Major motorcycle manufacturers have their own in house design studios but smaller builders often hire out much, if not all, of their design work to specialized firms. Even the large companies occasionally go outside for a portion of their work and, whether for large firms or small, that's where studios like Xenophya Design come in, they are one of a very few consultancies devoted solely to motorcycle design.
They've just opened a new studio in the U.K. and Mark Wells, one of the firm's partners, thought we might like a peek inside so he sent along a few photos of their new space as well as a sample of some of the work they've done. Unfortunately, the design world can be quite secretive since much of the work is done long before production begins and a designer's best work may not see the light of day for months or years, perhaps never, if requirements change along the way, but that's how the business works.
Marks says their studio is located on a generic industrial estate surrounded by the Northumberland countryside in the North East of England, the building that holds Xenophya Design is relatively inconspicuous. The unit encompasses a design office, a conference room, a clay-modeling studio and a workshop with painting facilities. At full capacity the studio can accommodate a team of 15 designers/model makers. He explains “We had to look long and hard to find new premises and create an interior layout that would reflect Xenophya's design process and values. We spend a lot of time in our studio so it has to be a nice working environment where we can do creative things. Our goal was to create an open well-lit working environment"
Despite not being able to use much of their portfolio for self-promotion, Xenophya Design has built up working relationships with some major players in both European and Indian motorcycle manufacture. The impact of Chinese motorcycle brands on both the global export and domestic markets (the Chinese buy over 16 million bikes a year) has recently led the consultancy to set up an office in Hong Kong. Philip Heung, Xenophya Design’s Hong Kong representative, explains “For us and our clients the Hong Kong office acts as a conduit easing communication with both factories and suppliers in the Far East”.
Xenophya's aim is to be one of the premier firms in the European design world. They've already done some very nice work for companies like Aprilia, Derbi, Royal Enfield and many others. Their new facilities appear to be one more step toward increasing their design capabilities. If you are considering outsourcing some or all of your motorcycle design work, they are certainly worth a look.
Link: Xenophya Design