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Rev'It! Doubles Down on #95

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by sakurama, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. sakurama

    sakurama on an endless build

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,652
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    We left off with our clear vision of the bike etched in cardboard...

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    As you can see we've made some big design changes. Okay, you probably can't see them so I'll break down the weekends progress which was significant.

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    One of the great things about adventure bikes is their near ideal riding position - this is nothing we want to mess with so we take the stock seat and replace it roughly so we can transfer the line and position to the cardboard.

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    Gerbrandt and Jasper (another of Revit's head designers) make adjustments to the sketch based on the realities presented in the actual bike.

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    Scott and I discuss the sketch and what are the primary elements that define the bike. Here's a good place to talk about one of the primary design directives of the bike. In the timeline of motorcycles we're at a very interesting place. Bikes have attained performance levels that surpass any riders abilities. Electronics are taking over more and more of the functions of the bike and this can be a great thing for both safety and performance. Simultaneously as electronic aids supplant the rider the physical look of our motorcycles is changing. Tanks are becoming air boxes, carburetors become fuel injection, seats become front to back pads that blend with plastic panels of identical colors and headlights have become any shape but round. All of it lends our bikes greater performance but if you picture a "motorcycle" in your minds eye you don't see a plastic covered two wheeled enema - I hope. Most likely you envision something along the lines of a 70's Triumph, or an old Honda XR. This would be considered the Platonic Ideal - the idea of a motorcycle.

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    How does this relate to our build? One of Gerbrandts directives was that the bike be "honest". Revit doesn't want to build a retro bike but one that is visually honest about it's parts and intentions. As much as possible we want the parts of the bike to look like their functions. Our gas tank is a gas tank, the seat will look like a seat. This doesn't mean we can't bring technology into the design. In fact we want to include technology that is advanced but we want that tech to be honest and recognizable. We want to see the parts of the bike not hide them. The look of the bike is important to Revit as it reflects an ideology of riding. I think that's cool as I'm not down with the backwards function of the current retro trend - sorry but Firestones aren't good for anything.

    Hey, speaking of tires!

    I mentioned we had a big design direction change and it was all based around tires. Actually one tire. We want the bike to have significant presence and a distinct stance and look. Much like 70's hotrods the tires play into this in a large way. We wanted a big knobby for the back and as we discussed it and looked at photos of bikes on the web I realized there was one tire that dwarfed all others - the Continental TKC80 in their new 180 width. As soon as I pulled up photos of that tire we knew we had our anchor for the build. It's wide, meaty and mean and almost cartoonish in it's size - perfect!

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    This will be a bike about traction. That rear tire combined with AWD should make for frightening acceleration on gravel and dirt. The tire was developed with Wunderlich for the BMW S1000R but in the intervening years the trend towards more pavement oriented adventure bikes has yielded a number of bikes that can run the 180 width. This giant tire wouldn't pair well with a 21" front so we're going for the more traditional 19" front which will allow the bike to run the largest variety of tires.

    Now, I'm sure the devoted here may think we've jumped the shark on the wheels/tires but as someone who owns one of the three AWD monster adventure bikes in the world I think that I can attest it's a wise choice. I've spent my fair share of time doing stupid things on my KTM - single track in the woods of the east coast and mountain passes in Colorado. The bike can do literally anything but it's best suited to fast and loose conditions - not the tricky, rocky and technical riding best left to the smaller bikes. In my mind the bike we're building would be the perfect machine to tackle the Erzberg Iron Road Prolog or the old Pikes Peak race. I'm trying to convince Revit to enlist one of it's pro riders to do just that.

    But I digress.

    Once the bike was mapped out in two dimensions it needed to be translated to three. Here we used aluminum welding wire to define the shapes and profiles.

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    We have limited time so instead of the typical hot glue we just grab the ever present duct tape and bind the overlaps.

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    Cardboard is cut as wire is taped into place. The sketch gives way to the reality of three dimensions and changes are made to the shape by bending the wire and repositioning.

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    The shapes are refined and we scour the shop for anything we can find that can represent the parts we have yet to decide on much less order. We love the dual exhaust of the KTM but want something different than the canisters that came with it - something more pure. A megaphone perhaps?

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    We want to keep the lean look of the "idea" of the Super Enduro and so we plan for a small fairing over a round headlight - something that harkens to the simplicity of the early Dakar bikes. Instead of using a dash we decide on replacing it with an iPhone to allow the most variety of choices for both speedometer and GPS apps. Why be tied to something so quickly outdated as a traditional GPS?

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    We all have to squint pretty hard to imagine the look of the bike through the props we have at hand but they are mere place holders to what we hold in our minds eyes. But for now I'm going to break this into two posts as this is pretty long but in the next one we'll get to some actual fabrication and you'll actually begin to see the bike take shape.

    Gregor
    #81
  2. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Rainville, Orygun, where moss is a road hazard.
    :clap
    #82
  3. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
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    16,685
    Location:
    central Mn
    But will there be any mission creep????


