Friday, April 17, 2009

FERRARI MOTORCYCLE?

Students of history, take note. When a hot new design appears, looking 'totally unlike anything you've ever seen', undoubtedly it's been done before! The case in point this month is a design for a Ferrari motorcycle, utilizing half an 'Enzo' V-8 motor in an extended chassis with conventional-ish suspension front and rear.

The design was created by an Israeli, Amir Glinik, and his computer-generated images have been circulating the web for a couple of weeks now (nice computer work, by the way; how much did THAT software cost? Check out his website; he has made 3d models of several Vintage motorcycles). While every moto-geek blogger has been alternately enraged/enthralled by his foray into the two-wheeled Italian Stallion, nobody has pointed out that his mockup bears a striking resemblance to the French Majestic, the 'New Motorcycle', of the late 1920's.

Now, the Majestic really WAS radical, with a twin-beam chassis and hub-center steering, and was also offered as a four-cylinder model, utilizing a Cleveland inline inlet-over-exhaust 4. I don't know if any '4s' were built beyond this prototype; all the Majestics I've seen have single-cylinder engines by Chaise or JAP. The Majestic was the embodiment of Art Deco chic, and as mentioned in an earlier post, could be purchased with a hand-applied 'crackle' or 'alligator' paint job. An amazing machine for its day, and even today!

Also not mentioned in any Ferrari-related press; there have been previous attempts to produce a two-wheel Ferrari, starting in the 1950s with a lightweight model of unspectacular design and specification (although this was unrelated to Enzo's factory). Designers from Modena have also contributed to motorcycle engineering recently, as they were hired by Cagiva to create a new motor for the prototype MV Agusta in 1995/6. Cagiva went on to design their 'own' engine for the MV, but used Ferrari's system of a fully radial 4-valve cylinder head.... also an old idea, having last been used by Rudge-Whitworth on their Ulster model in 1932! But, the Rudge wasn't DOHC, so Ferrari had to sort out all the associated technical issues.

I have to say, the engine is certainly appealing in this concept bike, but the overall impact is visually heavy... Usually when an automobile/motorcycle association is formed the result is disastrous. One only has to remember how Guigiaro ruined the exquisite Ducati 'round case' 750 twins, to create the ugly 1976 860GT, to understand my point. Colin Chapman of Lotus said it best; 'Simplicate and add lightness'.

11 comments:

Nortley said...

Auto/moto fusion disaster indeed. Still, it's better looking than Arlen Ness's '57 Chevy bike. I never did decide if it looked more like an anorexic car or just a really silly caricature of a motorcycle.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your web page but how could a site dedicated to motorcycle history site completely ignore the Harley-Davidson Servi-Car?

Keep up the good work and thanks for putting it out there...Dave

http://photobucket.com/servicarrider

http://www.aa-ok.com/HDGalleryServi.htm

Grandpa Jimbo said...

As a scientific illustrator (retired after 45 years) I am completely blown away by the graphics. The bike is a disaster but the artist is genius!

Jim A.

Anonymous said...

The last image makes the Ferrari bike look awful. The body shape is just a waisted wine barrel with an interesting front fender.

The Majestic was ok, but I've always preferred the style and engineering of the Neracar.

vintagent said...

I think the Ner-a-Car was equally interesting, but the Majestic had much more power! The Ferrari succumbs to motorcycle-as-sausage, while the Majestic had a definite waistline, and managed to be graceful... having seen a few in the metal, they are lovely in their own way.

Lance said...

The Ferrari looks like just another silly, heavily stylised concept design, that would never work in real life. But the Majestic looks fantastic - I'd love to have a ride around on that machine.

Affer said...

That Majestic really is wondrous! But the 'Ferrari'? Reminds me of a red Ariel Arrow Sports. There is such a gulf between what looks good as a CAD concept and the real thing...as I was reminded when seeing the Norton Nemesis at the National Motorcycle Museum (England) recently. A truly hideous lump!

Falcon said...

Motorcycle-as-sausage ... only you are able to hit the nail on the head like this Paul...

Anonymous said...

I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GREAT INFO/PIC,S /HISTORY ETC. YOU PUT OUT THERE .YOU TOOK YOUR TIME TO SPEAK TO ME BRIEFLY WHEN I WAS PUCHASING A OLD MOTO GUZZI FROM MARK UPHAM AT BRITISH ONLY AUSTRIA. YOUR INFORMATION ON BRINGING THE BIKE INTO THE U S A [ HIRING AN AGENT ETC. ] WAS OF GREAT HELP ,I LOVE THE BIKE . THANKS AGAIN , MARK M

Anonymous said...

that looks like a really cool motorcycle but it look way expensive and it look like it wouldn't do well driving. But i can say it look cool

conartist said...

I've found this guys site a few weeks ago and then noticed you have mentioned him too .... amazing work!!! ... did you know those broad-minded individuals at Ferrari have asked him to remove the bike from his site ... do you think they might be concerned it will get built?!