For most motorcycle enthusiasts, one-off designed bikes can be a hit or miss. Some are flashy and unrealistic, some are buried in chrome and electronics—but sometimes you come across a one-off bike that stirs emotion and a primal urge, provoking an adrenaline rush. Ian McElroy’s “KickBoxer” is just that; it makes you wonder “what if”?
Ian brought a concept to the table and it was an instant internet hit. Hours upon hours of research, developing/finding parts that fit so as to be machined later, out of aluminum, for the final product. The idea was to create something that indeed COULD be built! Over a year of hard work and dedication brought us the first 3D renders—and they were quickly posted everywhere you can find motorcycle news on the internet.
There was a point that it was decided that the bike needed to be modeled in 3D. First decision was CAD, as a lot of the parts were to be created from aluminum, by way of machine work. Ian began teaching himself the processes of SolidWorks, to create a very real mock-up! He gives credit, saying, “It is a testament to the awesomeness of SolidWorks that I was able to learn everything I needed as I built my entire model, and with no prior CAD experience whatsoever.”
The first part of KickBoxer that catches your attention is the suspension—swing arms made from aluminum tube give an elegant, but functional, look to the design. One-inch aluminum plates make the frame, sandwiching the engine and transmission similarly to the Bimota Tesi. In a near seamless fashion, aluminum plates sandwich the steering stock. The front suspension, of Ian’s own design and inspired by the radical designs of racer/builders, is very unique in it’s design, utilizing a single-sided swing arm. The steering is a combination of bell cranks, push/pull rods made of carbon fiber, and steering linkage cables not unlike what is found on Stellan Egeland’s “Harrier” bike. Although the front suspension doesn’t yet have a name, it is unique in the way it only uses one swingarm and a torque rod to keep things in check.
With a wheelbase similar to most open-class sport bikes at 56.5 inches, and a rake of 20 degrees; despite its appearance, it could indeed corner! The weight is estimated to be in the area of 520-540 pounds, rather light weight, given the visual size of the machine. The Kickboxer’s styling was inspired by WWII aircraft and it surely reflects it with its aircraft-riveted sheet aluminum bodywork, paint, and overall look. It seems it could almost take flight!
Inspiration came from a very eclectic group of builders/designers—Bimota, Stellan Egeland, Confederate, Jesse James for a high horsepower longitudinal mounting of an engine in a motorcycle, and Lazareth for the hub steer system. It’s a truly amazing design to its very core. If one thing is true about this bike, it is the fact it’s like nothing the motorcycle world has ever seen. Despite many radically designed car-powered bikes out there, this is truly a work of art.
Some specs on the Kickboxer:
The engine is a stock Subaru WRX engine, retaining the factory IHI snail. The right angle gearbox is sourced from an “all wheel drive” Mitsubishi car. The duties of gear changes are done by a Harley type Baker Torquebox transmission; the ponies are transferred via a BDL 3″ belt drive. The action to the rear wheel happens through a chain final drive. Front steering and wheel mounting is done with a rear hub from a 1980’s GM car and out back the axle is sourced from a Datsun 280Z and modified to drive a single rear wheel. The rear shock is a Buell unit, while the wheels are 5 Ziggen “Pro Racer”.
Over all it has become the general consensus that Kickboxer is a breed of its own,with attitude and styling that is not only over the top, but down to earth. The bike tends to have a shock effect the first time you see it,and the more you look it over (and the more you read specs on it), you find that it is a very real and very possible machine. I agree with Ian: Kickboxer indeed is not a “concept,” it is a “design.”