The R-bike
Take a peek into what very well might be the future of motorcycles. This guy Erik Brinkman have invented a concept, named R-Bike, that is half motorcycle half robot. The idea is that it will change appearance and geometry according to current riding conditions. Seems like a pretty good idea, but not that important. The trend is going towards motorcycles that can fulfill multiple purposes, just look at the popularity of the Ducati Multistrada, Triumph Tiger, and Kawasaki Versys. But from there to the R-Bike that looks like a combination of a soapbox car and a StarWars droid, I’m not sure. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw something of the concept implemented on motorcycles from the major manufacturers in a couple of years.

Via Cycle Trader Insider

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19 Responses to “Shapeshifting motorcycle, a remarkable concept”

  1. Vatslav  January 24th

    OMG its SOOO UGLY!!

  2. Jesper  January 24th

    Yea, it’s not exactly cool is it.

  3. Jerry Bolan  January 26th

    This is an Engineers bike.
    People who go for shallow looks won’t like it.
    The detail in this simplicity is amazing.
    It has to look like this to work right.
    Read the REPORT on his website
    and you will understand
    and see theGALLERy for really cool videos.
    I want one !

  4. Molly Hastings  January 26th

    I hope Harley-Davidson buys this design from him. I wanted a Harley, but they are for old men, Harkley is even going to make trikes for the old guys who can’t balance anymore. It is time to bring in the young and intelligent, especially us girls. I love the idea of changing the shape as I ride so I can go anywhere. The videos look cool and the report on the website is amazing. So much detailed function in such a simple package, It should have been done years ago. It would have been my first bike.

  5. Jesper  January 26th

    I did read the report on the website, Jerry, and understand why it looks as it does. But I still don’t think it’s that necessary. I’ve ridden my bike on everything from gravel roads to racetracks and never needed it to change shape.

    But from an engineering perspective it’s a marvel of a bike, of course it is.

    Molly, Harleys are for old men? I think Erin Baker would disagree.

  6. zbanG  January 29th

    It’s not ugly, it’s special,it’s exotic:) I like it, but I wonder if the this will remain just a concept or more..

  7. Erik Brinkman  February 5th

    Interesting comments. Thanks. Keep in mind though, this is not a “design concept”. This is much further along than that of the last 9 years. It is fully engineered. We are preparing for production.

  8. Jesper  February 5th

    Thank you for joining in Erik. I hope you have luck to get this in production. I might not agree with you on the importance of a shape shifting motorcycle. But I’d like to see one for real some day.

  9. Erik Brinkman  February 9th

    To: Jesper
    So you say you can’t see the need, eh ?
    Do me a favor and go to ….
    1. Go to the REPORT
    (down the left side of the main page)

    2. Pull up the FRAME booklet.
    3. Look at the RIDE section.

    Now tell me an old rigid framed style bike is good enough.

  10. Jesper  February 9th

    I’ve read your report Erik. It’s a very remarkable motorcycle. Seems like a good idea, if you look at it for its functional purpose, like e.g. shepherds use ATV’s and so forth.

    I like the detail, that you can actually hook more Rbikes together to haul large loads or what not, and you can maneuver out of mud holes by changing the shape.

    If you have a motorcycle solely for transportation back and forth to work, you probably won’t need shape shifting. But if there’s no extra cost, you might as well go for it if you like the bike.

    I don’t mean to disrespect what you’ve spent nine years to invent, Erik, it’s a stunning accomplishment.

    To me riding a motorcycle is a lot about passion, not just function. Yes, the Rbike might handle gravel roads better than a sport bike, and hairpins better than a cruiser. But is that what I’m going for when I buy a CBR600RR or a VTX1800 – not really.

  11. Erik Brinkman  February 14th

    This is the part I was referring to ….

    ShapeShifting ON-THE-FLY

    We are going to spend 3 years or so playing with some of these,
    hooked to sensors and using A.I. software
    to see where the comfort levels are in automating some of these.
    …. with a cut-off option (as with the ant-lock and anti-spin).

    Here is the list ….

    1. DOWN a Steep Hill
    As you start a steep slow descend, you stretch your bike out a bit
    with feet stretched on pointing downhill
    and the seat much lower and you tuck your body rearward.

    2. UP a Steep Hill
    As you ascend the hill,
    you start fairly stretchy and slowly scrunch as you go up
    to let the ShapeShift pull-it up
    and you need more tight control as you do those last few feet of climb.

    3. Tight Squeeze
    When the trail goes tight between trees you need squeeze it in a bit,
    then stretch it back on the other side.

    4. Sharp Curves
    You approach a sharp curve and need a little more belly clearance
    and you need a shorter more nimble wheelbase,
    so you scrunch into the curve and stretch back out of the curve
    pulling itself out of the curve..

    5. Creek Crossing
    You approach the creek and so you scrunch high
    to keep the nostril tucked high behind the side-pods
    and keep splashes of water deflected from the intake and the rider,
    and the tailpipe tilts down to keep water from backing up into it.
    Then you stretch to let the ShapeShifting help pull up onto the other bank.

    6. High Speed Cruising
    You are riding in your most comfortable position
    and you want or need to go smoother faster.
    You are only a 10-inch wide frame, so if you stretch it out,
    you have a longer faster more stable arrow in the wind.

