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Thread: Motorcycle Design (Ideas and Inspirations)

              
   
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Motorcycle Design (Ideas and Inspirations)

    I'm putting this here in Fight Club because ultimately any discussion about what motorcycle is more beautiful than another always turns into a, well, heated discussion. (...that is, with the proper application of adult beverages, at least.)

    So I've been thinking a lot lately about why motorcycles are beautiful to me, and it gets back to a story I read long ago where the writer was talking about motorcycle design, and how motorcycles are the epitome of form-follows-function, and they were simple, clean, industrial design that, because of their honesty, were beautiful aesthetic creations in and of their own. (I sincerely wish I could find that piece, he said it so much better than I just did.)

    Think 1972 Norton Commando, if you want to see what I'm talking about. There's not a thing on that bike that doesn't need to be there to make the machine work, but it's all beautiful.

    So, on electric motorcycles, my whole goal was to build a bike that had that kind of honesty, and maybe some beauty too. I'm not going to flatter myself and post them here, but I like 'em. The biggest challenge for me, personally, is the battery pack. How do you make a pack that's simple, clean and honest, but has some degree of "pretty" to it? The two bikes that I can't get out of my head are the MotoCzysz E1pc and the Brammo Empulse. They're both amazingly beautiful solutions to the battery problem.

    2010_e1-electric-motorcycle.jpg

    071510bottom.jpg

    (I know, some of you may be shocked I like anything Brammo. It's true, I do. I did then, and do still now think it's a beautiful bike.)

    That pack on the E1pc is made up of removable modules, and was their design for the first TTXGP when they thought that removable, swappable packs were how things were going to go. Michael later told me the abandoned the idea because TTXGP dropped the "requirement" (though nobody that first year besides Czysz built such a pack) and the hardware was just too bulky. (Czysz, for those who weren't on the forum back then, was actually a member here...)

    The Brammo pack was built right into the unique central channel frame, and they used that idea through both the Empulse and the Enertia. I really never got to fully understand the effect on the center of gravity on the bike, but it was an idea that I thought was a great solution. Brian Wismann was the guy who designed it, as far as I know, and he was also on ElMoto back when he started with Brammo.

    The other bike that I love is the one I featured on the cover of the book - Hugues LaLiberte's E-Cruiser, but for a different reason. That there is a custom build that can hold it's own against any custom build on two wheels, anywhere. I generally stay away from all the fairing and covers action, just because rather than being a form-follows-funtion thing, it's just dressing, but lawhdy, it's gorgeous dressing. Here's a shot of that:

    dsc00458.jpg

    You can read more about his bike here: https://evmc2.wordpress.com/2014/07/...tes-e-cruiser/ and there's more about bikes that caught my eye in my blog category The Electric Garage: https://evmc2.wordpress.com/category...ectric-garage/ And yeah, Hugues is still a member here, as far as I know, and oh, by the way, that was his first build. You read that right. His first.

    Also, I always like to see what's over at BikeEXIF - a great mix of history and cutting-edge sensibilities: http://www.bikeexif.com/

    So dive in - what bikes do you look at for inspiration?
    Last edited by Ted Dillard; 10 September 2018 at 0908.
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, the Hammarhead Volta is a bike near and dear to my heart...

    eenfield.jpg

    Everybody was REAL excited about this bike, and it was a pretty neat use of a hub motor. Though the fairing covered up the battery pack, it was still a great tribute to the old roadracers of the '70s and before. They just kind of vaporized...

    I leaned on their design pretty heavy for the R5e. At one point I was considering putting that fairing on it, but opted for moar batteries instead.

    Link to my post is here: https://evmc2.wordpress.com/2013/11/...ead-volta-102/
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

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    Damn
    that Hammerhead is a beauty!

    Flo

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    Ted,

    Yeah. I lusted after that Hammerhead too.

    Checking out your Electric Garage...Lady Florence Norman's front drive scooter is a hub motor, but a gas powered one. The crankcase, cylinder, spark plug, and muffler are giveaways.

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    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Yeah, that was pointed out to me almost immediately, but I thought it was cool so I left it.

    There's another bike - I got it confused in my aging brain with the Volta - the Brooklyn Motorized - that got a huge amount of attention at the time, and showed a lot of promise, was a cool concept but faded into oblivion:

    bm660.jpg

    Link to my post on that here: https://evmc2.wordpress.com/2013/11/...lyn-motorized/

    If you remember a guy named Clark who used to post here (and did some amazing machining for me under the Gotham Machine name) he actually knew those guys kind of, and gave me a hint of the gossip behind the bike's demise. Of course, I can't remember anymore...
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

  9. #6
    Senior Member markcycle's Avatar
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    We designed and built the Volta for Hammerhead He got into money problems and disappeared We even started new designs Then he left me hanging. I think we did really well with old school LIPO4 large format batteries
    Battery box building.jpg 100_2308.jpgbattery box skin.jpg
    Trying to Change the old school ways of doing things
    But I never Never try to break the laws of Physics
    http://www.enertrac.net
    http://www.evalbum.com/preview.php?vid=1543
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEldNmBgIF0
    http://www.evalbum.com/2568

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  11. #7
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    WOW! Wish I'd known that... I'll have to put that in the update of the book!

    Yeah, he built custom gas bikes, didn't he? Sorry to hear you got left holding the bag, but do you have any of the frames and stuff around still?
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

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    Senior Member markcycle's Avatar
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    No all I have are pictures
    Trying to Change the old school ways of doing things
    But I never Never try to break the laws of Physics
    http://www.enertrac.net
    http://www.evalbum.com/preview.php?vid=1543
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEldNmBgIF0
    http://www.evalbum.com/2568

  13. #9
    Senior Member markcycle's Avatar
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    No all I have are pictures
    Trying to Change the old school ways of doing things
    But I never Never try to break the laws of Physics
    http://www.enertrac.net
    http://www.evalbum.com/preview.php?vid=1543
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEldNmBgIF0
    http://www.evalbum.com/2568

  14. #10
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Ah, too bad. I'm making a note to hit you up if I should ever feel masochistic enough to do a Second Edition, and maybe we can include some of them!
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

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