B-Rocket Concept Motorcycle.

1BB-ROCKET2BB-ROCKET3B-ROCKET3bisB-ROCKETA corporation commissioning a custom motorcycle is always doing it for marketing purpose. And the result can only be a theme bike whose main staging area is almost never the road, but the print and digital pages of magazines, the headquarter lobby of said corporation and the display floor of a few dealer shows. From the perspective of the motorcycle industry, of builders and of bikers, nothing wrong with this marketing approach if the bike is beautiful, demonstrates skills from the builder and is not advertised… as an every day rider.

3quartB-ROCKET3terB-ROCKETThat you like or not theme bikes let’s judge this one as what it is. A corporate concept motorcycle trying to convey a certain image for a brand and its products. Bell & Ross is a relatively young watch maker company in search of more international notoriety to boost brand awareness of its B-Rocket neo-retro aviation style chronographs. Bell & Ross define its watches as “uncompromising designs, built with a very strict criteria in terms of the materials and resistance of the components, sophisticated engineering, pure aesthetic quality, accurate information and lastly the non-negotiable requirement for high-performance, even under what may be considered extreme conditions.” Nothing less than all this…

5B-ROCKET5BB-ROCKETA big challenge for British builder Shaw Harley-Davidson commissioned for the second time by Bell & Ross to create a new powerful marketing tool. Briefing was short and clear: “design a concept bike with a sleek and powerful look evoking the extreme modernity of the 1960s and of the very first American jet aircraft. An evocation of of the heyday of aeronautics in a motorcycle reminiscent of the future…”

To reach this objective, Bell & Ross and Shaw Harley Davidson worked side by side for over a year on the design of this B-Rocket. Yes, it looks like a dream airplane-motorcycle designed to break records in Bonneville (of course, no chance it will be not try a Land Speed Record on the salts of Utah.) Does it rides fast? Does it fly? At least, illusion is given by the bike stance, the low position of the rider, a body shaped to cut through the air with minimum friction, a striking conical jet nose, a pair of propulsion turbines, a stabilizing tail and even a pair of adjustable fins on the forks designed to resemble small wings to increase or reduce contact with the ground…

8B-ROCKET7B-ROCKETRegarding bodywork, I learned from Shaw Harley-Davidson that the rear section of the B-Rocket is made of of 30 different sections of steel. That the solid, fixed aluminum wheel covers conceals 10-inch brake discs. Also, notice the almost invisible plexiglass sections around the rear wheel revealing the sprocket chain and brake calipers and also the impressive brass grills allowing hot air to escape. All the 1960s experimental aeronautic visual codes are there. Illusion, illusion. And because you will not find out if I don’t tell you, the B-Rocket is based on a Harley-Davidson Softail Blackline (engine fitted with Knucklehead style rocker boxes to confuse you and to look almost period correct)

10B-ROCKETYou can’t buy this B-Rocket concept motorcycle. But you can buy one of the B-Rocket limited edition chronograph models (total of 500 pieces) designed and produced by Bell & Ross. About $4500 euros or around 6100 US dollars. And for this price, I list below the watch 2 version tech sheets.

BR 01 B-ROCKET Chronograph.
Movement: mechanical automatic. Functions: hours, minutes and econds. Date. Tachymeter scale. Chronograph: Three-counter (60 seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours accumulators). Case: diameter 46 mm. Satin-polished steel. The red push-button is made from steel with a polycarbonate-ABS protective cover. Dial: matte black. Skeletonised metallic hours and minutes hands filled with superluminova. Crystal: antireflective sapphire. Water-resistance: 100 meters Strap: padded black leather, edged in red and black heavy-duty canvas. Buckle: pin buckle. Satin-polished steel.

BR 03 B-ROCKET Chronograph
Movement: mechanical automatic. Functions: hours, minutes and seconds. Big date at 12 o’clock. Power reserve indicator. Case: diameter 42 mm. Satin-polished steel. Dial: matte black. Skeletonised metallic hours and minutes hands filled with superluminova. Crystal: antireflective sapphire. Water-resistance: 100 m. Strap: added black leather, edged in red and black heavy-duty canvas. Buckle: pin buckle. Satin-polished steel.


23 Responses to “B-Rocket Concept Motorcycle.”

  1. 1 Seymour Apr 7th, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Just…. wow. No, and wow.

  2. 2 Terence Tory Apr 7th, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Apart from using it in a wobbly sepia toned video for marketing purposes,what is it? A rumbly billboard?

    They must have a lot of cash and time on their hands.

  3. 3 Dar - Brass Balls Cycles Apr 7th, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Very cool. Great design & detail. Cheers.

  4. 4 Bruce Reynard Apr 7th, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Cyril deflected most potential critics in saying that you must look at it as a corporate custom. But you can still admire the bodywork built by the builder. Diversity, diversity…

  5. 5 HD Rider Apr 7th, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Finally — a cartoon bike for the under 30 crowd.

  6. 6 BCinSoCal Apr 7th, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Pretty corny, have liked Shaw HD work in the past, must have had a lot of customer input. (Customer is always right) Reminds me of McDonalds coffee, a lot of heat warnings! Bell & Ross must be an English corp, if American,why not have an Americam builder do it, rider has an American flag patch on his sleeve. Marketing guy must not have a firm grasp of the English language, reminscent of the future? Oxymoron . Would not like to stand around having a drink with the guys and have to say”I built that!” I’m sure it was BIG money, hope Bell & Ross get what they need out of it! Theme bikes are questionable, but? Don’t mean to be sour grapes, it’s just confusing .

