Hub-steered, Boxer-powered, sheet-metal jaw-dropper

This piece of madness began life as a BMW tourer. No, really...

Hub-steered, Boxer-powered, sheet-metal jaw-dropper

Laser-cutting a sheet steel frame is probably not the next thing on HRC's list of things to try but for Polish designer Jack Watkins - possibly not his real name - it is the future.

Watkins has melded together a BMW Boxer engine and running gear to his own creation, and made the Watkins M001 which began life as a 2002 BMW R1150RT.

He holds a PhD in mechanical design, and works for an industrial firm in Gdansk, Poland, where he heads up a design office of some thirty engineers. Plus he’s a lecturer and researcher at the Gdansk University of Technology.

Inspired by Stellan Egeland's BMW Harrier, Watkins worked in evenings only to make flesh his idea, ably assisted by Moto Spec in his home town. 

Although it is based on the R1150, Watkins only sourced the parts he needed. The rear hub is from a GS, the front wheel is from a Yamaha XJ which is mated to the front suspension, designed by Watkins himself. And it wasn't an easy task. The shock is from a Moto Guzzi V750, of all things.

The M001’s main body is two sheets of laser-cut steel, bent in six places — with a few hidden pieces to stabilize the structure. It was impossible to construct without a jig, so Watkins had to design and manufacture that.