Concept vehicles can be completely cool or very off the mark. The thoughts of the designer or the creator (in the case of a prototype) can range from the futuristic to the uber cool, and even to the completely bizarre. They could be aiming for anything, too. Some designers may want to create a leap of technology with elements that may be in all motorcycles to come in the future.
Still, others may be breathing life into their own dream rides, unconcerned with whether the general populace takes to their idea or not. That’s the thing about concept vehicles—they are another person’s dream come to life. It doesn’t matter much to many concept-creators if the idea will be liked by others or not.
And yet, some radical concepts do get picked up for mass production, especially when the concept is introduced by a motorcycle maker of repute. But most concepts remain concepts only because putting them into mass production isn’t feasible; be it economically or even technologically.
Right now, the trend is veering towards electric motorcycles and it isn’t unusual to see many motorcycle manufacturers introducing e-motorcycles to their concept-motorcycle lineup. Even so, there are quite a few concepts that are way out there and may not ever see the light of day. So here are ten concept motorcycles most aficionados cannot wait to get their hands on, and ten that are just way too futuristic to become commonplace.
20 Just A Little Off: The Night Shadow
This is a concept motorcycle not many would have seen before or even imagined. Many would mistake it for having come out of the Jaguar stables, but it is, in fact, a collaboration between UK-based Polar Cycles and London designer Barend Massow Hemmes, according to The Awesomer. The cat-like creature that makes up the motorcycle has been buffed to utter smoothness and the motorcycle has been aptly named Night Shadow and comes in two variants of glossy black and shiny silver. That said; the riding position (the seat is fixed at the rear end of the Jaguar) looks terribly uncomfortable. The 1,200cc engine may give it enough power but if the rider ends up just hanging on for dear life, what good is an artful motorcycle?
19 Just Can’t Wait: The Non-BMW Urban Racer
Many fans mistook this for a BMW-sourced concept motorcycle and got pretty excited about it until it was discovered that the design came from Jans Slapins. Now, Slapins is no stranger to concept motorcycle design; in fact, he has been featured on Top Gear before, as well. This motorcycle so created by Slapins has been named the BMW Urban Racer and it looks absolutely fantastic. The design hasn’t been claimed by BMW yet, though Autowise calls it the post-apocalyptic future of BMW Motorrad. The headlamps look very Wall-E (the Disney-Pixar film) and overall it looks like a mean racer, capable of waging war.
18 Just A Little Off: Yamaha’s Motoroid
After watching a zillion movies about how robots and AI might end up taking over the world and nudging the human race out of existence, do we need an AI-powered motorcycle? Yamaha believes so, which is why it has introduced the Motoroid concept—a motorcycle that is all about artificial intelligence and plans to have self-driving features. Now, if you look at the positive side, it means safer rides for bikers. But if you believe Hollywood, then this motorcycle might just get mad and cause the rider harm! Seriously though, the AI features will let the rider and the machine interact on a whole new level of perfection.
17 Just Can’t Wait: Honda CB4 Interceptor
Why are we getting all hyped up over another motorcycle from Honda’s stable? It could be because Honda really knows a lot the art of motorcycling or it could be because of the new technology it brought into biking. The look is of a café-style motorcycle peppered with sprinkles of Enduro. So sure, Honda got the look of the upcoming CB4 Interceptor just right. But what’s the coolest thing about it? The Interceptor has a single LED headlight with a turbine feature; this fan manages to convert the kinetic energy of the bike’s movement into usable power for the electronic components inside. These are the bits of futurism we like.
16 Just A Little Off: Bandit9 L-Concept
Most of us are fans of something or the other. We may be nationalistic patriots or city-philes. We may like a band, a singer, or even a star. Or it may be a movie or a series that has us hooked. Whatever is our poison, not many of us go and make something after our likes. Some fans and aficionados do go the whole hog, though. Like the L-concept motorcycle that looks quirky till you take a closer look at it. Yup, this is meant to look like the USS Enterprise (aka Star Trek) and has been designed by Darryl Villanueva who believes that this may be the future of motorcycles: boldly going where no man has ever gone before.
15 Just Can’t Wait: Ducati Draxster
Does the Draxster look a tad familiar? That’s because the look of this motorcycle is based on the XDiavel cruiser and it looks absolutely stunning. And it looks very capable, a beauty of a racing motorcycle that has been made with care and utmost quality. The low handlebars and the footpegs make for the perfect riding position for a fast run. A 1,262cc engine gives it good power and speed. Also, Ducati decided to celebrate its 90th anniversary by emblazoning the motorcycle with a big yellow “90” and we'd like to be part of this big, beautiful, Ducati party.
14 Just A Little Off: Elf Mono Racr by Huge Moto
This looks like a really built-up bike, right? And not all of it is looking towards the future. In fact, according to Design Boom, the makers built this motorcycle keeping both the past and the present in mind, and putting in a Honda 1,000cc four-cylinder inline engine. There is an innovation in the frame and the swingarm which have been made from carbon fiber to reduce weight, and the design has moved on to the fabrication stage as well. It looks simple, elegant, and very refined for a sports bike, the only issue being if a small company can boost it to mass production without sacrificing quality.
13 Just Can’t Wait: Honda CB125M
We are back to Honda. This time, it’s a small-bore supermoto which loudly says, move over KTM! The CB125M has been built by Honda’s R&D center in Rome because this bikemaker wanted to make a supermoto for international markets. With 17-inch forged wheels, slick tires, and solid brake discs, it is clear that there has been plenty of hard work done to launch this beautiful and nifty little ride. It also comes with an SC project exhaust and all bodywork has been ditched to lighten the bike and for it to look capable and minimalistic. Small and fast, this is one motorcycle that one could tear the neighborhood apart and have fun while doing it.
12 Just A Little Off: The Brigade
Not many know, but the man behind the traffic camera so equipped with facial recognition (that can also detect license plates) is Charles Bombardier. This is one piece of technology that comes in handy for the police, and while law enforcement sure give thanks for his efforts, Bombardier has moved onto bigger and better things. Namely, a motorcycle called the Interceptor which is envisaged to be a self-driving police motorcycle that would be able to issue tickets and citations—but not actually get involved in high-speed chases, so hold up those imaginative racehorses right there. Oh, and one police officer could monitor five of these drone motorcycles, known as The Brigade, at a time.
11 Just Can’t Wait: Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Aero
If you couldn’t get enough of the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 Aero at the 2016 EICMA, wait till you see the Vitpilen 701 Aero Concept! The front looks aerodynamically distinct and the motorcycle has a café rider quality about it. The only thing is that even the Vitpilen 401 Aero isn’t in production yet, so there might be a long wait in store for the 701 Aero Concept fans. It does look very capable, the kind of a ride that chews and spits out the road with superior ease. There are bits of futuristic design about it, and the front looks like rockets about to be launched into space.
10 Just A Little Off: Yamaha MWT-9 Niken
How about this capable, road-safe, and ride-safe trike? This is the Yamaha MWT-9 Niken and it is a three-wheeled bike powered by two wheels in the front and one at the back. It is a Sports Touring Motorcycle that is powered with an 847cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline three-cylinder engine with 12 valves. The bike will run on a conventional chain-driven rear wheel, according to Yamaha Motor Sports, and the dual wheels up front will give unprecedented front-end grip. That added extra wheel lets this motorcycle hold on to any kind of road but it sort of takes the wind out of two-wheeler sails, if not sales!
9 Just Can’t Wait: Zero DS ZF7.2
Zero Motorcycles are known for their electric line of motorcycles and are currently a fresh and exciting new addition to the companies of the world. They seem to be getting endorsed by the who’s who of the industry and have no dearth of funding either. Their 2019 lineup includes the Zero DS ZF7.2, a motorcycle that is electric and sporty, with a small but very capable battery. Increases of 15% more horsepower and an 8% higher top speed are what the company promises over and above its previous models, even if the battery will not let the rider drive for too long on a single charge.
8 Just A Little Off: Husqvarna Ampulex Compressa
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. This seems to be the mantra of this Muhammad Ali of a motorcycle, so built by Barbara Custom Motorcycles, a French designing firm. Named the Husqvarna Ampulex Compressa, the motorcycle is a futuristic imagination of what a Husqvarna may look like in years to come. The Ampulex Compressa is a giant wasp, and that “stinger” tail end clearly sticks to the dangerous impression. Some inspiration has also come from a Lotus C-09 and those chocolate handlebars add a touch of whimsy to the bike. Very beautiful but not terribly practical, this may never get to be a reality.