  7. 7 Kirk Perry Apr 7th, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Have a custom week out there! 🙂

  8. 8 ian Apr 7th, 2014 at 10:43 am

    All credit to Shaws – I for one have been getting bored of the endless brat customs with space in the middle where the battery used to be, and pimped up sportsters. So to build something new and unique that actually works, and more importantly fulfils the requirements of its customer is a real achievement. their skill and workmanship is always first class, and I am really looking forwards to seeing this at their shop in a few weeks time. Brilliant stuff.

  9. 9 805FXDX Apr 7th, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Great……for a museum piece.

  10. 10 RUB Apr 7th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Jeeze , you know how many Obama phones could have been handed out with the cash spent on this bike ?

  11. 11 James just another Crazy Kiwi Apr 7th, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Personally I like theme bikes, especially when they are carried out with real panache. And then genuinely put together with one off fabrication of most if not all of the main components.
    This is where art and motorcycling really do blur the lines.

    I think we all got tired of catalogue bike parts modified to make theme bikes that were often just bling covered billet Queens, with tires wide enough to cope with quick sand.

    This is like the Petrali Stream liner meats Buck Rogers with a bit of Art Deco and an F4 Phantom all thrown in to the mixing pot..

    I think it is cool and there are always ideas you can pinch off MotorCycle / Art work pieces like this.

    Not sure if one should admit things like that but such builds often inspire others.

    Ps they make some very nice time pieces and appear to be based in Switzerland but started in Germany in 1922.

  12. 12 Greg Apr 7th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Bell & Ross is a French company. Like all watch makers in the world, they buy the mechanism of their watches in Switzerland.

  13. 13 Patrick Apr 7th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    When I look at the bike I do not think of a “Watch”.

  14. 14 takehikes Apr 7th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Another corporate pile but hey hats off to the builder since they pried someone’s wallet open.
    Looks to me like that front end is just rigid….the shock mounted in the rear attached to the front leg while the center one goes straight up off the axle?

  15. 15 richard Apr 7th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I wish people would keep their politics out of this column. Especially when they don’t know what they’re talking about. This phone service was begun in 1984 by Ronald Reagan. It was called the “lifeline”program. George Bush expanded it to cellular in 2008. It is NOT President Obama’s program. He has simply continued it because it’s the right thing to do.

  16. 16 Roscoe Apr 7th, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Looks good, I like it.
    Is it the new Vision?

  17. 17 Badams Apr 7th, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    As a consumer, I like the collaborative effort, but as an enthusiast, I cant help but to critique it.

    I couldn’t build one like it. Fact. However I know a couple of cold war Aerospace engineers and guys who spent time on the Salt in the 60’s and when they saw it they shook their heads.

    “design a concept bike with a sleek and powerful look evoking the extreme modernity of the 1960s and of the very first American jet aircraft. An evocation of of the heyday of aeronautics in a motorcycle reminiscent of the future…”

    Couple old boy comments:
    “Hughes would have kicked this thing over”
    “A knucklehead and springer referencing innovation in aerospace in the early Sixties?”
    “Someone is just confused”

    @ Bell and Ross Brand Manager : Hat’s off to the collaboration, just know those who do purchase your products are in the know.

    I am sure a zillion opinions could fly but IMHO a Pan or Shovel covered Lucite molded parts exposing inner workings (like see the back of a watch?) stainless steel frame and assorted polished metals(no steel gas tanks, come on) exotic suspension( a’la Ken’s Factory girder or something of the like ?) magnesium wheels etc etc etc……

    But then again, its likely there is a good working relationship between Shaw and B&R, so I digress back to wondering what if….

  18. 18 domino Apr 7th, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Why did I immediately think of the old Warbird kit … ??? Hey … It’s a Knuckle!!!

  19. 19 James just another Crazy Kiwi Apr 8th, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Apologies I got that wrong they started1992 and they are French.The first watches were designed by Belamich and Rosillo and made by a German watchmaker.

    Still cool though

  20. 20 Terence Tory Apr 8th, 2014 at 3:45 am

    The back half is almost a direct copy of a Porsche 550 and a 1500Z’s tailfins.



    Design or Art requires more than mere derivative pastiche, they require a unique inspiration or creativity.

    I doubt outrageous deconstruction and imitation was the desired result. Maybe it was, the French are big on pushing post post modern deconstruction to the point of oblivion.

    I can’t work out what’s cool about getting auto-launched like a rocket from the deck of an aircraft carrier with your hands off the controls,like on their website video:


    It’s got people talking about it, I guess. Insert Oscar Wilde quote here-

  21. 21 Sportster Mike Apr 8th, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Oh dear… Are Shaws going down the OCC theme route?? or too much customer input?
    I did like the McQueen Sportster I saw at Excel though – as it was RIDEABLE… this isn’t unless they are going to Bonneville?

  22. 22 Doc Robinson Apr 8th, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Well done Shaw Harley-Davidson! As Cyril said, “A corporation commissioning a custom motorcycle is always doing it for marketing purpose.” This build is not meant to please the eye of the custom bike aficionado, or to pass muster on the salt flats. It is built for its retro-space age look that will capture the eye of millions of potential Bell & Ross watch buyers. So again, well done Shaw Harley-Davidson!

  23. 23 Mike Corbin May 19th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I like it, original (:-)

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