Rizoma just wrapped up its Rizoma Design Challenge, and Erik Askin’s Tryal electric motorcycle design was declared the winner. This round-edged electric triangular mini-moto design was Askin’s attempt to, in the words of Rizoma’s design brief, “show us the future of motorcycling.” Guys, does our two-wheeled future truly look like an emergency road hazard triangle on wheels? 

To fully understand what we’re looking at, let’s take a peek at Rizoma’s detailed instructions for Design Challenge contestants. All participants in the Motorcycle Design part of the competition had to first select any product they wished from the Rizoma Universal Mirrors, Grips, or Fluid Tanks catalogs as inspiration. Bonus points would also be given for incorporating that piece somewhere into the finished design, but this wasn’t a strict requirement. 

Gallery: Tryal Rizoma Design Competition Winner

Askin is the associate design director of New Deal Design in San Francisco. He wrote in his bio for this contest that he was “forever changed” after first sitting on a Ducati Monster, and took that iconic Miguel Galluzzi design as inspiration to think differently going forward. 

In his submission, Askin called Tryal (more like “tryhard”, amirite? -JM) “the bike for all to try,” and wrote that he wanted it to be simple, friendly, and approachable for new riders. He envisioned it as “a mini-moto with 14” wheels, electric drivetrain, and upright geometry, the Tryal is a blast for learning or simply a fun way to get around town.” Above all, Askin stressed the friendliness of his design. 


The result looks like someone made a hazard triangle out of three of the giant pills from Dr. Mario. The saddle area clearly draws inspiration from a particular vein of bad, skateboard-like cafe racer saddle design language—which, quite frankly, seems like the opposite of ‘friendly’ for your poor, deceased butt. 

Maybe the real problem I have is that this looks too much like a toy, and not enough like a functional bike you can ride. Yes, it’s a design concept, and not a finished object. However, it’s hard to see how practical this design could be in the future without undergoing some serious revisions. Then again, all designs have to start somewhere, right? What do you think? 

Source: Rizoma Design Challenge

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