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I've been designing my own motorbike as an occasional hobby starting way back in 1979, but more recently on the computer since around the late nineties.
My main aim was to design a bike that I personally think is beautiful and spectacular, and I have acheived that, I think it's a mixture of elegance and madness.
The image below is a crosseye stereo 3d image. You can make it fullscreen or go to my flickr page.
The drawing below was the very beginning of the project maybe 1979, I've wrote 15 on this as I think that was my age when I drew this.
The line that I have circled is the absolute origin of this whole lifelong project. I maybe randomly drew a shape then thought "that would be a good shape for a fairing".
More sketches maybe around 16 years old.
Maybe at 17 years old I had the final fairing shape. The two front and back views were credit card sized which I carried in my wallet for inspiration.
I owned a Honda 750KZ around this time and used this brochure for reference sketches.
I was working as a trainee architectural technician and traced that brochure photo in spare time at work. I then altered the tracing using a razor blade to scrape off the ink.
I removed most of the perspective from the original and added chrome to the frame, turbo and nitrous oxide. New bodywork and shocks.
The front wheel and tyre was cut out of the sheet (as you can see here) so that I could lower the forks a bit. It was drawn using a 0.1mm rotring rapidograph draughtsman's pen.
This would still be around 1980ish. I realise now that I wasn't being too adventurous as I should have shortened the seat or made more drastic alterations.
Even now, I'm still quite pleased with this drawing considering how long ago it was and how ugly most bikes were at that time.
I'm not as keen on the colours used here, and I don't know what I was thinking about with the background. I've coloured the chrome here too.
1980ish was a few years before photoshop.
Made up the idea of venetian blind type lights that open with solenoid switches inspired by David Essex's silver dream racer which had similar fins that didn't move.
Aerials on bikes were cool in those days (maybe). Designed the KZX logo way back then too.
I did a few drawings like this by making a xerox copy of magazine articles about the Honda 750KZ then pencils and ink pens to add my fairing etc.
I had every intention of building the bike back then, and carried on occasionally getting strong urges to do so. So far it hasn't happened though.
I could consider just the design as a worthy lifetime project, it has kept me interested in design and technology, and still interests me now with computer graphics/animation etc.
Fast forward 20 years.
The following images show the design development in computer graphics.
I've made the subframe (in real life) out of 47mm stainless steel tubing which was a massive task all done by hand including paper drawings on a proper architects drawing board, cutting, filing and polishing.
The headstock has also been made/machined from stainless steel, but it's not been welded together yet.
(In 2005 I changed the disks shown below to incorporate the CH logo)
The frame was initially designed round a Kawasaki GPZ600R engine that I bought around 1994, I also had wheels and rear suspension from a Honda CBR1000.
I sold the engine and wheels and decided (in the early 2000's) on two Kawasaki KX500 engines side by side with a turbo (yes I know it's a two-stroke) or supercharger.
Two-strokes with turbos are fairly rare, but it's possible to have a two-stroke without expansion chambers (straight pipes) and a turbo.
It would just have less power than one with expansions and would have to be ported differently.
(The render below is me trying out compositing the bike into a background photo with pretty amateur results)
I used KX500B1 engines initially because I had an engine there for reference measurements, but if the bike was built now I would use two engines from a more recent bike.
Maybe two 650 four stroke motocrosser engines ( I like motocrosser engines because they're mental), which would make it a 1300cc with about 150 to 200 horsepower depending on superchargers/turbos e.t.c.
So the model as it is just now is wrong but, I'm not going to model a four stroke engine unless the bike is being built as this would change the positions of lots of mounting points.
It also took me ages to model the current engines, so the choice of engine/superchargers/turbo would need to be made, then the model changed accordingly.
(I spent quite a while modelling the rear sprocket, but later decided to change to a kevlar drivebelt)
The exhuasts go through the frame into the tailpiece. I know this raises a heat and discoloration issue.
The frame tubing's diamater of 47mm is large enough for a smaller diameter 4 stroke exhuast to fit through.
I have considered filling the gap between the two with something like ceramics or another substance with very low heat conductivity.
Another option is to leave that gap empty using spacers and maybe even allowing air to pass through the gap by making holes in the front and rear of the side exhuast sections of the frame.
