Alex Baumgartel and Klaus Hirsekorn decided to build a motorcycle to compete in the 2008 European Sound of Thunder race series. The rules for this series seem quite open and encourage the development of one off race bikes, there’s no need for any production based racer. Alex and Klaus, who both work for a the German racecar tuning consultancy, Holzer, doing fabrication and computer assisted design, thought they might be able to come up with something and they did, it’s called the KAlex AV1.
The KAlex AV1 was almost completely designed in the computer, the kind of thing you would expect from a high end racing team in MotoGP, not something for a much less prestigious series like Sound of Thunder but very indicative of the kinds of folks racing can attract.
They chose the V-twin engine from an Aprilia RSV-R which in standard form makes 127 horsepower. Their plans are for about 160 horsepower in racing trim. The body is all carbon fiber covering a steel trellis frame. It weighs 363 pounds ready to race, 341 pounds dry.
The bike took thousands of hours to design, build and test but during testing, a crash destroyed the bike completely, well, that and the fire, but, since the whole thing was in the computer, it took only 6 weeks to build another one. Pretty handy having those files. Of course, they can build one for you, too, but at about 80,000 Euros, ($116,000) there may not be too many buyers running up but you never know. Very nice bike and one more sign of how the capabilities of current computer software puts the potential for great design into the hands of many more builders. Interesting.
The December issue of Performance Bikes has a complete article.