Leave the flashy colors and sleek forms to the Italians — the history of BMW Motorrad has been one of form following function. This fully restored 1954 BMW RS 54 factory racer in the company's classic black is a perfect example of that philosophy. With its 45 hp, DOHC 500cc boxer two-cylinder engine, gear-driven solid-shaft final drive — no chains — and Earles-type front fork, the RS 54 sported some of the most advanced technology of the era. And all that engineering showed on the racetrack, with BMW factory riders winning multiple Tourist Trophies and sidecar world championships. Only 24 examples were produced in the 1954 model year, making the RS 54 a rare milestone in the history of motorcycling.
Gifted to his production company following his appearance in a Japanese commercial for the 1973 CR250, Steve McQueen's 1972 Honda CB450 Motorcycle is an interesting motoring relic. The bike currently sports a "McQueen" vanity plate and an odometer that reads 19,417 miles. Powered by a double overhead cam engine that was quite advanced for its time, the bike also has a black seat, a green metallic flake tank, and a plate cover from the dealership of legendary stuntman Bud Ekins.
It's easy to look at a custom bike and want something similar for your ride. It's hard to visualize it in a way that a fabricator can understand. That's where Barbara Motorcycle Concepts come into play. They'll take a photo of your current bike and let you test out everything from a simple saddle change to a full-on rebuild, all through the magic of Photoshop, then work with the shop of your choosing to make your dream a reality.
Mixing exposed raw materials with state-of-the-art technology, the Essence E-Raw Electric Motorcycle is an intriguing two-seater concept. Originally debuted a couple of years ago, it's since been improved with a more refined cover for the battery pack, yet still retains its signature seat made from laminated layers of wood. The exposed tubular steel frame also remains visible and sits atop an Ohlins suspension. An electric propulsion system provides over 100hp, enough to move the 370-pound bike from 0-62 in just 3.5 seconds, and provide over 100 miles of range.
Based on a Honda VTR250 and inspired by flat track racers, the Deus Ex Machina South Paw Motorcycle makes the most of its donor bike's limitations. Thanks to the trellis frame and oversized airbox, the modification was more complicated than is typical, with the front end being left mostly intact. The back half of the bike was replaced with a distinctive cantilevered fuel cell, shaped by hand, formed from a mix of carbon fiber, woven glass, and epoxy, and also serving as the seat and subframe. It sits on 17-inch Excel alloy racing rims, with upgraded brakes and a combination LED headlight/number board up front serving notice as to the bike's true intentions.
Named after the creator's father, who had one when he served in the military in the early 1970s, the Husqvarna 256 Thage Motorcycle is a modern take on a rare service bike. Developed for the Swedish defense force in the 1960s, only 1,000 were ever made. The bike is notable for its pair of skis that stick off the sides when not pushed down, making it necessary to have a hand-lever for shifting. This mod has retained much of the original front end's charm while adding a more compact seat, longer shocks, new handlebars, new exhaust, and a new black paint job to replace the traditional green. The result is a modern tribute that's truly one-of-a-kind.
With a powerful electric motor and a design from a veteran of Lamborghini and Bertone, the Italian Volt Electric Motorcycle offers an enticing mix of style and performance. The bodywork, frame, and swingarm are all 3D-printed, letting you choose between cafe racer, roaster, and scrambler configurations in various shapes and colors. Brembo brakes and an Ohlins suspension provide excellent stopping power and handling, and the powertrain outputs 94 hp, good for a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph.
As America's oldest motorcycle manufacturer, Indian has a long racing history. It draws from it for the Indian Scout FTR750 Motorcycle. The same model that's currently running in the American Flat Track series, it's now available for purchase. A custom-built 750cc V-Twin engine sits in its ultra-light steel frame, along with a centrally-located airbox. The body is made from carbon fiber and harkens back to designs of the past, but while its looks might be vintage-inspired, its performance is most assuredly cutting-edge.
Inspired by motorsport design of the 1970s, the BMW R Nine T Racer Motorcycle blends retro looks with modern performance. Behind its signature half-shell fairing sits a 1,170cc two-cylinder boxer engine producing 110 hp, hooked to a constant mesh six-speed gearbox. A long wheelbase and low handlebars help give it a sporty look, as do the side stripes and comfortable solo seat.
Rarely do unofficial concept designs become a reality. The BMW K75 Alpha Motorcycle is a happy exception. Originally conceived by as a Salt Flats racer by designer Mehmet Doruk Erdem, it became a reality when Erdem teamed with builder Mark "Makr" Atkinson. In the process, the donor bike gained a turbo, reworked shifter, new brakes, steering components, and an entirely new frame and fairing to realize Erdem's original design.
