If Audi made motorcycles

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What if Audi’s acquisition of Ducati meant the German car brand was going to start making its own motorcycles. It’s not, but French designer Thibault Devauze has imagined the possibility of an Audi motorcycle with his own concept.

Thibault, who is a former design intern for Ducati, Audi and Land Rover, gave the concept a silky futuristic design akin to the German manufacturer’s identity.

Taking the idea of using the Audi Ultra lightweight technology, the construction of the chassis is a combination of carbon fibre and aluminium with a Fior-esque duolever fork

A lack of exhausts hints that the concept could be powered by the German firm’s E-Tron electric motor, however Devauze envisions that there would also be a conventionally powered version using Ducati’s 848cc Desmodromic, L-twin engine.

The concept was inspired by Audi’s takeover of Ducati and after the Frenchman visited the Audi museum and saw DKW motorcycles – who were one of the German manufacturers or ‘rings’ that made up the Auto Union group.

“The idea was pretty simple: the first competitor of Audi is BMW, and BMW sell bikes,” said Thibault.

“In the past Audi has a massive heritage in terms of bike with the DKW brand. Audi is always looking for new market , bikes market represent a good opportunity.”

The concept was completed last year in collaboration with Thibault’s brother Marc Devauze with the clay model created by Clement Couvreur.

  • http://twitter.com/phobos512 Matthew Artelt

    They’d have to produce motorcycles with two wheel drive to fit with the rest of the Audi range. “Introducing the new Ducati Multistrada, now with Duo (TM) All Wheel Drive Technology.” :D

    • http://twitter.com/Ricardo_Gozinya Ricardo Gozinya

      Aren’t Audis also pretty comfortable? This thing looks like a torture rack. Would make some sense if they went in more of a sport-tourer direction, something in the vein of the Guzzi V11 Le Mans.

      • http://twitter.com/phobos512 Matthew Artelt

        Comfy and easy to use, but small footwells in my experience (I’ve only had experience with the A4 in the UK so take that for what you will). Honestly there’s nothing in this bike’s design that says Audi other than the logo. Yes, it’s got LED headlights but there’s nowhere for DRL accent strips. It needs a lattice grille on it somewhere. I can see the switchgear being easily translated – nice weighty switches with integrated LEDs to show when things are activated. Roller control not unlike what’s on the K1600. Everything rimmed with metal accents. You could put DRL strips on/in the fairing pieces over the forks…

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      That v-twin is also wayyyyy too far back in the chassis, they’d have to figure out a way to hang it in front of the front wheel to really give it that true audi feel.

      • Steely

        Dat understeer.

      • http://twitter.com/mchale2020 Jordan

        And Chris Harris would have to be able to review it.

  • Speedo007

    Glad they don’t. Those proportions look pretty bad.

    • Robotribe

      That, plus if Audi were to design a bike, it would NEVER have the functional pieces coil springs exposed like that; that’s the opposite of “elegant design”.

  • Kr Tong

    No motorcyclist cares about the audi brand. No motorcyclist would believe that audi cares about motorcycles. The only car brands that make bikes were bike brands first. I get that Audi want’s BMW’s customers but this is silly.

    Also no industrial designer has ever designed a motorcycle that made sense. You cant “design” a motorcycle.

    • MrMotoWise

      “former design intern for Ducati, Audi and Land Rover.” Perhaps there’s a reason for that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Wells/568907005 Mark Wells

        I don’t know he’s had access to some pretty serious kit there we don’t have a full scale 5 axis cnc. I suspect Audi have supported him with this.

        • Hugo

          Mark, I thought the same untill I remembered I saw that image somewhere;)
          http://www.toeffblog.ch/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/R-1200-GS-ABS-2013-Design-022.jpg
          just some clever photoshopping;)
          One thing however is that when one designs a motorcycle one needs to think a little about ergonomics and with this kind of “fueltank” shape you will slide pretty quickly to the front when braking hard (unless its supposed to be a supermotard thing…)

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Wells/568907005 Mark Wells

            Hello Hugo,

            good to hear from you, very well spotted!! Ha ha I like that.

