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Designer creates a low-cost race bike look-alike for everyday use


August 15, 2013

The Maxx Speed 01, a low-cost concept bike modeled on a racing bike platform

The Maxx Speed 01, a low-cost concept bike modeled on a racing bike platform

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It comes as a bit of a surprise when you gaze at the sleek lines of the Maxx Speed 01 (MS 01), to discover that it was built by a 24 year-old designer for a total cost of US$3,000. Modeled on a racing motorcycle platform, Anoop Nishanth's concept bike is inspired by the contours of a jumping lion, The Transformers and Ironman. The bike can reach a top speed of 87 mph (140 km/h) without a pillion rider and 68 mph (110 km/h) with one. Marrying the classy looks of an elegant race bike with above-average performance compared to normal motorcycles, the MS 01 is in a group all by itself – a race bike look-alike that almost anyone can afford to buy.

Nishanth, currently based in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India, admits he didn't actually set out to create a low-cost race bike for the man on the street. "All I wanted was to build a racing bike concept for myself, so I took inspiration from what I liked and incorporated all of that in the design of the MS 01," he tells Gizmag.

Aside from a 150-cc Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme engine stripped from an older bike, every other part of the MS 01 is hand-sculpted without any machinery. This includes the handlebars, headlamp, swing arm, exhaust, footrest and seat. With the help of a mechanic and the best tinker he could find, the designer sculpted all the forms of the bike in thermocol (a thermoplastic polymer) before casting them in metal.

Built over a period of five months, the MS 01 has a number of unique aspects. Well-balanced, with no engine heating issues, the bike has a pillion seat designed to appear like a cowl when seen from afar. "The pillion seat was added because in India we use a normal motorcycle as a car, i.e. three to five people travel in it," explains Nishanth.

The open free-flow exhaust is designed in such a way that it mimics the roar that a track racing bike makes, which he says was a challenge to achieve with a 150-cc engine. Certain parts were re-engineered to give the bike a more sporty, aggressive appearance, and the bike as a whole was tested to withstand driving on Indian roads. Within city limits, the MS 01 gets a mileage of about 25-28 miles (40-45 km) per liter of petrol (at average speeds of 31 mph or 50 km/h), and about 23-28 miles (38-40 km) per liter outside the city (at speeds of 56 mph or 90km/h).

Though building the bike was tough by itself, what is tougher according to Nishanth is trying to get the design essence into the community. "People here are more utility-based," says Nishanth. "Most of them here in India buy a bike or car based mostly on factors like fuel efficiency and maintenance. They don't really bond with the design and I want people to begin to feel a bond, and support design more than they do now."

Nishanth is currently assembling a team of innovators to build more futuristic motorcycles that incorporate safety features, through his design studio called Maxx Speed Designs.They are currently taking orders for the MS 01 as well as customized bikes designed around the rider's personality, both nationally and internationally.

Source: Maxx Speed Designs

About the Author
Lakshmi Sandhana When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy. All articles by Lakshmi Sandhana

"People here are more utility-based," says Nishanth. "Most of them here in India buy a bike or car based mostly on factors like fuel efficiency and maintenance. ..." Almost enough to get me to move to India.


Honda Racing needs to hire this guy!

Joe Seijo

Re: Slowburn. Almost, but the road death rate may put you off...


He would probably sell thousands in the U.S., but the bureaucrats would insist on airbags and pedestrian impact-safety mudguards. It would end up double the price and weight, so would need a 350cc motor and on it goes ...

The Skud

re; TedF

Actually its because I hate curry.


That is a brilliant effort. Well done !

Martin Hone

Would be better if he concentrated more on utility. How about a low cost covered bike?


Quite a project, but i didn't see it actually being ridden, or did i miss something?

Tim Collins

Very nice piece of work! Elegance need not cost an arm and a leg.

Guy Macher

This is illegal for violating Indian Central Motor Vehicle Rule 123. Safety devices in motorcycle

No motor cycle, which has provision for pillion rider, shall be constructed without provision for a permanent hand grip on the side or behind the driver’s seat and a foot rest and a protective device covering not less than half of the rear wheel so as to prevent the clothes of the person sitting on the pillion from being entangled in the wheel. As per Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Rule 166 sub-rule 4 two third wheel is to be covered by Protective device on both sides. There are ISO Standards for development of Protective Devices.

Gyan Prakash

Why doesn't anyone develop the old style muscle bikes from the '70's. I think they're safer and easier to ride. You can put many attachments for practical use. The bikes of today are non-functional except to bring rider to point B. The '70's bikes had roll crash bars, travel cases, windscreens, you carried a passenger comfortably, and you rode upright. Bring them back. Suzuki GS750E, Kawasaki KZ400, Suzuki GT185 are examples.


Not realistic price... sure, he built it for 3K since his labor was "free", and he used a used engine and set of wheels.

Motorcycle companies now make bikes pretty cost effectively, especailly considering recouping design coast, and how often they need to change to keep up with current technology.

Almost anyone with any chops could build a bike, but the cost would rise significantly if you take into account production and distribution costs plus actually trying to turn a profit (gasp! How dare they!).


He has picked up regular bike and changed cover. Horrible design and workmanship. There are better bike modifiers in India. Better bikes at less cost are readily available in market.

Balraj Shetye

looks like Anoop Nishanth has some solid industrial Design background... that separates him from a basic modifier, who is nothing but an imaginative tinker... I like the thought that has gone in...

By the way its nice to see some good comments coming from abroad when desi guys r so quick to latch on to the legalities, economics n finesse aspects.. :-I


This is a terrible, slapdash mod job. There are many "proper" custom motorcycle builders in India churning out beautifully crafted machines. This is a mechanically unsound vehicle made by someone who clearly doesn't understand anything about aesthetics or quality.

Priyadarshan Bawikar

Da-- why does everyone from his country want to attack him so bad... Good job dude.

Andrew Zuckerman

Thank you all for your wishes and support.Well there are some people always to disappoint it's easy to talk and comment on things so i don't take them personally.Thanks again to all for your support this is my first product only well there is a way lot to come in future.like my fb page to receive updates on my upcoming projects. https://www.facebook.com/maxxspeeddesigns

Anoop Nishanth

Brilliant job Anoop! Beyond the design is your tenacity to see the build through. And as far your naysayers; I wonder how many machines they have built by hand? Their criticism is meaningless jealousy.

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