Renard Motorcycles: Estonia's first export since mud

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My only real knowledge of Estonia is from reading about the fictional country of Elbonia in Dilbert and this new Estonian company, Renard Motorcycles, isn’t doing much to redress that. A composite monocoque chassis that houses the airbox, gas tank and oil reservoir, but the innovation stops there, because the rest is a near complete rip-off of JT Nesbitt’s seminal Wraith. And we’re not just saying that because it’s got girder forks, even the seat unit is identical.

elbonia.jpgThe Wraith’s real defining characteristic isn’t any single component,
but rather an holistic approach to subverting traditional motorcycle
design archetypes with circular forms in place of straight lines. That’s
something Renard has tried and failed to imitate with that monocoque
chassis, largely because they missed the original idea. JT didn’t pull
the whole circle thing out of his ass, he got the idea by thinking about
the engine he was using – two cylinders from a radial aircraft engine
– as a whole and extrapolating from their. Renard’s Guzzi motor has
cylinders pointed in the wrong direction, spoiling the flow (the
chassis’s just shit ugly too).

Renard describes its bike as a sporty performance cruiser that’s
intended for cruising, not sports riding. We don’t know why there’s a
need for seemingly contradictory repetition in that description, but
it’s actually our favorite thing about this whole venture, providing a
nice summary of the performance cruiser class as a whole.

This isn’t just another company selling CAD drawings in the hope of
raising investment, it looks like they’re actually going to produce a
handful of these in an attempt to raise investment. The eventual plan
calls for production capped at 100 units a year, each retailing for
€75,000. Somehow, we don’t see exclusivity being a problem.

Renard Motorcycles

  • Teebles

    Good luck putting plates and indies on that.

    • Wes Siler

      Is that going to be a new HFL meme?

    • Chief Wahoo

      There is a plate in the photo, but you could also do a side mount to keep the rear clean. The blinkers up front are easy, just hang off the bars or off the fork thing. The rears may be more complicated but I am sure they could work in some integrated tail light thing under the seat that includes the blinkers.

      Mirrors under the bars or on the ends would work.

  • Mark D.

    Yeah, you can only get away with kinda-ugly, but interesting once.

    This is just..well…ugly. I’d give much more leeway to a one-off design concept, but an actual production bike?

    The mirrors will totally spoil the look :)

  • Don

    My grandfather has the same seat on his ’56 tractor.

  • jaski_sm

    Tallinn is a nice city.

  • Sean Smith

    It’s a blatant rip-off of the wraith, but it gets all sorts of weirdness points for being a moto guzzi and somehow channeling the styling of a 49 Merc.

  • vic

    you obviously haven’t seen the massive ammounts of hotties that roam the baltic states

    ps:this is more expensive than the wraith

    • Kidchampion

      Vic is correct. The Baltic states are supermodel farms and Tallin is the most wired city in Europe. Even Polish women are really hot now. So, while you’ve been reading Dilbert, that part of the world has become cool – much cooler than Dilbert readers.

  • HansP

    I do like that engine though…

    • Richard Gozinya

      Yeah, the engine’s the best part. Sad, considering the apparent effort they put into the rest of the bike.

      One would be better served with a Ghezzi Brian, if exclusivity with a Guzzi motor is what you’re in search of.

  • JR

    I have much respect for Wes’s opinion, but for probably the first time I am going to disagree a bit.

    Although it does rip-off the Wraith’s look to a degree. I think this bike is pretty in a “really old swoopy Saab” kind of way. Confederate bikes are all about looking “industrial” while this bike kinda has the old teardrop styling going.

    I like it. (Yeah, that seat would be uncomfortable… but look at the Fighter’s seat!)

  • Design Ronin

    Hmmm…. there are only so many ways to stick two wheels, an engine and a perch for your arse together, so as as to being a rip off, really, that’s a huge call and one I just do not see it. It’s got a girder fork, nothing new there, been around a long time. It’s got a tractor seat out back, well, so do many other custom jobs, it’s got spoke wheels…. yea, and?

    Similar traits maybe. Rip off, c’mon.

    Sorry Wes, I too can’t agree this time around. It’s not really my thing but it is interesting AND most importantly, they DID it, as opposed to many that just talk about doing it.

    Will it succeed? The market will determine that but at least it’s out there for that to happen.