Friday, February 29, 2008

Manga: Biomega.

Biomega is an Surrealistic Cyberpunk action manga by Tsutomu Nihei. It follows a character by the name of Kanoe Zouichi-a synthetic elite soldier created by Toha Heavy Industries and his AI companion Kanoe Fuyu whose luminous form is integrated into the system of his 4000XLA Toha Industries Motorcycle.
The 4000XLA Toha Industries Motorcycle
Fuyu assists Zouichi with situational analysis as well as advising him on strategies. Like the other AI's in the comic series she has had emotions programmed into her. The bike itself comes equipped with a rifle, a hand held railgun, and an axe for close combat.

Biomega is the second prequel to Tsutomu Nihei's highly successful Blame! series. You can download translated issues of Biomega here.

Saurashtra no sinha.

Via The Hindu By G.V. Joshi
"Life in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat is almost impossible without a chakkada ride. As it can carry a heavy load, it is called Saurashtra no sinha meaning the lion (on The the roads) of Saurashtra. A chakkada is as much a symbol of Gujarat as the Asiatic lion of the Gir.

No one knows for sure when the first chakkada took to the road, but the one popular story is that the first chakkada was made by the then Jam Saheb, the Maharaja of Jamnagar. He got a trailer fitted to his motorcycle to transport garden manure across his palace grounds that was spread over several hectares.

The concept appealed to the local people of Jamnagar, who started converting their Royal Enfield or other high power motorcycles into chakkadas in the 1950s.

It probably got its name from the fact that six (chak) different parts were traditionally used for its manufacture the Greaves 7.5 hip diesel engine, the Royal Enfield bullet gear box and bonneted fuel tank, the Austin differenital, Hindustan Motors’ Ambassador brake drum, Fiat tyres for the rear and motorbike tyres for the front, and a motorbike chain."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Henrik Björkman's Thunderbolt Electric Scooter Concept.

Via Trendhunter:
"The Thunderbolt Electric Scooter Concept by Henrik Björkman does not break new grounds when it comes to technological advances. The scooter’s design emphasizes a curvy hole where the engine is traditionally placed. The result is a not-so-subtle protest against combustible engine use. The Thunderbolt has a range of around 70 KM/H on a three hour charge."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The motorcycle in cinema-Murdercycle.

(clip via youtube)
Via moria:
" Kirby, a disgraced Marine, is brought in for a top secret mission. He is to head a team, joined by a forensicologist, a shady CIA agent and a psychic, and enter a classified testing grounds in Colorado, but is told nothing more about the mission than that. But once in the grounds, he and his team find they are dealing with a lethal armoured motorcycle and rider that have been taken over by an alien force and cannot be stopped by the mere guns that they are armed with."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Florian Dezauer's Ketto concept.


"Ketto is a motorcycle with a sharp, aggressive appearance, and a transformable upper part that allows 'streetfighter' and tourer to be combined in one motorcycle. The upper portion and foot posts move to optimize the riding position for both sporting and long-distance travel. The design features integrated storage space for a helmet at the rear."

Friday, February 22, 2008

High concept: The Fichtenfoo Monoracer.

A few posts ago we saw Fichtenfoo's perfectly built up model of the Junk tank rock Monowheel kit. Today we are going to look at the skilled modelmaker/ and graphic artist's future model-art project, the MonoRacer.

Based on the designs from the Japanese animated movie The Venus Wars, and real-world creation The Riotwheel. Fichtenfoo's 1/24th scale model shows a carefully thought out bit of imaginative engineering, and with the advent of new technologies the Monoracer may indeed be able to be built in full scale by someone far, far more clever than us. We eagerly look forward to the day we can go to the local Monoracer meets and loose our hard earn money in a truely futuristic way.

We'll be sure to keep tabs on the progress of this great bit of design.

I have seen the future of racing-and it is still ruined by cheep beer and sugary soft drink sponsors...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ode to a favorite three wheeled toy.

You gotta love those seventies graphics...


