Sierra Leone Specials

On the last issue from Sierra Leone 5 futuristic looking motorcycles have been depicted. At first glance I thought that these were just fantasy motorcycles, but because names have been written on the stamps I started to Google, and found out that these are all existing motorcycles. 4 of them are concept bikes, but 1 appeared to be an interesting special that is ready to buy.
Let's first look at the block of 4 stamps:

Upper left the Metalback, a design from car designer Jordan Meadows equipped with a V4 engine running on biodiesel. The chassis is a monocoque-construction made from recycled aluminum. It is not clear to me whether this motorcycle has actually been built, or only exists on drawings.

Upper right an extreme chopper based on a 1991 Harley-Davidson Sportster, designed by Art of Racer. Not much recognizable is left from the original HD.

Lower left is the IZH Hybrid Concept from 2012. Clearly a concept, looking at the futuristic specifications: an engine built for 50% from plastics, as extra a 60 kW (75 hp) electric motor in the rear wheel, 2 air bags, use of nightview cameras and automatic distance control to vehicles in front.

Funny is the name, that has been borrowed from the Russian concern IZH. Although hardly known in the Western world, this concern has built not less than 11 million motorcycles in between 1927 and the 90-ies! Some IZH products that are known in the Netherlands are the Jupiter and Planeta motorcycles, that have been imported up to the 70-ies by Henk Vink. Apart from that the concern is also the producer of the notorious Kalasnikov weapons.

Lower left finally a concept motorcycle equipped with a V4 engine that has been derived from the Ferrari Enzo V12. Despite the name Ferrari has nothing to do with this, but this concept has been designed by the Israelian designer Amir Glinik. The design looks clearly inspirated by the Ferrari cars.

Then the sheet with 1 stamp:

On the sheet margin again the HD Sportster chopper. On the stamp is the Magpul Ronin. I had never heard of this before, but it appears to be a development based on the latest model from Erik Buell, the EBR 1125R. After Buells bankruptcy the Magpul company had bought 2 of these motorcycles to convert them into a concept bike after their own ideas. As name they had chosen for "Ronin", the name for a Japanese Samurai warrior who has lost his master.

The EBR 1125R....

what Magpul kept of it....

and the final result: the Magpul Ronin

Because the concept was highly appreciated they decided to build a small series. 45 more Buells were bought, to build a total of 47 Ronin. Each of these motorcycles carries the name of 1 of the 47 Ronin from a famous Japanese story. For interested people a few of these motorcycles are still for sale, for prices starting at 38.000 US$ ex-works in Denver. With the Dutch BPM and BTW (taxes) added this will be around 47.000 euro.

Paul Essens



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