The ABC 500 motorcycle is an absolute masterclass in minimal automotive design

With a design that’s just about as bare-basics as its name, the ABC 500 from A Bike Company (talk about no-frills) shows how ‘no design can also be good design.’

Challenging the very notion of automotive design, the ABC 500 actually champions the ‘lack of design’. Every part of the bike is exposed to the elements with an aesthetic verging on dirt-bike territory. Its lack of mass notwithstanding, the bike still manages to have immense character. It’s almost alien-like in how it looks defyingly-slim yet so well-poised… with perhaps its only solid mass being its fuel tank.

Designer: Niki Smart A Bike Company

Although it may seem fairly simple to put together a bike without any bodywork, balancing it visually can be quite tricky… something the ABC 500 does quite effortlessly. If the posture of a bike is comparable to a jungle cat, the ABC 500 is an incredibly lean mammal with a toned torso. The fuel tank has the most visual mass in the motorcycle and your eye is first drawn to it, followed by how the tank’s upper contour translates out the back into that slick, cantilevered seat. On the opposite end of the tank (the front) is perhaps one of the most interesting suspensions you’ll see. First developed in the 70s by Norman Hossack, the Hossack suspension uses a linkage-style arrangement to help smoothen out a bumpy ride. The suspension visually dominates the front of the bike, and is accompanied by just a speedometer on the top. In an unusual design choice, the LED projector headlights are located on the right-hand fork, just slightly above the front wheel’s axle.

The eyes then gravitate to the unsettlingly thin and large 26-inch wheels, which complement the motorbike’s no-frills aesthetic perfectly, and come with carbon-fiber spokes attached to an aluminum hub. The rear wheel connects to the base of the seat via the rear shock absorber, with the bike’s slim taillight located right above it, sitting underneath the carbon/kevlar fiber stressed seat.

The ABC 500 comes outfitted with a 1980 Honda XL500s 500cc Engine (giving it its name) and a 5-speed gearbox pumping out a ballpark of 33hp. The bike comes fitted with a standard Keihin carburetor, with a rapid-prototyped custom air-intake trumpet mounted with a conical air filter.

As minimal as it looks, the ABC 500 took a whopping 10 years to design. It’s a common trap to think that minimal design ‘takes less time/effort’ because of its seemingly minimal nature, however, the ABC 500 is an absolute masterclass in creating visual poetry with as little as possible. Everything from the choice of parts and material, to its colors, symmetry, and silhouette, is a lesson in how a bike that looks as sleek and slender as the ABC 500 can look just as menacingly capable and powerful as even the burliest and bulkiest of superbikes.

New images show the majestic Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck dominating on even the toughest terrain

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

Purpose-built for handling tough tasks with ease, the Honda Ridgeline EV Concept was designed to project power. Its tough, sinewy construction puts other pickup trucks to shame, and makes a case for ‘maximalism’ in automotive design. Sure, minimally designed trucks (yeah, I’m looking at you, Tesla) look alright, but using minimalism to be different feels like a cop-out. The Ridgeline is a great example of how a truck can look different without compromising on an aggressive, muscular, dominating design language.

We featured the Honda Ridgeline EV Concept a week ago (you can click here to read the original piece which got over 90,000 pageviews) and today we look at the concept in its natural habitat – anywhere except the road!

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

The Ridgeline EV concept comes from the mind of California-based Rene Garcia, a concept designer at ILM who’s previously worked on The Mandalorian, Thor: Ragnarok, The Avengers, and the Transformers anthology. Garcia began designing the vehicle as a Dakar rally truck, but gradual iterations slowly turned it into a conceptual pickup truck for Honda. Designed to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it, the EV comes with its own winch-hook on the front, a frunk behind it, suicide-style rear doors that give you access to the car’s spacious interiors, and an expandable truck-bed on the back that even comes equipped with tools and emergency medical kits.

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

Against rocky terrain, it’s easy to draw parallels between the Ridgeline EV and the Warthog anti-infantry vehicle from the popular game Halo. They come from the same place of wanting to project power and assertion, and were made to operate seamlessly on any surface. The Ridgeline’s ground-clearance and large treads do wonders on rough land, and something about seeing a car leaving a massive dust cloud just gets the adrenaline rushing!

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

The Ridgeline is bulky to look at, but negative spaces in its design help cut its volume manifold, still making it look like a chiseled, mean machine. Two cutouts in the hood let you look at the top of the car’s shock absorbers, while the doors come with two sets of windows – one on the top as well as fixed windows near the legs, to help sunlight pore in. There’s a skylight built in too, and if at any point of time you need more open space, the back of the car opens up and allows the rear seats to flip 180° and face backward!

