Australian designers build carbon fiber bike for FMX

Publish Date: 
Oct 16, 2013

ORLANDO, Fla. - A prototype of the Skycraft motorcycle being touted as the world's first purpose-built freestyle MX (FMX) vehicle is the result of a collaboration between Australia's Unit and Triple Eight Race Engineering-Australia.

The Skycraft vehicle is constructed almost entirely from carbon fiber and titanium components, according to the designers. It weighs just 165 lbs., and is more than 25 percent lighter than a standard motocross bike, they claim. 

“The original design brief recognized the opportunity for an ‘out of the box’ product for freestyle motocross. All other forms of motorcycle sports use purpose-built machines," said Ian Everest, co-founder of Unit. “FMX riders have no option but to adapt and heavily modify race bikes. It made sense to explore what an FMX specific bike might look like. Being a concept motorcycle, it also meant we were not constrained or restricted by production or cost requirements.

“As an experimental platform, Skycraft will allow for test data and rider feedback to lead towards a potential production bike," he added.

The Skycraft concept challenges conventional motorcycle design rules with a heavy-duty carbon fiber monocoque frame containing a fuel cell. The tail design has integrated grab handles and a forked seat. The silencer is integrated inside a carbon fiber swingarm.

“We felt that weight reduction represented the best characteristic to provide riders in their quest for bigger tricks as well as helping them innovate new maneuvers,” added Everest.

Here are the specifications:

•    Weighs 75 kg. (165 lbs.)
•    Uses existing powerplant and suspension setup typical to FMX
•    Carbon fiber monocoque frame with integrated fuel tank
•    Carbon fiber swingarm with integrated silencer
•    Ultra-slim carbon fiber bodywork
•    Grab handles integrated into carbon fiber body
•    Carbon fiber rims
•    Compact front-mounted cooling system with single radiator core
•    Custom-built titanium expansion chamber
•    Full titanium axle and bolt kit
•    Titanium shock spring
•    Front air suspension
•    Unit magnum grips, reportedly a patented design
•    Increased/adjustable turning angle

From a press release. Press image courtesy Unit