This aggressive, jet-black motorcycle was inspired by the Japanese legend of the 47 ronin.

Ronin Motorworks/Facebook

So the Ronin motorcycle lacks front-mounted cannons and grappling hooks. But say that Bruce Wayne went belly-up during the financial crisis: This ferocious, gleaming-ebony cycle would definitely be his next choice to ride while whipping bad-guy tail.

Despite first appearances, this futuristic-looking motorbike wasn't hammered together by Japan's nutso street-racer gearheads; astute observers will notice it's built on the body of a Buell, a now-defunct Harley-Davidson brand. The makers of the cycle, Denver's Ronin Motorworks, wanted to pay a tribute to the Buell's iconoclastic design, so they bought up a bunch of 1125 models and took them into the garage. What emerged was a trimmed-down bike that rides fast and, with a sleek, muscular body, looks like a leopard in mid-pounce.

The motorworks folks plan to release 47 of these vicious rides as a tribute to the Japanese legend of the 47 ronin. "Taken from the Japanese word for a Samurai who lost his master," they say, "the name 'Ronin' was chosen to signify Buell motorcycles that will continue on after the demise of the company." Fittingly, each bike is engraved with a different ronin's name ("Horibe Takeyasu," for instance) and comes with its own bamboo toolbox. Check it out:

Ronin Motorworks

And while this video treats the bike with the unintentionally humorous gravitas of a late-career Keanu Reeves, it provides a nice look into how it was actually made:

H/t Design Collector

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  2. Equity

    Berlin Builds an Arsenal of Ideas to Stage a Housing Revolution

    The proposals might seem radical—from banning huge corporate landlords to freezing rents for five years—but polls show the public is ready for something dramatic.

  3. A gun-control rally in Pittsburgh's Market Square, Saturday, March 24, 2018.
    Equity

    Inside Pittsburgh's Battle Over Gun Control Laws

    Pittsburgh could be the bellwether city in Pennsylvania, defying state law to pass gun control ordinances, but first it has to get past its own district attorney.

  4. Two men plant a young tree in a lot in Detroit.
    Environment

    Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

    Detroiters were refusing city-sponsored “free trees.” A researcher found out the problem: She was the first person to ask them if they wanted them.

  5. A photo of a design maquette for the Obama Presidential Center planned for Jackson Park and designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
    Design

    Why the Case Against the Obama Presidential Center Is So Important

    A judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by Chicago preservationists can proceed, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's plans to build his library in Jackson Park.