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Monday, October 28, 2013
Skycraft carbon-fiber FMX concept bike

By Tes Sewell

Some incredible riders have come out of the land Down Under in the past decade, but it seems that athletes are not the only things festering in the land of kangaroos and koalas. The Unit Skycraft -- a space-age-looking, FMX-specific bike design 11 years in the making -- was launched publicly Thursday at the American International Motorcycle Expo in Florida.

Unit Skycraft
The prototype bike unveiled in Florida features KTM's 250 two-stroke power plant, a fuel cell built into the frame and an exhaust system that runs through the left swing arm.

The bike is predominantly carbon fiber and because of its distinct design it is more than 50 pounds lighter than a traditional two-stroke FMX bike, weighing in at a svelte 165 pounds.

Featuring KTM's 250 two-stroke power plant, a fuel cell built into the frame and an exhaust system that runs through the left swing arm, the prototype bike unveiled in Florida took a lot of help and technology from Australia's Triple Eight racing -- known for building Red Bull Racing's VF Holden Commodores that compete in Australia's International V8 Supercars Championship.

"FMX riders have no option but to adapt and heavily modify race bikes," Ian Everest, Unit's co-founder, said about the new machine. "It made sense to explore what an FMX specific bike might look like. Being a concept motorcycle, it also meant we were not constrained or restricted by production or cost requirements."

While the lack of cost constraints might be a concern for those who would like to find one of these babies under the Christmas tree, plans are afoot to bring this concept to reality in the future. "As an experimental platform, Skycraft will allow for test data and rider feedback to lead towards a potential production bike," Everest said.

The next step for the bike is to have accomplished FMX riders put it through the paces, so we checked in with a couple of athletes to get their reaction to the shiny, new toy

"I think it looks sick honestly and would like to try one. The weight issue is a huge deal. Who knows what doors a bike that is 60 pounds lighter might open?" Adam Jones said.

"It looks like a tuning car mated with the A-loop (concept) FMX bike from '99," said freestyle moto rider Drake McElroy. "I'd like to throw a leg over it and see what it's all about. Should be good for getting under it on whips and to set in motion the flips and spins. And you should be able to show it who's the boss a little more in flight."

After the show the bike is being taken back to Australia where real-world testing will begin.