Tag Archives: motorcycle

Lego Technic 2022 | Set Previews! (Pt.1)

It’s that time of year again! Yup, this year’s select group of Eleven ‘volunteers’ – fired over The LEGO Company’s perimeter wall by way of the office catapult – have started to return, and today we can share with you the first batch of their finds!

So here they are, the brand new for 2022 LEGO Technic sets (Part 1)…

42132 Chopper

We start at the smaller end of the Technic range with this, the rather lovely looking 42123 Chopper. Aimed at ages 7+ and with just 163 pieces, 42123 should make for an excellent pocket-money set, and we think it’s absolutely perfect.

In recent times many smaller Technic sets have been woefully lacking any Technicness whatsoever, but not 42123, which features steering, chain drive, and a miniature piston engine. It also looks great and there’s a B-Model too. Perhaps one of the best Technic starter sets in years.

42134 Monster Jam Megalodon

Aaaand cue the Pull-Backs, which have historically been utter garbage. However last years’ sets brought two Monster Jam licensed monster trucks to bedroom floors, and we thought they were rather good. They still had zero Technic functionality, but if you’re going to jump a Technic set over a book-based ramp it might as well be a monster truck.

Continuing the success of the 2021 Pull-Backs, LEGO are bringing another pair of Monster Jam trucks to the Technic line-up for 2022, the first being 42134 Megalodon. A good representation of the real truck, 42134 resembles a giant shark with wheels, and what’s not to like about that? 260 pieces, colourful stickers, a reasonable B-Model, and a pocket-money friendly price are all expected.

42135 El Toro Loco

El Toro Loco (the crazy bull) is 2022’s second Pull-Back, and whilst perhaps not quite as accurate to the real Monster Jam Truck as 42134, it still looks pretty good. And it’ll no doubt jump over a line of toy cars beautifully.

247 pieces, lots of stickerage, and a B-Model too make the continuing Monster Jam line of Pull-Backs the best of the genre by some margin. They may not be particularly Technicy, but you can’t fire any of the other LEGO sets into a group of unsuspecting Elves in quite the same way, and for that alone there’s merit.

42137 Formula E Porsche 99X Electric

Ah, this is awkward. After praising the Monster Jam monster trucks as the best Pull-Back sets, here’s er… another, better, Pull-Back set. Or is it?

The 42137 Formula E Porsche 99X is certainly a bigger, more complex set. With 422 pieces and aimed at ages 9+, the building experience will be more in-keeping with proper Technic sets, and it does looks fairly accurate – no doubt helped by the real-world racing sponsorship decals.

But should a 422-piece Technic set do nothing beyond being a Pull-Back? OK, there is a mechanism to release said motor once it’s been wound, but that’s it. No steering, no suspension, and – albeit realistically as this is a Formula E racer – no engine either.

What 42137 does offer is LEGO’s first attempt at augmented reality, in which the model can appear to be somewhere it’s not courtesy of an app.

Said app might be really cool in practice, but if the set using it has no other features, is it a Technic set at all? It’s a thumbs down from us.

42138 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Wait, what? Another one? LEGO must be really pleased with their new augmented reality feature…

The final set in Part 1 of our 2022 Technic preview is yet another Pull-Back, and another Ford Mustang, following the Speed Champions and Creator sets from past years.

This time it’s the latest Shelby GT500 variant that gets reborn in LEGO form, and it does look rather epic, particularly in lime green with racing stripes (although the sticker rear lights are rather lazy).

What’s considerably less epic is the feature-count, which – like the 42137 Formula E Porsche 99X – is limited to one; a pull-back motor with a mechanical release.

The augmented reality app may well be awesome, but a near 550-piece Technic set with just one working feature seems very weak to us. Perhaps we’re just getting old.

So there you have it, Part 1 of the 2022 LEGO Technic line-up, a new augmented reality app, and all but one set being a Pull-Back. We’ll take that little chopper motorcycle…

Goldie Lookin Chain

Once the only available gold LEGO pieces were, well… gold, but these days all manner of parts are available in the blingiest hue. We suspect not quite as many as ianying616‘s Ducati V4R Panigale utilises though.

Still, paint and decals or not, ianying’s Ducati looks absolutely magnificent in its golden colour scheme, and there’s loads more of it to see on Flickr at the link above, where there’s an even goldier motorcycle available if you’re Lil Jon.

*Today’s title song. Obviously.

The Future’s Bright…

…Yellow. At least according to F@bz.

F@bz’s ‘Yamaha FY2’ motorbike is an intriguing interpretation of the future of two-wheeled transport, with a design loaded with some properly inventive parts usage.

Technic, System, and Bionicley/RoboRidery pieces have been deployed to wonderful effect and there’s more to see of F@bz’s creation on Flickr via the link.

Printed Discs

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…

8 Out of 10 Nazis…

It might sound like European cat food, but the Kettenkrat was altogether weirder than that. Half motorcycle, half tank, the Sd.Kfz 2 Kettenkrat was designed by NSU, powered by Opel, weighed 1.5 tons, and could climb slopes of over 24°, even in sand.

A unique drive system delivered power to both tracks simultaneously on hard ground, or – when the driver selected – operated via a subtractor to skid-steer on soft ground, and it was used throughout the Second World War to lay cables, transport troops, tow aircraft, oh – and to invade Russia.

This amazing motorised Model Team recreation of the Sd.Kfz 2 Kettenkrad comes from previous bloggee Samolot, and not only does it feature the most terrifying LEGO figure we’ve ever seen, it also includes a fully working remote controlled version of the real bike/tank’s ingenious steering system.

