Despite looking like a film prop from a gritty post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick, this is a fully-fledged production bike you can buy right now. It’s called the Vyrus Alyen 988, built by a boutique Italian firm that’s been putting together bonkers-looking motorbikes for nearly 20 years.
This latest one borrows a 1285cc ‘L-twin’ engine from the previous-generation Ducati Panigale (the current one uses a V4), which produces 205bhp at 10,500rpm. The frame, however, is Vyrus’ own, and is made from magnesium.
The wheelbase is nearly 140mm longer than the bike from which the Alyen 988 pinched its powerplant, and much of the bodywork is made from sharply angled carbon fibre. The wheels are carbon too, and in case you want carbon ceramic brakes to go with them, they’re on the options menu.
It’s not only unconventional due to the way it looks, either - the 988 does away with a traditional motorbike fork in favour of an unusual hub-centre steering setup. The front wheel is connected to the frame via a swingarm that looks like it belongs on the rear of the bike, with the steering actuated by steel cables.
Some of the major manufacturers played around with the concept in the past, but the idea never really took off - Vyrus is the only company to have persisted. Probably because it fits with the wild aesthetic, and also because - as more of a collector’s item - owners are less likely to be bothered by hub-centred steering downsides like a giant turning circle.
Another neat detail is the handlebar. It’s CNC machined from a solid block of 7075 aluminium alloy (also known as ‘Ergal’), and is clad in supermoto-style hand guards which are made from - you guessed it - carbonfibre.
And it’s almost certainly going to be a collector’s item. While Vyrus hasn’t revealed a price, judging by the company’s previous bikes, we can expect the Alyen to cost close to $100,000.