Many years ago, I bought an entire car only to get hold of a spare part that was unavailable at that moment. Okay, it was for the restoration of a classic car so I had to use the sledgehammer to crack the nut, but I wanted to drive that thing badly. Besides, I was able to stock up on spare parts for that car since I disassembled it completely and filled my racks with parts I eventually never used.
Fifteen years later, I read an article about companies specializing in the reproduction of small car parts such as bezels, vents, buttons and so on with a 3D printer. I guess at that time they could have printed me the part I desperately needed many years ago and saved me a lot of money and space on my shelves.
Nowadays one can literally print everything that comes to your mind in these voodoo machines. Think about guitars, shoes or even fully functional guns. So it was just a matter of time before someone comes up with a bike printed in a 3D printer, right? And this someone is Paolo Tesio from Italian workshop Texdesign and I have to admit that even though futuristic design usually fails to impress me, this thing is simply…WOW!
So I decided to let the builder explain his Buell XB Gcode 1.2 by himself, after all he knows best:
The idea for this bike was born in the middle of 2015. For a long time I've been trying to get on the American twin-cylinder, fascinated by its exaggerated proportions and the strong personality full of more or less logical and functional innovations. So when I finally began, it turned out I had 18 months of hard work awaiting me. The design and aesthetic development alone took 12 months to achieve, with all of the work strictly performed with the help of 3D software. Usually for a project like this, you start with a blank page doodling your first ideas and then switch to converting them into three-dimensional volumes. By combining these two stages and therefore working directly in the third dimension, it allowed me to have perfect control of volumes and proportions as well as gaining time.
Since a motorcycle is a combination of style and functionality, every aesthetic element has to be in perfect harmony with the mechanical one and vice versa. For this reason, it was necessary to scan every single element and detail of the bike (by hand, unfortunately) to avoid nasty surprises when it comes to final assembly. But since hard work pays off, this resulted in very tight and perfectly paired mechanical components. Reducing the wiring turned out to be another obstacle, keeping in mind that the stock XB12R’s ECU is located just above the headlamp, hidden underneath the fairing.
I had a cheeky front in mind, just like the one I designed for the Ducati Monster Kit, but this one had to be different, more innovative. That’s when the idea of a telescopic fork cover device (T.C.S.) came into my mind. In fact, there’s a complex CNC-milled support mounted to the front fender fixing points. Hidden behind the Husqvarna front light, this sophisticated chassis allows the entire headlight assembly to stay solid with the front wheel. It makes the bike look as if it was leaning forward and gives it an aggressive and unusual appearance.
The structure supporting the slender rear body is also particularly studied. Part of it remains exposed to the sides and becomes a style element. The large, conventional battery is replaced by a small lithium unit and is located in the special saddle compartment also made with 3D print technology.
The stock air box is replaced by three elements recalling the back of a cyborg. The two front air inlets besides the gas cap allow the filter to breathe fresh air while two nostrils at the rear guarantee proper evacuation of the heat generated by the rear cylinder. The filter cap is also 3D printed as well as the small front logo that illuminates when ignition is turned on.
I had to invest some money in purchasing a decent 3D printer, the Playmarker 2 from Italian company I3D, which allowed me to recreate every single part in-house. A wonderful technology! There is no waste of material and if you have done a good job at CAS, everything "comes back" without any surprises. 3D printing is a promising technology in terms of design.
Just as with the Ducati Monster Kit, it is my intention to offer this kit as a small batch production to customers. Due to its complexity and the high value of the selected materials, it will come at a certain price.
So if you want turn your Buell XB12R into something eye-striking and unique, Paolo Tesio from Italian workshop TEX-DESIGN might be your man. Head over to his WEBSITE to find out more and make sure to have a look at his Ducati Monster-Kit as well. If I had a Monster or an XB12R, my piggy bank would be in imminent danger right now.
Here’s a link to the FACEBOOK page.