7 Just Can’t Wait: Ducati Zero Electric Superbike
Ducati knows its superbikes, and apparently, they will soon know their electric bikes, as well. The Ducati Zero Electric Superbike is supposed to be out in 2020 and will feature front and rear radar, showing yet again that when it comes to rider safety, there is nothing better than Ducati. Paired with the ABS cornering system and technology that lets the rider interact with the jacket-integrated D-air system, this motorcycle promises to be a class apart. The ARAS (Advanced Rider Assistance Systems) will work together in tandem to help prevent collisions with other vehicles by warning the rider in advance. All this, and it's electric.
6 Just A Little Off: KTM Ion
Remember the mopeds of yore? The kind of vehicle you first pedaled like a bike and the pedaling kickstarted a tiny little motor? Well, the KTM Ion is a futuristic comeback of the same. It is supposed to be a cross between a motorcycle and a bicycle. And you don’t have to pedal it because it is all electric. Fuel-efficient and zippy, this promises to be the answer to all traffic hurdles in polluted cities. The 260V battery and a KTM engine promise to make the mechanics sturdy but the frame looks a tad amiss, especially when it comes to rider safety.
5 Just Can’t Wait: Royal Enfield V-Twin Concept KX
Move over Harley, Royal Enfield’s stunning V-twin Concept KX motorcycle seems to be generating quite a buzz—even if it’s a 2020 release. This is the reimagining of a 1930s bobber, but it has a far sleeker engine than the monster of the 1,140cc of the olden times. The engine will be a smaller but far more efficient 858cc and the styling remains classically Royal Enfield but with a modern twist. The swooping girder fork and integrated headlight, coupled with the pancake exhaust and a flat tank, make this motorcycle look absolutely delicious. Oh, and all the electronics are hidden in this one, making it look awesome.
4 Just A Little Off: Ostoure By Mohammad Reza Shojaie
This looks like some kind of a deranged ride that has magnetically acquired all the pieces of black metal it could find. Dubbed the Ostoure, it has been designed by Mohammad Reza Shojaie and has been getting rave reviews by many. The Ostoure means “legend” in Persian, and for sure, a real bike like this would certainly be legendary, even it was so for all the wrong reasons. Shojaie wanted the bike to look “delicate” but delicate is hardly the word we would use to describe this mammoth, even it is all carbon fiber and light as light can be. It has been designed with a lot of thought but somehow we don’t see it coming out anytime soon.
3 Just Can’t Wait: Harley-Davidson LiveWire
As we stated earlier, the world of two-wheelers is going electric at top speed. So why should Harley-Davidson be left behind? Harley says that latest by 2021, they will have their very first all-electric motorcycle on the market, but Money Control says that it could be much earlier than that. Apparently, the Livewire, as this e-Harley will be called, will be shipped to dealers in 2019. This has certainly electrified the e-motorcycle market, as well as generated a buzz amidst Harley fans that also happen to environmentalists. Perhaps now would be a good time to form an all-electric Harley motorcycle club?
2 Just A Little Off: Wojtek Bachleda’s Indian Motorcycle
When we look at this concept motorcycle, we are reminded of the animated movie Big Hero 6. And no, it’s not the central characters of Hiro Hamada or Baymax that we refer to. It’s Go Go Tamago's “magnetic bicycle” that we are talking about. A student named Wojtek Bachleda has designed something very similar but as a reimagination of Indian Motorcycles. Of course, this was way back in 2013, and nothing in Indian Motorcycles’ lineup to date has ever hinted at this kind of an edgy, neo-future design. Maybe Bachleda should contact Polar Cycles instead. If they could make the Jaguar bike, this should be a cakewalk.
1 Just Can’t Wait: Norton Superlight 650
Built of carbon fiber bodywork, carbon wheels, and a single-sided swingarm, the Norton Superlight 650 is mesmerizing motorcycle aficionados and know-it-alls alike. The 650 moniker comes from the engine's specs—a 650cc, parallel twin to be precise—and this little hottie can crank out 105 horsepower and 55 lb-ft torque, with the engine revving all the way up to 12,000 rpm. The superlight terminology comes from the super and light carbon fiber bodywork that will weight shy of 350 pounds! Add a titanium race pipe and there's another 13 pounds saved. It also takes the horsepower all the way to 111! Of course, this isn’t for road use, but a biker can dream, right?
Sources: The Awesomer, Top Gear, AutoWise, DesignBoom, Yamaha Motor Sports, and Money Control.