Friday, April 26, 2013

DAILY INSPIRATION: Roadrunner by Suhann

Designed, built and photographed by Suhann
Instructor: Sherman Lin
Photo lighting: Joe Russo
Assistance: Sandee

The untainted mind of a design student has always been something I try to bring myself back to again and again. Knowing too much can limit your creativity, setting up road blocks and creating turbulence in the flow of idealistic design. To some this is called "function", which I'm told is a necessary part of a complete idea, but to begin a project by laying out all possible issues seems counter intuitive. The untainted student mind works in a different way - start with the ideal solution and work backwards until it's possible. Some may also recognize this as the Steve Jobs approach. 

Let's introduce Suhann, a Shih Chien University Industrial Design student. Suhann saw a disconnect between his two loves, motorcycles and "streamlined" vintage design.
"I wonder[ed], why is [it] that all vintage motorcycles look the same? Since I couldn't find the ideal looking [bike], I'd like to build one myself."
 His inspiration for the concept he would call Roadrunner came from floatplanes.
"The concept is based on the elevating trellis structure of old floatplanes. The body is composed by three volumes, which create spaces within, making the body much lighter visually."

The basis for bringing this design to fruition was the Honda Super Cub 90, although there isn't much left. In order to execute his vision of the trellis structure, Suhann constructed a completely new frame.  The main volumes were hammered and smoothed out of aluminum sheet. The upper volume is characteristic of the streamlined shape of vintage prop planes from tip to tail, and houses a small compartment within. The middle volume is the fuel tank, reminiscent of the bombs carried by old WWII planes. The lower volume features a large aerodynamic duct to cool the horizontally mounted cylinder of the Super Cub. A monoshock suspension was incorporated to assist in cleaning up the overall look and to keep in line with the interior negative space. Custom high-rise rearset pegs were fitted to complete the low slung racing position of the bike.

The end result is stunning. A truly idealistic design brought to fruition that will cause you to reevaluate the way you go about tackling a solution instead of a problem.


  1. Fucking incredible. That thing is an absolute beauty. Great job, Suhann. It's really nice to see something fresh once in a while and this just takes the cake. :)


  2. The mondo gap between the top and bottom horizontal elements seems a little disjointed to me, but nice handiwork.

    1. I agree. Wayyy too tall in that area. If they tightened up the whole thing it owuld be very reminiscent of an old bike that i cannot recall the name of. Wish I could, because the two are very similar except for the spacing.

    2. this one maybe?

  3. Excellent work, has the look of an era gone by!

  4. okay I had a Honda 90 and a pilots license. What is the airplane?

  5. You'll need to be 7 feet tall to ride this one. Nice try, but I say no.

  6. Fantastic bike and way to realize your concept. I really like the out of the box design. Don't listen to the haters. Anyone that has straddled a Ducati 916 knows that ergonomics don't always come first.
    Keep it up!

  7. meraviglioso! steal to

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