            I agree with you 100% with regards to the fuel tank shape, that’s what I mean when I say “completely undeveloped plan elevation”. It feels a bit like a side elevation that has been extruded.

          • yyzmxs

            Remind me pls how does a shape of a fuel tank dictate how far I will slide during braking??? Last time I experienced on my bikes, it’s the angle and shape of the seat. The tank could be a stopper, but only if the angle seat is wrong …

            • Hugo

              Because the angle of the fueltank is so flat it resembles the “fueltank” shape of a crossbike or supermoto which are shaped that way so that when braking one can slide forward to put weight on the front. In this concept there is almost no transition surface between the seat and “fueltank” which is necessary so you don’t slide too much forward when braking so either it is shaped that way to ride the bike supermoto style or just because it looks cool but isn’t functional. Motorcycle design is a complicated business where everything must go hand-in-hand: the technology, the ergonomics and the design/styling. It is one of the most complicated products to style/design because of all the factors you need to think off (because another thing which I notice with this design is that the seat height is extremely high, 1.5 rearwheel height meaning over 900mm’s). Tha’s another thing with motorcycle design, you can’t design “just something cool” because it needs to function, you need to think of CoG location, weight distribution, etc.

              • yyzmxs

                Sorry I was referring to the image posted above my first post. Sure the non existing tank seat plane transition would make it extremely front sliding prone on the Audi model … but there is really not a mass produced street legal bike looking like that, hence the tank usually doesn’t matter and it’s rather the seat angle …

      • Kr Tong

        I’m not gonna be that harsh. Internships end.

        • MrMotoWise

          Yes they do, and if someone sees the end of three of them without a follow-on job offer, *perhaps* there’s a reason for that. Not harsh, just truth.

          • Flo

            Hum.. Thibaut worked one year as designer for Opel-GM Europe, and is now working since almost 1 and half year for Gran Studio in Italy… get informed ;)

            • MrMotoWise

              Hum yourself. Opel-GM/Gran Studio, and Ducati/Audi/Land Rover, aren’t the same companies. So he wasn’t hired at the places he interned, right?

              • Flo

                ABRUTI

                • MrMotoWise

                  Nice. Try to control your little temper, maybe focus that energy on better designs.

        • NIGHTSCOUT

          “ya this isn’t working out, your designs suck” LOL!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Wells/568907005 Mark Wells

      “You can’t design a motorcycle” Really? Where do they come from then? If you’ve found the gooseberry bush or the rainbow where I can find some pre-formed motorcycles ripe and ready for harvesting then give a chap a break and let me know where the yellow brick road starts. It would save an awful lot of trouble deer boy. Me and my chaps could pluck a fresh new concept from the tree, bill the client, and bugger off down the pub.

      I belive this lad is a recently graduated student doing his best to get seen in a horribly unforgiving and competitive market place so he can start the process of repaying a stonking big loan. While I support constructive criticism and agree with some of the comments on the design (for me the biggest problem is the completely undeveloped plan elevation) I can assure you that he has spent more than 2 hours before lunch on this! That represents many hours of graft.

      • Kr Tong

        You really took that sentence in the wrong direction, Mark. You hopefully understand that Industrial design, and mechanical engineering is like the difference between phrenology and neuroscience. One just looks at the shape of things and makes an arbitrary call on what proportions look nice. The other knows what all that actually means in the real world. This is not an engineered bike. This is a designed bike, which is the backwards way to approach a motorcycle. You just can’t approach mechanical components the same way you’d approach the superficial shell of a car, and everything on a bike is a mechanical component.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Wells/568907005 Mark Wells

          Nope it would appear I heard you loud and clear.

          I am an industrial designer. I studied transportation design at degree level and now run an industrial design studio based in the UK specialising in motorcycle design and development. I am employed by companies like Triumph, and Royal Enfield, Rieju, and others to work along side engineering teams to create industrial design solutions on a daily basis. In fact there are currently 5 of working full time and a whole host of freelancers. We are by no means the only ones. Triumph alone employs another 3 or 4 consultancies and free-lancers, Mr Bloor is a very shrewd business man he wouldn’t spend his pennies with us or the other industrial designers that Triumph employs if design was a crucial partner to engineering. Moreover, KTM wouldn’t be the company they are today without industrial design, before Kiska they made well engineered but commercially so so motorcycles Kiska came along invented the brand, the design language and made them a company big enough to plan in the Indian market. The timeline is crystal clear, the first orange KTM was one designed by Kiska.

