The Frog 750 concept makes us nostalgic for the future
with retro hijacking the future in bike culture, the Frog 750 now looks all the more delicious
The eighties were a dynamic decade in car and bike design. But here in 2016 the motorcycle industry seems to be reaching solely for the retro in its high profile launches. Makes us nostalgic for the future. And especially concepts like the Frog 750.
German company FROG had a lasting vision when they hired a RCA graduate designer by the name of Douglas Barber, who had wowed his 1985 class assessors with a sculpted computer-based creation laid on top of the frame of a Yamaha YZ750.
Douglas had designed his project with a hub-centric steering front suspension system from the Bimota Tesi, which had been launched at the 1983 Milan Motorcycle Salon.
It was unusual for the RCA to award top prize to a motorcycle concept. But Douglas combination of detailed drawing and clay modelling won the jury over and gave him the opportunity to play with FROG’s very expensive and rare early CAD suites.
The bike Douglas and Frog came up with reckoned to be one of the world’s earliest computer-designed motorcycles.
There’s obvious parallels with the 1982 sci-fi classic Tron here – a kind of rough-hewn futurism that looks from the 21st century completely retro.
Though Yamaha never produced the bike, design elements from the Frog 750 went into 1987 Honda Hurricane – and you can see that slabby muscularity in bikes like the Ducati Paso, the BMW K1, and bikes from Bimota and Buell.
We haven’t seen a truly futuristic looking design from the mainstream bike industry for years. Enough of the retro already!
Isn’t it time for the backlash?
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