PHOTO: Maciek Bejma / watkins.pl
Customised motorbikes have been around for a long time, and there’s no doubt that they are rather interesting. The Watkins M001, with its clever solutions and minimalistic yet futuristic looks, is definitely a head-turner.
Fueled by curiosity sparked by Stellan Egeland’s BMW Harrier, a Polish engineer that goes by the name of Jack Watkins, designed a very unique motorbike. The engineering adventure begun with an engine and drivetrain from a 2002 BMW R 1150 RT.
The rear wheel comes from a BMW GS unit, and the front wheel from a Yamaha XJ6. The hub had to be milled in order to make room for the complex hub-steered front suspension system.
The hub-steered bike’s body is framed by two sheets of laser-cut steel, bent in six places, and includes a few hidden pieces to hold the whole structure together. 3D scanning was used to ascertain the exact mount points.
Under the panels is a small framework that holds the electric components, and up top, three aluminium panels were designed for the seat which hides the 16-liter fuel tank. A finned structure at the back hides the fuel tank, and provides a mounting system for the taillight and license plate. The exhaust built from stainless steel curl around the underside of the bike, and ends in a two-layered box held together by 84 screws, which took almost five hours to assemble.
Jack runs a team of 30 designers at an industrial company in Gdansk and is a lecturer and researcher at the Gdańsk University of Technology. With work and family life, this remained a project for the evenings, and it took him nine years to finish. This beast sure was one hell of a job to create, but the result is incredible.