I also considered peltier cooling which uses two different materials bonded together. It dissipates heat using electricity.
The clutch has been removed from the left engine and the magneto from the right engine to squeeze them closer together.
The engine crankshafts are joined, the right engine has an extendeded clutch thrust pin and gearshift shaft that both go through the left engine to the clutch and gearshift levers.
The right engine's final driveshaft also extends through the left engine to a sprocket.
This sprocket joins to another sprocket on a jackshaft using a small chain. The jackshaft turns a pulley wheel that drives the rear wheel using a kevlar/rubber drivebelt.
(I got help and info on the jackshaft and joining two engines via american hillclimb websites, they've been doing that kind of stuff for ages).
(Below you can see the CH logo shape cut out of the rear disk)
(And the front disks)
(Compositing into a photo of Laguna Seca raceway)
The basic dimensions for the bike are copied closely from my customised KX500 ie. the seat height, wheelbase and distance from front to rear lights.
I modelled the forks and swingarm using a spare KX500B1 swingarm and forks that I had in a cupboard taking pretty accurate measurements with calipers and a steel rule.
I would use more recent forks and swingarm if it was built now, or even design my own if the budget allowed.
The engines are fairly accurate copies of my KX500B1, although I didn't have a spare engine so I took what measurements I could from the bike and used photos to model other details.
At this stage I still had to add cables, sidepanels, superchargers, air filters, coils, instrument console dials e.t.c.
The clamps going from the frame to the swingarm below were just temporary so that the bike looked complete.
A render showing the recently added air filters and plastic carb hoses.
Air filters changed to same colour as K&N filters, beefed up rear subframes, re-positioned rear shock, new sidepanels and stainless steel rear panel.
If two thinner engines were used there could be the option of leaving both engines intact.
The right hand side engine would have another short chain/sprocket which would join onto the middle of the jackshaft.
The gear levers would be joined together with a metal bar underneath. This would be much easier than the joined crankshafts etc. that I mentioned before.
Rear led light shining through four tailpiece flaps which are opened by a solenoid switch when the rear light or brake light comes on.
Also added spark plug caps and coils, and changed the handlebar grips to match the footrests.
Front light shining through five flaps which are opened by a solenoid switch when the front light or high beam comes on.
Although it's hardly noticable, I recently spent a ridiculous amount of time on the fairing to smooth all the edges.
The part of the fairing that comes under the handlebars was a problem area as it is four different surfaces meeting at a point.
I rounded this corner off completely and smoothed every other edge, compare it to the render above.
Out of all the parts of the bike, the fairing has the most "organic" shape which makes it much harder to model or update.
Over the years I've easily spent as much time on the fairing as the rest of the bike put together, even with help from engineers.
I thought the balance of black and silver needed changed on the tailpiece, it now matches the fairing and new side panels better.
I also tried a few different versions of silver shapes on the front mudguard, but ended up going for this (It could change again though).
I think this is known as the customiser's curse, every time you change something or add a new part, it affects how everything around it looks.
Different view of the rounded off fairing, still to add throttle cables coming out the top of the carbs.
View showing the hidden exhuast silencer with an oblong exit hole that will give the bike a unique sound.
The carbs are accurate to the nearest mm as I had a spare one in my hand to measure from whilst modelling.
Added hydraulic (or air powered) telescopic centre stand similar to competition touring car hydraulic jacks.
Second attempt at compositing. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on this and ended up with average results.
I decided to make compositing perfection a long term goal.
First attempt at a stereo anaglyph image (view with red/blue or cyan/magenta 3d glasses), had to change the air filter colour back to yellow as red interferes with the anaglyph.
Anaglyph this time in 2014 (view with red/blue or cyan/magenta 3d glasses.
First attempt at fully rigged animation with suspension/chain moving properly.
Added whitewall tyres. I've always liked whitewall tyres and remember having them on a bicycle when I was about 12.
Below is a zoomable 3200 x 2400 pixel image. Zoom in/out with mousewheel or left click an area to zoom in, click and drag when zoomed in.
(You won't be able to scroll the page with the mouse wheel)
P.S. Its not a retro bike, it's just taken me 25 years to design it.
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