Friday, September 02, 2005

Rev Your Ride - Popular Science

American motorcycles have a reputation for being low-tech machines stripped down for speed. But there’s only so much a bike can do without. So Confederate Motor Company (confederate.com) replaced every metal piece possible with a lightweight carbon-fiber one.

The company hired industrial design firm Foraxis to help fabricate the new parts and produced a bike that weighs a mere 375 pounds: the B91 Wraith.

You’ll notice that there’s no teardrop gas tank crowning the frame; the fuel is under the engine in a molded carbon-fiber container to lower the bike’s center of gravity. A hollow carbon-fiber backbone arches from the steering neck to the rear shock and doubles as the oil reservoir.

Connecting points cast directly into the backbone eliminate several pounds’ worth of fasteners. In front, the Wraith uses carbon-fiber blades attached to spring-loaded levers instead of typical—and heavy—telescoping forks.

Want a ride? You’ll need to wait your turn: All 60 of the $50,000 2006 models are spoken for.

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