"One of my fondest memories as a 5 or 6 year old child was riding my Green Machine around the block. My older brother and I shared the Green Machine and a Big Wheel. After riding a Green Machine, it was pure torture being relegated to the Big Wheel.
Back in the day, I was a shy kid. At age 5, I was still learning to speak English and adapting to American culture after immigrating from Vietnam. However, once on my Green Machine, I was transformed into the coolest kid in the neighborhood, at least in my mind.
My hood consisted of a square block around Bridge and Third Street in sleepy New Cumberland, PA. Nonetheless, I patrolled that block like no other on my Green Machine. I pretended to be a police officer or a fireman from the TV shows of my youth, namely S.W.A.T. and Emergency! I spent endless hours power sliding around the block and enjoyed every minute on that green tricycle.

I loved my Green Machine because it was the coolest toy in my hood and it was also my first mode of transportation that allowed me to explore the world. The world at the time was a square block, but grew bigger over time with my first BMX bike, a 10 speed in junior high, a mountain bike during college and road bikes in my 30s. You can attribute my love for cycling and desire to explore the world to that Green Machine.

Much to my surprise the Green Machine was re-introduced by Huffy in 2003 and updated again this year. The 2006 Huffy Green Machine “is designed and engineered for today’s kids. The new version of this old favorite is high tech, durable and cool.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cut Out Scooter Postcard.

From Via Craft:
"This super-cool postcard (Part # PC1 Price: 2.99) contains pieces to make a cute little Vespa model! It's made in Taiwan, and has that Asian toy charm, with oversized headlight and short wheelbase. You cut the pieces out with a utility knife and glue them together. Instructions here."

flickr: nc454's futuristic motorcycle.

Via: nc454's photostream:
"This is the latest in my series of futuristic motorcycles and frankly I think it's the best. I was inspired by artist Arthur Radebaugh (no relation) who was famous for drawing futuristic modes of transportation in the 40's and 50's and so on."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Anarchy Online's hoverbikes.

Anarchy Online is a science fiction MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game) released in June 2001 by Funcom set on the world of Rubi-Ka and its extra-dimensional twin, the Shadowlands. It is one of the few popular MMORPGs that makes use of a science fiction setting as opposed to the more common fantasy setting. A wide array of personal transportation options are available in the games massive virtual worlds, including flying jets, and hover bikes (our personal favorite) Other crafts exist but are rarely used due to having very specialized utility or being exceedingly difficult to acquire. There are many types of any particular vehicle and bike that vary in cost, speed, and aesthetics.

Znug Designs concept bike.

Ah, another case of Akira influence. Znug Designs from Japan, (who seems to stem from the furniture designers at coex-design) have created this electric, belt driven FF (feet first) bike concept. No details are given on the bike- but we like it when designers and artists are given to create transport design-as some of the most imaginative creations (and solutions) come to the surface,

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mine Yoshizaki's cuter scooter.

Pict from dvdyke's flickr photostream

Mine Yoshizaki (吉崎観音 Yoshizaki Mine, is a Japanese mangaka (manga artist) who first started his career by making dōjinshi (self-published works) based on video games. He is best known for his manga Keroro Gunso, published as Sgt. Frog in the United States. In 2005, Sgt. Frog received Japans 50th Shogakukan Manga Award for childrens manga.

This cheeky 1/7 scale PVC statue can be yours for a mere $89.00 from Fullmetal toys.


A BMW R1200RT still it its crate-From CatsFive's flickr photostream

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another mystery bike.

This mystery bike comes from portalmotos "odd bike"thread. Looking like something out of a bad French Science Fiction film, the rider in the top photo peers through a slitted visor only used for gazing into pulsing atomic reactors. Still it's all great fun-and besides I never thought screen door mesh could be used as an aerodynamic aide as I think it would somehow defeat the purpose. Any clues to this bikes origin are most welcome.

When is a motorcycle not a motorcycle? Gyron 1.

Gryron 1

In 1967 car stylist Alex Tremulis (Tucker Torpedo) and multiple gyro patent holder Thomas O. Summers (ceo of Gyro transport systems) created the Gyron 1 " gyrocar ". Powered by a 80 HP Mini Cooper-S motor with gyro stabilization provided by a 180 pound "brute force" gyro to keep the car upright and balanced at all times. Under full throttle Gyron 1 could do 0-60 in a wheezy 15.5 seconds-but to be fair the idea at the time was to create a Gyro/motorcycle hybrid rather than a road missile. Steering was by the same principle of regular a motorcycle and controlled by means of aircraft cables and an automatic "black box" witch "did the thinking" for the driver.

