"There are several not-from-this-world motorcycles in our midst. This most likely stems from the surge in sales that motorcycle-industry designers and executives are now savoring, thanks to all that madness at the pump.
To capitalize on this newfound popularity, why not innovate with, dare I say it, out-of-the-box approaches to design and functionality. To this end, there is a noticeable influx of radically different concept and production bikes hitting the scene. Each one challenges preconceived notions about motorcycles as we have come to know them.
Perhaps not as sci-fi as Deus Ex Machina or eco-conscious as Suzuki's Crossfire, but oozing with enough testosterone to please a female bodybuilder, is the Icare concept from Enzyme Design. If bad-ass had an older brother, Icare would be it.
Enzyme, a highly hip French design house that dabbles in everything from product design to contemporary art, says Icare is a "superlative motor bike" that would fill a currently vacant niche for top-of-the-range bikes. Enzyme should check out the Confederate line for some high-end examples to position Icare against. Nonetheless, the bike is designed like a piece of art with the thought that experienced and deep-pocketed motorcyclists would like something more exclusive than a Ducati. Enzyme says its design inspiration came from the greatest hits album for Bang & Olufsen, Apple, Porsche and Audi.
Much like Jaguar's new XF, the Icare has a pleasing start-up sequence. When you walk into the garage on Sunday morning, Icare is "fully clothed," as Enzyme puts it. Meaning that the bike is almost entirely encased in shimmering aluminum goodness from the seat forward. There are no exposed parts short of some dangling pipes hanging below.
Turn that puppy on, and the casing parts like the Red Sea to reveal a thoroughly cool cockpit and exhaust pipes that could have been designed by Salvador Dali himself. You will also notice that wheel count goes from 2 to 4. A nice touch, there is what appears to be an exposed weld running across the chiseled fuel tank. Its kind of like leaving the primer coat on your car and calling it a rat rod.
The 6-cylinder, 1800-c.c. engine is Honda-sourced and, like the rest of the concept, is larger than life. But why stop at a naturally aspirated 6 when there is plenty of room for a volumetric compressor (aka supercharger). Enzyme is still in the concept stage but says the technology showcased is realistic.
In case you're interested, Enzyme is seeking partners to complete the project. The Enzyme site offers some 360 views. "
Saturday, July 19, 2008
the Icare revisted.
via: wired By Stuart Schwartzapfe