Norton's Fearless Motorcycle Design

Norton Motorcycles opens up their engine design before launch, and Ducati's monster art project lets riders customize their bikes with ease.

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Motorcycle design including Norton engines

Today, we're looking at motorcycle design. This story from is a dream project for every motorcycle enthusiast. Mark van der Kwaak started with this nice-looking 1964 Triumph, when he decided to strip it and hardtail it, which means getting rid of the rear suspension to lower the bike and give it a more old-school look. Mark used CAD modeling for various elements of the project, including the new front fork designs. The bike is still under construction. You can track the project at

Now if that all looks like too much work, Ducati has introduced the (Monster Art Project÷ which lets you customize your new Ducati 796 in just 10 minutes. The kits let you choose from a selection of official art to change the look of your tank, fairing, front fender and seat cover. They really do look different.

Norton Motorcycles has openly shared their recent engine builds for the new version of their legendary Commando motorcycle. This daring bit of (engineering while others watch÷ took a lot of courage. But the pictures of the highly polished aluminum clutch parts and subassemblies make their engineering look inspired. There are 660 parts that go into the engine. Norton is able to design and keep track of each version of every perfect part by using CAD software and design environment that helped them achieve precision, power and performance.

: And now for a truly unique ride. Meet the Uno, an all-electric motorcycle that you control not with pedals or throttles or even brakes, but by leaning. A computer in the console powers the motors to solve a classic control problem, as Brad Hargity, CEO of BPG Motors, recently explained to me.

Of course, you wouldn't want to ride without a helmet, and French designer Kevin Goupil has designed a new bicycle helmet made of cork. Cork is a renewable resource, commonly used, of course, to seal wine bottles. Well, now it can protect something more valuable than a 1787 Chateau Lafite v human brains.

The helmet uses cork because of its superior shock-absorbtion. It is fashioned after World War II-era French army helmets.