armoured motorcycle. Notice the little window which the monk can pop open to receive alms"

Daniel Simons Detonator concept.

Via the Simple Motorcycle Blog:

"Daniel Simons is behind the design of this fantasy Concept motorcyle the Detonator V4 6.0. He has clearly mentioned in his site that this bike is a pure sculpture with no intention of being a functional motor bike. The initial idea was to shape a radical bike using simple shapes such as cubes and cylinders, a heavy & brutal look, with a mix of retro style and modern simplicity.

The Detonator comes without a visible frame. Instead, there is simple block housing the giant 6 liter 4 cylinder engine. All additional parts i.e seat, steering, suspension and exhaust are geometrically linked to the V shaped engine.

The front suspension is a complex lever system. The steering is achieved by an electromagnetic sled located directly behind the front wheel. The pilot controls that digital impulse with the 2 independent handle bars. These control bars also include the front lights..

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The art of David Ehlen.

San Francisco opens the first motorcycle workshop for women.

Happy girl photo from urban Moto

From sf.metblogs:

Now the time to register for Lisa Duke's superlative motorcycle workshop -- that is, if you're a girl. This is the CCSF's first-ever motorcycle workshop for women, where 13 female students get a hands-on sampling of the motorcycle program offered at CCSF. Lisa Duke already has quite a following for her get-your-hands-dirty workshops where students take apart motorcyles and fix problems on their own bikes; this is a great way to learn tune-ups, troubleshooting, systems overviews and to work with other students solving different bike problems (or just watch). There are a lot of kick-ass female bike mechanics in town, like Werkstatt owner and mechanic Jennifer Bromme, superbike maven and owner of Mission Motorcycles Wendy Epstein and Lisa Duke. But on a recent trip to a mechanic's convention, Duke would up being the only woman in a room full of 200 men... and thus the idea for this workshop was hatched!

It must be saturday 1974: Devlin.

"Based on the enormous popularity of daredevil Evel Knievel, Hanna-Barbera developed this cartoon about a stunt motorcyclist working in a traveling circus. Ernie, Todd & Sandy Devlin were part of Hank's circus. Ernie's the motorcycle stunt driver while Todd's his mechanic. An episode of Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law featured a washed-up Ernie Devlin after a child attempted to do a motorcycle stunt in which the boy sued Ernie after being injured."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The armoured Vespas of the Algeria and Indochina conflicts.

Via: Dark Roasted Blend
"After World War II, there was little money for defense spending while the nations of Europe rebuilt their industry and society. When there was some cash to spend, one had to be creative to stretch it as far as possible. The French probably accomplished the most astounding example of that with the ACMA Troupes Aeról Portées Mle. 56. Deployed with their airborne forces, this was essentially a militarized Vespa scooter outfitted with a 75mm recoilless rifle. Five parachutes would carry the two-man gun crew, weapon, ammunition, and two scooters safely to earth, and the men would load the weapon on one scooter and the ammo on the other, then ride away. More impressively, the recoilless rifle could be fired effectively on the move by the best of the gun crews. Total cost? About $500 for the scooter and the recoilless rifle was war surplus. Were they successful military machines? Well, the French Army deployed about 800 armed scooters in wars conducted in both Algeria and Indochina."

The conceptual designs of Heikki Naulapää.

Heikki Naulapääa, a Finnish student who graduated from Vehicle Design department of Royal College of Art, in 2004. Before his studies in began London, he graduated as a Industrial Designer from Lahti, Finland.
The Ducati Demon

"Starting point for me was to play with the iconic Monster and maintain it's classical appearance. But I wanted to do more; I wanted to create multifunctional bike with two different characters in one setup.

This is achieved with removable fairing -with fairing attached the bike has a bit more wind protection, but without it the bike transforms to a very aggressive streetfighter. With exhaust on the bottom of the bike together with classic, clean and very light rear end, I wanted to make my concept Monster look even bit more monsterous than today."
Aprilia RAM1000
"This project was my one of the most difficult tasks while studying in Lahti; to design complete motorbike without hardly any experience from 3D modeling. When starting this project, I hadn't got any experience of designing vehicles either, which made the task pretty challenging."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Youtube: koinu.

High Concept: The Aprilia Lama Prototype.

