Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Audi Motorrad Concept based on Ducati 848

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April 12, 2013

Audi roadster Motorrad concept

Audi roadster Motorrad concept

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French automotive designers Thibault and Marc Devauze and modeller Clement Couvreur have created this Audi roadster motorcycle concept based on a Ducati 848 engine but with elements of Ducati's Hypermotard and Monster. The recent purchase of Ducati by Audi means such a motorcycle is not all that improbable, and Audi adds considerably to Ducati's expertise with carbon fiber knowhow and Audi's Direct Shift Gearbox. Audi-owned DKW was once the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world - wouldn't it be nice to see a real one of these surface.

Thibault Devauze explained to Gizmag how the concept came to be: "In 2011, I was working at Opel when I went to Ingolstadt to visit my brother, who was an intern at Audi."

"We visited Audi's museum and BMW's museum in Munich and we were inspired by all the things we saw."

"A few weeks later, I heard that Audi had bought Ducati, and that gave me this idea."

Audi roadster Motorrad concept

"At the same time, my friend Clement Couvreur, an excellent modeler from ISD Valenciennes, came to work in my department at Opel.

"He was the first guy who I talked about my project and he was very excited about it. We made a deal - I would make the design and he would make the 3d model.

Audi roadster Motorrad concept

"Things didn't work out as we had planned. Two months later, he moved to France to join Peugeot's design team and I moved to Italy to join Granstudio.

"That made it difficult to work on the project collaboratively, and why it took two years and not two months as we expected at the beginning!

"A few months later, my brother Marc joined us and we finished the last 20% of the work. Marce helped a lot by managing all the details and doing all the 3D render.

Audi roadster Motorrad concept

"The bike is a vision of what an Audi bike could be. It is a our first bike for Ducati but if the reaction is good, we will do an other one which will be completely different."

We think it looks great, and as we've written before, the Ducatista are blessed that the Ducati marque has found such a fertile and supportive home, and it is to be hoped it brings many new and exciting chapters to the Ducati legend.

This concept fits the design language of Audi so well, that it could easily be imagined on the Audi stand at a major auto show.

Audi roadster Motorrad concept

Thibault's outline of the Audi Motorrad concept raised some interesting aspects. When the brothers visited the Audi museum, they realised how important motorcycles were to the Audi heritage.

The Audi name compromises many different famous marques, including NSU, Auto Union, Wanderer and DKW.

DKW was the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles prior to WWII, and though its motorcycles were dominant in the smaller classes in pre-WWII Grand Prix across Europe, its greatest legacy was the RT125 two-stroke single.

DKW's RT125 became the most copied motorcycle in history after the company's designs becam...

The bike's designs essentially became open source due to reparations after WWII and became the basis for many other motorcycles, most famously the Harley Hummer, BSA's famous Bantam, Jawa 125, Royal Enfield's Flying Flea and Triumph's BDG125.

Remarkably, the RT125 appears to have been the basis for the foundation of a few not-so-insignificant motorcycle companies too. Yamaha's first motorcycle (the YA125) was a direct copy of the RT125 as was Kawasaki's first production motorcycle.

If that's not enough, there are also some striking similarities between the RT125 and MV Agusta's first motorcycle, the Turismo. MV Agusta remains one of motorcycling's most honoured marques, having won numerous World Championships. That's not a bad trifecta.

So a motorcycle wearing an Audi badge isn't all that far fetched, and the core of Audi's motorcycle IP is now centred on Ducati.

On the basis of the incredible legacy the DKW name leaves, perhaps it should also be resurrected as a sister brand to Ducati. Many other automotive marques have been reborn thanks to the landmark values they created, and DKW's provenance is stellar.

Bravo chaps!

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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5 Comments

That is one of the ugliest bikes I have ever seen. But then Audi makes ugly cars to.

Slowburn
13th April, 2013 @ 03:15 pm PDT

"That is one of the ugliest bikes I have ever seen. But then Audi makes ugly cars to.

Slowburn"

Are we to consider this to be an authoritative statement, or perhaps just yet another comment from someone who seems to be blessed with particularly restrictive tunnel vision, an even narrower mind, and a level of resistance to innovation that would have made the Luddites look truly progressive?

A'Tuin
15th April, 2013 @ 06:12 am PDT

Beef up the fender, and take my money!

Cyberxbx
15th April, 2013 @ 09:09 am PDT

it is ugly... the fork looks like hell and the engine shrouding is over done

for no real advantage... the mechanical beauty of the modern engines becomes moot with the concealment that looks like what you see under the hood of modern cars...

the unilever type fork might work well if designed right but it is ugly and looks like the carbon fiber monstrosity on the Rebel brand cycles...

no fenders yet and too incomplete but it is not very good looking...

A'Tuin needs too just get a clue... calling people names is childish and he's obviously a fool... oh well...

Le Ducktor
15th April, 2013 @ 12:25 pm PDT

Certainly looks futuristic. Motorcycling needs some thinking outside the box instead of the same old,same old. Since your hiding this (excellent Ducati) engine why not make it electric?

chidrbmt
15th April, 2013 @ 10:11 pm PDT
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