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