Thursday, October 30, 2014

2015 Bienville Legacy hits one out of the park

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The Bienville Legacy is powered by the 185bhp Motus V4. A 300bhp racing version will also be available

Bienville Studios, a design and engineering shop based in New Orleans, in the US, which specialises in motorcycle innovation, has unveiled its brand-new motorcycle – the Bienville Legacy – which was commissioned by the American Design and Master-Craft Initiative (ADMCi). “This work completes two years of active design and fabrication, on the heels of over eight years of planning and design exploration. The result is an entirely new vehicle, reinventing how motorcycles function from the ground up,” says a press note from Bienville.

Designed by JT Nesbitt (best known for his design work for the Confederate Wraith, and G2 Hellcat), the Bienville Legacy features styling cues that seem to come from the American Wild West, mixed with 1930s sci-fi. Yeah, well. The girder-type front fork works as the design’s centrepiece and all parts seem to be beautifully machined. “I’ve waited a long time to make a design statement like this and I’m proud to be doing it in partnership with ADMCi,” says Nesbitt. “As our first commission, it was crucial that the master-craftsman we engaged hit it out of the park,” adds Jim Jacoby, Founder and CEO, ADMCi.

The Bienville Legacy is powered by a V4 engine – the made-in-America Motus MV4R. While this engine produces 185 horsepower in stock, normally aspirated form, Bienville also plan to offer a “racing” version of the Legacy, which will get a supercharged, 300bhp version of the Motus V4. The chassis, made of chrome-molybdenum tubing, uses the V4 as a stressed member and the bike rides on 17-inch carbon composite wheels.

The Legacy’s suspension is one of its most interesting bits – there are symmetrical carbon-composite blades front and rear, a seemingly complex system of linkages, lots of titanium hardware and a single leafspring. The whole system offers a great deal of adjustability and might actually work rather well, though we don’t think Ohlins, Sachs or Marzocchi are getting too worried right now. Braking is handled by 250mm rotors front and rear, with 4-piston calipers.

The Bienville Legacy is, of course, more than just a motorcycle – it’s a design statement, it’s engineering for the sake of engineering and it’s a rolling piece of art, all rolled into one. Fabulous, we think.

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Looks crazy-cool and with 185bhp, should go like blazes. We like the Legacy!

Update: 28 May 2015

The Goodwood Festival of Speed will host the global public debut of the amazing Bienville Legacy – set to be one of the most powerful four-cylinder production motorcycles ever created – on 25-28 June 2015. Three concept models have been produced to-date, establishing an exquisite bill of materials in titanium, carbon fibre, leather, and mahogany. Powered by the American-made 1650cc Motus V4 engine, production models will be supercharged and provide up to 300bhp.

The Legacy will be ridden up the iconic 1.16-mile Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb by Jim Jacoby and Scott Miller. Both founded the ADMCi Foundation which has supported the Legacy project from its inception.

The Legacy is just the latest addition to a two-wheeled entry that includes MotoGP legends Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Giacomo Agostini, Freddie Spencer, John Surtees, Jim Redman and Kenny Roberts plus a celebration of Yamaha Motor Company’s 60th anniversary, featuring an astonishing array of bikes from the Japanese manufacturer.

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