The aluminum body was hand formed by L.A. coachbuilders Troutman and Barnes to Tremulis's concept drawings, and resembled many of the American coupes of the period-but only much, much narrower. The Gyron1 also used the Mini's transmission, witch then turned several belts to put he power to the single rear wheel. The innovative car, bike, er-whatever-used the typical concealed and retractable "landing wheels" that we now see on modern enclosed motorcycles, like the Peraves Ecomobile.

Sadly the unique concept was just that, and has now since been long forgotten-With the exception of us and Stephen Cobbs Gyro Car Blog.

(see also Dalniks)

Click on the image to see the full size article from Motor-Trend 1967

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The poet detained by the police.

Typical-poets are almost always the first to be hasseled by "the man"
Several weeks ago after my dinner and before my trip the to sweet shop I wandered into one of my villages many bookshops and picked up a rather neglected copy of Lucien Clergue's photobook of "Jean Cocteau and the testament of Orpheus". Once home and in bed I carefully went through Clergue's remarkable islolated and surreal images and found this picture of Cocteau encountering some of the local motorpolice.

So there you have it..most likely the first motorcycle blog to have Cocteau, Orpheus, or Clergue.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The ghost bikes.

from goodmagazine by Patrick James

"You might have seen them on your way to work—old bikes spray-painted white, adorned with plaques, and permanently bolted to street signs. These Ghost Bikes are sobering epitaphs for bikers who’ve been hit or killed by automobiles. The first Ghost Bike appeared in St. Louis in 2003, and now the monuments have been erected by cyclist groups in nearly 30 cities around the world, serving as a stark reminder that drivers must share the road with more fragile means of conveyance. "I wish I never had to do another one," explains Ryan Nuckel, who helps create the bikes in New York. "But as long as there’s a need, they'll continue."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cafe Racer of the week: Master Chief.

Master Chief's Brute Chopper

Lead character Master Chief from the massively popular X-box Halo 3 game is not just stuck with his politically incorrect SUV to help take care of his alien warfare buiness. Later on one of the games many levels MC manages to steal an alien "Brute Chopper" a giant single spiked monowheel complete with some sort of grand sciencefictiony glowing antigrav pod in the rear of the bike- and equipped with twin "Brute Spiker"guns.

and of course we must have a lego version

Voxan designer Sacha Lakic creates another perfect thing to sit on.

Sacha Lakic's Meridienne sofa.

Modern technology and a clear vision have enabled brilliant Motorcycle and scooter designer (Voxan Charade, Bimota Mantra) Sacha Lakic to create the "Speed Up" series of contemporary furniture for French manufacturer Roche Bobois. It may be the perfect combination of Sacha's transport design and Roch Bobois' cutting edge reputation that allowed such a bold line to be realized. The Meridienne 3 seat sofa / chaise lounge (above) speaks for its self.

The Speed Up series also includes a dining table and chairs, a sideboard, and several storage units in a variety of vibrant colors.

flickr: jesterhoax.

"Dirty Motorcycle Mecha" from jesterhoax's photostream.

The Art of Bryan Christie Design.

motorcycle boot for VehicleSF
"Bryan Christie is an award-winning illustrator whose work has been featured in such publications as WIRED, Newsweek, The New York Times, Esquire, and Field & Stream. He began his training in 1996 at the illustration and animation studio SlimFilms, picking up skills from his father, Andy Christie, and Pete Samek. From there he took a position as assistant art director at Scientific American magazine, where he designed and illustrated covers and editorial content. Bryan was impressed by the distinctive aesthetic of the magazine from the '50s and '60s; its influence can be seen in the development of his own unique style"

Arthurian motorcycles..

Daniel Echeverria on his trusty and noble steed...

