Motorcycles

Be. e, The Electric Scooter from Holland.

As a former vintage Lambretta owner, I’m kind of a purist when it comes to scooters. I lean toward classic design styling, but I’m a realist and know the two stroke engines are horrid pollutants. I like the look of the current Vespa line. Piaggio has stayed true to their design heritage and you can easily make the visual connection between a 1950’s Prima Vera, and one of today’s bikes. With all that said, I know there is a need for a zero emissions scooter, and that means designing something that uses lightweight parts. It doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style though.

Be. e, combines sustainable design with updated styling that gives a nod to scooters of yesterday with out going to far. Be. e is a standout among current electric commuter motorcycles and scooters. The scoot is designed for urban and light countryside use. It’s not a speed demon, but it is as fast as most smaller displacement bikes with a top speed of about 30 mph thanks to it’s torquey electric motor. Be.e has a two hour battery capacity which is perfect for most commuter trips, and has a recharge time from a fully displaced battery of just 3 and a half hours.

Designed by Waarmakers for Van.eko, Be.e is available in black, brown, or a tasty pale green. It also features inlaid circles of brown and silver which look sort of like the number shields found on classic Cafe Racers. The body of the scooter is made from Natural Sustainable Fiber-reinforced Composites, including hemp and flax seeds, which are actually stronger than fiberglass and plastic used by most competitors. The plant based products are compressed in a solid hull shape that forms the rigid exterior and a frame.

Ruby Helmets. A Vintage Look made from Modern Materials.

The last few weeks it seems that every time I do a design post on a Friday it has something to do with motorcycles. With that said why should today be any different. I am a firm believer that if you ride a motorcycle, or even a scooter that goes faster than 25 miles per hour you should wear a full face helmet. You don’t want your chin coming in contact with pavement if you can help it.

French company Ruby has released a new line of retro inspired open face helmets that look quite stylish, and at times a bit feminine. While I wouldn’t wear these helmets on a motorcycle (what I said above), I would consider using one of these as a track helmet for something like autocross, or a light track driving. I love the classic look, and the simple color/graphic combinations that don’t detract from the silhouette of the  helmet itself.

The helmets are made from carbon fiber and feature burgundy Nappa lambskin linings. For added rigidity each helmet has a distinctive backbone  that runs down the center line.

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DP Customs “Naked Cafe”.

Everything about the look of this bike says I’m Fast”, and I’m sure it is. That stripped down body, low slung frame, huge engine, and racing saddle, all say hang on for dear life. I love the look of this new motorcycle from DP. It has a retro feel, and yet it looks very contemporary with its angular gas tank, and frame assembly.

The bike was built from a classic ’80 Harley Ironhead, 1000cc, and has a look and color scheme that is an homage to  the 2011 winner of Le Mans:  the #2 Audi R18 TDI.

I need to win the lottery so I can afford to buy more toys. (I guess I’d have to play the lottery first)

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Vespa Romania.

I’m on vacation in one the friendliest scooter cities in America. You see more people on scooters here than pretty much any other city in the states. The high cost of gas, population density, and parking make San Francisco an ideal place to own a Vespa.

I saw this poster today in the window of a shop just down from Union Square. When I got back to the hotel, I did some digging and found out it is a Romanian ad for Vespa. I love the illustration, and the way the illustrator has integrated the traffic congestion into the map. Great image, nice ad.

Agency: Three, Romania
Creative Director: Andrei Tripsa
Copywriter: Sabin Staicu
Art Director: Nicu Duta
Account Director: Miruna Pop
Illustrator: Nicu Duta

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Art of the Chopper at Union Station, Kansas City

This afternoon I spent a couple of hours at Union Station in the Cross Roads district of Kansas City, checking out the “Art of the Chopper” motorcycle show that is going on there for the next month. I made two mistakes; first I forgot to grab my DSLR, and second I didn’t spend enough time going through the show.I say that because these really are works of art that need to be examined and scrutinized for their detail and craftsmanship. Below is a pretty weak slide show of images I snapped on my iPhone. I call it weak, because the iPhone has some difficulty focusing, on extremely shiny, well lit objects. Some of the images have weird focus points, or are slightly out of focus all together.

So what’s a guy to do? I’ll tell you what. I am going to go back to the show, loaded for bear and get some better images. Images that I will upload to this post and replace the current slide show with.

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