From an interview in Motorycle daily with Aprilia's Alberto Cappella:
"In my living room at home I have an Aprilia Lama scooter prototype. It is one of only two in existence. The other Lama is at the Noale factory. It gives me a good memory of times in the past. 15 years ago I was spending 3 months at Philip Stark's house by the sea. We had the job to design 8 different concept models and make mock-ups and clay models. We had absolutely free hands to do scooters, motorcycles or anything. We would have a swim in between, and then come back to work. We also consumed a lot of beer and champagne during the creative process. The clay models were stored in Stark's fishing house and the 6.5 Moto was the result."

The Future of scooters in Japan(ese)









Thanks to the UMTC for the tip!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The art of Joe Stanaway.

"EDINBURGH, Scotland - December 9, 2006 - With world-wide acclaim from the United Kingdom, to Pakistan, to New Zealand, to back home in the United States Joe Stanaway unveiled his hand-blown and kiln cast glass motorcycle masterpiece ‘The Glass Ride’ at the Edinburgh College of Art Masters of Design 2006 exhibition in Edinburgh, Scotland last week.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that things would turn out this way,” said Stanaway of the global reaction today by email. “The global reaction took me by surprise, thank you for all of your love and support.”

The hand-blown and kiln cast sculpture is a full size replica of a Harley Davidson ‘chopper’ motorcycle. And, has been over a year in the making.

Joe Stanaway is an innovative artist specializing in glass from Helena, Montana in the United States. He has pioneered new glass blowing styles from vintage old west cowboy hats to one-of-kind glass ‘chopper’ motorcycles. He currently is finishing his Masters work at the Edinburgh College of Art in Edinburgh,"

Freestyle designer: Simone LeAmon.

From freestyledesign:
"It is wonderfully difficult to define Simone LeAmon’s (b.1971) practice. She is an artist, designer, craftsperson, performer, curator, publicist, businesswoman and teacher, as each project or idea demands. LeAmon has designed or developed design proposals for projects as varied as jewellery, graphics, lighting, public art and even a women’s motorcycle racing suit.

LeAmon completed a degree in fine arts in 1993, majoring in sculpture, from the Victorian College of Arts. Since then her work has increasingly engaged with notions of function, consumption and desire, leading her to complete a masters degree in industrial design in 2004. Exhibitions and performances remain important vehicles for LeAmon in her pursuit of unorthodox design methodologies. In the work shown here, LeAmon is exploring the relationship between lifestyle products and general human emotions such as desire, comfort, disappointment and love."
Here's Simon's amazing womens motorcycle racing leathers design

You can take it with you-the Cargobike.

Via: Gizmag

"December 10, 2007 While they offer huge advantages in getting through traffic, fuel economy, convenience and pure smiles-per-mile, it's no secret that onboard storage on motorcycles is generally absolute rubbish. You might fit a wallet, phone and a spare pair of gloves under the seat, but anything bigger than a helmet, and even a maxi-scooter's stumped.

Which is why we were fascinated to discover Cargobike, a two-wheeled conveyance designed with one goal in mind: proper carrying capacity. And that it delivers - 150 whole liters of waterproof, lockable storage capacity, and a maximum load of a whopping 80 kilos in the cargo compartment which is nicely balanced where the tank and engine would be on a normal motorcycle.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cloud Strife and his bikes.

The original concept drawing of Cloud on his bike by the brilliant Yoshitaka Amano
Cloud Strife (クラウド・ストライフ Kuraudo Sutoraifu?) is the protagonist of Square's (now known as Square Enix) role-playing game Final Fantasy VII and several of its sequels and spin-offs. His appearance is marked by spiky blonde hair, vivid greenish-blue eyes. His first bike of a desperate choice was the "Hardy Daytona". (The Daytona was displayed at Shinra building and Cloud stole it to escape The Shinra Electric Power Company....

Must be helmet hair-Cloud with Hardy Daytona

In the CGI movie Final Fanatsy Advent Children, Cloud after countless conflicts retires and established the Strife Delivery Service, with the aid of friend Tifa Lockhart-and a new bike (Designed byTakayuki Takeya) called Fenrir.

In with the new: The Fenur

The DVD release of Advent Children sold over 420,000 copies in Japan (or by people who imported from Japan) in its first week, which was 93% of all published copies at the time.