What happens when two Formula 1 designers take a look at racing motorcycles to see what could be done differently? You get something that looks like the Ecosse Spirit ES1, a very fresh set of ideas all put together for the purpose of going faster but with some concepts that could be transfered to many other types of motorcycles.
They began by examining rider position as a limiting factor in aerodynamics and thought if they could enable the rider to sit lower with his feet closer together, they might have something. Of course, moving the rider’s feet closer together is a problem in conventional bikes due to the width of the front of the swingarm so they designed a gearbox with a drivechain exiting in the center. The center chain drives a shaft in the swingarm which drives a second gear driving a chain going to the wheel. The end result is a swingarm far narrower in the front.
Moving to the front of the bike, they used a single sided swingarm mounted to the engine with a redesigned control mounting arrangement. The rear swingarm also mounts to the engine, in fact, there’s very little of anything that could be called a conventional frame on this bike.
One of the patent drawings has a prone riding position diagram that’s especially interesting. The rider is in a right offset position with his left hand and arm inside the fairing. Is this designed for the high speed straights with an alternate grip and control? After examining the patent more closely, there is a control grip expressly for that purpose. They also use a perimeter ceramic brake on the front wheel.
Extensive use of carbon fiber results in total weight of the machine around 120kg (265 pounds!), the bike will be twice as aerodynamic as conventional motorcycles and the proposed 1000cc 4 cylinder engine, should produce about 200bhp. The computer says 170bhp will yield 220mph and 210bhp could get you 240mph.
The new bike was designed by Spirit Motorcycle Technology and ECOSSE-SPIRIT is the company that will do the building.
Without looking at the drawings, it’s hard to see everything that is happening here. Motorcycle News has an article and video interview with the designers. Drawings from the patent application give you a better idea of the technical work involved. Take your time looking at the drawings, there’s quite a bit going on. Very, very interesting! How will it all work when the prototype is built? That remains to be seen but I like the ideas so far.
Big thanks to Andy for the tip!
Many more drawings and links below: