One motorcycle engine, one bike frame, and one car wheel. What could go wrong?
The custom motorcycle scene is rife with new and innovative ideas. From genre-bending projects to fastidious restorations, builders typically do the most with the least. Sometimes, that adversity births out-of-the-box designs. In other instances, those monetary constraints limit the artist’s expression. Both seem to be true when it comes to Valen Zhou’s Sprinter concept.
The China-born, Milan-based photographer is a self-proclaimed moto enthusiast. Given his artistic background, Zhou set out to build a board tracker like none before it. He starts by cheery-picking second-hand bicycle, automobile, and motorcycle parts, all of which lend to the Sprinter’s hand-made, Mad Max aesthetic.
From the motorcycling world, Zhou repurposes a Kawasaki KZ250 engine to power the two-wheeled death trap. Luckily, the air-cooled, four-stroke single musters just 17 horsepower. That only seems to encourage Zhou to go to the Darkside, equipping the Sprinter with a rear car wheel. The front wheel consists of a Honda CG125 hub, a motorcycle rim, and a custom aero-disc cover, but that doesn’t stop the amateur builder from MacGyvering his own rickety version of a hub-center steering front end.
Milan Based Photographer Hacks Together Board Tracker Concept
“I basically built the suspension freehand, just like playing with Lego,” Zhou admitted to Bike Exif. “It’s completely designed according to my own imagination, so there will be big problems, haha.”
Bringing all the elements together, Zhou fabricates a bicycle-style frame and single-sided swingarm. A 500 ml fuel tank tucks behind the seat post while an aptly-placed fire extinguisher provides some semblance of safety. The comingled custom may not go easy on the eyes, but it’s hard not to physically cringe when looking from the build’s bicycle seat to its drop-style handlebars.
Apparently, its safety and style be damned when it comes to Zhou’s Sprinter. It may not qualify as eye candy, but the Sprinter certainly qualifies as a conversation starter.