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Concept Corner: The Railroad Motorcycle

A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.
A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.
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Today, we cover a unique concept from the minds of a handful of university students – and they’re gunning for a functional machine in an entirely new area of our industry. 

As we’ve seen before with Super Soco, brands are looking to the next generation of minds to expand the bike industry. The core of these concepts – typically put together by the best and brightest in neighboring universities – tend to center around sustainability, new aethetics, and unique function. 

That latter element couldn’t be better suited to the creation below. 

A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.
A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.

The concept of this…well, concept…stems from a class objective to cater to ‘another form of transportation’ (via AutoEvolution). 

With today’s locomotive and metro industry experiencing the same rail-to-wheel tradition as its founding fathers of old, project team members Heqi Wang, Jianning Su, Xinyi Ma, and Kai Qiu came up with a two-wheeler that carries a rail latch inside the main body of the chassis. 

Using the latch, riders don’t have to worry about the wheels staying upright on the rails, and can instead focus on arriving at whichever destination to which  they’re called. 

A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.
A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.

As somebody with absolutely no experience in rails (but a little experience in bikes), the concept looks to have a few kinks that will need to be ironed out if ever the idea is made a reality. 

Those kinks include, but are not limited to:

  1. Type of Rubber for the tire (since it’s coming into contact with metal) and what that looks like for all-seasons performance
  2. Durability of the rail clamp in relation to the g-forces survived by the bike
  3. Wind protection potential for the rider
  4. Tweaking of the (very aggressive) riding position

All of the above need a bit more brainstorming before the metro-minded motorcycle can become a universally comfy (see fine print; ‘safe, successful’) machine. 

A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.
A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.

Although we are used to pavement, the more off-roading sector of our good industry will verify that rails often go where no nicey-nice machine can follow. As a Canadian in a well-settled section of her country, my northerly travels have reaped a huge respect for the work that was done by our ancestors to carve an iron path through some of the roughest terrain, the wildest piles of rock, the most barren of expanses – and the idea that pleasure-seeking riders might one day take advantage of the breath-taking views is a cool one, to say the least. 

If intended for the urban scapes…well, maybe we can finally save a bit more money on that monthly subway pass.

A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.
A Railroad motorcycle created by a university on the concept of function in the railroad industry. Media sourced from AutoEvolution.

To conclude: Though it’s fantastic that somebody is trying to make a bike work on a track, more pondering will be needed before the machine is ready for the railroad proper. 

You can be sure that we’ll be there when that day arrives to cover the momentous occasion; in the meantime, a big congrats to the team members that contributed to this concept.

Subscribe to our newsletter, drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as ever – stay safe on the twisties.

*Media sourced from AutoEvolution*