Inspired by the modified bikes of the '60s and '70s that roamed the California desert, the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled Motorcycle is more than just a cosmetic upgrade. Changes from the street-savvy model include added tubing, new skid plates, a longer, reinforced swing arm, and other updates meant to increase stiffness. It's still powered by the same 803cc L-twin engine, but has fully-adjustable Kayaba forks and shocks and special Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires, all of which help it tackle even the deepest sand with ease.
Believed to be one of less than 500 ever built, this 1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Motorcycle is a highly rare relic of war. It's also completely original, and miraculously unused. Details of the MT500 are scant, but we do know that it's powered by a Rotax engine, was built towards the end of the production run, and is outfitted in military green with a plastic gun case and ammo panniers. It also has zero miles on the odometer, which means it's entirely up to its next owner whether it ever sees (street) action or not.
Built from a 1981 Lemans Mk II, this Death Machines of London Moto Guzzi Airtail Motorcycle is an original work of functional minimalism. The process began with the complete disassembly of the donor bike, which was then blasted to remove any dirt or debris. As it was rebuilt, the bike's 950cc engine gained a new crankshaft, heads, vales, and carbs, while the frame holding it was delugged and airtailed at the suggestion of its new owner. The original, restored gauges sit in a new dash with 1940 Merlin Spitfire aviation warning lights and switch, and it's finished with a glossy Italian Red frame, satin Old English white on the front, and exposed metal on the rear of the tank.
Although it's just a running prototype — production models aren't expected to roll off the line until 2018 — the Vanguard Roadster Motorcycle is worth getting excited about. The engine serves a dual purpose by both powering the bike and serving as its frame, giving the bike a novel look that's helped along by the integrated exhaust and low-slung, boxy tank. It also has a unitized crankcase, a tablet-like digital dash with a rear-view camera, and will be assembled in New York City at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Looking much more like a traditional motorcycle than many all-electric options, the Aero E-Racer Motorcycle is a sleek compromise between a gas-powered street racer and a commuter-centric electric bike. It's powered by an electric motor from Tacita, maker of the T-Race electric rally bike, producing around 75hp, with a range of 40 miles. It sits on a tubular chrome moly steel frame, has a front-mounted GoPro for capturing your rides, and is finished with carbon/kevlar body work, an iPhone-based dashboard, and a roomy fine leather seat.
Sometimes companies drop concept vehicles with tons of details and no hope of ever getting made. Sometimes, you get virtually no details but assurances a real-world version is coming. The BMW HP4 Race Motorcycle is among the latter. BMW Motorrad's president has promised that the production model will have the same full carbon fiber main frame and carbon fiber rims shown in the preview, but that's about it. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until next spring for more information, like when you can place your order for a highly-limited, hand-manufactured example of your own.
Like a piece of Ikea furniture, the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 Motorcycle has a funny-sounding name and an eye-catching design. It's powered by an advanced, single-cylinder 375cc engine that outputs 44 hp. Performance is helped along by the lightweight steel-trellis frame, sleek bodywork, and hybrid steel/aluminum exhaust. LED lights provide visibility after dark, a Bosch ABS system ensures you can slow down safely, and the long single seat only adds to the stripped-down, progressive look. Arriving in autumn 2017.
Okay, so technically it's just a prototype. But it's a prototype that can move from 0-28 mph in just three seconds and hit a top speed of nearly 50 mph without using a single drop of gas. The Light Rider 3D Printed Electric Motorcycle owes part of its quickness to its 77-pound weight, made possible by an organic frame structure that removes as much material as possible while maintaining structural rigidity. The frame is made from an aircraft-grade aluminum that offers the same strength as titanium, and the 37-mile range makes it an ideal way to turn short commutes into fun rides.
Wood, metal, and leather come together in harmony in the Ocgarage BMW R100 GS Avventura Motorcycle. The bike itself saw its engine rebuilt, with larger carbs and a new exhaust to help cope with the greater weight. The sidecar is connected with bespoke hubs machined from 6082 alloy, and is completely handmade, from the inner frame to the aluminum sheet that wraps around it. The outer side is clad in a piece of mahogany, while the inside features a full-grain leather seat to match the saddle of the bike. Sadly, it's already spoken for.
Meant to embody the motorcycle of the far off future, the BMW Vision Next 100 Motorcycle is about as technologically exotic as you'll see a concept bike get. Its black frame triangle is meant to reference the company's first bike, but is covered in matte black textile and is actually designed to flex, eliminating the normal joints of a traditional bike and adjusting the steering strength as needed. It's powered by a zero-emissions drive unit, can balance itself, includes a data visor that makes a normal dashboard unnecessary, and is so safe, it would make helmets entirely optional.
