The M.A.D.Gallery's new exhibition presents two of the imaginative motorbikes by their British marque Auto Fabrica. The young London-based company follows the maxim that less is more: eliminating clutter to achieve simplicity.
Auto Fabrica's second dictum is to apply modern-day design to their "old school" style creations based on vintage motorcycles, which they achieve by using vintage techniques to make new parts. This provides an original look and feel to the engine-driven pieces.
The Auto Fabrica Type 6 emerges from the remains of a Yamaha XS650 from 1979. As the brothers tell it, it was within the design of this particular motorbike that a signature detail began to define the shape of the whole entity: a scalloped, tunnelled section at the rear of the tank where it meets the seat. This difficult execution ended up defining the entirety of the motorbike. Though the original design idea was to use the opening as a ram air-inspired intake, this became impossible to achieve without compromising the restraint of the projected design. So to create and preserve the simple lines, they built the tank and seat base as one piece by hand-rolling manually-formed aluminum.
Some of the detailing added to the original Yamaha machine includes Auto Fabrica manufacture-made stainless steel handle bars, levers, and fork covers.
The Auto Fabrica Type 8, whose life began as a 1981 Honda CX500, looks completely different from the Type 6. Once the brothers stripped the Type 8 something quite strange revealed itself. The frame in its "naked" form had a great organic shape laid over the (now fully rebuilt) engine, a rarity among 1980s Japanese bikes. This provided them with some new ideas such as making the hand-formed aluminium tank as an extension of the frame. The stainless steel exhaust pipes were then run high to provide a unique look to the bike.