Criminal Concepts: The Sprinter, Courtesy of Valen Zhou
Board Track & Drag’s Awkward Little Child
The Sprinter - a concept bike from the mind of Milan-based photographer and Director, Valen Zhou. Media sourced from BikeEXIF.
Okay, I know this isn’t the prettiest bike to grace the homepage of WBW proper.
In fact, we’d be dubious of calling this thing a functioning ‘bike’ at all, but for the fact that this is a concept (bit of wiggle room there) that also sports inspiration from Vintage Board Track Racing / Drag Racing – two yoink-happy industries with a plethora of history in the good moto books.
You see, when Milan-based bike photographer and director, Valen Zhou, began the process of merging his love for the vintage racing industry with the powerful charm of drag bikes, what started out as sketches soon showed off more than a few…challenges.
The hand-crafted steel frame, custom-built dropped bars, and bicycle seat post show off an emaciated torso – and as for the suspension, Zhou details the whole package was free-handed by himself, ‘making it up as he went.’
“I basically built the suspension freehand, just like playing with Lego,” he says in a report from BikeEXIF.
“It’s completely designed according to my own imagination, so there will be big problems, ha ha.”
No, he’s not talking about the ergonomics – though that fetal position squat into the petite seat looks a little too vintage to be comfy.
Stoppage is applied with a reused MX brake at the rear (no front), working with the unique pairing of a half-size car spare at the back and a front wheel dressed in a Honda CG125 hub, a pair of aero cycling wheel covers and a more generic motorcycle rim.
Other perks include the “custom-built throttle that uses gears, and a reversed clutch lever” (via BikeEXIF)
And now, the big question: How fast does she go?
For the guts of the operation, Zhou chose fuel to be stored in an aluminum bottle, mounted behind the frame’s seat tube in a bicycle bottle cage. The homage to the vintage racing industry is easily refillable, good for one run, and powers a 246cc peashooter single from a Kawasaki KZ250 – a unit featuring just under 20 Nm of torque.
If you aren’t quite sure how much power 1Nm of torque affords, go grab an apple from the fridge and read this next bit:
“Stretch your arm out to the side as far and straight as possible, and have someone place an apple in your outstretched hand. Most apples are in the region of 100 grams, and most arms are in the region of a meter long from shoulder to fingertip.”