The weirdly beautiful sensibility of a rectangle-shaped motorbike

When you start to question why things are shaped a certain way, and what it would take to make them shaped a different way, you unlock a certain potential to design something truly avant garde. That’s the word I’d honestly use to describe Huigyu Kim’s motorbike, the Travele. The Travele isn’t shaped like normal motorbikes because Kim decided it didn’t need to be. Designed as an electric vehicle that champions compactness, the Travele is both boxy yet out-of-the-box.

Every element crucial to the motorbike is contained within Travele’s cuboidal form. The wheels fit into the frame, sliding out when you need to drive the motorbike. A seat folds out from the inclined cut in the back, while the headlight sits within the Travele’s front frame. The handlebars and leg-rests sit flush within Travele’s frame too, folding out once you start the vehicle. Its transformation from a flat, massive suitcase-shaped form to a fully functioning motorcycle really makes you question why bikes are shaped the way they are. All of Travele’s electronics are placed in the vehicle’s base, while an empty space in the upper part of Travele’s body allows you to store luggage while driving, much like the boot of a car. A smaller storage hatch is even accessible when the seat unfolds, letting you stash things like your handbag, phone, or wallet. A square motorbike may seem like a strange idea, but the Travele’s design and format really helps make a case for how cool and sensible a rectangular two wheeler could be. Thoughts??

Designer: Huigyu Kim

The Ducati è Rossa looks like the broad, able-bodied dude you don’t want to mess with

Designed as a passion-project and personal concept, the Ducati è rossa comes at a perfect time, as the company’s CEO reveals that they’re working on an electric motorbike of their own, after developing models of electric bicycles and scooters. The è rossa, says designer Romain Gauvin, is an exercise in blending “cutting edge technology with pure emotional motoring fascination”, with a broad body that just looks like it shouldn’t be trifled with, and a red paint job that’s just simply a Ducati classic.

Taking inspiration from the rounded bodies of F1 cars and cafe racer motorcycles, the è rossa comes with a carbon-fiber chassis on the inside and a wide, curvaceous body on the outside that gives the bike its temperamental demeanor. Couple that with the steely-eyed headlights and taillights, and the bomber-jacket-inspired leather seat, and you’ve got a bike that literally looks like the mean, large-fisted boyfriend of the girl you’re trying to hit on. The bike comes with a cantilevered seat and a charging-port right under it, and for the most part, does away with the dashboard so as to remove any elements that would break its curved silhouette. While this remains a concept (that’s impressively detailed from the inside out), I would, for the most part, love to see an electric bike that captures the bold, broad, brutish visual appeal of a fuel-guzzling bike inspired by and created for the love of motorsport!

Designer: Romain Gauvin

Triumph is developing its first electric motorcycle

British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph has announced a new program that'll help speed up its development of electric motorbikes. The project, working title TE-1, aims to develop an electric motorcycle powertrain in just two years, and it's got some...

A motorcycle-compatible bionic arm that lets the disabled ride motorbikes

Combining Honda’s expertise in robotics and in motorbikes, Tom Hylton envisions a solution that helps disabled ride bikes, perhaps even in a professional capacity.

The Honda Prosthetic Arm exists in the capacity of a concept, and allows people without an arm to operate a Honda motorcycle. The arm attached at the shoulder and plugs right into the handlebar, giving you a great grip over the bike. The robotic arm is also built to send commands to the bike, allowing you to accelerate, decelerate, or even brake without the need of a palm or a hand.

“The bike and the prosthetic communicate with each other and the rider to calculate appropriate lean angles and aid body positioning, it will also eject with the rider in the event of an accident. It Is modular to suit trans-humeral and trans-radial amputees and I’m currently designing a leg to go with.” says designer Tom Hylton.

Designer: Tom Hylton

Beyond conventional motorbike design

We’re officially putting Dennis Sedov on our watchlist for design talents this year. Sedov has an unusual way of playing with forms, introducing new combinations and new perspectives to his designs. His cars look mesmeric, his products look unusual and inviting, and his motorbikes, a category we’ve covered practically in entirety, bring a new way of looking at form design in the two-wheeler category.

Sedov’s bikes aren’t designed to be practical. They’re clearly outlandish, but they’re outlandish enough to be celebrated for their outlandishness. Sedov plays wonderfully with proportions, materials, negative space, and geometry to create a bike that is a bike in theory, but looks like something from a parallel universe. The B4 is one such example.

