Now that we’ve introduced ourselves to the bike world with our first project, Loki, we’re happy to present our latest bike, Magnus. Being in China, the biggest obstacle for Bandit9 is separating the brand from the “made in China” stereotype. With Magnus, we hope to bring Bandit9 beyond the motorcycle world and into the realm of art and design. We knew what we had to do. Reinvent the Chang Jiang.
Magnus is no ordinary Chang Jiang. The CJ’s carry so much weight. Not only do they look heavy and bulky, they also feel heavy when you ride them. Magnus had to be more agile and graceful, so I removed the back seat and fender. The seat flows with the lines of the bike.
The colour of the bike is a unique element. From the start of the design process, I knew I had to give the bike a distinct colour. Since we’re in China, it’s important for Bandit9 to stay ahead by building bikes that cannot be replicated. The tank has a really unusual stone-like finish. I took a blowtorch and lit the tank, frame and fork on fire. After clearing the burnt outer layer, what was left was an organic pattern on the metal.
I’m always looking for ways to simplify the bikes. Most CJ’s have so many pieces that really don’t need to be there. That’s something very noticeable when you’re riding Magnus. The smaller custom air filter gives the bike’s profile a nice void. I brought in some chrome for the exhausts and the exposed suspension. It gives Magnus a nice finish. I’ve never seen twin headlights on a CJ, so its definitely a new touch for the bike.
I took the the original headlight apart and used the speedometer by itself. It feels refined, and the minimalism is a definite contrast to the standard jumbo headlights on most CJ’s. Since resources are very limited here in China, I have to use what I’ve got and get creative with it. So I pieced together an old crank shaft to redesign the gas cap. Definitely one of my favourite details.
Bandit9’s new site is up – www.banditnine.com. Loki and Magnus are now officially for sale; details on the site. Bandit #3 is on the way.