The Ultimate Adventure Ride Is Out of this World

In 2019, NASA announced the Artemis Program with a goal of putting human beings on the moon for the first time in almost 50 years. So, what better time than now to start daydreaming about a lunar adventure motorcycle?

Andrew Fabishevskiy, a Moscow-based designer, recently created a concept NASA motorcycle, but the history of putting a motorcycle on the moon dates back to the 1960s and the early Apollo missions. 

“The main design theme of this motorcycle is to make an object that looks like clear engineering, with minimum styling elements,” Fabishevskiy told me via email. Like all things outer space, his project piqued my imagination and I began to wonder if riding a motorbike on the moon would be the most awesome adventure ever or if it was destined to be a disaster. 

READ MORE: OVERLANDING WITHOUT A FRIDGE

Back in 1969, NASA first began testing Honda Monkeys as a feasible mode of transportation on the moon’s surface. But, since the engineers managed to fit a four-wheeled Lunar Rover Vehicle aboard Apollo 15, the project was largely abandoned, leaving us with little more than this amazing picture of an astronaut on a CT90.


Image: NASA via  Revzilla

Image: NASA via Revzilla

Fast forward to the future, Fabishevskiy’s moon-worth electric motorcycle has a frame made of tubular steel. “Electric suspension, electric in-wheels motors. I wanted to make a visually light object,” Fabishevskiy told me, “such lightness is characteristic of machines designed for space, as well as the combination of materials that I used – lots of white and reflective materials.”

It sure seemed like a good idea to me, but I needed some first-hand science to back up my investigation into space motorcycles, so I called my dad, Dale Rupert, a high school and college physics professor. “Well, of course it has to be electric,” Dale told me, “you wouldn’t want to deal with the oxygen and fuel systems of an internal combustion engine. Nuclear could be another good option.” 

READ MORE: JEEP VANGLER CONCEPT VEHICLE

It might sound ridiculous, but considering that there would be zero aerodynamic drag and ⅙ the gravity of earth, riding a motorcycle on the moon could be incredibly fun. Of course, traction in the lunar dust would be a challenge and the 500 degree temperature swings on the moon would be a disaster for pneumatic tires. 


Image: NASA via  Revzilla

Image: NASA via Revzilla

My dad assured me that you’d catch big air at the lip of every crater and that you’d be able to shoot rooster tails of moon dust 50 feet into the air— though he did ask me to not quote him on any specific numbers for roosting your astronaut buddies stalled out in lunar silt, as there’s still a lot of unknowns about how that particular substrate would react when blasted into a low-atmosphere environment.

After the publication of his design, Fabishevskiy was contacted by the guys at Hookie Co, a motorcycle design company based in Dresden, Germany. “We are making a fully functional prototype in collaboration. We plan to show in the middle of 21,” he said.

Who knows if the NASA concept motorbike will ever actually make it to the moon, but for now I’m happy to keep on daydreaming about riding my Trail 90 on Earth’s awesomest satellite.


Header Image: Andrew Fabishevskiy

Motorcycle Industry News by Eva Rupert. Follow Eva @augusteva.

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