Based around a 1,000cc Honda inline four-cylinder engine, this Huge Moto Mono Racr Motorcycle was created from the inside out with an eye towards purposeful design. As a result, it lacks the loud graphics and unnecessarily harsh angles of some of its contemporaries, instead opting for an aero-driven, sleek shape. The mainframe and swing arm are made from a single piece of carbon fiber, reducing the weight and improving performance. Although it's still just a concept, the company is actively exploring fabrication options.
Mixing superbike styling with a road-friendly design, the Ducati Supersport Motorcycle is a high-performance machine for the daily rider. It's powered by a 937cc Testastretta 11-degree engine taken from the Hypermotard line, housed in a trellis frame. Meanwhile, the relaxed rider and passenger positions, an adjustable windscreen, and a 16L fuel tank make it ideal for medium-distance rides. Other notable features are ABS, Ducati Traction Control, three riding modes, and, on the more aggressive S model, a fully adjustable Öhlins suspension and the Ducati Quick Shift system.
Built from the ground up using combustion bikes as a base, Night Shift Electric Motorcycles are both stylish and practical. The company's done two builds so far, the first being Rebel, a modified 1987 Honda Rebel 250 powered by the guts of a golf cart drivetrain. Their second build, the Leafy Savage, is far more advanced. Its battery pack was taken from a Nissan Leaf, and a 2003 Suzuki Savage was used for the frame (hence the name), with an Enertrac motor providing a maximum output of 40 hp.
Produced in Germany from 1921 to 1925, the Megola Motorcycle only saw around 2,000 bikes completed. That's why this 1921 Megola 640CC Touring Motorcycle model is such a rare find. It's powered by an original 640cc five-cylinder radial engine that is built into the front wheel and is started by pushing or rotating the wheel with the machine on its stand. The model was built four years ago and arrives at auction for collectors with a rich sense of moto history as well as an appreciation for its incredibly unique features and starting technique.
Named after the design team's booze intake during its creation, the Icon 1000 Three Martini Lunch Motorcycle is a low-slung take on the Triumph Thruxton. Painted Verdoro Green, a color stolen from the Pontiac GTO, the bike mixes KZ1000 wheels and Harley forks with the Triumph frame, an integration made possible with the help of a Nitron suspension, brakes from EBC, and Avon tyres. The result is a unique, sporting bike that demands attention, from its distinct color to the "X" pattern over the headlight.
For their first build, Pan Speed Shop turns a BMW K1200S into a dystopian dream ride. Stripped to the frame, the Pan Meka Motorcycle replaces its original plastic body with handmade raw steel forms and a custom-designed exhaust. The bike was totally rewired for an upgraded digital dash and push button controls. While all the lights were handcrafted, the front, made from double Xenon day lights that open and close automatically, totally separates the bike from its former self.
Named after racer Giacomo Agostini, who won 13 Grand Prix championships and 10 Isle Of Man TT's, the Deus Ex Machina Ago TT Motorcycle is part tribute, part modern reinvention. Based on an MV Agusta Brutal 800rr, the bike sits on a custom subframe, and offers several dramatic features, among them the custom aluminum tank shell formed from seven separate pieces of aluminum. There's also a handmade aluminum tail that houses the electronics, a custom Öhlins rear shock, Beringer hand controls, and a Scitsu tach. Also notable is what it's lacking, namely a headlight, turn signals, and license plate, as they're unnecessary for a bike whose only home is the track.
Triumph held the motorcycle land speed record for nearly 15 years straight, but that run ended in 1970. The Triumph Rocket was built to bring it back after a 45 year absence. Powered by a pair of turbocharged Rocket II engines producing over 1,000hp combined, this carbon Kevlar-skinned land missile is over 25 feet long, yet just two feet wide and three feet tall. It'll be piloted by Guy Martin, a famous British motorcycle racer and one of the few crazy enough to compete in the Isle of Man TT. Aiming for a speed of over 400 mph, they'll take their shot later this month.
You don't need us to tell you how much fun it is to go off-road in an ATV. But the Tarus 2x2 Motorcycle raises the off-road stakes even higher. This ATV disguised as a motorcycle is capable of slicing through rough terrain like mud, swamps, snow, and mountains. It can also navigate where four wheel ATVs cannot due to its compact, light-weight size. Weighing less than 200 pounds, it's collapsible and can be broken down in less than five minutes and stored in the trunk of a car.