Monday, November 30, 2009

François Knorreck's Motorcycle-Lamborghini Hybrid

In 1989, François Knorreck took a long ride in the sidecar of a friend’s motorcycle and enjoyed it so much that he decided to build a rig of his own. Now, 20 years, 63 bodywork molds and innumerable headaches later, he has it: a handcrafted masterpiece that’s part motorcycle, part Lamborghini.

Here's the breakdown:

BODY-- The sidecar isn’t merely welded to the motorcycle—the two are seamlessly linked, from the chassis to the wiring to the carbon-fiber, hand-crafted body.  This was not easy to do.  Knorreck built an adjustable aluminum chassis so he could tinker with the wheelbase and other elements to see what worked best before adding interior parts. He found that moving the sidecar’s wheel forward just enough, relative to the motorcycle’s rear one, provided additional stability and ensured a straight ride.

FUEL-- The original motorcycle had a gravity-fed system in which the fuel ran down to the carburetors from above. But Knorreck found that he had to relocate the tank and place it underneath the body of the sidecar. Then he added an electrical pump to route the fuel to the engine.

COST- $22,000

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