BMW Motorrad Spezial

IZH concept motorcycle

Concept motorcycle
IZH is most famous for being the manufacturer of the Kalashnikov AK-47. But did you know the company also built the first Russian motorcycle in 1928, and has since produced 12 million bikes? I didn’t either, but I do now—thanks to L.A.-based designer Igor Chak. After making a name for himself at Nokia, Chak has set up a freelance design business and turned his eye to envisioning motorcycles for the future. He’s chosen the iconic Russian IZH brand as the basis for his “2012 hybrid” concept motorcycle, and focused on safety—with a dual airbag system and front forks designed to act as crumple zones in the event of a collision. “The bike is also equipped with a proximity regulating radar system that works together with a front facing on-board camera,” says Chak. “It can be programmed for any distance between the bike and an object. So if a car in front of you brakes unexpectedly, the bike will automatically slow down to keep a minimum distance.” Chak foresees 50% of the engine being made of heat-resistant and highly reinforced plastic, with built-in wiring and circuitry. “Having the majority of wires and hoses being built into the frame and engine reduces weight, and damage to wires such as corrosion and decay,” he says. To boost the V-twin engine, there’s a brushless 60kw electric motor built into the rear wheel rim, with power coming from a hyper-efficient lithium sulfide battery. The IZH also uses a camera built into the front with night vision capabilities—and the images are overlaid with GPS data to provide ‘augmented reality’ navigation for the rider. It’s easy to dismiss such radical thinking as fantasy, but Chak’s concept is grounded in reality and the technology is available today. How long will it be before we see these features on production bikes? I’m guessing around five to ten years. [Thanks to Kim Scholer.]

Concept motorcycle
Concept motorcycle
Concept motorcycle

  • looks like the illegitimate love child of a scary three-way involving a CB1000R, B120 Wraith and an 848.

    has some cool design elements for sure, but i wonder what the wheelbase is, because… it looks, uh, a bit stretched.

  • Maruice Poonwhiddle

    No visual flow, all confused lines and bizarre angles. Wonderful technology but hideous to look at. Similar problem every bike BMW has made since the mid 90s suffers from, chasing this Tron-esque futurism with no emotion.

  • Trav

    how well does it perform on water?

  • WRXr

    Technology aside….it is a pretty cool looking design exercise.

  • Tin Man 2

    Another example of Trying to hard to get noticed. This Bike will never be built,and if it was it would have the staying power of a Neru Jacket.

  • a fascinating bike! Very interesting is the fact, that Chak get his inspiration for that bike in an Ish from about 1929. You can see that bike here:

    If you know that fact, you will also see the similar “line-flow” in the new Ish. It is a modern and felicitous interpretation of an old design.

  • YJH

    This is the right direction : Igor Chak, you are a must in the Motorcycling Culture_please call us when you are in Paris_YJH/the Southsiders

  • Pushrod

    Car-type technologies like adaptive cruise control and airbags are as appropriate on a motorcycle as a helmet and full leathers in a commuter sedan.

  • Buzz

    Ok so I don’t know what a Neru jacket is, but I like the design and I think trying to incorporate some auto features makes sense. As you get older, pain sucks more. I’d love cruise control on every cycle in America because of all the long, primarily straight highways we have. Just my opinion. The green weenies are in charge here and must be placated, otherwise it’ll all end up being “public transportation”

  • kim scholer

    Have a look at the link Dietmar posted –

    – scroll down and see the inflated airbags, and then tell me it is not a suggestive picture.

    Cool design & cool tech, and this from someone whose idea of a modern bike is a ’76 XS650. (Pushrod; the Jaguar Mk. 10 I want has full leathers)

  • Interesting ideas, though I don’t know about the night-vision GPS overlay. What, are we going to be staring at our instruments after dark now?

    Oh, and the wheelbase looks strange. Stretched, yes, but also really terrible clearance. Hello scraping over “sleeping policemen.”

  • David Enfield

    That level of safety & mothering , sorry not for me .

  • Andrew

    …and then a distress beacon is triggered sort of like On-Star inside the climate-controlled helmet with eye’s up display and sterophonic communications center and I hear, “Captain Andrew, we see you’ve experienced an event, the airbags deployed and your back mounted jetpack discharged taking you to an altitude of 100 meters and, with the beak-away handlebar controls, set you down safely within 50 meters of your now burning lithium battery creating carcinogenic gases which are illegal in the State of California… we’ve contacted the authorities, do you need further assistance?” …all possible technologies… I can’t wait Igor! Someone’s Ural is missing a perfectly good pair of shocks…

  • Wow, pretty unattractive. I keep trying to imagine a rider on it, but I just can’t bring it into focus. Awkward. Oh well, maybe you could slip some knobbies on it and hit a few hillclimb events… what’s up with that stretched-out rear-end?

  • oo815

    the machine looks cool from the side with the stretched end!
    but what is the strange thing underneath the bike. that’s somehow extremely disturbing!