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

This Dyson-inspired motorcycle concept is blowing our minds!

It’s been almost 10 years since James Dyson’s consumer electronics company first introduced its bladeless fan! Known as the Dyson Air Multiplier, it shook up the tech world with its unusual characteristic: it did not have any visible blades. The impact felt by this innovation is being felt even today, as seen in Saharudin Busri’s Dyson Inspired Concept Motorcycle. Though it is still a concept, it did incite a tangible excitement when we first got a glimpse of the design! Mimicking Dyson’s bladeless fan, Busri decided to remove the spokes of the wheel from his bike, leaving the center of the wheel completely hollow. An added homage to Dyson would be the fact that the engine is also inspired by the aesthetics of the motor we see in most of their vacuum cleaners such as the latest V11 model.

A flowing strip of metal makes up the fairing of the bike, extending till the engine space to give it a sleek and cohesive look. Blue, silver, and red were the designer’s colors of choice, with hues of black and three slim lines forming the headlight, giving us a Tron- inspired feeling. The brake light is interesting as it gives the impression of a floating design. The tire treads consist of an unconventional dotted pattern. The result is a lean, mean machine that has all the aesthetics of a designer we adore and the futuristic appeal we crave. Though the seat does look a little uncomfortable, we must admire the fact that what started off as a mere sketch, was converted into this gorgeous render that has us amazed that someday, hopefully, we get to see this as a fully functioning motorbike!

Designer: Saharudin Busri

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

LEGO Harley-Davidson Fat Boy: Get Your Motor Runnin’

Do you like smoke and lightning? How about some heavy metal thunder? If you answered yes, you might just be born to be wild. And if you are a true nature’s child, you’ll want to grab this LEGO Creator Expert set that’s based on the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle.

The 1023-piece kit lets you create a miniature version of the iconic motorcycle. It features lots of neat details like a tiny Milwaukee-Eight engine with moving pistons, dual exhaust pipes, handlebar steering, moveable gear shift pedal and brake levers, and a kickstand. The miniature hog rides atop Lakester wheels with some nice fat tires to keep it planted to the ground.

The finished kit measures in at 12″ long and about 7″ high, and looks ready to take to the open road at full throttle. Just don’t get pulled over by any LEGO cops.

The $99.99 set is available for pre-order now at shop.lego.com, and ships on August 1, 2019. LEGO VIPs can grab the set a couple of weeks early on July 17.

If you prefer your Harleys to be life-size, then check out this awesome build that LEGO did to celebrate the launch of the set. What you’re looking at is a 100% scale replica of the real bike, constructed from nearly 70,000 individual bricks.

BMW hints at the future of electric motorcycles with the Vision DC Roadster

BMW Motorrad has an electric scooter. The capable and fun C Evolution. An outstanding vehicle I had the pleasure of riding around on in LA. But as far as full-sized bikes go, Zero Motorcycles still rules that market while we wait for Harley-Davidson...

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 bike that demonstrates how Japanese culture can influence automotive design

Artem and Vladimir believe Japan’s design ethos lies heavily on their culture and history, pulling inspiration from minimalism, origami, and traditions like the samurai spirit, but a heavy European influence has resulted in Japan’s large automobile industry following cues that aren’t originally Japanese. Setting out to design a motorbike that is indicative of Japan’s culture, spirit, and aesthetic, Artem and Vladimir designed the Motorbike for Great Japan.

The motorbike’s design makes use of planar surfaces, reminiscent of samurai uniforms, and a body with an origami-inspired form. It even goes the distance to integrate a Samurai-sword-style woven handle for the handlebar grips! The bike comes with a styled carbon-fiber body, which not only makes the bike lighter and faster, but allows it to achieve its origami-style design rather seamlessly. The bike even sports dual-suspension on the front and the back, along with an adjustable seat for comfort, and what looks like a push-to-accelerate footrest. That’s innovative, even by Japanese standards!

Designers: Artem Smirnov & Vladimir Panchenko

The “Khan” might be the most otherworldly BMW bike ever made

Pretty much bridging the gap between concept bikes and concept art for games and movies, Mehmet Doruk Erdem’s “Khan” is an eclectic mix of unbelievable, dangerous, and beautiful. However, if you’ve followed Mehmet’s work in the past, you know exactly what level of aesthetic beauty the Turkish designer works on. Khan, in many ways is classic Mehmet, but at the same time it’s just surreal for us mere mortals who have, up until now, only seen relatively normal-looking motorbikes.

Erdem’s “Khan” concept takes a BMW R 1100 R twin-cylinder boxer engine and giving them an absolutely new lease of life, with a front-heavy wasp-inspired exterior and an almost naked frame at the rear, much like Erdem’s Alpha concept, and dominated by an extremely large rear wheel, and a seat in the middle, resting on a twin-suspension. There isn’t much method to Erdem’s madness, or maybe I don’t spot it, but the Khan is surely a beautiful beast. Unique from practically every angle, the Khan has a remarkable silhouette no matter where you stand… and it especially looks dangerous from the front. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be standing in the path of the Khan as it zoomed towards me!

Designer: Mehmet Doruk Erdem

Made to showcase its vintage BMW engine, the ‘Birdcage’ has a wireframe design

At first glance, the BMW Motorrad Birdcage looks like a 3D model viewed in wireframe mode. It’s easy to make that mistake, because the Birdcage, sure enough, has an incredible, wireframe-inspired design. Designed as an homage to the BMW Motorrad boxer engine the company developed 50 years ago, the Birdcage houses the absolutely stunning piece of engineering in a titanium see-through mesh-esque cage that gives the engine the attention it deserves. The titanium frame allows the curvilinear boxer engine to be viewed from practically every angle, and was assembled along with the other individually crafted components such as handlebars, footrests, shift lever, seat and unique carbon suspension.

The team at Revival Cycles, headed by Alan Stulberg took a lot of inspiration from Ernst Hennes’ record-setting machines from the late 1920s and early 1930s, and put together the entire Birdcage motorcycle in a stunning span of 5 months, just in time for the 2019 Handbuilt Show.

Designer: Revival Cycles

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