Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Like an optical illusion...

Have any of you guys not seen the Sbarro hubless wheel? Here, let me fix that.

Trippy, no?

Expensive as all getout because of the giant bearings involved, and not as much weight savings as you'd think, they are totally impractical and yet almost hypnotically cool. It'd be so awesome to troll slowly down main street on that bike with a brace of trained poodles running alongside and hopping through your wheels. Especially if your wheels were on fire. And there was a midget in a clown suit yelling "Verboten!"

18 comments:

Joanna said...

It's cool, but ... he reinvented the wheel. Plus the opportunity for stick-in-the-spokes-style mischief is enormous.

Jason said...

I forget. Is the midget in the clown suit shouting "VERBOTEN!" on fire, or is his tricycle on fire?

wv: refook. What the government does to you when they don't think you've paid enough taxes.

Lissa said...

And a marching band, don't forget the marching band!

harqueb.us said...

Way back when I was considering going into engineering in college, I was also dreaming of moving to Switzerland and working for Sbarro. He was coming up with some seriously amazing things.

Pathfinder said...

Gee, and all this time I thought all Sbarro made was crappy mall food.

FYI - my captcha word du jour is slarthya. Has kind of a Hitchiker's Guide feel to it, no? Either that, or Ghostbusters.

perlhaqr said...

Billy Lane made a couple hubless rear wheel choppers. They're cool, but he said the setup was like $8k, because of the damn bearings. And that was back in '03 or so, so I imagine it'd be a mite more expensive now that the dollar is even further down the toilet bowl.

http://www.thebikergene.com/gallery/albums/Hubless Monster/getImage.jpg

Matt G said...

Though I ducked down that rabbit hole to its bottom, I'm still trying to picture the bearings. Wish someone would show me a 'splodey view.

Don't forget the harlequin mime sitting on the back of the seat, deftly firing arrows through the breasts of passing geese.
(Wait. Wasn't that in Omni, back when it was a cool magazine when we were in high school?)

Anonymous said...

You could put the engine inside one wheel and the transmission inside the other and have nothing but a skateboard in between. Now you know what I want for xmas.

Old Grouch said...

@ Matt,

Take a look at the photos.

That heavy ?forging? extending out from the body is the attachment point. The "bearing" looks to be a 12" or so inside diameter. The lower left-hand picture makes it clearest; the part the chain wraps around is attached to the wheel.

Think of a screw-on bottlecap, with the wheel the "cap" part. The inside part of the bearing reaches inside like the bottle top.

Jeffro said...

And Tina Turner, in her Mad Max regalia singing "Simply the Best," piloting the rig.

dsmith said...

Didn't the young Jim Kirk ride one of these in the latest Star Trek?

And I thought they would not be available until the 23rd century

DirtCrashr said...

I remember that - that was when under geek-influence people tried to make the Akira bike. Yamaha finally came out with the GTS 1000 to prove a manufacturer could go the distance with a forward swingarm concept but it was a big pig.
The midget would never jump through a Megola, because the rotary engine IS the front wheel. Scary fast (emphasis on scary) at 140KPH on the racetrack, it should fully appeal to Roberta as 1920's steampunkery -- somewhat improved by Killinger und Freund by the addition of a clutch, and more than one gear.

Beaumont said...

Yeah, I've had dreams like that. In mine, the midget in the clown suit gets shot by Slim Pickens.

Will said...

Matt,
It is probably a linear bearing with a curve in it.

B Smith said...

"It'd be so awesome to troll slowly down main street on that bike with a brace of trained poodles running alongside and hopping through your wheels. Especially if your wheels were on fire. And there was a midget in a clown suit yelling 'Verboten!'"

Ms. K, the imagery that flows from your head to my screen continues to fascinate and delight.

Ian Argent said...

Take the wheel concept, make the inside diameter around 6 ft or so, put the seat and mechanicals INSIDE of it. You'd need some funky cameras for a forward view, though. And some pretty beastly gyros.

Dixie said...

Take the wheel concept, make the inside diameter around 6 ft or so, put the seat and mechanicals INSIDE of it.

Already been done... I can't remember the guy's name, but he keeps on working on it, even after a coupla wrecks.

Ian Argent said...

I was sort of cheating - inside one of my Shadowrun sourcebooks there's one of those things.