Hiphop’s already done it for music, and internet memes are probably the most accessible and visible forms, but mashups exist in the transport world too.
While some cross-over technologies work, such as the United States Air Force V22 Osprey transport, most car based examples are gaudy and compromised, such as amphibious cars.
On the other hand, motorbikes and bicycles can very effectively share a number of technologies given their similar physical attributes, layout and handling dynamics, and ideas of fun, efficiency and freedom.
While ‘car enthusiasts’ frequently bemoan the implementation of sustainability, efficiency and emissions regulations as killing off their hobby of choice, this simply opens the door to a different breed of exciting machines!
Heres a selection of interesting push-bikes that combine features traditionally seen in motorbikes, creating a hybrid of the two.
Yamaha’s Racer01 is a futuristic electric-hybrid race bike concept based on the company’s Keirin PAS cycle pacer, used during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Displayed at the 2001 Tokyo Motorshow, the carbon-fibre RACER01 featured the sleek, aggressive lines originally introduced by the company’s game-changing R1 sports bike, coupled with the twin 300w electric motors from the Keirin. Mounted in a V-Twin formation just forward of the bottom bracket these motors could provide a 1:2 power assist ratio up to a speed of 60 km/hr, enabling riding with only one-third the normal human pedaling power necessary.
Honda’s RN01 G-Cross was a short-lived but successful excursion into the world of downhill mountain biking from a company that doesn’t even make bicycles.
M&P suspects that the work is most likely to come from HRC – Honda Racing Company – the infamously well-funded arm of the business dedicated to Honda’s racing endeavors. This is evident from the ultra high quality aluminum double-cradle frame, Showa fork, single-pivot swing arm and radical driveline arrangement. The latter sees the gear-cluster and freewheel mechanism – that small cog on the rear wheel which allows a rider to both coast and apply power – moved from the rear hub up to the bottom bracket/crank housing. This arrangement allows the rear wheel to continue driving the chain and gear cluster when the rider is slowing down and has stopped pedaling, allowing gear changes where traditionally this would result in gears lashing and the chain binding. The perfect gear could be found for corner exit, saving time and energy.
HRC would introduce the first seamless shift gearbox to MotoGP in 2011 on their RC212v MotoGP racer, no doubt inspired in part by the RN01’s simple, elegant and innovative driveline.
MotoGP team Octo Pramac Ducati’s addition to this article may not be entirely practical, but it looks like a ton of fun.
Featuring MotoGP spec rims and slicks, this is surely the ultimate fat bike, even if the combination of triathlon riding position and single speed drivetrain don’t quite fit with the intentions of a good pit hack – that is, something easy to muck about on at race meetings and events.
I’m interested to know whether the tires actually provide a significant increase in grip, given that on a 160kg race bike they ideally operate at over 100 degrees.
The red anodized chain ring cover is a really nice touch – its the clutch basket cover from a GP bike.
Like the bike above, this custom build is more about fun than providing practical, real world technology. With that said, its one of the best executed two wheeler builds i’ve even seen, putting plenty of vintage motorbikes to shame with its attention to detail, coherent theme and considered modifications.
This cruiser started out as a single speed sit-up-and-beg style utility bike in very original condition and with a healthy patina. Such a find is the dream of retro style builders, so its no surprise this bike took a 1950s retro-futuristic path.
A custom ‘tank’ effortlessly blends the gentle curves of the seat stays and dual top tubes. The seat has been repositioned back onto the seat stays, resulting in a lower riding position that sees the pilot stretching low and long across the bike to reach the handlebars. The centre tubes have also been extended and reshaped, doubling as both mock chrome ‘exhaust’ pipes and rear brake lights.
As well as being styled long and low, the bike has been physically lengthened with the repositioning of the front and rear wheels. The front has been swapped out for a larger diameter rim with a narrow, low profile tyre, contrasted with the fat, chunky rear – this setup is a styling cue straight out of the motorbike world.
The front dropout has been shifted forward of the fork with a tube girder style front end – a nod to early motorbike suspension systems, but also to the original guard and luggage racks found on the bike. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but where the girder mounts the top of the fork there appears to be some sort of rubber coupling, perhaps allowing some sort of primitive dampening.
The rear receives similar treatment, with the dropouts shifted out of the original frame and into custom ones which add several more inches to the bikes wheelbase. Included are adjusters on each side, mounting to the chain stays and allowing precision adjustments to wheel alignment and the fine tuning of chain tension. It’s a neat touch but also necessary given the addition of a bottom bracket mounted 3 speed gearbox; this combined with a dedicated, freewheel style tensioner makes the rear end of this bike quite complex and mechanical for a push bike. With a lengthened wheelbase, crouched riding position, retro-styling and lever-shifted mechanical gearbox, this bike would be the funnest, laziest carpark cruiser ever.