ideas out of context.. and a rant.

So I saw this motorcycle on Yanko Design today. I love it, but I hate it. I love it because of the railed canopy. I hate it because the designer framed it as a race bike, which I don’t think the design supports. I think designers have a general preoccupation with making everything “sexy” and “fast”. Perhaps rightly so, sexy and fast sell. At the same time, I feel that they should have the knowledge or at least do the research to see what is practical for a sexy/fast piece, especially if it’s something to be used for competitive racing. My main qualms are the far fetched “flexible” frame idea and the ridiculously wide tires. The former is a little more sci-fi than I’d like to see in a concept and the latter is inappropriate from an unsprung weight perspective.

All that said, this design is very inspiring to me, but in an entirely different context. I’ve long kicked around the idea of a two or three wheeled urban vehicle that is more car than motorcycle; combining the small footprint of a bike with the shelter of a car. Most of my ideas end up with the ubiquitous glass dome cockpit. The two rail design above gives me some new ideas for a canopy to put the driver under. Also, the super wide tires could potentially drastically improve vertical stability. Neither of these two concepts completely solve all the problems, but they sure do open some doors.

And now for the rant.. Can we please be done with hubless wheels? I understand that it’s interesting looking, and it is doable, but it’s still not practical, and it’s become so pedestrian in car/bike/motorcycle design.