Monday, March 30, 2009

Ferrari motorcycle


1995 Ferrari motorcycle to be auctioned


Ferrari doesn't make motorcycles. At least, not officially... but that fact hasn't stopped a number of custom cycle makers from taking matters into their own hands. Perhaps the most famous Maranello-inspired two-wheeler was made by Arlen Ness, but that one's not all that practical in conception. We would imagine a Ferrari motorcycle to be a truly sporting machine, equally as comfortable on the race track as the street, or, more realistically, being shown off in one's garage. Ferrari seems to agree, as the only cycle ever created that bears an official Ferrari chassis number -- SF-01M -- has true sporting pretensions.



Built by David Kay Engineering and completed in 1995, this one-and-only Ferrari motorcycle sports a DOHC engine displacing 900cc and putting out 105 horsepower at 8,800rpm. The only styling choice we take exception with are the Testarossa-style strakes on either side, but nothing's perfect, right? So, what's the only officially official Ferrari bike worth? We'll find out for sure when the auction ends on the 20th, but the expected price is between 325,000-375,000 Swiss francs, or around $300K in U.S. dollars.




Lean Machine: Ferrari V4 superbike concept






This may not be the first effort at creating a Ferrari motorcycle, but it may very well be the best. Alfredo "Dino" Ferrari, the departed son of company founder Enzo, was said to have raced specially-prepared motorcycles in the 1950s. In the 1970s, Kay Engineering crafted a racing bike, now said to be worth half a million dollars, with full factory backing to honor Enzo Ferrari. In the '80s, legendary motorcycle designer Arlen Ness styled a one-off chopper on the Testarossa, while some guy named George crafted a pair of Ferrari-powered superbikes. Last year someone built a custom Scuderia Ferrari chopper for the retiring Michael Schumacher (who has since been trying his hand at motorbike racing), and earlier this year a collector crafted a model of what a Ferrari sportbike could look like. We're sure some more will be brought to our attention in the comments below, but while some of these creations have been more convincing than others, this one has to be the slickest.


The concept motorbike is the work of Israeli designer Amir Glinik, who centered his design around the theoretical application of the Ferrari Enzo's V12 engine, chopped down to four cylinders and modified to drive just one wheel in a motorcycle frame. Around the V4 engine, Glinik has designed a fluid shape that may appear more futuristic in its styling than inspired by current roadcar designs, but certainly catches your attention. Glinik has even planned out the theoretical controls, which blend elements from an F-16 fighter jet (more common in his home country than Ferraris, anyway) and the Scuderia's high-tech Formula One steering wheel, supplemented by a weatherproof touch-screen LCD atop the fuel tank.

Onetime Ferrari designer Frank Stephenson, now at arch-rival McLaren, was quoted as saying that the closest the average person will get to owning a Ferrari would be a Ducati. True as that may be, what you see here may be the most well thought-out and enticing application of the Ferrari ethos to two-wheeled motoring we've seen yet.




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