Monday, November 24, 2014

Motor Monday; Building a Better Bike

New alliteration topic day, in which I ramble about things that go.

An ongoing project to which I devote a moderate amount of brainpower is the development of a better motorcycle. Turns out, doing a bit more checking to see if anyone had come up with anything since I last looked, I found several attempts along the same vein.
My first thought was based on the Akira bike, and not dissimilar to this one. My thought was intentionally taller and wider, among other things (An open top, designed along the principle of a single-wide convertible with low or no doors in terms of openness and protection), but otherwise the principle of stretching things around to fit the rider in a bit more safety.
This one's a tad bit closer, but still not quite where I'll be shooting for when I have time and money to test things.
This, while substantially safer than normal, kind of looks like ass and therefore pretty much straight away fails the key test of a motorcycle, having it look good enough to actually be seen with. With some styling you could actually make something like that look VERY good, and futuristic enough to sell. This, however, is not that.

The Elio does a much better job of safety with style, but while it requires a motorcycle license to ride (and has in fact been on my "To Buy" list since I found it), it's not quite the same. It's a single wide car, with only 3 wheels. Has a regular steering wheel, doesn't lean, etc. Styling could also use just a little more streamlining, presently it's still kind of shaped like your basic economy subcompact.
This, however, gets much closer to what I have in mind. Stretch it and drop the seat just a bit further, and add some better roll protection, and you're there. Much like the much larger and heavier touring bikes, it also looks from the front like if you drop it on the side, the bike will soak the hit without pulping parts of you that get trapped under it. It's also an automatic, which makes it SUBSTANTIALLY easier and safer to use. I'm not one of those who demands it be manual because that's how it always was, a lot of automatic transmissions give better performance across the board these days. I'm also quite partial to the style.

Still, with all the thought I put into it, I couldn't get around the fact that it required a completely new bike, with a totally redesigned shape. That substantially increases difficulty in all things for development, so I set my mind to retrofit mods to do it to existing bikes after being inspired by a Buell Battle Twin
Notice how that fairing is shaped? You're practically inside the thing when you're riding, and it's freaking gorgeous to boot. The Hayabusa is similarly shaped, and substantially less rare.
That, and sitting on some touring bikes convinced me that with a little tweaking, I could make an improved fairing that would keep the rider from actually making contact with the ground. And wouldn't you know it, guess what I found?
These are designed to protect that fancy bike, but the mounting and even general shape and placement are right where I was looking at. Throw a few more behind the rider as well, with a reinforced windscreen and you're golden.

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