When it comes to concept bikes, designers continue to push the envelope of style and aesthetics. While the execution of these concepts in the metal, as well as whether or not they’ll actually be practical in the real world is a different story, it’s nonetheless interesting to have a glimpse on what the future of motorcycling holds for us.
Nearly all manufacturers have their own artists and designers working around the clock and churning out new designs. However, there are also a lot of budding designers looking to make a name for themselves. One such designer is Yan-Xuan Lai, a student of industrial design at the Technical University in Taipei, Taiwan. His most recent concept puts a sleek and streamlined spin on the iconic cruisers of Harley-Davidson, with inspiration from the ultra-streamlined designs of the 1920s and 1930s.
As a fledgling designer and motorcycle enthusiast, he developed a new concept surrounding the classic Harley-Davidson cruiser. He refers to it as the "Streetfighter," although it deviates from the accepted definition of what modern streetfighters are. Lai's idea is a low-slung, long-wheelbase cruiser covered in streamlined bodywork that makes extensive use of sheet metal, as opposed to a sporty, naked bike. It has the appearance of a two-wheeled neo-retro hotrod and even has hub-centered steering with a swing arm in front as opposed to conventional telescopic forks.
The designer hopes to merge traditional elegance with fierce sportiness with the Streetfighter concept. The bike's bodywork is one of its distinguishing features, yet the engine and frame are still clearly visible. Speaking of which, it’s clear to see from the design that this concept Harley-Davidson Streetfighter sports a V-Twin engine. The bike sits very low to the ground, suggesting that it has straight-line speed in mind, as opposed to canyon-carving capability.
While certainly interesting from a design standpoint, the likelihood of such design actually making it to production is slightly far fetched. This is especially true due to the eccentric front suspension design–something that even mainstream manufacturers have been, for the most part, unable to make available in production models. Nevertheless, the concept’s streamlined aesthetics fit the bill perfectly, especially in the massively popular neo-retro segment.