Today’s motorcycle industry has seen manufacturing techniques and technology dramatically and rapidly evolve in the past years. With factories adopting heavy robotics, intricate assembly lines, and efficient workflows, can modern day motorcycle manufacturing get any more advanced? The answer is yes. A high performance motorcycle shop based out of Valencia, Spain, has just 3D printed most of the components of their newest motorcycle. That’s right—3D printed. What’s more is that it’s running a Honda Fireblade Engine.
Bottpower is a small, high-performance oriented motorsports engineering shop based in Valencia, Spain. With building and tuning motorcycles for track use and racing, Bottpower is no stranger to high performance machines boasting the latest technology. So much so, in fact, that their latest project dubbed the Morlaco, has been manufactured mainly by 3D printing.
The Morlaco’s subframe, fuel tank, seat, air box, air intakes, and all the bracketry were 3D printed into existence, with only the running gear, brakes, and engine seeing traditional manufacturing. The novel method allows designers to go crazy in terms of design and saves a lot of time from creating molds and outsourcing their manufacture.
The bike’s load bearing parts which were 3D printed were made up by a composite resin composed of polymers and titanium. Bottpower worked in partnership with 3D printing specialists, Optimus 3D for this project.
David Sanchez of Bottpower explained that what drove him to resort to 3D printing was that he wanted this motorcycle to be as high-tech as possible—not just in terms of parts and performance, but in the way it was built as well. He further explained that relying on traditional production methods could take weeks to produce a single part. The 3D printing process however, simply requires a file which will be downloaded and printed. Voila, you have all your parts in four days.
The Bottpower Morlaco is expected to reach completion in the summer of 2020. The unique manufacturing process could quite possibly revolutionize the production of one-off motorcycles for racing use, as well as custom parts and prototypes.