    7. High Speed Braking
    You are stretched out and cruising the open road
    and suddenly a deer pops up onto the road and just stands there.
    So you clamp the binders full-on
    and the bike frame slowly shortens as the bike slows,
    because a shorter wheelbase stops quicker with better control.
    Stopping benefits from a wheelbase best suited
    for hard braking at that momenary speed,

    8. Lock-n-Stretch over a Log
    You kiss up to a log and plant the rear brake and then stretch
    and in so doing “crawl” the bike.
    The bike comes with a 21 inch front wheel to help in this option.

    9. Pulling out of a Hole
    There you are stuck in the mudhole. Seen it a thousand times.
    Now you don’t worry about pulling the bike out.
    You can stretch to both spread out the weight
    and use the stretch-crawl method of “inch-worming” your way out
    using the frame’s ShapeShifting.

    10. In a SideSlide
    The bike might want to scrunch a bit more
    to help make the SideSlide easier to control.

    11. If the Road gets Rough
    The bike might want to raise up a bit
    and shorten its wheelbase for better control.

  12. Jesper  February 14th

    Erik, as I said, I read it. That’s all very nice from a pure functional point of view. But I still don’t need it. The bike doesn’t appeal to me, and having a whole bunch of abilities that I basically don’t need will not make it appeal to me.

    I’m not a big fan of technology when it comes to my motorcycle riding. I don’t want intercom, GPS, mobile phones, and other tech crap to interfere with my experience of riding a motorcycle. A mile long feature list will never persuade me to buy anything.

  13. Erik Brinkman  February 16th

    To Jesper:
    This bike is a lot simpler and has fewer parts than any bike you might now be riding. This is only and all about the quality of the ride. If to you prefer an old-style rigid framed bike, the past has its predictable comforts.

  14. paul UK  March 22nd

    I think its one of the ugliest things I have ever seen. I don’t care if it cooks my supper, its horrible!

  15. Motorcycle  September 27th

    I like it, but I think the general public is not ready for this design yet.

  16. Erik Brinkman  October 19th

    Time for a bit of an update ….

    BTW- if you don’t have QuickTime application in your computer,
    you miss out on all the neat videos in the “Gallery”.

    The most important part of the bike is the drivetrain.
    Merch is handling the 6 engines.
    They are tops in making very very strong motors.

    The drivetrain uses 3-inch helical-cut gears
    (stainless steel with a near-diamond coating
    …. 10 times slicker than Teflon)

    It will be tested and ready to install by late 08.
    The first bikes are for the Militaries and the Bike Shows,
    We also promised 2 bikes for Warner Brothers and others in L.A.

    Orange County Choppers show will be assembling one on TV.
    (almost half the parts are Harley-World aftermarket parts,
    so you will be able to service the bike at any Harley Dealer).

    They will be built in New York and in Medicine Hat.

    Public production will begin in 09.
    Prices will begin just below $20k for a stripped budget bike
    with a base $4k engine.
    and up close to $120k for the highest possible quality and detail
    and the $60k engine.

    We are designing a “Build-a-Bike” section on the WebSite
    where you can select almost every part on the bike
    and adjust the price/feature balance to what you want.
    You will have a choice of 6 engines and 3 transmissions.
    There are 3 front wheel sizes and 2 rear wheel sizes.
    There are 3 seat styles and 2 tank options. etc etc
    until the bike is exactly what you want and can afford.

    Then if you answer a marketing questionaire,
    we will email you a poster sized hi-resolution picture
    of the bike the way YOU designed it.

    Soon we shall begin taking pre-orders
    so you can save your place in line.
    This is a couple of weeks away.
    We have it functioning correctly.
    Now it is a matter of the “look”
    and then loading the hundreds of selections / options.

    We promise that when updates occur,
    they can be added any existing bike,
    so that the purchase is a lifetime relationship.

    Now, I know the idea of a ShapeShifter motorcycle
    is a little out of the box …. just a little,
    but the bike actually takes on the proportions
    of the top bikes in each riding style category.
    If any part of the frame were mounted or shaped 1/4 inch off,
    the entire “puppet” would not work well.

    There is much more to this than first meets the eye.
    This is all about the frame, and not just about the bike as such.
    We expect to license the frame to other makers in the future.
    Adaptive-geometry makes for a safer bike,
    and ultimately we want to see lots of them on the road,
    whether ours our eventually someone elses version.

    We shall also be activating the INVEST button
    (hopefully by Monday Oct 22nd)
    It will take you to an index where all the paperwork resides.

  17. Billy Bob  May 22nd

    For Molly Hastings……….
    Too bad your thinking trails back to Harley Davidson instead of saying, Here is an inovative thinker who has a superior product that I can purchase from him. Why do Americans always have to patronize Harley Davisdon.
    They are not that great and never hae been.
    Sent with love and respect.

  18. Erik Brinkman  August 15th

    The specs are now published.

  19. bullzeyet  February 19th

    Erik, just from my short visit to this blog about the ShapeShifter…a motorcycle for all seasons and conditions!! It’s about time!!!! No need to buy 2-3 motorcycles for various riding conditions or travel requirements. I will be reading more on your website shortly.

    I maybe a seasoned rider(35yrs.+) but I haven’t found just “one” bike that can do it all. Your’s is very, very close. Now…how far will it go on 1 tank of fuel (whatever…diesel,kerosene,alcohol,sunflower oil,manure,windshield bugs,etc). Mmmmm, looking for military uses,eh?? Ya, think.


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