Black Shadow H-E (Hydrogen-Electric Hybrid Motorcycle) by Mark Norton Menendez
2013 - 2014, Platinum A' Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design Award Winner
Reminiscent of vintage splendour when leather jacket clad riders raced precariously from café to café, to prove themselves, the inspiration for this project comes primarily from the simple rugged design of these motorbikes. In fitting with society's ecological ideals, further inspiration was borne from hybrid technology, increasingly prevalent in car manufacturing. I therefore wanted to build a modern, more environmentally friendly bike that drew on the simplistic beauty of vintage styling.
Combining old styling with new and future technology, the motorcycle maximises the use of a range of materials. Using a hydrogen-electric system, stored in conventional engine casing, emits only hydrogen and oxygen from the exhaust. A further unique feature is the use of a carbon titanium composite for the frame, creating a lightweight ecological bike that is classically beautiful.
Design Challenges
A key challenge to the project was the historical perspective of Motorcycle design and the tradition of fast, powerful and aggressive styling against the environmentally friendly aim of the project. The social perspective offered challenge linked to the hybrid engine due to the innovative technology it utilises. A further challenge was gathering specific information on the hybrid engine, which is still in its pilot stages of production, the infrastructure for hydrogen based engines is limited.
Production Technology
Using an autoclave, the carbon titanium frame echoes aerospace manufacturing. Hand beaten aluminium provides an artisan like quality to the tank and seat. Adhering to classical design tenets, the upholstery is made from leather. Conventional wiring, brakes and suspension give stability and reliability to an innovative design, derived from the traditional racing components as manufactured by Brenbo and Ohlins. With the aim of producing a lightweight bike, bolts and nuts are titanium.
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