Crowdsourcing. It’s one of the hottest new ways to design and launch consumer goods, with dozens of successes, including a watermelon carrier, a pancake griddle that embosses pirates on your pancakes, and an all-pug production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Surely, since the modern motorcycle industry has failed us all so completely, the combined wisdom of the general populace can be harnessed to design the ultimate motorcycle. Or can it?
Yes, it can, says Aurora, Illinois-based startup AEmenmon. Since early summer 2017, AEmenmon, working with the Facebook group BroSprotbiles, has grown into a high-tech leader with a valuation of over $4.4 hundred dollars. But Zuckerburgian* levels of wealth alone aren’t the goal of founder and CEO Ayrich Bendmein; making the perfect motorcycle is. Skidmarks travelled to Rosemont, Illinois, to attend the pre-unveiling of its 2019 product line.
“The current crop of motorcycles available from the big OEMs are all lacking something: affordability, performance, style or accessibility to those of us shorter than four-foot-ten,” says 31-year-old Bendmein as he rubs scented oil into his lush beard. “AEmenmon will revolutionize not just the motorcycle community, but all product design, making the world a better place.” He then directed the media’s attention to the main stage of the 840,000-square-foot Donald E. Stephens convention center, where two cloth-draped, motorcycle-shaped objects were illuminated by spotlights.
The two new models have names, specifications and prices, but are not yet ready to display to the public. The first model, the CS-1 “Sprotbile,” will have a clean-burning 1000cc two-stroke V-Four making 220 horsepower at the crankshaft. The chassis, designed by noted sportbike engineer Shervin Rezaiy, is a semi-twin-spar composite unit composed of perforated aluminum and high-tensile jute. The fully street-legal (except in California, New York, Washington, Hawaii and Oregon) motorcycle will weigh in at 219 pounds with its seven-gallon gas tank full.
The CS-1’s top speed is a claimed 210 mph. Those seeking more speed can opt for the race kit, which contains pod filters, an airbox lid perforation tool and a 41-tooth rear sprocket. Properly installed, the kit offers a 350-mph top speed potential. “We know we can deliver clean two-stroke technology,” said the 11,241-person powertrain design team, “because we read on 4Chan that the government is hiding the plans in Area 51 and the Trump administration will declassify them soon.”
The other model, the Vyper Kustom, was designed by and for riders who value economy, rideability and conspicuity. Powered by a 3000cc V-Twin, it’s 11 feet long, weighs 1,100 pounds and features a frame carved out of a single billet of chromium. The front wheel is a 21-inch laced mag, while the rear wheel sports a 400mm-wide car tire, filled with pure nitrogen for maximum economy and performance. An optional “LowDown” model will reduce seat height from 22.1 to 8.7 inches, with a slight reduction in maximum lean angle from 11.4 to 2.9 degrees. “But that’s okay,” said development rider “Crash” O’Malley from his wheelchair, “motorcycles don’t actually steer through leaning.”
Both models bristle with high tech, as befits machines designed by savvy, if socially isolated, enthusiasts. For maximum safety, there is no exhaust baffling at all, and a suite of electronic controls include Automatic Wheelie for Safety (AWfS) and a sophisticated, cloud-based system called Automatic Lay ‘Er Down (ALED). “It’s well known that experienced riders don’t need ABS,” said the 9,712-member Electronics Team, “so of course we won’t offer it.”
ALED is first-of-its kind hardware and software that utilizes GPS satellite data, LIDAR, cameras, predictive algorithms and a spring-loaded anti-gyroscope to forcibly lay the motorcycle on its side in the nanoseconds before a crash. The 11-pound unit, located under the rider, acts not only to carefully crash the motorcycle, but also to rotate and elevate the rider (using an explosive charge and springs) so he or she will be able to stand on top of the bike and safely slide to a stop.
Pricing is yet to be determined, but the Marketing Team is convinced neither bike will exceed $3,700. “OEMs and ‘stealers’ overcharge by at least 600% to keep people from buying too many motorcycles,” said the 354 people wearing “Amen to AEmenmon!” t-shirts. “We figure a company like Harley-Davidson or BMW would charge $20,000 or more for a similar product – and that’s almost 40% the cost of a new Corvette! Do they think we’re idiots?”
The company is establishing a chain of kiosks around the country where customers can order their motorcycles, as nobody needs dealers or professional mechanics according to Bendmein. “They just take your money and use it to buy boats and plastic surgery for their supermodel spouses. Our customers can just refer to Internet forums or Youtube videos to find out the best way to fix, upgrade, or maintain anything. Or just wing it. How hard can that stuff be?”
AEmenmon plans to fully launch the product in either Spring 2018 or the next time the convention center offers a weekend special.
*Not Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, but my cousin David Zuckerberg, who just got hired at Waffle House.
Gabe Ets-Hokin is used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent is definite or has been previously specified by context or by circumstance.