          Industrial design is far more than styling, styling is one element. But even if we just take styling in isolation form IS function. The 999 didn’t sell, why? because people didn’t like how it looked (I have always thought it got a some unfair criticism lots of ‘band wagoning’ going on). 1098 sells well. Again why because people liked the look. The difference is financial viability. It cost the same to tool up for both bikes. A plastic panel costs 20k to tool whether it is pretty or ugly.

          Part of being an industrial designer is indeed, by its very nature, taking criticism. (I have offered some critism already) More than that it is being able to give criticism and most importantly criticise your own work. You however are not offering any meaningful criticism simply some ill informed sledging.

          If you like I can join in… “your momma is soooooo fat” but you see this doesn’t really offer your man doing the Audi bike any assistance at all now does it!

          • Kr Tong

            “Form is function” When the function is to sell bikes? I think i’ve heard enough.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Wells/568907005 Mark Wells

              Of course designing and building motorcycles is about making
              money. This is my job, my vocation, my hobby and my life long passion, but unless I’m building something at the weekend for me then yes it’s about making financially viable products. Making desirable products that people want to buy is surely what every motorcycle company is about if it isn’t then they are dead in the
              water. The British motorcycle manufactures were complacent they stopped listening to their customers and stopped making products people wanted to buy, the result was that the whole lot imploded. Read it and weep, literally http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whatever-Happened-British-Motor-Industry/dp/1859604277

              There are numerous functions of form ergonomics, aero, thermo etc; but aesthetics, ‘styling’ is a hugely important factor in making a bike desirable. When you listen to people talking about how bikes look you hear words like “cool, love it, dynamic, aggressive, exciting, hate it, beautiful, sexy, muscle, strong, dull, fast, happy, elegant, show off….” These are all emotional responses. Every time research shows that something like 80% of respondents list ‘style’ or ‘design’ or ‘looks’ as one of their main motives for choosing their motorcycle.

          • Kr Tong

            Mark, form always follows function. Always. Even in comments boxes, the form follows the function. You cannot expect me to assist in a successful Audi bike design from a damn comments box, just like I cannot expect you to read, when the post button is so close to the text.

            I graduated in transportation design too, and as such I’ve heard all your rhetoric before. I know already of your portfolio so you can spare me the 350 words of braggartry about your firm. I don’t care. Your portfolio doesn’t include reinventing suspension parts. Nor does it have levitating calipers, belt drives on toothed sprockets, headstocks disconnected from frames, or brake cables that only go up the fork but not to the lever. If I drew a bicycle without a chain, and instead of admitting i made a mistake, I just defended it by saying chains detract from the beauty of bicycles and will sell better without them, you’d call me a fool. So give it a rest.

            • yyzmxs

              It’s really striking what some people are willing to put out there on the interwebs. Amazing … You’d think that when a real name is used by a person commenting they would think twice, but apparently not, it must be overrated.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Wells/568907005 Mark Wells

                Why would I make my posts anonymously? If I believe in what I am writing why wouldn’t I put my name behind it? Published and be dammed!

                • yyzmxs

                  I never said you shouldn’t … I am just surprised a bit I guess that you are so proud of the content you published under your name …

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Wells/568907005 Mark Wells

              Firstly I apologise if in any way my post came across as
              bragging about our portfolio that certainly wasn’t my intent and this is defiantly not the forum for that sort of thing.

              With my post I was simply trying to demonstrate that industrial design is a core element of the development process for any new motorcycle, it is the other side of the coin to engineering and there is no successful motorcycle company in the world that doesn’t employ industrial designers. To say that “no industrial designer has ever conceptualized a motorcycle that made sense. You can’t “design” a motorcycle.” Is simply factually incorrect. I am sure, as a transport designer, you will have read Del Coats book ‘Watches Tell More Than Time’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Watches-Tell-More-Than-Time/dp/0071362436 if not I can recommend it highly as a bit of light bog side reading.

