Top 8 car-inspired motorcycles

Generally I find cars dull, and so do most other motorcyclists I know. They’re a means to an end. A tool to get us to a destination when we need to transport large items or a group of people.

So forgive me if I’ve never really given any thought to what bikes built by car manufacturers could look like. Luckily there are plenty of curious, imaginative designers out there who have, and they’ve managed to come up with some pretty interesting looking concepts.


Porsche 618

The most recent concept bike doing the rounds is this slightly odd, bulbous looking thing based on the Porsche 911 Turbo, according to Spanish designer Miguel Angel Bahri. It’s completely electric and produces 160bhp, apparently, even though it’s just a drawing. Miguel has done away with traditional suspension forks in favour of hub centre steering, which is in keeping with the futuristic styling.

Obviously the best bits are the boot doors which make the bike look like a ladybug when they’re opened up.

Ferrari V4

Israeli industrial designer Amir Glinik must have spent the weekend watching Tron and Akira before he designed this Ferrari V4 concept. It doesn’t look like he put a great deal of thought into comfort, but he put a lot of thought into the rest of the components. The V4 engine which he’s designed the bike around is one third of a Ferrari Enzo engine and the bike also features hand controls from an F-16 fighter jet and buttons from a Formula One car. Nice.


Unlike Miguel Angel Bahri, Russian designer Maxim Burov wanted his Koenigsegg concept bike to be based around a combustion engine, although he doesn’t say what type of engine. But it doesn’t matter, because those two stubby, MotoGP-style exhausts exiting under the minimal seat unit look amazing. It looks oddly similar to the Lotus C-01, but that’s no bad thing.

Alfa Romeo Spirito

Don’t worry, we saved the most outlandish concept until last. Say hello to the Alfa Romeo Spirito. What’s so outlandish about it? It only has one wheel. The elongated front end houses the bike’s engine and is finished in the traditional Alfa Romeo red, while the very back of the bodywork is transparent.

If you’re going to design a concept motorcycle, you might as well go all out and make it completely bonkers.

These two BMW concepts

OK, we might be cheating a bit since the Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept was actually designed by BMW, but just look how cool it looks. BMW say the bike would have a self-righting system and would be so safe the rider wouldn’t need to wear any safety gear.

This is more like it! The BMW Titan (excellent name) was penned by Turkish designer Mehmet Erdem. Taking inspiration from sharks, the Titan is designed to be super-sleek, with the handlebars hidden from view and the front wheel completely enclosed by that epic front end.

Concepts are all well and good, but if we’re being honest, they probably won’t make it into production. But there are car manufacturers who have successfully moved into the two-wheel sector. Step forward Lotus and Ariel.

Lotus C-01

When Lotus unveiled computer images of their C-01 in January 2014, designed by former Bugatti designer Daniel Simon, many thought it would never make it into the real world, but just 10 months later, the first bikes started rolling off the production line.

Limited to just 100 examples, the C-01 is powered by the 175bhp 1195cc V-twin from the KTM RC8R and comes complete with Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension, and a frame designed by Moto2 gurus Kalex.

MCN was lucky enough to ride the finished product, and we can confirm it goes just as good as it looks.

Ariel Ace

The original Ariel motorcycle company ran from 1902 to 1970, and in 1999 the name was reused to form Ariel Motor Company, most well known for the Ariel Atom car, but they’re back making bikes again in the form of the Ariel Ace.

Built around the 1237cc V4 from the Honda VFR1200F, the Ace uses a beautifully milled aluminium frame and prices start at a not unreasonable £20,000.

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Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer