Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Josh Tulberg's MotoLuge.

By Mira Reverente Via The Camarillo Acorn

"Part motorcycle, part sports car, part go-kart, the MotoLuge is in a class of its own.

Created by Camarillo resident Josh Tulberg, the lowslung motorcycle with its elongated black bar frame and four wheels looks as if it were something out of a science fiction film.

But for the 20-year-old Tulberg, the MotoLuge is a very real, very fast machine that's ready for the open road.

"It is street-ready and can go up to 125 mph," Tulberg said.

The MotoLuge was unveiled recently on the tarmac of an abandoned runway at the Camarillo Airport. Local motorcycle enthusiasts, car hobbyists and curious locals visited the MotoLuge's unveiling to see what it was all about.

Tulberg said most of those who came to see his machine asked the same question: "Does it work?"

Built around a 1985 Honda Interceptor 700 motorcycle in mint condition which Tulberg purchased for $1,600 in 2007, the MotoLuge not only works, it roars.

With the help of 3D computer graphics software, Tulberg spent two months drafting hundreds of blueprints designing the vehicle.

Josh Tulberg

For the next eight months, Tulberg spent 70 to 80 hours a week making it a reality.

"I wanted to do it simply because it has never been done before," Tulberg said. "You could call me an innovator."

Tulberg said it took quite a bit of time- and online research- to find all of the parts that make up the MotoLuge. The steering wheel, for example, is the type used for go-karts.

He admitted a big part of the process included trial and error to figure out what size the additional wheels should be. A four-point harness was also added for safety.

He said family members pitched in and rallied behind him. Paul Weal, Tulberg's uncle and owner of Weal Bros. Molding Inc., gave the young inventor access to the tools of his Camarillobased machine shop.

Tulberg's dad, Carl, helped his son contact Motion Inc., a New Jersey-based company, to donate linear actuators used to keep the MotoLuge from tipping over.

Along with creating his newest invention, Tulberg attended classes at Ventura College, wrapping up all his core subjects. He even found the time to experiment with his skateboard, transforming it into a motorized, rechargeable machine. In the fall, Tulberg will head north to attend the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and will major in transportation design.

"Transportation design is a very competitive field," Carl Tulberg said. "There are very few people who can design vehicles well, and this early I think Josh wants to distinguish himself from the rest of the field. I know he can easily do that with his dedication and tenacity."

Thinking out loud, Tulberg said he believes the MotoLuge may need some more work with its steering mechanism. He said it could also use a body and a storage trunk, but he may not tackle that until it's time for his senior year project.

In the meantime, he is content zipping around town, simply enjoying the ride."

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