From Boingboing:
"Daniel Echeverria is an Argentine motorcyclist who is obsessed with Arthurian legends. He has created the "Excalibur Bike," a motorcycle decked out like a medieval horse (by way of a Vegas strip hotel) with a fire-breathing dragon on the front. Daniel is on a quest for the legendary Camelot castle (which he firmly believes in). He says it took him 3 years to armor his bike. Travelling across the country he carries a cart full of promotional materials (like posters etc.)-and a collection jar to help get him to reach his quest."
From thebikergene:
"Echeverria has poured more then 2200 hours into transforming his 1979 Kawasaki 1000 LTD into a motorcycle worthy of King Arthur. The detail is unbelieveable; custom parts have been scavenged from celtic antiques or hand-designed and cast in bronze. The handlebars are twisted swords, the tank and rear guard are draped in chain mail, and the headlight is a dragon’s head with powerful globes for eyes and a remote-controlled fire-breathing mouth. Even the footboards and brake calipers are works of art - Echeverria has spared no effort or expense in Excalibur’s creation, and he’s built and assembled every tiny detail himself."

Knightriders film poster

"Knightriders is a 1981 film written and directed by George A. Romero. It was filmed entirely on location in Pittsburgh.

The story is about a group of travelling jousters and performers who are cracking under the pressure of personal problems and failure to live up to their ideals. They joust on motorcycles in pseudomedieval armor, allowing for some bizarre images and excellent stuntwork. The members of the troupe adopt names and costumes derived from a combination of the Arthurian cycle and medieval legends (for instance, there's both a Merlin and a Friar Tuck), and portray these roles in their lives together.

(You tube link)

After a slick promoter offers to "handle" the group by arranging gigs at state fairs and other large events, the group divides into factions. Some follow the promoter, hoping for money, security and fame, while King Billy refuses to compromise on the ideals with which he founded the group. Eventually the factions reunite in a grand melee to decide who will lead. The eventual downfall of the group is intended to mirror the inner conflicts that ultimately brought down Camelot. The lead role of King Billy is played by Ed Harris (in his third film). Stephen King (and his wife Tabitha) have a 20 second cameo.

George Romero has claimed the medieval hobbyist organization, the Society for Creative Anachronism, to be one inspiration for the film. Thematically, the characters' philosophical conflicts between money and security on the one hand, and being true to their vision on the other, echoes the situations of independent filmmakers, who often must reconcile financial concerns with creative control. The film was initially deemed too long, resulting in a 145 minute runtime being edited to 102 minutes in its German release.

A sequel entitled Knightriders 2 has been announced, with a budget of around $1-3 million. The company behind this sequel is Taurus Entertainment."
Yet another lone knight on a personal quest-pict from Bikes in the fast lane.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Yamaha's great Divide.

"Based on Yamaha's Passol technology, The Divide has been developed around the concept of a "metal art commuter." The highly unique body proposes a new value sense. Built as a foldable electric vehicle with special design touches to make it easy to push when folded up, this model can be taken right indoors and stand proudly as an "art object" in any room. In other words, Yamaha has taken the EV into the realm of art."

Ray Clift in 1947-the tube we see to our right is an external feed line that leads to a separate boiler (later to be installed in on the bike).
From Makzine:
"Ray Clift was born in August, 1912, in Bellingham, WA, where he spent most of his growing up years and young adulthood. Ray was an inventive fellow, as were many of his contemporaries, as kids back then didn't have many toys. They made their toys! Ray's working years were spent in photography, machine shop, mechanical engineering and drafting. The motorcycle built in 1947 was Ray's only invention using steam power. We recall him saying that the motorcycle wouldn't go very far.

Ray must have sold or given the motorcycle to someone, probably before he moved to Seattle, WA, about 1949. I remember that an old friend of his told him that he had seen what he thought was the motorcycle, lying abandoned and rusting in a field."
Detail of the engine.

Junk Tank Rock's monobike.

The Junk Tank's SEG-888 Hornet monobike built to perfection by Fichtenfoo

A few days ago we featured Kaitimars' great Lego monobike. Now we seem to have found the brick builders inspiriation. Via a Toybot Studios posting we found this great Dieselpunk themed 1/32 scale (about 2" long) cast resin kit from Japan's Junk Tank Rock (or also known as "the brigade of fictitious arms") The designs are a very similar in feel to the best -and perhaps only-monobike movie made-The Venus Wars.

