Yasujiro Gravity Bike

Yasujrio Speed Bike

Gravity bike racing keeps gaining momentum, even after 30 years in existence. There’s an increasing number of ‘official’ events being held on hillsides all over the world, with a growing number of privateers who are developing gravity bikes in sheds, workshops and garages. The Tange tubing company is working with a number of partners to release a propriety frame: the Yasujiro Speed Bike.

Jean Christophe Charrier, under the pseudonym Jaycee, worked with Yasujiro, the frame-building department of Tange on the innovative layout, inspired by the 50cc ultra-lightweight class of Grand Prix motorcycle racers of the 60s, 70s and 80s. To further emulate those pocket rockets, 24″ wheels were used, as opposed to the ‘standard’ 20″ wheels.

Jaycee sketched the initial design, which was further refined by the engineering skills of Antidote Solutions. Other partners provided services also: Facs Moto molded the fiberglass seat pan, Bos MTB made the double crown fork, the brakes were supplied by Shimano, the wheels by Asterion — which roll on Schwalbe‘s Big Apple tires.

The Speedbike is built for one thing only: going downhill fast. That may seem limited, but when you’re clocking 130km/h down the side of an alp, it might be all that matters. Serge Nuques was the first pilot of the Speedbike, a French enduro racer, rally driver and French Moto champion. Head to the Yasujiro website for more information and an exhilarating video of Serge and the Speedbike in action.

Yasujiro Speed Bike
Yasujiro Speed Bike
Yasujiro Speed Bike
Yasujiro Speed Bike
Yasujiro Speed Bike

  • Mike C

    Kind of a stretch to call it inspired by GP racers — only real influence is the bumstop seat and clip-on bars. But aside from that, bike is totally bitchin’. Wish we had a local hill and scene…

    • mudplug

      Maybe, but I thought the “stretch” was part of the inspiration 😀
      Quick glance on their website mentions dimensions / seating position being over the rear wheel so you can lay flat on the top tube (/tank!)

      Visually, I do see what you mean, but I suppose there’s not much to style on such a purposeful bike without fitting a GP-styled fairing! Saying that, the length & angle of the downtube did remind me of the old Bultacos, Van Veens etc.

      BTW I did read the 2nd and 3rd lines of your post which is why I +1’ed.
      Picture for your amusement.

  • Fernando

    How about posting a drift trike sometime in the future? I like them and they’re usually homemade.

  • b

    Be awesome with an engine in it.

  • reverend dick

    That is not a bike.

    It’s a scooter.

  • Spiny Norman

    It’s a good day to die.

  • The pegs are too high. It looks like it handles poorly. The center of gravity is too high. Looks cool though.

    • mostlypedals

      My favorite part of any bicycle-related website are the inevitable comments critiquing geometry, based on no data other than how a bike “looks” in a few photos. Really, it’s my favorite part!
      Keep in mind that this machine has been built by “engineers” and “bikecyclists,” a few of which might have “degrees” and “experience,” and who probably know a great deal more about frame design than you or me. They probably “prototyped” a few before going into “production.” It’s not like Tange has been involved in framebuilding for, like, a zillion and a half years.

      Also, by the looks of things in their little video, the bike handles fine. Wouldn’t it be exciting, though, if framebuilders just sat around drinking old crow and sprite and welding whatever they felt like, leaving consumers to decide what works and what’s totally deadly?! It would be like Lord of the Flies, or that one scene in Deer Hunter where they’re all sitting around the table and- wait, what?

      Luckily, were that the case, we could rest safe knowing that there are folks out there who can tell a bike’s geometry is totally wack just by looking at a photograph on the internet.

  • Butch Gaudy

    they clocked 70+ mph downhilling at the TdF almost every year.

  • tzed250

    The 50cc and then 80cc Gp bikes were called tiddlers.
    True story.