Bamboo Fashioned Bam!

BamTrike is a three-wheeler that goes with the fancy tag of being a Personal Mobility Vehicle. Besides sporting a really unique form, the most intriguing part of this concept is the usage of Bamboo as a building material. The choice stems from the fact that structurally, bamboo compares to fiberglass, in woven form. The rider of the vehicle gets to sit in a comfy reclined position and the side storage pockets are sufficient to carry your personals. As a recreational vehicle, it really looks neat!

BamTrike is a part of an ongoing research by Monash student Alexander Vittouris, so we can expect frequent updates to this project.

Here is an excerpt:

The parts required for construction of the recumbent chassis have been reduced to encompass the outer framework of the vehicle. By using large molding sections of bamboo fiber, combined with Polylactide resin, the overall assembly complexities are reduced. The philosophy behind this innovative approach is to motivate the consumer in active production of the outcome and enhance the feeling of ownership via positive contribution. The challenge of successive concepts is to find additional ways of making the raw material of bamboo benefit the intention of naturally derived personal mobility.

Designer: Alexander Vittouris

BamTrike Personal Mobility Vehicle by Alexander Vittouris







    • Sean says:

      This being so low to the ground, won’t it suffer the same safety problems as the Sinclair C5? I mean you’re so low down; you’re going to have a hard time being seen by many drivers who are seated higher up (lorries, off road vehicles etc).

    • Alexander Vittouris says:

      Hi everyone, I’m Alexander Vittouris, designer of the BamTrike concept. I thought I’d firstly mention that this ideation is purely the test bed for a bunch of ideas for my Master of Design (by Research) focusing on the possible suitability of natural materials for personal transport based applications.

      Sean, you are quite right, the vehicle is very low to the ground. Overall height is a bit over 900mm. The context that the vehicle would be placed in, especially with this variant, is primarily recreational. It was never the design intention for the vehicle to mix with standard traffic.

      Whilst I can’t speak for the rest of the urban global population, there is a future push here in Melbourne, Australia for increases in dedicated bicycle lanes for both bicycle and recumbent vehicle use.

      The wheelbase of the BamTrike was chosen to fit easily within the width of the approx 700mm lane. I can only hope that there is a global effort to promote such diverse traffic systems for ultra urban usage. That’s really what I’m pushing for in my thesis argument.

      Part of the problem is addressing how to deal with a vast product mix on a single shared piece of road. You can imagine how people felt when the BMC Mini, BMW Isetta, Peel P50 was released amongst much larger vehicles of the time. The concerns with making the driver feel secure are no different with this application and are a perfectly valid and critical point of concern..

      The current proposal still under the experimentation phase, differs quite wildly from the above concept, and addresses height concerns by raising the height to just under that of a small hatchback, whilst maintaining the lower rider position which makes these vehicles so fun.

      Zippyflounder, the styling of your vehicle sums up so many fantastic classical elements of 1980’s design. I am confident that the age of the recumbent is just around the corner.

      I’ll try to address any other questions anyone else might have.


      • in design, things and forms come back into fashion all the time…welcome back to the 80’s. The age of the recumbent, well we thought so in the 80’s and 90’s too…didn’t happen. I love the damn things, but folk are funny and think sitting on a coffee mug is just “right”.

        • Alexander Vittouris says:

          I’d probably say that the current role models in terms of a healthy mix of transport solutions probably exists most visibly in countries such as The Netherlands etc.

          Whilst I love car culture, we have all been drawn to the relative ease of mobility that the automobile affords. Thats something pretty natural, and a credit to the developments in the automotive industry in promoting the positive aspects of car travel.

          The popularity of the car is also partly because of the relative distances and spread that people travel these days, and thats a social problem with many layers of complexity.

          The key issue is appealing to the publics reasoning to consider alternative transportation beoynd either moral obligations or concern for the environment. And that is something which is extremely challenging for designers, and one that should never be given up. I would not pretend for any one vehicle concept to resolve these issues.

          I think we’ll start seeing modal variations such as recumbents and other forms of personal mobility when owning a ‘conventional’ automobile becomes prohibitively expensive. The current situation is still relatively stable (even with financial crisis etc) to afford these changes yet..


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    • sean says:

      where do these people get these great HDRI environments?

    • sean says:

      Thanks. I hope your design reaches production, it would be great to see something like this in person.

    • Autonomy says:

      Wow,this is very impressive. I really like the sleek design and concept behind it.

    • tgfbarbosa says:

      This guy just forgot that this thing must turn right and left…

      • John says:

        tgfbarbosa: I can’t see why it wouldn’t turn left or right, there appears to be handles on the sides for steering. I’d say it would be push/pull steering like many other recumbent vehicle designs. Very simple linkages that offer good turning circle in the short wheelbase, with very little action needed on the steering levers to achieve turning effort.

    • Catrike Rider says:

      It sounds like you been riding recumbents bike for a long time haven’t you? In my case I’ve been riding recumbents for 12 years now and I can tell you that you are totally wrong.
      They see you, they honk, they curse at you and the least that happens is getting unnoticed. Worse even, they stare at you and they don’t move out of the way. BTW you ride on street not on the sidewalk for security. Most of the accidents happen on the sidewalk since no one stops before the sidewalk but at the curve and by then you are already under the car.

    • Lukas says:

      Dude, it looks like the bike that Batman rides.Awesome work.

    • Nice job. It is cool bike

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