Dreaming in Design
The art of designing motorcycles is unlike any other automotive pursuits. Even though cars get a bulk of admiration when it comes to design language, they are still limited in what they can do with the basic structure of the vehicle. Motorcycles offer no such hindrances, as you can easily swap a couple of parts to completely change anything and everything about the vehicle, from the body type, to the riding position, to different types of suspension and engine combinations. In doing so, these two-wheelers become a canvas for the artist to realise their vision.
This doesn't stop as far as aesthetic and performance modifications either, as enthusiasts and professionals alike are known to go as far as completely redesign the vehicle into something entirely else, converting the Enfield's and Pulsar's of the nation into laid back choppers, or aggressive cafe racers at their latest whim. Thankfully for us, there are some mad geniuses out there who's imagination is so crazy that their canvases become legends in their own right. We are here to explore a few such over-the-top examples of motorcycle design that can rightfully be deemed truly one-of-a-kind.
Confederate P51 Fighter Combat
It may be hard to digest that this motorcycle actually exists in real life and is not a screenshot from some futuristic video game. It is what you get what someone is crazy enough to literally cut apart a fighter jet and make a motorcycle out of it. This is also why it has Fighter Combat in its name since the 132 cubic inches (2,163 ccs) V-twin has been custom made by using a CNC machined from aerospace-grade 6061-T6 billet aluminium. The engine is said to produce 209 horsepower and 160lb-ft of torque. This is enough to push this futuristic cruiser all the way to a top speed of 265kmph. The parts that aren't metal have been replaced by see-through plastic replacements so you can always see what is happening inside the engine. This is a truly unique piece of machinery and you can get it for yourself, as long as you can dish out around $125,000 - $135,000 for it.
BMW Urban Racer Concept
Fighter jets are a common inspiration between automobile designers, with different people taking different approaches to use them in their design language. This particular concept imagines a motorcycle with the aggression of a fighter plane, along with the elegant aesthetics of a BMW. The result is a subtly sculpted cafe racer that features a 1200cc twin-cylinder engine that makes 115 horsepower. The body is made with a sleek silver, along with carbon fibre, which is responsible for the chic matte finish. The mahogany wood fuel tank guards and the trademark chocolate brown leather seat add an air of sophistication to the end product. The sad thing is that the concept has not been officially commissioned by BMW, so it is a long shot that we will see this beauty on our roads, no matter how much we wished otherwise.
Calling the Dodge Tomahawk a motorcycle is certainly pushing it. This 600kg monster rides on four wheels and uses an 8.3-litre V10 engine from the Dodge Viper, yes the car. This means that just like the muscle car, this bike pumps out 500 horsepower, and goes from 0 to 100km/h in just 2.5 seconds. Thankfully, the top speed has been limited to around 500kmph, just in case someone is crazy enough to go beyond that speed on a motorcycle. As great as it is to imagine that scenario, it is safe to assume that this dream will remain as such, considering the motorcycles eye-watering price tag of $550,000.
As good looking as the Tomahawk is, it is essentially useless as a motorcycle. The folks over at Lazareth decided to give their own twist to the design, by trying to make a similar motorcycle that was actually designed to be properly ridden. The result is the LM 847, which is another four-wheeled motorcycle that features a car engine. In this version, the engine is a 4.7L V8 from Maserati that generates around 470 horsepower. What makes this design unique though, is the fact that the bike features an independent suspension, along with with separate chains to power each rear wheel. This means that in corners all four wheels can operate independently, with equal power distribution on both sides. This setup enables this 400kg beast to lean up to an angle of 30 degrees, give it some wicked handling capabilities for such a huge and powerful vehicle. Considering the state-of-the-art technology on display, it is no wonder that the company decided to make only 10 units of the bike, each costing a whopping $215,000.