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Magnificent Motorcycles, Part 2

Link - article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams

Behold! The Fearsome Knight on an Iron Horse... or rather, 500 Horses

Earlier this year (see Part 1), we examined some of the cool, the fascinating, the unusual and the utterly weird designs for motorcycles that have appeared for over the last century or so. Here’s another look the wild and wonderful world of motorcycles.

Brough Superior motorcycles were made in Nottingham, England from 1919 until 1940 and were known as ‘the Rolls Royce of motorcycles’. Very expensive at the time, they were available only to the wealthy. This model dates from 1931.

(image credit: Kevin Hulsey, via)

T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, owned several of these machines and died from his injuries after crashing on one in 1935... Another beautiful bike is this Imme (Germany), with a single side suspension:

(image credit: Robert Kimberly)

The Megola motorcycle was produced in Munich in the 1920’s. Some 2000 were built, but only 10 fully working examples are still in existence, one of which is in the Guggenheim Museum in New York:

(top image credit: Robert Kimberly)

In 1935, the Killinger and Freund motorcycle was an attempt to make an improved version of the Megola, but the advent of World War Two put an end to any further development:

(images via)

Some sources point out that "in 1940, when Indian's skirted fenders appeared, several questioned the manhood of Spingfield's designers". It seems that aerodynamic shape of Killinger & Freund bikes influenced the Indian designers:

This streamlined torpedo is the French-made Majestic, 1929:

(image via)

Speaking about "Custom War Bikes", here is one that was fashioned after World War Two style (modern concept by Kogisama):

(image via)

The previous wild concept was not so wild, after all - take a look at the real WW2-period 1936 BMW Schneekrad (more info):

(image via)

Another front-wheel tracked motorcycle prototype from 1937 (more info):

(image via)

Modern all-terrain tracked version is proposed by Hyanide & Baal:

(image via, more info)

After the war, the Moto Guzzi 500 cc V8 race bike was seen on the world’s high-speed racetracks from 1955 to 1957.

(image via)

Going Hubless

The hubless wheel was invented by Franco Sbarro, who incorporated it into the Sbarro Osmos car in 1989. He also built at least two motorcycles employing the hubless technology.

(images via 1, 2)

Modern version of the hubless wheel can be seen in the recent concepts for Harley Davidson, by designer Miguel Cotto (more info):

(images via)

Many of us remember the lightcycles from the 1982 movie Tron. The long awaited sequel, Tron Legacy, is set to hit theatres in late 2010 and will feature this splendid looking specimen:

(images via)

Swordfish concept chopper:

Rats & Kustoms

This custom built motorcycle, called Iceman II, was made by Walz Hardcore Choppers of Germany for Formula One world champion Kimi Räikkönen:

(image via)

Rat bikes are usually defined as motorcycles that are decades old, in a poor state of repair, but still maintained and kept roadworthy by their owners on a shoestring budget. Survival bikes do resemble rat bikes and the two are often confused, although survival bikes are usually modified in much the same way that cars are customized. Here are some great examples of both of these types of machines.

Imagine seeing this coming up behind you in your rear view mirror (below left)? On the right is the rounded green beauty, also seen at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally:

(image via)

Not sure what kind of a view you’d get of the road ahead on this one (image below left)? On the right you can see a really inventive fuel tank -

(images credit: left via, right RobotSkirts)

On the left image below is The Survival Bike from some sort of Zombie Apocalypse... Whereas the owners of the bike (below right) decided to actually attach the coffin as a sidecar:

(images via)

We featured what we had speculated might be the world’s largest motorcycle in Magnificent Motorcycles Part One, but the biggest one on the planet may actually be this one.

(image via)

This bike is pretty big too and apparently this machine, called the Gunbus, is perfectly capable of being taken out on the road.

(image via)

Want to travel in style? Why not try this Harley Davidson and limousine combination?

(image via)

Concept Beasts

Finally, here’s a selection of concept motorcycles, which may or may not see the light of day at some point in the future. Here’s the Akira concept bike:

FuturA was designed by Mario Malagrino of the Florence Design Academy (left)... Romanian 3D artist Adrian Baluta created this cool bike called Darklight (right):

(images via)

Above image, bottom row: the Suzuki Biplane and the Victory Vision 800 concept bike produced by Victory, a division of Polaris ATV's.

William Woods designed the Fallout concept motorcycle in 2009 (below left). The Wrath concept (below right) by Alexander Barnard is dubbed a ‘future modern retro chopper’ for the year 2083:

(images via)

So there you are, another look at cool, fascinating, unusual and weird motorcycles from around the world. Stay tuned for more from the wild and wonderful world of these magnificent machines in future articles right here are Dark Roasted Blend.

Article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.



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Blogger Rally said...

The Akira bike isn't a concept, it's a real-life version of a bike from the 1988 Anime movie of that name. There have been several versions of Kaneda's bike done, and the one shown is one of the best.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Kimi Räikkönen (or Raikkonen without the "dots").

Anonymous kumo said...

A couple of pics of an actual Kaneda's power bike:



There are others, but mostly a plastic bodywork over a scooter or bike (http://knsweb.net/wordpress/images/minis/articulos/motos/powerbikefibra.jpg)

Anonymous shapewear said...

I like the dirty looking bike, the one that "came from a zombie apocalypse" type, it looks mean and vintage. And it really does have the theme of a zombie apocalypse type like of bike.

Anonymous Rémi said...

I love motorcycles with unusual engines:

Anonymous Matei said...

Filmul Tron Legacy are motoarele de acest gen in el si e genial de bine lucrat.

Anonymous Matei said...

Sincer sa fiu, daca nu erau motocicletele de acest gen in film nu stiu daca s-ar fi bucurat de o asemenea popularitate in lumea SF-ului!

Anonymous Matei said...

Pentru cei interesati de a vedea motoare de acest gen in 3D si pe coloana sonora semnata de daft Punk ... are sansa in Romania de pe 17 decembrie cand e premiera.

Anonymous Frank Kavanagh said...

Brough Superiors were not ''known'' as the Rolls Royce of motorcycles, that was George Brough's advertising slogan, quite different.

Blogger moif said...


Anonymous m_k_j said...

you know this guy?


its "Brösel"
the man about the "werner" comics.


anyway, brösel and his brother andy made some fantastic bikes.
look here what they made :)


Anonymous David said...

i like the snowmobile/motorcycle mergers. track idea is awesome (at least for snow, albeit probably not very practical for pavement)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Kustom Combat" bike is a model, not a motorcycle. Poor research on some of these bikes, the dirty "apocalypse" bikes are called 'rat bikes'. Interesting pictures, but disappointing writing concerning them.

Blogger Zole said...

Räikkönen not Raikonnen.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Thank you Zole - fixed

Anonymous Magento themes said...

This is great time to read all the infornation ..i always like to read some good and informative blogs and this blog is also so good and helpful.thanks for taking time to discus this topic.

Anonymous Samir said...

The bike with the interesting fuel tank reminds me of this one used in Fast and Furious 3: Tokyo Drift:

Blogger Louis-Alexandre Dubé said...

You forgot a nice and real one from Zeel Design in Quebec that won many prizes, the Phenom :



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