Meet the Hydra: Could this hydrogen-powered machine be the future of motorcycling?

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Electric motorcycles are undoubtedly part of the future, but a futuristic looking, hydrogen powered concept bike is piquing the interest of hydrogen technology manufacturers.

The Hydra is the brainchild of Anton Brousseau, Andre Taylforth, and Anton Guzhov, who met while working for renowned firm Kiska Design.

Mr Taylforth said: “We all worked about a table apart in the transportation design area, so naturally while working together we became good friends.

The hydrogen cell sits where traditional engines would be.

“Since we all left KISKA, we all went on different career journeys but quickly ended up working together professionally again as freelancers, and for personal projects like the Hydra Bike.

“Our interest in motorcycles started fairly early for each of us, for me it was riding motocross as a kid. For Anton B, it was an early fascination in sport bikes that led him to vehicle design and Anton G has been drawing since early childhood different mechanical objects including motorcycles.”

Although the Hydra was created as a thought-experiment to, as Andre says ‘explore a hydrogen platform and see how far we could push it’,  he believes the fundamental components are there, in terms of what core elements are needed to make a working hydrogen motorcycle.

Will this be the riders view in 50 years time as fossil fuelled engines disappear?

Inspiration came from a number of eclectic industries already utlising hydrogen technology in specialised vehicles, as Andre explains:

“Although none of us are practicing engineers, we still incorporated our thoughts about hydrogen platforms into our proposed package.

“For example, we were greatly inspired by micro-oceanic exploratory vehicles due to their compact hydrogen fuel cell technologies and long distance ranges.

“It was tricky balancing real world constraints vs visual design intention. We had to consider both real world limitations. i.e. ergonomics and homologation standards which are a reality to production bikes today while also exaggerating areas of the bike to better communicate the visual language.”

He adds: “Understandably, since we are all designers we may be guilty of pushing further on design than attempting true practicality.”

The result shows a bike like no other and took the trio around a year to complete, which Andre describes as ‘a huge learning curve’ encompassing concept sketching, 3D modelling, CTG Design, graphic design, branding, film-making, character design and VFX.

Rough sketches have led to a full 3D rendering of what the Hydra could look like.

Although not designed with manufacture in mind, the Hydra is stirring considerable interest among the hydrogen cell industry.

“It was not our intention to bring the Hydra to market, which is why we were surprised to have been approached by a few hydrogen technology manufacturers and suppliers that showed interest in what we were up to,” said Andre.

“It would be a dream come true to actualize the Hydra bike and we are open to that possibility. But, we also understand realistically we would need a more robustly engineered platform and better consideration for homologation/ergonomics standards.”

Some elements of a traditional motorcycle remain.

For now, however, the Hydra stands alone as a uniquely original concept that pushes the boundaries of how motorcycles should look and propel themselves.

Andre added: “We believe a motorbike shown on its own is only half the story. What makes motorcycles special to us, is that essentially, they are a mechanical representation of freedom.

“All this aside, the Hydra project is a self-initiated thought-experiment that explores the possibilities of hydrogen technology in motorcycle design and really just a project for us to have fun with.”

The trio’s other designs and videos can be seen here.

Stuart Prestidge

By Stuart Prestidge