Exactly how it works is beyond the collective minds housed here at TLCB Towers, so the best way to see if you can figure it out is via the video below. There are also more images of both Samolot’s model and the real 1940s contraption at Bricksafe, and you can read the full build description and join the discussion via the Eurobricks forum here.

YouTube Video

Back in the Dnepr

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.

*Today’s lightly butchered title song.

Nice Tan

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.

Bookstore Cafe

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.

Man-ic Monday

From the world’s biggest land vehicle to one of the littlest, and the official World Record holder for the smallest road-legal production car ever made.

The Peel P50 was built for just a few years in the early 1960s, capitalising on the demand for small cheap cars that could be driven on a motorcycle license. A few companies made a great success from this need, albeit not for ever, Peel… didn’t.

Ingenious though the P50 was, a car with 28mph top speed designed for city use, but coming from the Isle of Man (a small mostly rural island off the coast of England with no cities) had (very) limited appeal, and just fifty units were produced.

Around half survive today, and they’re worth a ridiculous amount of money, with one recently fetching $176,000 at auction.

Cue John Carpenter of Eurobricks, who has built one that’s far more attainable, and it’s not even that much smaller than the real thing!

There’s working steering, suspension front and rear, an authentic single-cylinder engine driven by the rear wheel, an opening and locking door, and even a working handbrake.

There’s lots more to see of John’s Peel P50 at the Eurobricks forum, including build details and a video of the working functions in action. Head to the Isle of Man c1964 via the link above! (Just be prepared for the villagers to point and laugh.)

Curiously Cuffed

You might think that a pair of handcuffs has only one use, whether that be in their deployment by law enforcement or during your Mom’s illicit activities. However previous bloggee Oscar Cederwall (o0ger) shows that even the most seemingly single-use of LEGO pieces can be utilised   far beyond its original intended purpose.

By placing several dozen handcuff pieces in a loop Oscar has created a beautifully smooth hub-less wheel, with the ‘Nice Parts Usage’ (NPU) continuing to an upside-down Duplo train/plane cockpit, a fort stone archway, and even a Duplo Train ‘action brick’ forming the rear swing-arm.

There’s more of Oscar’s ‘Cyberpunk Bike’ and the ingenious parts placement within it to see on Flickr – click the link above to put on the ‘cuffs.

Motocross | Picture Special

Riding a dirt bike on the road is the preserve of annoying scallies. However riding one in the dirt where they are meant to be is excellent in every way.

Cue Luis Baixinho, who has created this absolutely wonderful (and huge) motocross track, complete with starting gate, spectators, jumps, streams, rocks and various other motocross staples.

Spanning two 32×32 baseplates Luis’ vignette manages to convey the sand, mud and ruts created by the dirt bikes beautifully – we can almost smell the exhaust fumes and hear the BNEEEEEERRRR-ing.

There are loads more images to see at Luis’ ‘Motocross’ album on Flickr and you can join in the two-wheeled fun via the link above!

Ghost Rider

Every once in a while a creation appears at TLCB Towers that makes us all think ‘that’s clever’. This is one such model, plus it has the added benefit of terrifying TLCB Elves.

Eurobricks’ piterx has designed this Technic scrambler motorbike, which – whilst not special to look at – is incredible to behold in motion. LEGO’s most powerful motor drives the back wheel, which is controlled via bluetooth thanks to a third-party BuWizz battery.

Said battery not only delivers up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own system, it has been ingeniously used as a motorised sliding counterweight, enabling piterx’s bike to rocket around on its own, appearing to be under the spooky control of an invisible rider.

We’re having great fun terrorising the Elves with this, so whilst we continue the ghostly ruse on our smelly little workers you can check out more of piterx’s cunning remote control creation via the video and link to Eurobricks above!

Cubist

We were going to title this post ‘Square Heads’, but upon Googling it we learned it’s an offensive term for German, Dutch or Scandinavian persons. That was close. The perils of being an international blog we suppose! Anyway, these micro-scale bikers do have square heads, but we’re going to say they’re American, so we’re alright. They come from Flickr’s jarekwally (who might need to Google his title too…), whose inventive parts usage doesn’t stop at riders’ heads, but continues to both the motorcycles and the road upon which they’re travelling. (Square) head to jarekwally‘s photostream for more!

Raucous Rieju

Ninety-five year old Spanish motorcycle manufacturer Rieju make some great looking off-road mopeds. And so too does previous bloggee Mathjis Bongers, who has recreated their MRT PRO ‘motard’ in Technic form, complete with working suspension, steering, and a replica of the Rieju’s tiny 50cc engine, which likely makes a disproportionately loud noise in relation to the forward movement in provides. Mathjis’ version is therefore our preference, despite how cool the real thing looks, and there’s more to see at both his ‘Rieju MRT PRO‘ album and via the Eurobricks discussion here.

We’ve Got Gas

We’ve got gas today, courtesy of Dan the Fan, who is here making his TLCB debut.

It won’t be long before finding gas might be rather tricky, as gas stations – so integral to society for almost a century – are about to enter a period of mass extinction.

Ultimately that’s a good thing, but it’ll be shame for the many family-owned businesses that will close, and – sometimes – the gas stations themselves disappearing, as occasionally they can be quite interesting.

Dan the Fan’s in one such interesting gas station, complete with some rather excellent ‘Shell’ lettering, a gas pump, kiosk, elevated tank, billboard, and some cool-looking mini-figure bikers.

There’s more to see at Dan’s ‘Gas Station’ album on Flickr – click the link above to get gas.