While many riders with custom motorcycles might view their bikes as pure artwork, the concept really came to fruition in 1998 when the famed Guggenheim Museum in New York City mounted its landmark exhibit, The Art of the Motorcycle.
There were 114 motorcycles on display in the main art gallery, the span of history ranging from the earliest contraptions of the 19th Century to the sleek machines of the current era.
A new piece of pure motorcycle artwork was recently completed at Fuller Moto in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a radically different kind of two-wheeler that looks to the past and the future while bending the arc of design via new technology.
Named 2029, the kinetic sculpture was designed after the 1929 Majestic, a French motorcycle that likewise teased observers 91 years ago with a unique vision of motorcycling. This is what that vision could be 100 years later. And, yes, a Majestic 350 was among the bikes included in the Guggenheim show.
The 2029 is like nothing seen before, however, using today’s most-advanced technologies to create a mind-bending custom motorcycle that seems to float in its own dimension. Science and technology played major roles in the building of 2029, according to the unveiling announcement from Fuller Moto.
“At its core, the art of motorcycle building is still very similar to its origins,” the news release says. “The difference now is the role technology plays in the evolution of the craft and in the innovation of design. Fuller Moto’s 2029 takes a nod from a bike with a revolutionary past, in a bold move to prepare us for a future where anything is possible for a new age of customs.”
The custom motorcycle was commissioned by the Haas Moto Museum and Sculpture Gallery in Dallas, an expansive collection of 190 bikes featuring unusual and one-of-a-kind motorcycles from 1901 to the present day.
Bobby Haas, the collector and owner of the museum, said the 2029 project was a wide-open endeavor to create something that had never been before.
“We know we are doing something that has never been done before,” Haas said during the build. “There is no actual blueprint. We are not doing a production cycle. We are doing a piece of work that is rolling art. It is unique.”
For 2029, Bryan Heidt, lead metal fabricator at Fuller Moto, worked with owner Bryan Fuller on the design concepts and created the initial CAD model dimensions, according to Fuller Moto. Those models then went to famed futurist designer Nick Pugh “to help bring the concepts to life.”
The result, according to the news release, is “an electric bike with a fully enclosed sculptured aluminum body, hub-centric steering, clear polycarbonate wheels and titanium parts printed on a 3D printer.”
The underlying machine is a Zero Motorcycle FXS electric bike, its frame flipped upside down to accommodate the 2029 design.
Just about everything about the 2029 motorcycle, aside from its frame and propulsion, are one-off designs, much of them envisioned by computer imagery and formed either by traditional handcrafted metalwork or 3D printing.
From the photos of 2029, the clear hubs make the wheels look detached from the suspension, and the steering system seems incomprehensible.
“Unlike most bikes which have a traditional front fork setup, the 2029 has hub-centric steering coming off of a front swing-arm,” Fuller Moto explains. “Hub-centric steering is very unusual and has only been used in a few bikes such as the Bimota, Ner-a-Car and, of course, the 1929 Majestic.
“Bryan Heidt found a donor hub from a Bimota Spirit off a model called the Tesi. The reliable and functional parts of the Tesi provided the right dimensions, bearing, bushings, as well as overall design.”
The one-off design and construction features of 2029 seem endless, much of them explained in the two accompanying videos.
“With its unconventional style and innovative build techniques, the 2029 asks us to think different about design, and provides us a glimpse into what may be to come,” the Fuller Moto release concludes.
“New design processes like 3D printing parts open up a new world of possibilities. A world where anything one can dream can be manifested into physical form. This unleashing of human creativity was the underlying intent of the 2029.”