That’s not to say we wouldn’t cut off a finger to throw a leg over the C-01, which looks like it would be insanely fun–in a straight line. But once you open it up or hit the curves, you’re gonna have some problems.
The fairing, which sweeps over the headlamp, is sleek. It’s pretty. And it’s almost certainly useless at speed. If you’re lying flat across the fuel tank and squeezing all 200 horses from the modified KTM 1,195cc engine, that fairing won’t offer much protection from the wall of air pushing against you, trying to rip your hands from the grips.
That said, the body is absolutely fantastic, a jaw-dropping blend of carbon fiber and aluminum conceived, according to Simon, “as a shrink-wrap around the engine.” It was inspired by the legendary Lotus 49 Formula One car of the late 1960s.
“On a project like the C-01, things like seating ergonomics, airflow, engine cooling, suspension mounts, frame stiffness, etc. have a direct influence on the design,” Simon tells WIRED. “Conventional bike design avoid most styling trouble with very modular thinking, meaning each part like a gas tank, seat, tail, and fairing have their own lives, even if they come together in great harmony. With the C-01 we tried to blend many of those elements together, creating continuous automotive shapes and lines that run all the way from the headlight to the tail.”
He certainly succeeded, but he also had a lot of real estate to work with. The wheelbase spans 65 inches–nearly five and half feet–longer than the Diavel and shorter than the V-Rod. That means the rider will be doing his best Burt Munro impersonation every time they take off down the street.
Thanks to the liberal use of carbon fiber and lightweight metals, the C-01 comes in at a claimed 399 pounds without a rider, fuel, and oil–substantially lighter than the V-Rod–and on par with the fastest superbikes in the world. Naturally, high-end kit is fitted at both ends, with Brembo disc brakes and Ohlins suspension components. Yes, it has traction control. No, it doesn’t have ABS–shocking, for a bike at this price and with this much power.
Trying to balance style, functionality, and engineering was the biggest challenge for the Simon and the builders. The design brief called for an ultra low profile and a “visual lightness” that would obfuscate the C-01′s considerable size.
“Right from the start the proportion and layout was supervised by an experienced motorcycle racing engineer from Kodewa, ensuring that each design step would stay within the high performance and handling goals,” says Simon. In some cases they were able to reach an agreement. In others, style obviously superseded substance.
“Another challenge was to maintain the low profile requested, so the fuel tank moved under the seat, eliminating space for a mono-shock layout and resulting in a retro-cool twin-shock,” says Simon. Retro-cool. Yes. Modern? Not quite. Twin shocks have been out of favor on any bike with sporting intentions for the better part of three decades.
Still, Güther Holzer, CEO of Holzer Group says that the C-01 “found that delicate balance between raw, aggressive power and breath-taking handling.” There’s no doubt it will be an absolute monster on a straight stretch of tarmac, but the key to a superbike is to blend insane speed with sharp handling. It remains to be seen whether the C-01 can deliver both.
source: wired.com By Damon Lavrinc