    Please say yes.
    #83
  4. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Apr 8, 2008
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    12,586
    Location:
    Merrickville, Canada
    19 front :cry
    #84
  5. DRjoe

    DRjoe Long timer

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    Looking good Gregor but IMHO I think its time you chased them designers out of there with a big broom and tell them to let you and Chris's do your thing.
    #85
  6. misery goat

    misery goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
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    142,650
    Location:
    Valle del Sol AZ
    It appears form is getting the nod over function here.
    #86
  7. sakurama

    sakurama on an endless build

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,652
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    A driven 19.

    There are other reasons as well but you'll have to trust for now.

    Gregor
    #87
  8. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
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    Location:
    Alabama
    guru

    I changed my fuse!
    #88
  9. oldfuddy

    oldfuddy Long timer

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    SouthWest (AZ)
    Looking forward to the second post because the first of two parts above put a picture in my head that Orange County Choppers was building a theme bike, really took a turn.
    #89
  10. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    Twin megaphones, mother of god.:lol3
    #90
  11. JerryK

    JerryK Been here awhile

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    Mar 13, 2014
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    492
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    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Gregor, I totally get it.

    Brilliant.
    #91
  12. Nowwhat

    Nowwhat I'll Go Second... Super Supporter

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    Wow this project has turned into an exercise in fashion....

    Gents...Rev'it has already developed a rep as gear for show not go, if this is the direction that makes the most financial sense for the core business then this bike build is perfect.
    #92
  13. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    But the potential to build the ultimate adv bike was within grasp...

    For the love of everything awesome...get Woody to build you a set of off road wheels. Two sets of wheels is always better than one :nod
    #93
  14. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    So, we have a verdict already?

    Shouldn't we first hear the rest of the evidence?
    #94
  15. Denalidirt

    Denalidirt High Plains Drifter Supporter

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    I also feel that Rev'it is more about the look than the function or durability. However this is a KTM that they are starting with.

    If you guys need any product testing in Alaska and redesign guidance please PM me.
    #95
  16. sakurama

    sakurama on an endless build

    Joined:
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    Man, put a 19 on a Super Enduro and all of sudden everyone's knickers are in a knot? Oh, how delicate the inmates sensibilities have become.:evil

    Deadly, I was in your camp when the build started but why bother making a tweaked SE? That's not particularly interesting, new or different. You may want to turn away now - this is going to hurt you more than me...

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    Off with the subframe!

    It's a complicated part that serves too many purposes and isn't clean or simple. Welding a new subframe to the frame allows us to make the bike narrower in the middle - something I've always wanted on my 990.

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    One of the things we learn about Revit's design language is they don't do curves. You might never open up your jacket to contemplate the armor but even the shape of the outline is considered. Instead of a rounded hoop for the subframe we cut it and add a straight section. A small detail but small details reinforce a vision. I like it and it's going to allow us to french in an LED taillight.

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    This allows us to really simplify the whole back of the bike. The goal is to shorten it past the rear wheel and get rid of all the extraneous plastic.

    At the same time we've been adding cardboard and tape to the tank to help define the shape and we've also been moving and adjusting the headlight.

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    One of the things all of us on the team have in common is racing. Chris raced GP bikes for years, Scott holds several land speed records and is an active ice and flat track racer, Revit sponsors several MotoGP riders and I've raced in everything but drag racing. As we build this bike we're taking a much wider view of the idea of "adventure riding" which, while much more broad than most riding, is still narrowly defined.

    One of the reasons for the wheel sizes chosen is that we have bigger plans for the bike than just riding up some rocky terrain and the limited tire choices and riding parameters that are dictated by the traditional 21/18 hoops. What size wheels are used on flat trackers? What size for ice racing? What about dunes? It's easy to have a second set of wheels for the bike and that will probably happen but we're taking a different and longer view.

    I think you'll find that the bike will be more serious than you expect and certainly much different. One of the reasons I chose the the people involved was for the diversity of experience in racing and riding. Beyond even my own. That diversity is going to be reflected in the build and all of us are going to be learning something from it. A goal of any endeavor should be to expand your experience and knowledge.

    Gregor
    #96
  17. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    Maybe a little music to get them into the mood. :D

    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/eAHQ-9Fniac" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>
    #97
  18. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

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    Anchorage Alaska
    That is one BIG fuel tank!

    Needed for an adv bike I know but... :cry

    Have you calculated the volume?
    (I'm guessing 8+ gallons)

    I really like the "honest motorcycle" look of the 1971 Triumph Bonneville & Trophy.
    To me that means the engine is the focal point as it sits proudly uncovered by anything.

    The reason I never cared for the KTM 950 was the hideous (to me) side panels/fuel tank/seat/fender that reminded me of the Honda PCH by covering up just about everything between the wheels.

    That said, I am enjoying the build :clap
    #98
  19. sakurama

    sakurama on an endless build

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    Location:
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    Wow, one of my all time favorite songs by one of my all time favorite bands - and I never would have made the connection! Love it.

    Are you doing the Polar Bear ride?

    Gregor
    #99
  20. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Sadly, no. I am visiting family that day.