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

The car comes designed for the great outdoors. Its top allows you to add an aerodynamic roof box for extra storage (if the truck-bed isn’t enough), and the car’s front and back come dotted with lights to keep the road ahead visible, as well as allow you to be seen from a distance.

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

The Honda Ridgeline EV concept’s interiors literally put you in the lap of luxury too, no matter how deserted and inhabitable the immediate outdoors are. The pickup truck comes with immaculate leather surfacing on the seats as well as leather and wood trims on the doors and the dashboard. The dash also comes equipped with a pretty wide single-screen that covers your entire field of view from left to right. Side cameras feed video footage right into this dashboard and a rear-view camera sends its feed to a rear-view display up top. Don’t worry if you’re not in the driver’s seat or if you’re sitting shotgun. The rear seats have their own entertainment systems too, with interactive displays integrated into the backside of the front seats. The skylight in the center is accompanied by ceiling lights on either side, so you’ve got nothing to worry about when you’re driving in pitch darkness. Moreover, the seats recline fully and the back opens up into a really comfy bed if you want to set up camp anywhere. However, if you’ve got yourself a quad-bike, you could easily mount it on the back too!

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

Honda Ridgeline Electric Pickup Truck Concept

Also Read: Honda’s INSANE electric pickup truck concept will have the Tesla Cybertruck begging for mercy

This is an independently-made conceptual design and the Honda logo is used for representational purposes only.

Honda’s INSANE electric pickup truck concept will have the Tesla Cybertruck begging for mercy

In a back-alley street fight, the Cybertruck looks like the edgy teenager who just lifts weights and has never done a leg-day… the Honda Ridgeline EV, on the other hand, looks like a 40-something veteran who’s returned from being stationed in the middle east for decades. Pitch the two together and it’s pretty evident who’d win in a bare-knuckle scuffle.

Something about the Ridgeline EV concept makes you want to take it seriously. It wasn’t built for fun, those windows aren’t for lobbing steel balls at… it’s inherently sinewy, bold, and is purpose-built for power-tasks.

The Ridgeline EV concept comes from the mind of California-based Rene Garcia, a concept designer at ILM who’s previously worked on The Mandalorian, Thor: Ragnarok, The Avengers, and the Transformers anthology. Garcia began designing the vehicle as a Dakar rally truck, but gradual iterations slowly turned it into a conceptual pickup truck for Honda. Designed to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it, the EV comes with its own winch-hook on the front, a frunk behind it, suicide-style rear doors that give you access to the car’s spacious interiors, and an expandable truck-bed on the back that even comes equipped with tools and emergency medical kits.

A standout feature of the car’s design is in its use of hollow spaces. The Ridgeline is bulky to look at, but negative spaces in its design help cut its volume manifold, still making it look like a chiseled, mean machine. Two cutouts in the hood let you look at the top of the car’s shock absorbers, while the doors come with two sets of windows – one on the top as well as fixed windows near the legs, to help sunlight pore in. There’s a skylight built in too, and if at any point of time you need more open space, the back of the car opens up and allows the rear seats to flip 180° and face backward!

Designer: Rene Garcia

This Honda drag racer is a edgy futuristic car designed for the young and the restless!

What do you expect when vintage meets modern? It’s something that gets the best of both worlds in terms of design aesthetics and drivability. What you see here is the amalgam of vintage and modern from Honda – resulting in a concept car that you can’t help but drool over. The work of designer Alexis Poncelet, the Honda HR-X Delsol looks like push back toy car that suddenly attained the big boy charm and got all decked up for the big league, fair and square!

The car is inspired by the recent Honda e drag racer’s boyish charm, retro Honda FR-V’s 3 seater front row for space usage, and the silhouette and deck of the CRX Delsol that makes you want to jump in the driver’s seat for a spin. The four-wheeler creates a niche of its own, giving Honda the strategic edge over the competitors with a boxy vehicle that will resonate with the young generation. The car’s front section borrows its DNA from the Honda e while the rear has been given a very peculiar CRX Delsol-like shape.

If you are wondering why the space on the rear has not been put to fair use, well, actually, it has been. For riders who like to chill out every day like there’s no tomorrow, the Honda HR-X Delsol has space for storing beer and a dedicated RTX system to keep it chilled even in the scorching heat. The three-seater car is all about hanging out with your buddies on the open streets, ready for the next drag racing challenge for the thrill of life!

Designer: Alexis Poncelet

 

Honda’s electric SUV concept is a peek at a production vehicle

Honda has offered a look at its next electric vehicle, and it’ll be decidedly roomier than the E compact car. The automaker’s newly unveiled SUV E:concept is an unusual two-door utility that “indicates the direction” of a future production EV. The ma...