SUPERMODEL: BMW R nineT ‘Cara’ by Viba
The world of 3D printing has come along leaps and bounds in the last few years, which is good news for the motorcycle industry. The ability to print parts out of stronger materials is a game changer for many bike builders. The latest project from the French based Viba has taken 3D printing to the next level. With the help of the Erpro 3D factory – who offer a large range of manufacturing technologies – they have taken a BMW R nineT and cleverly used a lot of these techniques to create a stealth boxer called Cara. Viba have always been inspired by woman’s names, and their latest has been named after the model Cara Delevingne – and just like her, this bike is a stunner.
Upfront on Cara, the handlebars immediately stand out. Completely redesigned, they were printed with one piece of aluminium, tapered with dimensions allowing to preserve the Nine-T riding position, and mount the combination switch. The chunky looking handlebars hold the speedometer with a custom bracket and a glass with the bikes name embossed on it.
The sleek side fairing panels seamlessly connect to the tank and the cylinders of the 1200cc boxer engine. Printed in polyamide loaded with glass beads for increased strength, these two sculpted pieces subtly hide the LED turn signal indicators in the aggressive looking air intakes.
The tail section has also been completely redesigned to fit with the lower part of the stock fuel tank. Also printed in one piece, it takes its place around the saddle with integrated LED tail light and turn signals. Made in bi-injection of silicone, a pattern is printed on the back which can be changed according to the choice of the customer. This same graphic element can also be found on the fork covers.
As for the seat, it has been made in three parts. Using bi-injection of silicone, under-seat printed in polyamide loaded with glass beads on an laser sintering system and side subframe 3D printed in stainless steel.
Other parts created include the headlight trim, the front fender and air intake, which were all 3D printed in various materials, such as inconel, a super alloy used in aeronautics or competition, with the exhaust muffler. To keep the bike road legal in most countries, a license plate support will be fitted upon delivery which will cover the tire and playing the role of mudguard.
Because of the speed of 3D printing, the Viba Cara is already available in a limited edition, assembled on demand. We are told that the manufacturing run will be limited to only 23 – with lots of different options that can be customised to keep them all unique. With 3D printing becoming so advanced, we look forward to seeing what other clever designs bike builders come up with.