Thats all there is to it.-pict from JonathanL25's flickr photostream

Certainly not a kit for unsteady hands, but with a little time and patience you can a little post-industrial alternative-time line-war table top fun for just under $50.00 each. Humm, now lets see how much I have left in my paypal account.....

even in a desparate and brutal future you still cannot resist running through puddles...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Great Moments in scooter advertising.

These great Honda Ruckus ads come from a tip via the UMTC. If you can appreciate advertising design or not, you surely must admit there is just something uniquely special about angels in crash helmets.

The stealth bike.

(clip via you-tube)


Looking for all the world like a rolling piece of modernist art,-or perhaps its some sort of new Dalnik. It is in fact a pre-production test buck of the SV1000 hiding from the nosy press photographers under that strange disguise...( perhaps they should consider keeping it as an "all weather" optional extra )

The clothes make the very fast man.

From Modern Mechanix:
"WHEN J. S. Wright, present motorbike record holder, makes an attack on his 150 m.p.h, record established last year, he will ride a machine which represents the last word in streamlining. To such an extent are the streamlining principles carried out that certain parts of the cowling were built with the rider on the machine, much as a tailor fits a suit to a customer. The power of the racing motor has been boosted to deliver well over 100 h.p. by the use of a supercharger, and it is expected that this motorcycle will reach a speed in excess of 170 m.p.h."

Mick Doohan's Motocoaster Dreamworld.

(Film link)
"Mick Doohan's Motocoaster takes riders from 0-72km/hr in a few short seconds by way of a hydraulic system that powers 46 rubber tyres along the launch track, the second of its kind in the world. Designed for enjoyment by families as well as thrill seekers, the coaster is best described as an enjoyable experience rather than an adrenalin-pumping thrill ride. Dreamworld has been emphasising that the ride is above all safe and well-suited to families.

It is the first motorcycle roller coaster to come from Swiss manufacturer Intamin, featuring full-sized replica 500CC bikes, as well as two sidecar seats at the rear of each of the two trains that allow riders as short as 110cm (44") tall to ride with supervision. Riders must be 130cm (51") to ride in the other 14 motorcycle seats.

The 605m coaster is the first of its kind in the country. Other motorcycle coasters built by other roller coaster companies such as Vekoma exist overseas."

Virtual vroom: Heilig's syn-aesthetic, immersive machine.

The sole reason we go to the local garage sales in Germany-to find a Sensorama.

Via We-make-money-not-art:
"The syn-aesthetic, immersive machine developed by Heilig in 1962 widened the Expanded Cinema to a theater of total illusion, which Heilig called the "experience theater". Built inside a booth, in which visitors could sit on a movable stool, Heilig imagined that, for the price of 25 cents, Sensorama would offer multi-sensorial impressions of a virtual, ten-minute-long motorcycle ride through New York City. Apart from seeing the film, the Sensorama user would simultaneously experience the corresponding vibrations, head movements, sounds, and rushes of wind. But Heilig was unable to commercialize his visionary prototype for a cinema of the future. In a later interview he stated: The Sensorama may have been too revolutionary for its time. He patented his invention as the Experience Theater with 3–D images in 1969, and in 1971 the Sensorama Simulator for creating the illusion of reality."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Kaitimar's Lego Monobike.

"SteamHornet 3"
Some stubby, cheeky, single wheel Lego fun Via The brothers Brick:

Elspeth Beard.

Elspeth Beard – One of the Early Globetrotters
A great article from motorcyclistonline:

"Elspeth Beard is one of a select band of bold women to ride a motorcycle around the world, and she was the first Englishwoman to do so. She achieved this feat a quarter of a century ago, in the days before sat-nav, internet, email and mobile phones, and she did it mostly alone.

The bike she chose for the trip was a used 1974 R 60/6 flat-twin, for which she paid £900 ($1800) in 1980 – a substantial sum at the time, especially for a machine that already had 30,000 miles on the clock!