              My main reason for posting initially however is that this
              chap is a recent graduate. He did this as a portfolio piece to try and move on his career. As you’ve studied transportation design you will know how hard this is. There are more professional football (soccer) players that played in the last world cup than there are professional working automotive designers with hundreds of graduates a year entering the job market (probably with a mountain of debt) with very few job openings each year. There is of course a fair amount of fantasy in his work (and I am not defending his design you make your own judgement on that) but I think you have to take it in context; he is a student and he has put a great deal of work into this. He has made (albeit with the help of his brother) a full scale clay which again you will know is a massive amount of work certainly much more than “three minutes of brainstorming, two hours of sketching, and two hours for lunch..”. It’s all too easy to sit on a forum and anonymously slate someone’s work.

              • Kr Tong

                Dude I’m not anonymous. That’s my name. And really? You’re still harping on that sentence? Whatever, say whatever you want. Just don’t tell people I’m jumping on a bandwagon, that I’m uninformed about industrial design, that I’m making it hard for Thibault to get a job, or that I’m telling yo momma jokes.

                And no I’m not familiar with the writing of Del Coates. I can name about a dozen designers that were there, writing about philosophy of design, at the beginning of the industrial revolution. One might even call them “industrial designers,” but the names I’m thinking of are like Picasso, Wright, Eames, LeCorbussier, Mises, etc… They’d say something along the lines of ‘A watch’s form shows the ideals of that era.’ Im guessing Del says about the same.

          • yoooks

            I think you may have overreacted a little.

  • http://www.facebook.com/corey.cook.549221 Corey Cook

    Could be interesting. Japanese cars are boring and their bikes are also boring, but covered in poorly designed and ultra gaudy plastic.

    Perhaps a European vehicle OEM could find some kind of middle ground?

  • Scott

    Edit, DucAudi

    • Bruce Steever

      I’m stealing this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1302855933 Dave Hargreaves

    Looks strangely familiar..

  • Khali

    Fuck Audi. This guy should contact Zero Motorcycles.

  • JAYAPRAKASH N.

    Drive-in-Rack manufacturers, Drive-in-Rack supplier, Industrial Rack manufacturers and Drive-in-Rack manufacturers in chennai. Industrial rack manufacturers in chennai.

  • http://www.facebook.com/raymond.lohne Raymond Lohne

    if this is the future of motorcycles…I’m going the other way…

  • jian khan

    They find the right name.

    In french, “e-tron” sound like “étron”, a turd…

  • TheBoatDude

    I like how it comes with a built-in fender elimination kit, but other than that, I think I’ll pass.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Doesn’t Audi now own Ducati?

  • Dan

    that seat is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too high

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.shipley.38 Tony Shipley

    VW bought NSU motorcycles in the ’60s it was making bikes before Harley and in by the ’50s it was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. Some of their land speed records are still held by NSU bikes today.

  • updownsideup

    Jeez, what a tough crowd. I suppose in the world of motorcycles and motorcyclists there are different reasons for riding and owning a bike. Experienced riders can be picky about performance, some riders are about the image and some riders are simply happy to be on a motorcycle. Just for a moment imagine what the world of motorcycles will be like in 20 years. Probably electric, whether you like it or not. Electricity and motorcycles is similar to the topic of film and digital cameras. Form and function. No more film reel, no more box shaped camera. No more gas tank, block, transmission, chain?, exhaust… no more traditional motorcycle. Jump outside your small box and use your f—ing imagination. This guy did, and he probably spent nights and weekends on it. It won’t work right off the bat, the first of anything never does, that’s why life is so great today. Cars have been around for a hundred years and improved along with every piece of your life from a toothbrush to the smart phone you’re reading this on, and it’s all going to get better. Audi motorcycles could be a great opportunity for a strong engineering company to take the groundwork of motorcycles and shake it up, and I think this is a great start

  • http://servicingstopvauxhall.co.uk/ Kiminak

    If BMW have made into the motorcycle industry, don’t see why Audi can’t. Their acquisition of Ducati was definitely a breakthrough car service