Thinner and leaner than his other bikes, the B4 has a skeletal design that looks more bike-like than his previous motorbike designs. It splits into two broad volumes, connected at two points, one right below the seat, and one under the handlebar unit. The bikes sport a black + copper finish, but what’s most alluring is the bike’s wheels. Sedov’s usually relied on airless, solid tires that showcase unusual patterns that also provide the suspension function, but the B4’s tire is more traditional. The tire comes with a pattern around the hub that looks eye-catching but also flexes under pressure to provide a smooth riding experience. I can’t tell you how much I’d love to see a proof-of-concept!

Designer: Dennis Sedov

A bare-basics, brutish bike…


Call me a fan of Sedov’s redefined, simple motorbike aesthetic. His bikes may be purely conceptual, bordering on impracticality in the current scenario, but they sure are eye-catching. Sedov boldly uses straight lines and geometric shapes in his vehicles, deviating from the aerodynamic, organic designs most automobiles have. The result is a motorbike that has the essence, but changes presentation, much like a deconstructed dessert. Sedov also gives tires complete visual priority, often reducing the motorbike’s body to be as tall and as wide as the tires themselves, and even experimenting with airless tire designs. The B3, in that regard, is classic Sedov.

The B3, much like the B1 and B2 in Sedov’s ongoing series, follows the capsule-body silhouette. However, unlike the B1 and B2, the body is relatively smaller than the tires, and doesn’t leave any negative space in the center. The B3 also highlights Sedov’s obsession with triangles, not only using them to create a taillight pattern, but to also create the tires’ airless design. The different sized triangles would help keep the tire sturdy, but give it its bounce. The tires are connected to the bike using a novel single-sided fork design that alternates between the front and rear tires. Like all of Sedov’s B-series motorbikes, the B3 doesn’t have a dashboard either, and boasts of a gently curved leather seat, followed by relatively simple handlebars. There’s also a chance that the seat has a suspension at its base, hidden away in the motorbike’s slim, alluring body. I vote for a proof-of-concept!

Designer: Dennis Sedov












Shattering the stereotypes of motorbike-design


Following yesterday’s ‘unbikely B1 bike’, today we look at the B2, the next in Sedov’s series of motorbikes to crush one’s misconceptions of what a bike must look like. Unlike the simplistic B1, the B2 has a little more detail. Roughly the same capsule shape, the B2 can be broken into a few visual elements. The front and the back are two distinct and separate volumes, with hollowed out details that expose parts of the wheel. Even the seat is a separate visual element that just ever so slightly out of the rear half of the B2. What’s noteworthy, however, is the B2’s wheels, which feature a rather unique looking set of airless tires that rely on a pattern of varying-width circles to achieve the effect of bounce/suspension that regular tires provide. They also mean that when both stationary or moving, the bike is bound to look interesting and eye-grabbing.

Unlike the B1, the B2 comes with two headlamps, and features taillamps similar to the B1. The B2 also leaves out the dashboard from its design, probably indicating at a self-driving feature of some sort. Its overall design is unlike the stereotypical motorbike. Its form is much more integrated (if not monolithic) and gives much more visual priority to the wheels, allowing the bike form to pretty much be the same diameter and thickness as them. This would obviously mean a much lower ground clearance, but I’m not complaining. If these bikes can drive on their own, that shouldn’t really be a problem!

Designer: Dennis Sedov










A motorbike that looks… un-bikely


Partial credit goes to Sedov’s use of a single-point light source to create that sense of mystery, intrigue, and awe… but all in all, Dennis Sedov’s B1 bike is worth looking at and admiring simply because it’s a bike that looks nothing like one. Probably something you’d mistake for the red Nintendo Switch controller, the B1 motorcycle is this textbook-definition-of-sleek, monolithic form with two wheels at either end, integrated into the bike’s overall silhouette. The leather seat barely pops out of the silhouette to create this comfortable seating area, and the handles build out of the front wheel hub. Sedov uses minimalism purely for aesthetics’ sake… the bike has no dashboard or even a headlight to begin with, probably implying a futuristic autonomous drive of some sort (let’s not forget that the B1 is purely an exploration of aesthetics and concept design, rather than an exercise in practicality). There’s a hollow space beneath the seat that forms a rather eye-catching void, and could also be used as storage for backpacks and whatnot, but my favorite detail remains the B1’s taillamp, a stunning, triangular-patterned wall of red light on the hub of the rear wheel that manages to say both ‘come closer’ and ‘watch your distance’ at the same time.

Designer: Dennis Sedov