The world motorcycle market is flooded with countless models from global manufacturers, custom bike builders, conversion outfits and many more. Custom built motorcycles have marked a sharp rise both in popularity, demand and sales worldwide in the last decade.
With motorcycling enthusiasts, customization and improvisation have always been a part of the game, and with customization pulling a sharp upward curve on the graph, a number of outfits have explored the possibilities and opportunities in mass production of their custom built models. These outfits or “production hatchlings” make varying modifications – aesthetic and mechanical – to the donor motorcycle undergoing the redesign and rebuilding processes. Amongst them are those that have left nothing of the donor motorcycle in their offsprings, save for a few parts of the original frame and the engine. Entire bodies, mechanisms, electricals and other functions are modified or completely replaced to produce a unique and distinctive product.
Rider safety and performance
The options at a motorcycle buyer’s disposal are many, given the multiple leaps in automotive technology that have affected the performance output, capability, riding experience and quality of modern motorcycles along with how they are styled. The major concern for the motorcycling industry till date, remains the safety of the rider and the bike.
All the big and burly cruisers and tourers that come with an array of safety features cannot really provide for the thrill of the super sport class and the latter falls short on grounds of safety when compared to the former.
From Russia-born American designer-turned motorcycle manufacturer Igor Chak comes an aggressively styled, highly aerodynamic, and technologically by far one of the most advanced motorcycles, the Chak Molot.
The word “Molot” means a sledge or a mallet kind of a hammer and holds quite true given the bike’s chunky, edgy and yet very clean form. The bike borrows its frame and engine from the 2013 Honda CBR 1000RR ABS version that is arguably one of the most popular motorcycles in the world market, and performance wise, one of the best.
The simple construction allowed the team at Chak Motors to strip everything down to just the frame and engine. A lot of material was removed from the frame which has been remodeled to appear lighter and slightly sharper on the tail end. But the delicate looking rear cowl has been strengthened by aluminum and composite materials to help it support a load of upto 200 kgs. Styling wise, every line and surface change is there to serve a purpose. The top of the bike near the handlebar mount and around, has been completely faired to conceal the brake and hose lines and provide for a cleaner finished look. This also achieves the purpose of protecting them from the gradual wear by exposure to extreme weather.
New emergency braking system
The Molot comes equipped with an all LED light system for headlamps, day time running lights, blinkers and tail lights. This allows for better response time, visibility and last much longer than incandescent bulbs. There is also a set of day time running lights on the rear side mirrors. Next comes an onboard computer that controls a number of safety functions like the Predictive Emergency Braking System that was till now, only to be seen on cars. PEBS works by sending out warnings in successive steps upon lack of response or safety compliance by the rider, by flashing lights on the dash, and waves of vibrations through the handle bars – like the hand-held of a Playstation or an Xbox.
On receiving no response from the rider, PEBS sends a full wave of vibration through the handlebars and applies short bursts of pressure to the brakes. Further failure to respond enables full pressure to the brakes to avoid possible collision and the ABS kicks in to prevent wheel locking. PEBS employs two radars – a short range and a long range – and an HD camera mounted in the headlight to detect anomalies in the ride like lane drifting, possible collision, and failure to react in split second situations.
It is also equipped with blind spot monitoring – two sensors located on either side in the rear cowl send signals through a warning light and vibration waves through the handlebars, in case of detection of any sort of hindrance while making a turn.
The Lane departure warning system (LDWS) detects lane drifting or casual swerving and immediately shoots the warning vibration through the handle bars. A safety cutoff feature, courtesy Molot’s onboard gyroscope detects sudden vibrations and possible loss of control, and disables the throttle. The HD cameras in the front and rear record everything irrespective of whether the bike is in motion or in the garage.
Black box recording, phone charger
All the data is stored on a “black box” like that of an aeroplane, which is enclosed in a damage resistant material that helps protect it from shock, water and heat. The data recorded on the black box, including footage from the front and rear cameras, all needs to be copied and stored elsewhere from time to time, in order to keep the onboard memory space free for fresh feed.
The rear cowl also hides a smart phone charger – a blessing for long distance or all day riding.
A lot of the motorcycle’s body is made out of carbon fibre, to keep the weight at a minimum. The bike also uses a compact lithium ion battery in place of the bulky lead acid ones.
Every Molot is handmade and that tells us quite a few things about the levels of quality and the amount of care put into crafting every single piece. The bike goes on sale in 2015, and demands quite a pocketful at roughly $75,000.