3D printing has changed the way things are made forever. Prototypes, one-offs, and recreations of long-lost parts can now be produced at a fraction of their previous cost thanks to computer-aided-design and little plastic granules.
Inevitably we’re now seeing 3D printed pieces appear in Lego creations too, including this one by regular bloggee Horcik Designs. Horcik’s cafe racer motorcycle uses a (very cool looking ) 3D printed front brake disc, which fits perfectly to the front wheel.
Steering, suspension, a piston engine, and a foot-peg operated two-speed transmission also feature, with these all built from standard LEGO pieces.
With LEGO themselves regularly creating new and bespoke pieces for official sets, we’re taking the stance that a model using a custom part doesn’t preclude it from appearing here.
You can see more of Horcik’s cafe racer at both Bricksafe and Eurobricks, the latter of which shows another of his creations that’s has gone (quite a long way) further down the 3D printing route…
This wonderful creation is a KMZ-Dnepr K650, a Soviet Ukrainian motorcycle based on the 1930’s BMW R71. Whilst this version is 650cc, early bikes were fitted with a 98cc Wanderer engine design taken from Germany as part of reparations for World War 2, before KMZ’s own much larger 650cc was used for the rest of the design’s long production run.
Of course the BMW bit of the KMZ-Dnepr pre-dates war reparations, as the Soviet Union officially licensed the design from Germany before the two countries later went to war. In fact Germany and Russia held talks about becoming allies, with only Hitler’s ideological greed preventing Stalin from agreeing. Had they found common ground then this TLCB Writer would probably be typing this in German.
Fortunately Hitler and Stalin didn’t team up, and Germany invaded the Soviet Union just a year after the deal to license the BMW R71 was signed. This led – rather oddly – to the bike fighting on both sides of the conflict; the BMW version for the Axis Powers and the Soviet IMZ-Ural copy for Russia.
Production of the KMZ-Dnepr version shown here commenced in Ukraine in 1946, and continued right up to the fall of the Soviet Union, with both civilian and military versions produced. This beautifully presented replica of the KMZ-Dnepr K650 comes from KMbricklab, making their TLCB debut, and depicts the German-Russian-Ukrainian bike in both civilian and (awesome) military two-wheel-drive sidecar variants.
Gorgeous detailing and clever building techniques are evident in abundance and there’s lots more of KMbricklab’s superb build to see at their ‘KMZ-Dnepr K650’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump to Soviet-era Ukraine.
White LEGO bricks, like nerds, don’t particularly like strong sunlight.
The gradual yellowing of white pieces exposed to UV is subject to much debate within the nerdier corners online Lego community, from applying hydrogen peroxide to restore parts to their original hue, to – more nerdily – sealing bricks inside darkened rooms or even never taking them out of their box. Which is quite fantastically pointless.
Cue previous bloggee seb71, who has not only allowed his white pieces to yellow, he’s positively embraced their ageing.
Seb’s brilliant classic motorcycle deploys some properly yellowed Technic wheels, matching their sunlight-induced cream to a seventies-tastic brown and white aesthetic for a beautifully period-correct look.
There’s more of Seb’s well-tanned classic bike to see at his photostream, click the link above to take a look and then get out in the sun – it’s good for you and maybe even your LEGO bricks too.
Ah, the cafe in the bookstore; the place to go to meet attractive hipster girls whilst trying to look intelligent. “Yes I did enjoy ‘Infinite Jest’, although I found it strayed towards a wandering narrative in places… Can I buy you a coffee?”
Cue seb71‘s ‘cafe racer’ style motorcycle, which is pictured here on its own but forms part of some rather lovely bookends (see, it all makes sense).
Built for a challenge on a French forum (which if he isn’t French makes this so hipster it hurts), Seb’s motorcycle captures the ‘cafe racer’ style superbly, and there’s more to see of both it and the bookends of which it is part on Flickr.
Click the link above to take a look, and if you’re reading this in a bookstore cafe you can pretend you’re exploring the romanticism of classical transportation in France if you’re asked, before buying that attractive hipster girl a coffee.
We’ve featured some very cool, very fast motorbikes here over the years. The Honda Mini Trail ‘Monkey Bike’ is not one of them.
However we would take this diminutive 125cc practical joke of a motorcycle over literally any other two-wheeled machine, because it’s hilarious.
Powered by a 15bhp 125cc engine (or engines even smaller), Honda’s Mini Trail is not going to win any off-road competitions, but it going to make the rider look very funny, and that’s reason enough for us to love it.
This near-perfect Technic replica of the Mini Trail 125cc comes from ianying616, and we can confirm that with a TLCB Elf strapped atop, it’s just as funny as the real thing. Click the link above for 125cc of fun!
The U.S. police seem to have a tough job at the moment. Guns are everywhere, the right are protesting something about how masks are un-American, and the left are setting fire to stuff because that definitely eradicates racism. Definitely.
Still, they do at least get some cool kit. Well, Peter Schmid‘s cops do anyway, being equipped with this wonderfully fat Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Delightful detailing and decals abound and there’s more to see of Peter’s creation at his photostream – click the link above to take a look.
