Contrary to popular belief, time is not on our side. Take one look at the weathered face of Mick Jagger and tell us, straight-faced, that he can belt out "Time Is On My Side" sans irony. In light of this sobering thought, we figured why fight it -- let's just buckle our seat belts and race to shape the future. We asked five artists to help us by crafting their own vision of what a motorcycle and its rider will be like in 100 years, in a future of their own design.
A pen and ink artist hailing from the UK with a penchant for petrol and an eye for the absurd, Maxwell Paternoster — aka Corpses From Hell — has done work for the likes of Lowbrow Customs, Sideburn, and Edwin Denim.
datanoster.tumblr.com | @datanoster
"I envision the bike to exist in a world where an apocalypse has still not happened, and technology has advanced at a steady pace. Fossil fuels are largely avoided, and the more heavily populated areas will be subject to heavy environmental regulations. The atomization of many things over the years will have lead to a general acceptance that one does not even have to be present at the activities they really enjoy, or even the mundane ones. Biotechnology will have advanced to the stage where a new brain can be grown from cells from one's existing brain, and the new brain can go forth and have all the experiences which you can then access at any time, and be as real and vivid as if you had actually taken part. For example, why risk injury or discomfort going for a ride when exactly the same thrills can be obtained from the comfort of one's pleasure capsule?
"Photosynthesis from plants will be one of the power methods in use. This bike draws power from a self-contained ecosystem bio-orb, and an additional alternator front wheel for when the bike is in motion. It features adjustable steering head rake, and rims levitating on magnetic fields. Styling-wise, who knows what direction that will go the future, but maybe it will be the flavor of the month to show off the technology rather than hide it behind smooth surfaces."
An artist living on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, Adam Nickel has turned his love of everything old — especially things with wheels — into a thriving career with a client list that includes The Guardian, The Boston Globe, Patagonia and Deus Ex Machina.
adamnickel.com | @adamnickel
"This future is both vintage and future at the same time. This is how the future looked in the 1980s: lots of neon and set in Tokyo. Most people live the entirety of their lives in sealed communities due to radioactive fallout left over from World War III. This leaves the remaining old highways open for motorcycle gangs to have free reign. For the most part, police turn a blind eye unless someone innocent is caught in the crossfire. None of their bikes are registered, so they are unable to legally obtain hydrogen fuel and the majority of bikes are set up to run off of compressed air. While this is a cheap and easy fuel source, it also makes for rather catastrophic accidents that can turn damaged motorcycles into missiles. Life in 2030 can be either extremely safe or extremely dangerous."
Jeremy Lacy is a Denver, Colorado-based industrial designer by day, who finds his center through his love of motorcycle and automobile design. Working with both digital and traditional media, Jeremy's style is loose and sketchy, which provides his illustrations with elements of energy and movement.
downshiftstudio.com | @downshift_studio
"I chose to peruse the idea that 'the more things change the more they stay the same.' When I started the sketch process, I looked to motorcycling’s varied past to gain clues as to what things might change and how they might evolve to look in the future. There are certain elements that have stayed consistent, like seats, wheels, somewhere to put your feet, a power source, and most important, something to hang on to. I feel that some of these things will stay the same, while drive and safety systems will be areas that continue to evolve the most. I thought it would be fun to explore what an enthusiast might fabricate in the future using what would be vintage to them, and adding their current (our future) technology— just like we do now with vintage hardware by integrating single-sided swing arms and upside-down forks on an old CB.
“For my main sketch I decided to use a “Slabside” GSX-R as the base bike but added pieces of made-up tech like a Maglev hubless drive and suspension hooked up to a powerful fusion drive power source. I studied a few helmet possibilities featuring augmented collision awareness sensors with advanced POV HUD optics. The other sketches study a light and powerful design that a more mainstream rider might use in an urban environment.”
Based in Chicago, Illinois, Ian Galvin is a freelance designer with an affinity for spaceships, motorcycles, and minimalist design solutions. He's produced work for Esquire, Dwell, and Cycle World, among others.
iamiangalvin.blogspot.com | @ian_galvin
"The E116 is powered by two electric motors driving each wheel and features an adjustable wheelbase, which can be altered automatically while on the move: short for slow maneuvers, stretching out for high speed 150+ mph blasts through the desert.
"With the huge increase in air pollution, the E116 houses an air-purifying filter unit in its huge tail section, which is fed to the rider’s helmet respirator via an outlet in the cockpit. All monitoring, navigation, and speed info is displayed via a heads up display on the screen and in the rider's eyepiece. And of course, the rider needs to look the part too, with color-coordinated external armor. I think riding gear won’t change too much, but I’d like to see a move to cyborg-style external armor that lasts a lifetime.
"I really hope that the motorcycle is still essentially as we see it today: a tool, but also an absolute blast to ride and still looking like a motorcycle — two-wheeled high-speed fun."
This article was originally featured in Issue 026 of Iron & Air Magazine