Off-Road Motorcycle and Free-Ride Bicycle Compared

What modern pedal-pushers and throttle twisters have in common.

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What if anything do bicycles and motorcycles have in common? Besides the whole two-wheel thing, it isn’t outright apparent that these two “handle-barred beasts” share more than ancient ancestry. Modern Off-road motorcycle and Free-ride bicycle designs side-by-side illustrate how much technology the two have in common. Exploring where the discipline of free-ride motorcycling can go, Project M85 bridges the gap between petrol and pedal-powered adrenaline sports. + A ton of videos after the Jump!Design is evolutionary, as every new version of something is an improvement on the past – or should be. Small innovations overtime surmount larger, once impossible, obstacles. Motorcycle design is no different, the industry has seen fantastic technical innovations in the last decade alone. Looking back into history even further provides an outstanding perspective of where our beloved two wheelers came from and insight into where they might be going in the future.

What motorcycles got from bicycles.

It shouldn’t be a secret that motorcycles are the inspired evolution of their quieter cousin, the bicycle. The first motorcycles were little more than the motorized version a bike. Obviously considerable progress has been made over the years – it would be hard to image pops here laying down a patch with this ride.

What Motorcycles have given back.

So we can recognize the timid two wheelers as an ancestor of the first motorcycles. So, without them we might not be able to scream down highways on technological wonders like the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 or cruise the strip atop a Harley-Davidson Softail® Fat Boy. At the same rate however, motorcycle specific innovations have helped fuel the progress of aggressive biking design. It seems crazy, but modern off-road motorcycles now have more in common with bicycles than at any other point in time besides maybe, the very beginning.

Side-by-side: 2008 KTM SX 105 / ’09 KTM APHEX Free-ride

The similarities start to become more evident when comparing the two. A 2008 KTM SX 105 Off-road motorcycle and the 2009 KTM APHEX Free-ride. (Yes KTM makes bikes too!) ‘cept for a few hundered pounds of motor, the two actually do share a lot of the same technologies.

  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Double-clamp front shock absorbers
  • Rear coil shock and swing arm
  • Increased tire diameter and puncture-resistant tubes

With so much in common, even the pricing looks the same – with the APHEX actually costing more! A (4.199,00 € ) $5,374 US bill for the APHEX compared to $4,598 US for the SX 105. All the APHEX needs next is an internal gearing mechanism – the first generations of which are actually hitting the bike scene this year.

What’s Next?

Project M85 is the brainchild of Dustin Griffith and Grady Barfoot. Their creation is – to date – the most successful convergence of two disciplines, Motorcycling and Free-ride biking. Described as an Ultra Free-ride Motorcycle, Project M85 bridges the gap between downhill bikes and motorcycles.

An engine is a great addition for dowhill bikers cramping the up-hill crank. “Where’s the Gondola?” If you are still not convinced, here’s their promo video. Looks pretty sweet.

Video Extravaganza!

Project M85 Promo

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An extreme example of Down-hill biking

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Just to round it out, this one is strictly moto x

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  • http://www.dirtbikefanatic.com nick

    i enjoyed the vid of travis pastrana, that guys a legend. and i’m sure there is tv special about him this xmas.