But it is yellow. And excellent. This lovely ’80s ‘cafe racer’ motorcycle comes from previous bloggee tango-zero. There’s a detailed engine, rear suspension, and a beautifully replicated front telescopic fork with steering. See more on Brickshelf.
Another day, another Elf returns to TLCB Towers, and this time with something delightfully simple. Entitled ‘A Japanese 4-Cylinder 750cc Motorcycle from the 1980s’ this is tango-zero‘s Japanese 4-cylinder 750cc motorcycle from the 1980s. There’s only one image, it’s slightly grainy, and we love it. Head to Brickshelf via the link above to see it in full-size, alongside a few other lovely Model Team motorbikes from the same builder.
Motorbikes, like pedal bikes, tend to use a chain to transfer power from the engine to the rear wheel. However they’re usually (but not always) slightly more powerful than the average human, so the chain is often the weak point. Plus it can eat trouser legs and flick oil all over the place, thus the shaft-drive was developed.
Working in the same way a car’s driveline does, the chain is replaced by a rotating shaft and a gear assembly, which makes a shaft-drive more expensive and heavier than a chain, but better in pretty much every other respect. Plus it sounds a bit rude.
Flickr’s František Hajdekr has chosen the latter option for his Technic BMW-esque motorcycle, a brand that has used shaft-drive designs for much of their range (including the R 1200 GS Adventure immortalised in the ace 42063 Technic set). Working steering, rear suspension, and a seat made from Batman’s chest also feature, and you can see more of František’s shaft-driven bike at his photostream via the link.
This beautiful chopper motorcycle workshop comes from yesterday’s bloggee Faber Mandragore, who’s becoming a regular here at TLCB. Fantastic attention to detail is in abundance, both in the garage and the brick-built custom chopper, and you can take a closer look on Flickr via the link.
A film about a flaming motorcycle and little else, Ghost Rider is up there as one of the worst Nicholas Cage films in recent memory. And there are so many. Drive Angry, Outcast, Rage, Season of the Witch, Left Behind… they make us want to push his flaming motorcycle over in disgust at crimes against cinema. Fortunately that’s just what the contestants in the Lego Masters Australia TV show got to do with this incredible life-size motorbike by certified LEGO Professional Ryan McNaught and his team of builders.
Built from over 75,000 LEGO bricks, and with its hollow interior filled with loads more loose parts like some sort of brick-based piñata, the bike was smashed to provide pieces for an episode in the second season of the Australian version of the Lego Masters show entitled ‘Smash & Grab’. We suspect its destruction took a lot less than the 135 hours it took to build it, but that it made for great TV!
This is a Fritz Riemerschmid Gleiskettenkrad (which we can assure you that we pronounced flawlessly in TLCB Office so you can too as you’re reading this), a 1930s BMW R12-based tracked motorcycle that was designed to drive on snow. In straight lines only presumably.
Built by previous bloggee Nikolaus Lowe, who seems to have a penchant for odd vintage machinery, this marvellous Model Team recreation includes a sidecar, a working two-cylinder engine with functioning gearbox, and something purporting to be steering.
There’s much more to see at Nikolaus’ ‘Fritz Riemerschmid Gleiskettenkrad’ album – click the link above to head over. In a straight line.
This beautiful (and beautifully presented) Harley Davidson Forty Eight was discovered by one our Elves on Flickr today. Superbly recreated and photographed on a matching monochrome background (FLAVIO) has created some of the finest Lego imagery we’ve featured this year. Head to (FLAVIO)’s photostream via the link above to see more.
Square, slow, and frankly a little odd-looking, your Mom and the Honda Motocompo scooter have much in common. Apart from size that is, as this miniature motorcycle could fit inside even the trunk of Honda’s smallest car.
Built by TLCB regular ianying616, this neat (and wonderfully presented) Model Team recreation of the Motocompo almost perfectly captures the original bike, assisted by accurate decals and a few ingenious building techniques.
Take a closer look at ianying’s ‘Honda Motocompo’ album on Flickr via the link above.
Some things were acceptable in the ’80s. Perms. Sexism. Straight lines. And turbos. Everything had the word ‘turbo’ written on it, even sunglasses. However the Honda City Turbo II did actually have a turbo attached to its little 1,200cc engine, giving it 100bhp. Nearly.
It was also designed entirely using straight lines, as was the minute Honda Motocompo folding scooter, a vehicle so small it could actually fit in the trunk of the City Turbo II, as proven in this magnificent ’80s commercial.
Despite being borne in the ’80s the Motocompo didn’t have a turbo, producing just 2.5bhp from its 49cc engine. Still, we bet even that was pretty terrifying. We’ll stick to the City Turbo II, which we’ve decided we really want in real life. But we are a bit odd.
These superb Model Team recreations of both the Honda City Turbo II and Motocompo scooter come from Dylan Denton, who has built each ’80s icon beautifully. Both models feature wonderful attention to detail (enhanced by accurately replicated decals) inside and out, and are absolutely worth a closer look.
Head to Tokyo c1983 courtesy of Dylan’s photostream via the link in the text above!