The Ecosse Spirit ES1 is unlike any motorcycle on the market. The superbike of superbikes, if you will. With the collaboration of one American, Don Atchison, and two Brits, Richard Glover and Andy Le Fleming a revolutionary motorcycle was conceived.
Don became a dirt bike enthusiast in his youth, prompting him to leave the corporate world and focus on his passion for motorcycles.
Richard and Andy are two of the top engineers and designers for Formula 1 racing. With the same principals used in building F1 cars, the team created the fastest, lightest bike available.
Its speed comes from the ultra light aerodynamic design and powerful engine. It is made with a frameless chassis covered in carbon fibre and a luxe leather seat. The driver sits in a position that allows the knees to be close to the body for greater ergonomics and control.
Also, it uses a different suspension system for both front and rear suspension, along with handlebars mounted to the front fork for superior front tire control. It weighs about 265 lbs and can go around 230 miles per hour. This is a motorcycle that truly performs like an F1 car.
The Ecosse team knows that the true motorcycle coinsure wants to be involved with their bike. To meet these needs, any perspective buyer will first meet with the design team to specifically build the bike to fit their needs. Simple things like colour and finish, as well as more complex details such as engine power and speed, are decided by both the buyer and the team.
The Eccosse Spirit ES1 technical detail from MCN
The Ecosse Spirit ES1 will have no frame, forks or headstock. Two swing-arms, one for the rear wheel and one for the front, would bolt directly to the engine bottom end. The handlebars would be connected to cylinder head and front-wheel by linkages, in a hub-centre steering arrangement.
The air-box would be where you’d typically find the headstock. The fuel tank would be under the rider, who would sit much lower than on a typical superbike.
The design allowed the bike to be narrower. The rider’s legs could be closer together and tucked perfectly into recesses in the bodywork. Having two drive chains, one pulling the other, cleared space for the rider’s feet to be closer together too. As well as helping aerodynamics, that meant the feet of the rider could be lower, giving him more space without compromising lean angle.
The suspension came from F1-inspired torsion bars, more compact than coils springs. Having no forks meant smoother airflow to the radiators.
Computer drawings show how viewed from above; the ES1 would have perfectly smooth, straight lines, from a narrow front to even smaller tail, a highly aerodynamic shape. The rear wheel was solid-sided to improve airflow further.
It would weigh just 120kg, even with an inline-four engine, perhaps from Suzuki’s GSX-R1000. With 170bhp, it would hit 220mph. A little tuning, to 210bhp, and it would reach 240mph.
Glover predicted it would lap the Barcelona circuit a second faster than a conventional bike with identical power.
Glover wasn’t the only famous name behind the project. Ecosse Spirit’s chief designer, Andy le Fleming, had formerly created Ferrari F1 cars, including the sport’s first carbon fibre gearbox.
The firm took its name from a partnership with Ecosse, which already made exclusive low-volume machines in the US, including an expensive V-twin sports bike, the Heretic.
The set-up seemed perfect for Glover to achieve his goal of building the first ten bikes in 2008 and changing motorcycling forever.