Yamaha’s Motobot is not alone, it seems. Behind closed doors, BMW has also been working on autonomous motorcycle technology for the last couple of years. And yesterday, BMW Motorrad released footage of a self-driving R1200GS negotiating its own way around a test track.
Yamaha is keen to highlight the custom building potential of its XSR900 cafe racer, sponsoring a series of “yard built” customs that take it in a number of different directions. This one’s wacky enough to really catch our eye. UK custom house Auto Fabrica put together a retro-futuristic cafe racer it’s calling the Type 11.
Honda on Wednesday showcased a new motorcycle that can stand unaided with or without a rider, using technology the firm learned from developing a walking humanoid.
Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda’s Riding Assist-e is an all-electric concept motorbike that constantly assesses its position and moves the steering bar to ensure the heavy machine stays upright.
For years, international bike manufacturers have experimented with various forms of gyroscopes to stop motorcycles falling over, said Hiroyuki Nakata, the engineer behind the idea.
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These incredible motorcycles are made from naked human models covered in bodypaint and contorted into amazing shapes.
Artist Trina Merry, from San Francisco, California, has made a dirt bike, cruiser and sports bike out of her flexible subjects.
The models are covered with natural, hypoallergenic paints, which is touched up once they are in position
The surreal vehicles are now about to be used to front a high-profile U.S. motor show.
All of the speed queen models are athletes, and are made to pose in position for between five and six minutes over a period of up to 18 hours.
They are completely naked except for patches covering their, well, you know.
Ms Merry then slathers them with hypoallergenic paint, using brushes and spray-cans, partly before they pose and partly once in position.
She previously designed for films and TV in Hollywood, before taking a break to work all over the world creating bodyart.
‘I suppose it started when I went to a rock concert working with an Australian band,’ she said. ‘They asked me to get on stage covered in body paint and I ended up doing it in front of 300 people.
Another view of the cruiser bike in this behind-the-scenes shot exposes the anatomy of the design
Rider Erin Bates is painted by bodyartist Trina Merry and her team, while the bikes ‘parts’ are also primed for action
Ms Merry trials her creations with unpainted rehearsals and careful designs before the real shoot takes place
The models practice their positions before stripping down for the shoot
‘I left Hollywood and started to paint bodies and exhibit in the San Francisco Bay area. Now I must have painted 100s of different people.’
‘I started initially painting your size 8 and size 6 fashion models but have gone to paint athletes because it’s actually a real workout holding the posing for 18 hours, six minutes in position and five minutes being painted back and forth.
‘I am a conceptual artist and often I am inspired by the bodies themselves by what they can and can’t do.’
Ms Merry trained under renowned body painter Craig Tracy before becoming a master herself.
The models hold their poses while Ms Merry accessorises with a final lick of paint
Her latest work features the three types of motorcycles that will be touring the U.S. this year with the Progressive International Motorbike Show.
She said: ‘Everyone has seen the pictures of scantily clad women next to motorbikes and cars and it can look a bit trashy.’
‘I wanted to take the idea of a beautiful woman and the motorbike and turn it on its head by making the bike from the bodies of the models.’
‘Nothing like this has ever been done before.’
Attribution: Emma Reynolds
As far as extreme sports go, this may seem a little much.
These vintage images capture dare devil bikers driving motorcycles around a so-called ‘wall of death’, built perpendicular to the floor.
That’s dangerous enough without adding the lions on board the vehicles, which sit neatly perched in makeshift side-cars as spectators gather to watch in awe.
Perched on the edge of the vehicle, the lion is driven around the ‘wall of death’ at speeds as high as 80mph
Captured between the 1920s and 1960s, the photographs, which feature on the Retronaut website, show an event that became one of the most daring acts at fairgrounds and carnivals in the early 1900s in America.
The motorcycle craze – which peaked in the 1930s – began with single drivers circling around a wood-paneled motordrome at high speeds and completely vertical.
Over a hundred ‘walls of death’, as they became known, were traveling the states by the 1930s.
Taken in the mid-1900s, this photograph snaps a lioness roaring angrily at the driver of the vehicle
Extreme motorcycle shows became one of the most daring acts at fairgrounds and carnivals in the early 1910s in America
As organizers increased the angle of the walls throughout the years, making them more steep, the number of serious accidents increased.
One of the most popular versions of the sport was nicknamed the ‘Liondrome’, so-called because it featured a rider accompanied by a tamed lion.
Traveling with a lion was always risky business – as captured in these photographs – where lions and lionesses are seen letting out gigantic roars.
A man and his pet lion: The cub looks a tad grumpy as it rests on the motorcycle ahead of the show
‘Death riders and racing lion’: A signed photograph of a lion and the courageous riders
The drivers placed the animals in side-cars, unless they were small enough, in which case the lions were sometimes placed on the rider’s lap.
One of the most difficult parts of the stunt was to induce the lion to remain quiet throughout the event.
After a number of accidents in which riders were injured or killed, it was decided the sport had become too dangerous and it ended.
Attribution: Mail Online