Elspeth used the bike for her first long solo rides to Scotland and to Ireland, then to mainland Europe and Corsica, racking up over 10,000 miles in her first two years of ownership. Then it was time for ‘The Big One’. Aged 24, Elspeth had finished the first three years of her architectural studies (it’s a seven year training) and saved more than £1000 ($1900) working behind the bar at her local pub in Marylebone, central London in preparation for her round the world adventure.

She started the first stage of her journey in New York: “It cost £175 ($340) to send the bike and £99 ($197) for my own air fare,” she recalls. From the Big Apple she rode up to Canada, then down Mexico way before reaching Los Angeles with another 5,000 miles under the Beemer’s wheels. From LA she shipped the bike to Sydney, but stopped off to see New Zealand on foot while the bike was in transit.

Elspeth then spent seven months working in a Sydney architectural practice and living in a garage, gaining experience and replenishing her diminished funds. She spent weeks constructing her own lockable, top-box and panniers out of folded and riveted sheet aluminium before setting off on her travels once more. She rode all over Australia, and had her first big accident on a dirt road near Townsville, in Queensland. The R 60 cart-wheeled and she was left badly concussed, but mercifully with no broken bones. She still has the Bell ‘bone dome’ helmet that she’s convinced saved her life (and which she carried on wearing for the rest of the trip!).

Shaken but undaunted, Elspeth spent two weeks in hospital before continuing north up the east coast of Oz then through the outback to Ayers Rock, and finally across the Nullabor Plain to Perth, on the west coast. There, she loaded the BMW onto a boat to Singapore and explored Indonesia while the bike was afloat.

In Singapore she had a disaster of a different kind, when all her valuables were stolen, including her passport with all the visas in it for the countries she’d yet to visit, and the registration and shipping documents for her bike. After an enforced six week sojourn in the island state replacing all the lost documents she rode up the Thai-Malaysian peninsular to Bangkok and beyond to Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle.

Read the rest of the story here.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Welcome to the future: Segway takes first place at San Francisco Rod and Custom show.

Somewhere up there Big Daddy Roth is smiling..

"There were 2,000 vehicles on display, and we were right in there next to the cool custom cars and choppers,” said Segway of Oakland partner, Steve Steinberg. “For my entry, ‘Fancy Pants,’ I took an original i67 (one of the first Segway models) and customized it with all-terrain tires and rims, polished-aluminum fenders, bent-tubing crash guards, and a diamond-plated trailer with alloy rims. You could see the vehicles parked behind us in the polish of the fenders. It really sparkled.”

Judges awarded Steinberg and his creation a first-place plaque in the specialty class, while noting the stir it caused for its striking, one-of-a-kind look. The self-balancing Segway is already one of the most famous personal electric vehicles in the world, and gaining ground as a viable alternative to internal-combustion engines for shorter commutes."

Re-inventing the wheel...

A very clever man with a very clever wheel-Duncan Fitzsimmons.

From Gizmodo Via Bike Radar:
"UK Designer Duncan Fitzsimmons has come up with a full-sized wheel that can be completely folded. Fitzsimmons' Crossbreed wheel doesn't have the poor-performance delivered by the tiny wheels on folding bikes and despite sounding pretty dangerous it actually works,

While the design is innovative, and avoids all the bumpy ride and gyroscopic effects of traditional small wheels, to get it to be as light and strong as possible it needs a carbon-fiber structure. This, says Fitzsimmons, is one of the difficulties ahead as he tries to find a manufacturing partner. His ultimate goal is to make a really "high end city bike or courier bike that can fold up into a package like a golf bag, which could go into an overhead rack on a train or go into a plane locker." With folding carbon-fiber wheels, don't expect it to be cheap, though.."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The art of Steven Stahlberg.

Go baby Go!-"Monobike" by Steven Stahlberg via
"Steven Stahlberg is working to build virtual female characters since 1996. His digital women are very popular in the digital art communities and they have taken place is some published videogames. Born in Australia, raised in Sweden he is now working in Asia as a sought-after visual artist. His 3D illustrations have been published in many books and magazines."