Jack’s Curious Contraption: The Watkins M001

Posted On : 24-04-2018

It all began with the curiosity to figure out how the suspension of Stellan Egeland’s BMW Harrier worked. Nine years later, Polish designer ‘Jack Watkins’ (not his real name) completed a unique hub-steered custom motorcycle.

(All photos taken by Maciek Bejma)


Jack had first figured out and reconstructed the Harrier’s front suspension design digitally, but due to other personal commitments he had to shelve away the design. Later, he turned to Mateusz Kozlowski at Moto Spec in Gdańsk for help.

Based off a BMW R1150 RT, Jack and Mateusz started on the assembly and mechanical work at Moto Spec. The bike features the 2002 BMW R 1150 RT motor, transmission and final drive.

““I went to the guy, rode the bike, and just after that we disassembled it,” Jack said in an interview with Bike EXIF. “After a few hours, I had the engine in my trunk.”


Jack also borrowed the 1150’s rear shock for the M001, but the rear wheel is a BMW GS unit. The front of the bike is a yellow Yamaha XJ6 wheel with a milled hub, the only splash of colour this vehicle allowed. It is then hooked onto Jack’s one-off hub-steered front suspension system.


3D scanning was also used to locate the exact mount points, and a bent sheet steel was laser cut for the frame and bodywork. The back of the motorbike also sports a unique arrangement, while the headlight is that of a round chrome bucket.

Hidden under the seat is the fuel tank with the capacity to hold 16 liters.


The exhaust is also extremely intricate - built from stainless steel, it ends in a two-layered box with 84 screws.  “It took me almost five hours to assemble it,” says Jack. “The noise is, I would say, unique.”

Spoken by the man himself, “The project is complex. The forces are analyzed, the kinematics checked, the material confirmed, the load calculated, drawings prepared, components ordered, online shopping done, the screws are counted… there is every aspect of industrial project inside.”


The Watkins M001 was described by Bike EXIF as “an oversized mind-bending LEGO Technic set, wrapped around a BMW powertrain.”

The designer also stated, “As a designer of machines I am deepest committed to projects existing outside the confinement of day or night, which ignore the metronomic rustle of pages falling off calendars and persistently make a mockery of the fresh coffee on the desk letting it turn cold time after time…

This project had it all and more. It is known as The Motorbike.”

Presenting, The Watkins M001.

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