Loco velo: A very bonkers dash bike idea


Custom sprint motorcycle concept by Valen Zhou
What do a Kawasaki KZ250 engine, a automotive’s spare wheel and a bicycle seat have in frequent? You’ll discover all of them on this curious contraption from Valen Zhou, together with a smorgasbord of different odd bits and items.

Straight out the gate, Valen admits that this construct isn’t significantly sensible—in reality, it’s downright sketchy. However he didn’t initially intend it to be this manner. The Chinese language-born, Milan-based photographer and director had a really particular mash-up of kinds in thoughts, however as soon as he received caught in, issues didn’t fairly pan out.

Custom sprint motorcycle concept by Valen Zhou
“The concept began a few years in the past, once I noticed board monitor racing from the 1910s and Nineteen Twenties,” Valen tells us. “As a result of I’ve at all times beloved classic bikes and bike historical past, I used to be fascinated. However then I found drag racing, which made me really feel the highly effective allure.”

“I assumed that if I might make a board tracker crossed with a drag bike, it will be tremendous cool—even when it may not be doable.”

Custom sprint motorcycle concept by Valen Zhou
Valen had some concepts about how the body ought to look, and the way the steering ought to perform. But it surely quickly turned obvious that issues weren’t fairly going to pan out. So he modified tack, and determined to deal with the challenge as an idea bike of kinds.

“The whole bike is definitely my creativeness,” he says. “It’s my very own idea bike. I’m not knowledgeable engineer or an actual designer, however as a result of I like bikes, I simply wish to understand my idsprintea—and I hope everybody who sees it finds it tremendous cool.”

Custom sprint motorcycle concept by Valen Zhou
On the core of the bike is a hand-crafted metal body, constructed partially with jigs, and partially freehand. Many of the inspiration got here from Valen’s street bicycle—which accounts for the custom-built dropped bars, and the bicycle saddle and seat publish. The wrapping on the body’s spine is there so as to add further grip whereas pushing the bike round.

For the suspension, Valen successfully made it up as he went. “I mainly constructed the suspension freehand, identical to enjoying with Lego,” he says. “It’s fully designed based on my very own creativeness, so there might be massive issues, ha ha.”

Custom sprint motorcycle concept by Valen Zhou
The entrance wheel contains a Honda CG125 hub, a ‘common’ bike rim, and a pair of aero bicycle wheel covers. A half-size automotive spare wheel does obligation out again, mounted to a single-sided swingarm. There’s just one brake; a repurposed motocross half on the rear.

On the coronary heart of the construct sits the motor from a Kawasaki KZ250—a 246 cc single that makes a modest 19 Nm of torque. The engine’s another excuse that Valen modified course on the challenge; its output would have been inadequate for the unique chassis design that he had in thoughts.

Custom sprint motorcycle concept by Valen Zhou
The Kawasaki mill is generally inventory, save for a brand new velocity stack and a {custom} megaphone exhaust. Gas is saved in an aluminum bottle, mounted behind the body’s seat tube in a bicycle bottle cage. “I designed it this solution to save weight,” says Valen, “however it was additionally impressed by street bicycles.”

“You are taking it off and refill it, identical to refilling a water bottle. Every bottle solely holds 500 ml [about 17 oz], which is barely sufficient for one run. So I put together many bottles, and exchange them after every run—identical to athletes drink water.”

Custom sprint motorcycle concept by Valen Zhou
Valen’s dash bike is loaded with eccentric particulars like this. On the handlebars, you’ll discover a custom-built throttle that makes use of gears, and a reversed clutch lever.

In case you’re searching for the foot controls, they’re approach larger than you’ll often discover them. The driving place right here is impossibly compact—very like a hard and fast gear or time trial bicycle.

Custom sprint motorcycle concept by Valen Zhou
“It’s not very snug,” Valen concedes, “however it feels just like the wind resistance may be very little. Your arms get significantly drained although!”

It looks like a waste to spend a lot time on a challenge (it took literal years to finish), solely to confess that it’s not significantly usable. However that wasn’t the purpose right here. Now that Valen has let his creativeness run wild, he has an arsenal of concepts spooled up for the subsequent bike—and he’s nicely conscious of what works, and what doesn’t.

Custom sprint motorcycle concept by Valen Zhou
“This bike took a very long time from concept to completion,” he provides, “and it is usually my favourite one. Though it has many issues and can’t be pushed on the street in an actual sense, the whole lot about it represents my information of bikes… and my love for them.”

Valen Zhou Instagram



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